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    What causes black stools?

Posted on Sat, 29 Jul 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: My husband, age 74, has had black stools for the past couple days and a lot of stomach pain for several days. He was constipated for about 3 days prior - I assumed due to stress. He said he also gets dizzy if he does very much... and he's usually quite active and healthy. Suggestions?
Answered by Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal 3 hours later
Brief Answer:
Possible Diagnosis:Upper Gastrointestinal bleed, need further investigation

Detailed Answer:
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The symptoms described in the question is suggestive of Gastroindestinal bleeding.
Black stools is indicative of presence of digested blood in stools,which raises the concern of upper Gastroindestinal bleed.Several conditions like gastritis, gastric ulcers,esophagitis, tumors etc can cause such bleeding.
The dizziness he is experiencing is due to anemia associated with blood loss.

Your husband will need investigations including complete blood count,stool analysis and occult blood, hemoglobin levels, Upper GI endoscopy,abdominal Xray.
Since he is also suffering from constipation and his age also warrants the need for a colonoscopy also yo rule out any associated colonic pathology.

Please be advised to follow up with your primary care provider to undergo necessary investigations done.
Meanwhile drink.plenty of water,include diet rich in fiber like vegetables,fruit XXXXXXX oat and avoid caffeine to help relieve constipation. Psyllium based laxatives can also be tried.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
Answered by
Dr. Lekshmi Rita Venugopal

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 3186 Questions


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