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four about a week i have had black stools, cramps in upper abdomin the cramps comes and goes what could it be and should i be concerned.

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Black, tarry stools with a foul odor can be the result of eating certain foods, taking iron supplements, or possibly from internal bleeding. If the black color is from blood, it is known as "melena." The dark color indicates that the blood has been in the body for some time, and is coming from higher up in the gastrointestinal tract.

False Melana
A black stool caused by food, supplements, medication, or minerals is known as "false melena." Iron supplements, taken alone or as part of a multivitamin for iron-deficient anemia, may cause stools to be black or even greenish in color. Foods that are dark blue or black in color may also cause black stools. Substances that can cause false melena are:

Black licorice
Blueberries
Iron supplements
Lead
Bismuth (Pepto-bismol)

A physician should be consulted immediately if black stools can not be attributed to a benign cause such as an iron supplement or a food.
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