Patient Comments: Melanosis Coli - Symptoms and Diagnosis


What symptoms, if any, did you experience with melanosis coli, and how were you diagnosed? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Help, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I was told I had melanosis coli, after my colonoscopy. I told the doctor that I do take a colon cleanse a couple times a month as I have horrible constipation. I am frustrated as the doctor said to stop it but didn’t offer any other help! It’s been 5 days since the scope without a bowel movement and now I’m wondering what matters if my bowels are darker. I am aging, perhaps it is due to that. Sounds like others aren’t sure what caused theirs. Dark bowels or constipation… think I’ll go with dark bowels…

Comment from: Anonymous, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I had a colonoscopy last week. Afterwards the doctor asked me how long I was abusing laxatives, and when I told him never, he told me I had melanosis coli. Later I recalled I occasionally take an herbal product with aloe in it, around 4 times a month. Only thing that worked for me with chronic constipation. I hate to stop it but guess I will, don't need more go problems.

Comment from: slwalls, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

I had a colonoscopy yesterday and was diagnosed as having melanosis coli. I do not take laxatives, yet I got the typical 'I am lying' attitude from my doctor. So it concerns me as to how I have this. It's very frustrating because I know laxatives are not the cause as I don't use them.

Comment from: Mrs.DEB, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 15

My colonoscopy biopsy diagnosis is melanosis coli. No symptoms. First question from my doctor was if I use laxatives regularly. I never use laxatives. I’m so curious to find out what is actually causing the discoloration. I have a thought - for the past 18 years, every morning I drink a barley grass shot or Amazing Grass super green shot. It is dark green in color. Wondering if that could be the cause. I will be discussing this with my doctor.

Comment from: M s rao, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 08

I was diagnosed with fissure in the bowel through colonoscopy and melanosis coli through biopsy. I stopped usage of laxatives which I was accustomed to for the last 10 years, still I have been suffering from formation of liquid in the bowel which is obstructing release of gas and stool causing severe pain in the bowel in the evening and it continues up to late night.

Comment from: Vic, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 05

I had my third colonoscopy in five years today and was told I had mild melanosis coli. Not noticeable with the previous two. I never used a laxative in my life, was never constipated, if anything a bit loose at times. But I said to her I have been drinking Kombucha in the last year. She did say that was probably it. I always drink herbal teas but didn’t think to mention that. Having read some of the other comments I think I will really limit the consumption of these.

Comment from: worried now, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 10

I haven't used laxatives in 30 years or more. I wonder if the preparation caused melanosis coli found on colonoscopy. I would feel much better knowing the actual cause of this diagnosis.

Comment from: Anne, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

Melanosis coli seems to be a misnamed darkening of a place in my body that's usually in the dark anyway (diagnosed in my 1st colonoscopy), that has no relationship to cancer, and caused me no problems. Like many folks in these comments, I don't take laxatives or do cleanses, or drink herbal teas. I read that darkening can happen because of aging. Well, I am doing that, and I'm getting age spots on my hands and shins too. Big deal.

Comment from: Sany123, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 14

I had a routine colonoscopy a few years ago. The gastroenterologist told me my colon was “dyed” because of laxative use, but he didn’t tell me to stop taking laxatives. He just told me to get another colonoscopy in 10 years from that date. We just moved to a new state and got a new primary physician who told me I had melanosis coli from senna laxatives in a combination laxative I’ve been taking for years, Dr. Schulze’s Intestinal Formula 1. Being on opioids for pain, I am often constipated.

Comment from: Keystone, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 20

I had full gastrointestinal work up for chronic diarrhea, and the only thing that showed up was Melanosis coli. I've never used laxatives, colon cleanses, rhubarb or aloe supplements. Apparently I have IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) causing the diarrhea, cramping, gas and pain but no explanation for Melanosis coli. I feel like they probably don't believe me when I say I have never used those products but it's true so there has to be another cause.


Bowel regularity means a bowel movement every day. See Answer
Comment from: Missy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 19

In 2006 I was diagnosed with melanosis coli. I had 6 to 12 inches of my colon removed. Since changing my diet I have noticed a positive change. I no longer have gall stones from apple cider vinegar and no longer take one of the prescribed medicines for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Prior to the removal of part of my colon I had my gallbladder removed as well. These ‘get thin and look great’ diets just aren't worth it. I am currently eating the right way with lots of fiber and plenty of water. Pain pills and opiates definitely do not help with IBS.

Comment from: Butterfly, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 09

I am 67 year old female. I have a history of colon polyps. I just had a colonoscopy 2 days ago and no polyps but a diagnosis of melanosis coli throughout colon. The previous colonoscopy did not show this. I never use or have used laxatives, except for colonoscopy preparation. The reason I had colonoscopy was for follow up for polyps, a new diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia and a new history of diarrhea that appears related to eating bread. Blood work for celiac was negative. I am scheduled for an EGD.

Comment from: M., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 25

I had my very first routine colonoscopy today with no polyps but was diagnosed with melanosis coli. The doctor asked if I take laxatives or herbal teas and was somewhat surprised when I said no to both. I have never taken a laxative in all 50 years of my life and don't drink much tea. However I told him that I do add natural aloe vera (which apparently has laxative effects) to my smoothies at least once a week. He said that's probably the cause; he told me to stop taking aloe vera. I will but also plan to conduct further research because aloe has such great health benefits.

Comment from: Mary Theresa, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I had a colonoscopy two days ago which revealed melanosis coli. I probably have used a laxative twice in ten years and only about eight months ago changed to drinking herbal teas (Yogi). Without using laxatives I really question how I have this.

Comment from: Dr. Soni, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: November 25

Pseudomelanosis coli gives the symptoms like mucus colitis. Frequent stools with mucus (no blood), colicky pain, gaseous distention of colons and tender colons are noted in a few patients, which prompted me to ask for colonoscopy, which turned out pseudomelanosis coli.

Comment from: Lor, 55-64 (Patient) Published: December 05

I too must say I do not use laxatives, the only time I have used anything is when I have gone for a colonoscopy. I do drink green tea, maybe a cup or two per month. Seems that a lot of us are negative for what doctors seem to think is the cause. Maybe a study should be done to get to the truth behind what causes melanosis coli.

Comment from: ysi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 11

Here's a thought, my 4th colonoscopy showed melanosis. Is it a coincidence they messed with the previous 3 perfect preparations-at-one-go, and instructed me to do half of the prep (8 glasses GoLytely) the night before and the other half (8 glasses GoLytely) the next morning, for an afternoon procedure! I basically marinated my colon overnight in a dark brown sludge, threw up the next morning, and then started all over again with a second prep, it seemed.

Comment from: GKR, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

I recently had a colonoscopy and was diagnosed with melanosis coli. I was very surprised to learn this is usually associated with laxative use. I do not use laxatives nor have I used any colon cleanse. I had a colonoscopy 10 years ago and there was no such diagnosis. I am confused and concerned about this diagnosis especially since I don't know the cause nor do I understand what this means to the health of my colon. I did recently start consuming Matcha green tea on occasion, I wonder if this could be the cause.

Comment from: DGS, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 10

I see that many others here also never used laxatives and were told they had melanosis coli. I had my colonoscopy 4 years ago and the very unpleasant doctor accused me of overuse of laxatives. I asked her if this might actually be endometriosis because I've had that and struggled with that my entire life. I have never had a need for laxatives because I have never been constipated. She snickered at me and insisted that I was lying. My son is in the medical field and said, 'yes, people say that all the time that they don't use laxatives'. I wonder if anyone has thought that it might be from something else! This makes me so angry to be treated this way.


Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow
Comment from: jio, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 19

I had a colonoscopy this week and was told that I have melanosis coli. I am confused as I do not use laxatives.

Comment from: Bob, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: February 18

I too was diagnosed with melanosis coli. I have been taking colon cleanse for several years. I was instructed to stop taking it.

Comment from: crsing1129, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 16

I was diagnosed with melanosis coli, yesterday during my colonoscopy. After reading the causes, I have never used laxatives (per se) but have used a product labeled 'colon cleanse.' I wonder if they are one and the same. My uses of this product has been twice in five months. I will definitely stop using the product but it would be a great idea if warnings of this nature were displayed on product labels.

Comment from: Sandi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 24

I was diagnosed with melanosis coli from a colonoscopy I had done just yesterday. I did not know what it was so I looked it up. I do not or have not taken laxatives ever, so I don’t know how I got this.