Helped Over 500,000 patients with 98%+ satisfaction.

Connect & Get Personalized 1-to-1 Answers from Expert Doctors

DoctorSpring > Question Home

Black TARRY STOOL with diverticula. BLEEDING ULCER?

Resolved Question:

Hello, I'm a 45 year old male and on Thursday I had black tarry stool, and went to the ER. I was given a cat scan and nothing was found except for Diverticula. I was prescribed Protonix. The ER doctor suspected I might have a bleeding ulcer, though. The next day, my stool was back to brown and has been brown ever since.

My energy has sometimes been very low in the afternoons, but then by nightime, I feel my energy is mostly back.

And while I haven't felt 100%, I was feeling better on Sunday and and had a lot of my energy back.

My question is, does the fact my stool has not been black and tarry since Thursday mean that I'm no longer bleeding internally?

And can I now wait a few weeks before getting the recommended Colonoscopy and endoscopy -- or is this something that I should take care of immediately, even though I don't feel all that bad?

It would be much easier for me schedule-wise to get any procedures done after September 1st, but I don't know if it is dangerous for me to wait that long.


Category: Gastroenterologist, Medical

Ask Your Own Question

Category: Hepatologist
 32 Doctors Online

Thanks for posting your query at
I am Dr.R.K and I am pleased to assist you.
Black tarry ( sticky and offensive ) stool indicates bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract. There are many different causes like a peptic ulcer, a mallory weiss tear, varices etc. Some of the conditions are serious ones and may require early medical attention to prevent rebleeding.
I would advice you to get medical attention at the earliest.
A physical examination should at least be done to find what could be the possible cause and to see whether you are anemic due to loss of blood.
Endoscopy may be planned based on the physical examination findings.
I hope that answers your question.
Let me know if I can assist you further,

Patient replied :

Hi, thank you for the answer. I have some follow-up. I was examined in the ER the night I had the black tarry stool and did not have anemia due to the tests. And my stool has been back to normal color ever since that night.
My main question is, is it dangerous for me to wait a few weeks to see a GI doctor and perhaps get a colonoscopy and/or endoscopy if recommended?
Could the Protonix be the sole reason why my stool is back to brown? I'm confused why, if I was bleeding enough to change my stool color, why the bleeding stopped. Or might I still be bleeding and it just isn't showing up in my stool?
Again, my main question has to do with seeinjg a doctor immediately, or since my stool is back to brown, is it safe to wait until September 1st?
Thank you.

Hi Stephen,
Since you are not anemic and that the stool color has returned to normal, it is unlikely that you are still bleeding in your upper gastrointestinal tract.
Black stools usually last for a day or two after the bleeding stops. Since your stool color has returned to normal, it is likely that the bleeding (if that was the cause of black stool) would have stopped a day or two before that.
So there is no harm in waiting till September 1st for the tests.
Till then you continue taking Protonix which will heal the lesion and prevent rebleeding.

Dr. Ratnakar Kini
Category: Hepatologist
Fellowship - DM - TN Dr.MGR Medical UniversityResidency - TN Dr.MGR Medical University Medical School - Stanely Medical College, TN Dr.MGR Medical University
Dr. Ratnakar Kini and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

Users who read this, also read:

Make informed and better medical decisions.

Join the 500,000 people who found a smarter, quicker way to get Answers, Recommendations & Expert Opinions.

Expert Doctors at fingertips

Recommendation on next step. Second-opinion.Multi-specialty.

Save Time

Average time for answers: 6 hours.

Save Money

$35 for typical specialist consult vs. $120 for a local appointment.

Free Follow-ups

Clarify, ask further questions for free in private conversation.

100% Satisfaction

Money back guarantee for the 1st reply. MEDNET Quality Board.

Start My Consultation



Doctor Spring is a novel online Doctor consultation platform where you can get your medical questions answered by leading Doctors. Just Submit your question and rest assured that you will consult a Doctor easily. Once you submit the question, the Doctor from the concerned specialty will reply within hours. You can always ask more questions or add details with follow-up question options and make it an online doctor chat. You may use this service to consult a specialty or for getting medical second opinion. All paid services come with a MEDNET quality assurance and 100% money back guarantee.

DoctorSpring in news