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These symptoms had gone away for about a year and have come back with a vengeance.  It usually, but not always, starts after I eat something, with no rhyme or reason to what I eat

It starts as a stomach pain, like a rumbling and generally unpleasant pain.  Then, my back starts to tighten up to the point of severe discomfort.  I find myself stretching my back out to alleviate the pain.  

For about the past 8 days, I have had tarry stools and have seldom had bowel movements. Maybe 4-5 in the past 8 days.  It literally turns the toilet water black.  

Any idea as to what this could be?  Thank you in advance.  

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Hi cwolfe,

I'd suggest you see your doctor.

Black and tarry stool can indicate blood far up in the GI tract.  They may run what's called a fecal occult blood test to check.

It's important to find the cause.  It could possibly indicate diverticulitis (pouches in the digestive tract), gastritis (inflamed lining of the stomach), an ulcer, or even a polyp. 

Find the source then it can be treated.  Don't delay.

Good luck, keep us posted.
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