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Black stools, diarrhea. Pain under rib cage. History of H. pylori infection. Family history of pancreatic cancer

My husband has been having bowel problems now for over a year. He alternates from constipation to diarreah . He has no courage to do anything.. He is tired all of the time. Recently his stool has been totally black and tar looking diarreah. He is not taking Pep-To nor Iron nor is he eating anything in particular that is known to turn the stool black? He recently had a pain right under his left rib cage that was pretty painful? He has off and on pain in his back. He was diagnosed about a year ago with having had the virus H-Pylori and was treated accordingly. He was re-scoped and it was told to him that everything looked good so they didn t bi ops it? He is 64 and his Dad passed away at the age of 57 from Pancreatic Cancer? There are times though that his stool is completely normal and brown in color? He get s pains in his hip area? Off and on. He seems to forget a LOT lately? He often forgets the house keys in the door... and that is totally not like him? Is it possible for him to have something seriously wrong and have occasional normal colored bowel movements? He has been running a slight temperature and has had facial flushing for a very long time now? The veins in his wrist area are red and hard and sometimes sore? This is a lot I know but he is very hard headed and to get him to a doctor is not so easy! Just some advice on what the possibilities are? I am truly concerned!
Asked On : Thu, 24 Jan 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  131
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and welcome.

Thank you for your query.

I understand your anxiety and am here to help you.

Black stools are also called melena. Melena is stool with the presence of blood. When there is bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract (GIT), it mixes with the stool and turns it into a dark brown or blackish colour.

There could be many possibilities, and the pain near his rib cage could also be an indication. Every time there is a flare-up, it could lead to the bleeding and even the pain.

The blood loss might have resulted in anaemia and extreme weakness in him which is a symptom. Please schedule a visit with a doctor at the earliest and request for a blood work up and an endoscopy.

I wish you and your husband lots of luck and the best in health. Feel free to contact us any time for further assistance.

Take care. Regards.

Answered: Thu, 24 Jan 2013
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