While neither diarrhea nor hard stools are healthy, loose stools are preferred to hard ones, according to The Doctors. Soft bowel movements can be an indication of good health, as long as they don't become watery.
In some cases black stool indicates bleeding in the upper intestinal tract or stomach, which requires prompt medical attention, according to Mayo Clinic. Other possible causes of black stool include black liquorice, iron supplements, and medications such as Pepto-Bismol and Kaopectate.
Black diarrhea may be an indicator of internal bleeding in the upper intestinal tract in either the esophagus or stomach, according to MedlinePlus. Black stools can also be caused by taking iron pills or eating a large volume of certain foods such as blueberries or black licorice.
Consuming blueberries, beets or black licorice can cause black stools, according to About.com and HealthGrades. Several common medicines and supplements, such as iron supplements, aspirin and NSAIDs, can also cause black stools, as can medicines that contain bismuth, such as Pepto-Bismol, notes WebM
Symptoms of black stool cancer, or bowel cancer, include bloody stools, a change in bowel habits, weight loss and a cancerous lump, reports Cancer Research UK. An abnormally low level of red blood cells, or anemia, may be present as well.
Black stools in adults may be the result of bleeding in the upper part of the small intestine, the esophagus or the stomach, according to MedlinePlus. A person who is taking iron supplements, bismuth subsalicylate or black licorice may also have black stools, according to Mayo Clinic.
Passing black stool may be an indication of a variety of issues including inflammation, trauma and malignancy. Black stool with tarry texture is usually an indication of bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. Red stool may be an indication of bleeding in the lower gastrointestinal tract, no
Bacterial, viral and parasitic infections cause most cases of acute diarrhea, which lasts up to two days, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Medical disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, may cause chronic diarrhea, which lasts at least four week
The symptoms of diarrhea include bloating, abdominal cramps, abdominal pains, blood in the stool, loose and watery stool, and fever, states Mayo Clinic. In young children, diarrhea can swiftly cause dehydration. Therefore, it is prudent for the parent to call a doctor if the child's diarrhea continu
Mild diarrhea often requires no treatment at all, while over-the-counter treatments such as Kaopectate, Imodium A-D and Pepto-Bismol offer the best solution for most cases that require attention, notes WebMD. In addition to medication, sufferers should drink a minimum of 48 ounces of fluid each day.