Doctor insights on:
Blood in stool: Melena is dark, tarry, bowel movement with a characteristic odor that comes about from digested blood in the stool. Classically considered a sign of an "upper GI bleed, " (a bleeding ulcer or other bleeding from the mouth, esophagus, stomach, or duodenum), it can occur also from bleeding from the small intestine or even the right side of the colon. It always warrants prompt medical attention. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Define melena: Melena, by definition, is passage of dark stools stained with denatured blood. As we established in prior healthtap answers, all dark stool is not melena. Your doctor, or even an over-the-counter test that you can purchase, can check to see if your dark stool contains blood. Needed is for you to provide a sample of the dark stool. False positive results can occur based on diet & stool additives. ...Read more
This is serious, Ray: If you're having black, tarry stools, get to the emergency room NOW. If your stools are merely a little bit black and a little bit loose, get with your personal physician soon -- it's likely to be a bleeding ulcer. If your stools are merely black but well-formed, perhaps you've taken an iron pill or a bismuth tablet. How do you FEEL? Thanks for asking and hope this gets solved. ...Read more
NOT good if melena: Dark-colored stools may result from iron supplements, foods you eat (like a lot of spinach), substances (like peptobismol), but most significantly suggests bleeding. When blood is denatured by acid in your stomach, as from ulcers, stools will turn tarry ("melena"). Blood may also be ingested from nose bleeds, bleeding gums. Stop any nsaid's you're taking & call your doctor right away 4 evaluation. ...Read more
If someone has melena, can he wait to see if it stops by the next day, or does he have to go to the e.R.?
A serious finding: Melena is blood that originates in the stomach or first part of your intestine and changes to a black, tar-like substance as it is passed as stool. It means you are bleeding and should seek the care of a doctor immediately. One prevents it by preventing the causes of bleeding in the stomach, namely ulcers or gastritis. ...Read more