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Could stomach flu cause stomach cramps, black stools, headache and lack of appetite?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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I am a 54 year old women. I have been having problems with diarrhea for the last several months. Off and on. Several days ago a was suffering with it again. I no longer have diarrhea but now I have sever stomach cramps and black stools, lack of appetite and headache. Is it just a stomach flu or is it something more serious?
Posted Thu, 26 Apr 2012 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Deepak Anvekar 15 minutes later

Flu / viral infections can produce most of the symptoms described by you. But since you report black coloured stools, it is a concerning to me.

Presence of severe abdominal cramps and black stools and other associated symptoms mentioned indicate the possibility of conditions like Lower Gastro intestinal bleeding. The bleeding are known to occur secondary to conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, Dysentery, Diverticulitis, etc.

You will need to consult a doctor, perhaps a gastroenterologist who can rule each of the above conditions.

He/She may ask you to perform the following tests:

1. Stool examination
2. complete blood count, ESR, peripheral blood smear.
3. A ultrasound - to rule out XXXXXXX bleeding.
4. Upper GI endoscopy / colonoscopy
5. A CAT scan - to visualize the XXXXXXX structures and rule out major causes already described.

Avoid using any over the counter pain killers.

A proper treatment will be planned following this evaluation.

Hope I have answered your query.

If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.

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