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2023 Author: Alfred Shackley | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 13:14
The main indicator of the state of health in the early stages of life is the child's stool itself. Parents, to make sure that their child is healthy, monitor the consistency, color and smell of the baby's stool.
However, at one time or another, many people have a question: why did the child's feces turn black? In most cases, there is no reason without excessive concern, but it is worth being able to distinguish the norm from the pathology.
First of all, you should turn your attention to an absolutely natural phenomenon - meconium. This is the name of the child's original feces, which is observed on the first day after the baby is born.
The fact is that during the passage through the birth canal, amniotic fluid, particles of the epithelium, as well as other "debris", including hair and blood, are swallowed.
After all this has been digested, the child's body gets rid of the swallowed particles, and in the diapers, the parents find tar-like excrement of black color. Sometimes greenish blotches can be seen in them, which is a consequence of an excess of bilirubin. After several feedings, the body will completely get rid of the remnants of meconium and the stool will return to a normal mustard hue.
After the child and his mother are discharged from the hospital, the baby's stool gradually returns to normal and any deviation can be an alarm signal for the parents. From time to time, they may notice whitish lumps of undigested milk, particles of mucus and other impurities.
But what does the sudden darkening of stool mean to a gray or black color?
Very often, the reason is on the surface and lies in the specifics of the perception of food by the imperfect digestive system. In the first year of a baby's life, black dots in the feces or its complete darkening may be the result of an excess of iron or a reaction to a new product.
The following reasons can be distinguished, mainly associated with nutrition:
- the use of cow's milk in undiluted form. Basically, in this case, the stool becomes more grayish than black;
- vitamins. When using vitamin supplements, in particular, iron-containing ones, the stool acquires a specific shade, which is due to the incomplete assimilation of this element;
- introduction of a new mixture. This may be the body's reaction to a new composition, especially if the same iron is present in the mixture;
- introduction of complementary foods. This is especially true for such products as liver, blueberries, apples, currants, etc. With the early introduction of complementary foods, the reaction to the product will be especially pronounced. The more iron in the food, the darker the stool will be. If the body is not ready to digest and fully assimilate the new element in the feces, you can find black threads and blotches. In addition, some foods are capable of imparting their color to the stool, such as blueberries and beets;
- bananas. When a baby tries bananas for the first time, black strings in the child's feces are almost always found. This reaction of the body to this product is quite normal. After several repeated uses of this fruit, the strings disappear, and the feces acquire their normal shade.
Reaction to breast milk. If the mother ate something high in iron or took vitamins, during breastfeeding, part of the absorbed substances is transferred to the child along with milk and causes a corresponding reaction.
In addition, one more reason can be distinguished why the feces darken, both in babies and adults. It is associated with the use of pills. First of all, of course, we are talking about activated carbon, which stains the stool.
Also, black feces may appear after taking medications containing bismuth or some other medicines.
Black feces as a symptom of the disease
If the baby's health problems are very rarely associated with the above-described causes of black feces, it is impossible to hesitate with the treatment of the following. Such bowel movements can be a signal of any disease and even pathology. Some of them can threaten not only the health, but also the life of the child.
Similar reasons can manifest themselves in such situations:
- problems with the digestive tract and other organs involved in the processing and assimilation of food. These can be both temporary violations and serious pathologies. These conditions include inflammatory processes, impaired production of enzymes, trauma, etc. With liver dysfunction, in addition to a black tint, there are green impurities in the stool, as well as yellowing of the mucous membranes and skin;
- diseases of the pancreas. If the functioning of the pancreas is disrupted, dark feces acquire a fetid odor and a grayish coating;
- bleeding. Especially dangerous are stomach and intestinal bleeding in the upper section. In this case, symptoms such as nausea, pallor, lethargy, decrease or increase in temperature, and abdominal pain are also observed. Action must be taken without the slightest delay. Call an ambulance if, with such symptoms, you find dark blotches in the stool and clots of clotted blood in the child;
- rotavirus infection. In the early days of disease progression, feces may turn dark gray;
- hepatitis. In this case, the feces become rather gray rather than black. It is also recommended to immediately consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
If you find any changes in the color of the child's stool for no apparent reason, you should seek the advice of a pediatrician. The child is not able to accurately express what exactly bothers him. With a general deterioration in the baby's condition, you should not hesitate even for a second, since the health and life of your child is at stake. At the same time, self-medication is unacceptable, since it is possible to further harm a fragile body.
If the reason was a change in the child's diet, most likely, you will not have to worry and everything will return to normal in the near future.