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Hobbs, New Mexico
A 27-year-old female asked:

i was recently told i was anemic. last night i had very bad stomach pain since i hadnt eaten in about 4 hrs, once i ate the pain went away now today i have been having very dark runny bowels and im scared its a bleeding ulcer. should i visit the er?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Scott Welker
General Surgery 27 years experience
No, your regular doc: This isn't an emergency, but you do need to figure out what's going on. Whoever found the anemia is the person you need to go back to, and you might need an egd. This is a scope of the upper GI tract, and will find an ulcer if there is one. The way to get an egd is to get referred to a surgeon or gastroenterologist.
Dr. Nancy Mellow
Internal Medicine 44 years experience
See an MD ASAP!: Very dark, tarry-looking stools can mean that you have bleeding from an ulcer. If you are dizzy, having cold sweats, or rapid heart beat, you may have seious blood loss. Depending on your age and menstrual history, almost all cases of anemia need to be evaluated for possible intestinal blood loss. If your only immediate source of medical care is an er, it sounds like you should be seen there.

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Last updated Sep 28, 2016

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