My stool has become noticeably darker in the last week but in all other respects it looks normal. Don't see any blood. My doc is out of town, natch.
Should I be concerned? Should I call his office to talk to the on call doc?
I read that darker stools may indicate bleeding
Am I turning into the sort of person who post a question titled poop?
I think my husband and I are the experts in "poop". :-) Since he has to take lactulose daily to ward off HE, it is something we have to deal with on a regular basis. Is your poop more yellow on a regular basis? From our experience that happens when his billirubin is up. When it gets darker brownish more normal in color his billirubin is coming down.
That said if your poop is much darker it could indicate internal blooding.
In that case, you should be checked out asap.
I hope it turns out to be just a normalization of the billirubin. Again, this response is based on our our experience only.
If you're worried about blood there are over the counter kits available that detect occult blood.
Nan, I read what you say about your husband's experience and it doesn't sound right to me. Bilirubin is what gives our stool its brown color. When our blood test shows an elevated bilirubin that means it is not getting into our intestines and therefore our stool can become pale or even white. So there are 2 colors to watch for - very pale stools and black stools. Black stools can be caused by diet too so keep that in mind.
Thank you for the correction. Yes, it's actually the opposite of what I wrote.
Found this explanation online.
Stool that is pale or grey may be caused by insufficient bile output due to conditions such as cholecystitis, gallstones, giardia parasitic infection, hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis, or cirrhosis. Bile salts from the liver give stool its brownish color. If there is decreased bile output, stool is much lighter in color."
This makes total sense as my husband has bile duct damage/blockages and therefore when he has decreased bile output (which is most of the time), his stool is yellow in color. When it's brownish in color, his bile output has increased.
As Mike pointed out, it can also just be a result of what you have eaten in the days before.
The Content on this Site is presented in a summary fashion, and is intended to be used for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be and should not be interpreted as medical advice or a diagnosis of any health or fitness problem, condition or disease; or a recommendation for a specific test, doctor, care provider, procedure, treatment plan, product, or course of action. Med Help International, Inc. is not a medical or healthcare provider and your use of this Site does not create a doctor / patient relationship. We disclaim all responsibility for the professional qualifications and licensing of, and services provided by, any physician or other health providers posting on or otherwise referred to on this Site and/or any Third Party Site. Never disregard the medical advice of your physician or health professional, or delay in seeking such advice, because of something you read on this Site. We offer this Site AS IS and without any warranties. By using this Site you agree to the following Terms and Conditions. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your physician or 911 immediately.