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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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What could cause black stools, gas, dizzy, nausea, joint pain, and hot and cold flashes?

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Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :1991

Answered : 110 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 12 Oct 2018 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Have black stools, gas and general a feeling of illness. Dizey, nausa, joint pain, hot and cold flashes. Have been diagnosed with flu and taken shots, and two rounds of pills, but am afraid all this could be something else and I should be feeling better by now. Has gone on part of December, January, and not part of February. Can you help? Emergency room and Doc, in the box have waiting lines.
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Answered by Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh 1 hour later
Brief Answer:

Please go in.

Detailed Answer:

Hello and welcome,

Black tarry appearing stools can be a sign of bleeding from the stomach or esophagus.

The stomach acid changes blood to a black appearance - usually it's slow bleeding because brick bleeding shows up as bright red. It can be from a stomach ulcer.

Black stools can also be from some medications such as Pepto Bismol.

The hot and cold flashes make me think that you may still have a fever and infection.

You really do need to go in to be seen where they can examine you and check stool for blood. And a complete blood count (CBC) to look for anemia and infection.

I recommend skipping the Doc In The Box (!) and going to the ER because you need to be at a place that can run labs quickly and not all urgent care clinics have this capacity.

Some places are now being staffed largely by PA and NPs and you need to be seen by a real doctor at this point, so if you are willing to go in, request this specifically.

I do understand that there are waiting lines, flu is still epidemic in most places, and filling up ERs, but given the constellation of symptoms you are having right now, you do need to go in.

While there, please do not touch your eyes or nose unless you have just alcohol gelled your hands and touched nothing else in-between, as of course you don't want to pick up something else.

Hope I have answered your query.

Regards,

Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh,
General & Family Physician
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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