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What is the reason for black colored stools as I am Type 1 diabetic ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
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I had lap band surgery 4 weeks ago. I had been having issues with constipation. Over the last couple of days I have noticed a black stool. Along with that, I am a Type 1 diabetic and my morning blood sugar has been between 275 and 350 during the time of these black stools. Prior to this incident of the black stool my blood sugar reading had ranged between 80 and 160 in the morning. What could be going on?

I'm 43, 6' 258.6 lbs as of 6/4/11. Had lap-band surgery 4 weeks ago, and have been a Type 1 diabetic for 23 years. Have worn an insulin pump the past 10 years.
Posted Sun, 29 Apr 2012 in Peptic Ulcer
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 5 hours later

Thanks for posting your query.

The medical term used for the black colored stools is melena. Melena occurs when there's a bleeding usually in the upper part of the intestines.

In this, the blood gets mixed with the acid being produced by the stomach which results in the black colored stools.

The first test I'll suggest is a stool for occult blood. In this, the stool is examined for the presence of any red blood cells. If this test is positive, then you'll likely need to do an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy to look for the source of bleeding.

Peptic ulcers in the stomach or the upper part of the intestine are usually the cause in majority of the patients.

I'll also suggest stopping low dose aspirin as aspirin is a culprit in causing the peptic ulcers which can cause this black colored stools.

There's also a possibility that there's an ooze from the surgical wound and this oozing blood could have caused this melena.

I believe that there shouldn't be a significant relation between the poorly controlled sugars and black colored stools. It's likely a pure co-incidence.

Please consult a gastroenterologist for the same.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.

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