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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes black stool and acid reflux?

I have had black stool for the past four days and two days ago I had really bad heartburn but once I took an ant acid the heart burn went away but stool is still black. I will also tell you I have had prostate cancer and it was removed and also kidney cancer for which I had 2 surgeries to remove the cancer that s growing on my kidney and I am told eventually they will have to remove my kidney.
Wed, 2 May 2018
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hello and Welcome to ‘Ask A Doctor’ service.
I have reviewed your query and here is my advice.

If the stool is black and tarry appearing, then it can be due to bleeding in the esophagus or stomach.

Stomach acid changes blood to a black tarry substance. This would go with the stomach or heartburn symptoms you had.

Certain stomach medicines such as Pepto Bismol can also cause a benign type of discoloration that looks black, but it is not tarry. This can last until it is all cleared out (2 to 3 days).

My recommendations vary depending on which of these scenarios aligns with your history.

If you took Pepto Bismol drug, then wait it out and if you did not but the stools are tarry and black, then visit the doctor because you may have bleeding.

You may need an H2 blocker or PPI (proton pump inhibitor) to heal your upper GI lining.

Hope I have answered your query. Let me know if I can assist you further.

Dr. Bonnie Berger-Durnbaugh
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