10 February 2009

Melena (an unusual cause)

I went to change the baby's diaper, because she was smelling a little funky.   I was perturbed to see that her poop was this jet black and viscous stuff, looking for all the world like melena.  Melena, for the non-medicos, is the black tarry stools that occur when someone is bleeding into their intestines, and is a pretty serious finding.

I wasn't too worried, because it would be bizarre for a baby to have a GI bleed, and because her poop lacked the distinctive acrid stench of melena. (How sad is it that I recognize it?)   I mentioned it in passing to my wife, who responded casually, "Of course her poop is black.   She ate her body's weight worth of blueberries yesterday."

Ah.  There you have it.   Add that to the list of things that turn your stool black! (Iron and pepto-bismol being the others.)


  1. Eat enough oreos and that'll do it too ;)

  2. Bonus points: It's the Bismuth in Pepto-Bismol that causes your poo to turn black!

  3. My dad loves the story of when he took my baby poo to the hospital to test for blood because there was something bright red in it. It turned out to be a crayon...

    Also, the bismuth will make your tongue black if you take enough of it. Very creepy to wake up to.


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