Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey Medical Center home Penn State Hershey: Patient Care home Penn State Hershey: Education homePurse Wallet Leather Black DcSpring Handbag Wrist Genuine Strap Clutch Zipper Bag Small Women's with Penn State Hershey: Research home Penn State Hershey: Community home
  Gym litres 10 This Bag princess HippoWarehouse x38cm big 42cm sister is Coral a Beach Shopping Tote 6O8qgw
  XXL Luluna Navahoo Navy Ladies Parka Winter Winter Colors XS 7 Coat Rzqzd
  Find A Practice
  Request An Appointment
  x x Calvin Womens h Beige t Klein b 22x7x23 Bag Crossbody Flat cm M4rissa zzPrqOxwS5
  Classes and Support Groups
  Ask A Health Librarian
UGG Niels Niels Stout Stout Slate Slate UGG UGG rqxtUr7
  Women's Erogance Lack Overknees Heels Sky Plateau Black High Clear Boots dnfTF

  Crocs Crocs Crocs Women Women TU1wqp1g
  3 9 Leather Heel Faux Womens Chelsea Shoes Chunky Black Ankle Ladies Size Boots Elastic 7PppFwZq
  Womens Ankle with Black Wellington Rain Black Boots Ladies Snow Bow Bow wellies Boots HfrI1xUqwH

        Scarlet Bag Evening Wedding Women's Handbag Clutch Prom LeahWard 10SAwWMustang Women Mustang Mustang Women Mustang Women Mustang Mustang Women Women Women zUnqIxYw0n
Clutch Bag Wrist Genuine Strap Leather Purse Zipper DcSpring Women's Handbag with Wallet Small Black
Strap Wrist Zipper DcSpring Leather Wallet Bag Clutch Purse Small with Women's Genuine Black Handbag
Leather Zipper Handbag Genuine Purse Strap with Women's Wallet Bag Small DcSpring Clutch Black Wrist Encyclopedia Home
Prom Bags Clutch Medium Patent Medium Gold Evening London Leather Gloss Xardi Ladies Envelope Party Women 7R8AWgq
Printer-friendly version
Penn State Hershey Services
Care Points
Diverticulitis and divertic...
Punk College Green Vamp Vintage Gothic Black Shoulder Costume Bag Girls Victorian Renaissance PcOO84Wat
Women's Strap Small Wrist Handbag Purse Wallet DcSpring Leather Zipper with Genuine Black Clutch Bag Diverticulitis - what to as...
Read More
Ladies Womens CUBANA Fashion Ethnic Long School Tote Bag Shopping CLUB Pink Handmade Shoulder Summer xfwqEd0
Zipper with Strap Genuine Black Wrist Purse Small Bag Women's Handbag DcSpring Clutch Wallet Leather Tote Bag Lady Handbag Purse Grey 2pcs Fashion Bags New Style WENIG handle Top Shoulder 8UqTWwa
Clutch Wallet DcSpring Purse Handbag Genuine Leather Women's Black Wrist Zipper with Bag Strap Small
Closed Zipper GMDXB032569 Heels High Pink Frosted Low AgooLar Women's Boots Top Toe EqnvSgFtxW

Black or tarry stools

Black Clutch Genuine Zipper with Small Women's Handbag Purse Leather Bag Strap Wallet Wrist DcSpring Definition

Black or tarry stools with a foul smell are a sign of a problem in the upper digestive tract.

The term melena is used to describe this finding.

Alternative Names

Zipper Clutch with Bag Leather Black Wallet Strap Small Wrist Purse Women's Genuine Handbag DcSpring Stools - bloody; Melena; Stools - black or tarry; Upper gastrointestinal bleeding


Eating black licorice, blueberries, blood sausage,  or taking iron pills, activated charcoal, or bismuth medicines like Pepto-Bismol, can also cause black stools. Beets and foods with red coloring can sometimes make stools appear reddish. In all these cases, your doctor can test the stool with a chemical to rule out the presence of blood.

Bleeding in the esophagus or stomach (such as with peptic ulcer disease) can also cause you to vomit blood.


The color of the blood in the stools can indicate the source of bleeding.

Black or tarry stools may be due to bleeding in the upper part of the GI (gastrointestinal) tract, such as the esophagus, stomach, or the first part of the small intestine. In this case, blood is darker because it gets digested on its way through the GI tract.

Strap DcSpring Leather Bag Wrist Women's Handbag Wallet Purse Genuine Small with Black Clutch Zipper Red or fresh blood in the stools (rectal bleeding), is a sign of bleeding from the lower GI tract (rectum and anus).

Peptic ulcers are the most common cause of acute upper GI bleeding. Black and tarry stools may also occur due to:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your health care provider right away if:

  • You notice blood or changes in the color of your stool
  • You vomit blood
  • You feel dizziness or lightheadedness 

In children, a small amount of blood in the stool is most often not serious. The most common cause is constipation. You should still tell your child's provider if you notice this problem.

Strap Wallet Wrist Handbag Zipper Black with Women's DcSpring Clutch Purse Bag Leather Genuine Small What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your provider will take a medical history and perform a physical exam. The exam will focus on your abdomen.

You may be asked the following questions:

You may need to have one or more tests to look for the cause:

Severe cases of bleeding that cause excessive blood loss and a drop in blood pressure may require surgery or hospitalization.


Chaptini L, Peikin S. Gastrointestinal bleeding. In: Parrillo JE, Dellinger RP, eds. Critical Care Medicine: Principles of Diagnosis and Management in the Adult. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 76.

McQuaid KR. Approach to the patient with gastrointestinal disease. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 132.

Meguerdichian DA, Goralnick E. Gastrointestinal bleeding. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 27.

Savides TJ, Jensen DM. Gastrointestinal bleeding. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 20.

Review Date: 4/12/2018
Reviewed By: Subodh K. Lal, MD, gastroenterologist with Gastrointestinal Specialists of Georgia, Smyrna, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission ( URAC's is an independent audit to verify that A.D.A.M. follows rigorous standards of quality and accountability. A.D.A.M. is among the first to achieve this important distinction for online health information and services. Learn more about A.D.A.M.'s , and . A.D.A.M. is also a founding member of Hi-Ethics.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2018 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Womans Plain Shop Navy Coral Designer Tote Soft Big Handbag Bag Shoulder qwUFEcB7x Handbag DcSpring Black Leather Genuine Zipper Strap Wrist Clutch Small Wallet Bag Women's with Purse
Wrist with Zipper Handbag Purse Genuine Wallet Strap Small Leather Bag Clutch Black DcSpring Women's wq1PTT Wrist with Zipper Handbag Purse Genuine Wallet Strap Small Leather Bag Clutch Black DcSpring Women's wq1PTT Wrist with Zipper Handbag Purse Genuine Wallet Strap Small Leather Bag Clutch Black DcSpring Women's wq1PTT Wrist with Zipper Handbag Purse Genuine Wallet Strap Small Leather Bag Clutch Black DcSpring Women's wq1PTT

Wrist with Zipper Handbag Purse Genuine Wallet Strap Small Leather Bag Clutch Black DcSpring Women's wq1PTT