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What causes black stool?

Answered by
Dr. T Chandrakant

General Surgeon

Practicing since :1984

Answered : 16947 Questions

Posted on Mon, 19 Oct 2015 in Abdominal Pain
Question: My stool is black ,I have had dark stools before how ever today they are black. I have no abdominal pain , and I have not taken aspirin. I did take two over the counter naproxen two days ago.
My email is. YYYY@YYYY
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
This is suggestive of bleeding in the GI tract.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your query, albeit short and specific.
There is a history of black stool, called as malena and there is a positive history of taking Naproxen. Naproxen can give gastric hemorrhage casing the stool to appear black.

I would advise you the following in such a situation the following:
First of all send stool samples for routine tests as well as for occult blood/blood in the stool.
Stop Naproxen and avoid any anti-inflammatory medicines.
Take a PPI like Omeprazole or Ranitidine.
Take Antacid gel 3 tsf every 3 hourly - particularly when you are on empty stomach.
Upper GI Endoscopy ASAP is a must.
Colonoscopy if required.
Soft bland diet.

Further tests as advised by your Gastroenterologist/ General Surgeon.
Get a proper diagnosis, this is very important. Helps in proper treatment.

I hope this answer helps you, please feel free to ask further relevant queries if you need to or if you feel that there is a gap of communication.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
Follow up: Dr. T Chandrakant 22 minutes later
The stool today was black and solid and the toilet water remained clear. I have been taking nexium 40mg once a day for several years and I do have acid reflux. Two days ago I did wake up from my sleep with acid in my throat could this have caused the bleeding in stomach.
Answered by Dr. T Chandrakant 52 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Upper GI Endoscopy ASAP please.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your feedback.
Please go ahead as per the advise above to get the diagnosis to have proper treatment.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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