Coffee Ground Poop in Adults: Causes, Symptoms, and When to Seek Medical Attention

Do you know what’s truly frustrating? Being a coffee lover and seeing your poop resemble a cup of coffee grounds. It’s an unsettling experience that many people can relate to. But fear not, because in this article, we will explore the reasons behind this unusual bowel movement and when it’s necessary to seek medical attention. So, let’s dive into the fascinating topic of coffee ground poop.

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Why Does Poop Look Like Coffee Grounds?

Coffee ground-looking stools are essentially a change in the color of your normal medium brown solid poop, replaced by black or dark brown specks. There are two main reasons for this phenomenon. It could either be due to something you’ve eaten or bleeding that occurred in your Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract). However, these aren’t the only explanations to consider.

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Poop That Resembles Green Coffee Grounds

If your poop appears to have green specks, it is referred to as Melena. It can have the same causes as black specks. It could be an indication of a medical condition, such as a bacterial or parasitic infection, or it may simply be undigested food that you consumed.

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Causes of Black Specks in Poop

The color, texture, and frequency of our poop can provide insights into our general health. Any deviation from the norm can give us clues about our diet and overall well-being. Different appearances, such as white or black specks, may indicate certain medical conditions that require attention. Let’s discuss some of the causes in detail:

  • Consumption of foods with dark pigments: Foods like blueberries, beets, or dark chocolate, which contain dark pigments, may not fully dissolve and can appear as black specks in your poop.
  • Iron-containing foods: Consuming foods or medications that contain iron or iron supplements can cause black specks to appear in your stool.
  • Charcoal: Taking activated charcoal during medical emergencies, such as poisoning, may result in black specks in your bowel movements.
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding: Bleeding in the upper digestive tract, such as the stomach or upper small intestine, can lead to black, tarry stools known as “Melena.” This may be caused by conditions like peptic ulcers or gastritis.
  • Medications: Certain medications or supplements, such as Bismuth Subsalicylate found in Pepto Bismol, can affect the appearance and texture of your stool.
  • Gastrointestinal malignancies: Although rare, black specks in your poop can be indicative of gastric cancers. If this symptom persists, it is advisable to seek medical attention.
  • Specific medical conditions: Conditions like celiac disease or Crohn’s disease, as well as bacterial or parasitic infections in the gut, can impact bowel movements and texture.
  • Anal fissures or hemorrhoids: Small amounts of blood from anal fissures or hemorrhoids can mix with stool, leading to the appearance of black specks.
  • Ingestion of foreign objects: Accidentally consuming indigestible items, such as small plastic pieces or metal fragments, can show up in your stool as black specks.
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Some common symptoms, in addition to black specks, include fatigue, lethargy, uneasiness throughout the day, heart rate fluctuations, and stomach pain with grayish stool movements.

What Does Coffee Ground Stool Look Like?

A normal stool should have a solid medium brown color without any extra texture or specks. Coffee ground stool, on the other hand, has a dark color and a granular, coffee-ground-like texture. It typically appears black or very dark, similar to the grounds left at the bottom of a coffee cup after brewing. It’s important to note that coffee ground specks in your poop are not directly related to the consumption of coffee or any coffee-related foods. There are various other reasons why this can occur.

What Should I Do About the Grounds?

Seeing black or green specks in your stool is not very common. Try to recall the food you have eaten in the past 48 hours. If the symptoms disappear after avoiding certain foods, you can attribute it to your diet. However, if the specks persist, it’s important to consult a doctor and discuss all the signs and any accompanying symptoms before it’s too late. Early diagnosis and prevention are always better than waiting for further treatment.


There isn’t much you can do in terms of treatment for black or green specks in your stool. Avoiding foods that cause a black or green appearance may help until the specks disappear. If they don’t, it is recommended to see your healthcare provider for further evaluation and advice.

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When to See a Doctor

Schedule a consultation with your healthcare provider to discuss your symptoms and the frequency of occurrence. Only healthcare professionals can accurately assess your situation and provide the correct diagnosis. Remember, early detection and intervention can make a significant difference in your overall health. Don’t hesitate to seek medical attention and take the first step towards addressing the issue.

FAQs About Coffee Ground Stool

If you have any more questions or concerns about coffee ground stool, refer to the following FAQs:

  • What can I do to prevent coffee ground poop?
  • Can medications cause coffee ground-like stools?
  • Are there any specific dietary changes I should make?
  • When should I be worried about black specks in my poop?

For more information and expert advice, visit Marmalade Cafe.