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Anyone got any advice please re black poo (sorry!)

(27 Posts)
Luckylegs Mon 09-May-22 12:26:16

My husband overnight noticed he had black poo last Tuesday. This was the same every day so he insisted on being seen (they were trying to make him go through the 8am rigmarole). He was seen on Friday and it was decided to send him to hospital under the 2 week cancer policy. He’s had an endoscopy, everyone assuming it was a bleeding stomach ulcer but nothing was found, no blood there. So it was the weekend, nothing happened. Hb on the low side but no pain or aching, looks fit and well but still the dreaded black poo! Colonoscopy due today.

You can imagine the weekend we’ve both had. Anyway, doctor saw him this morning, they are discharging him this afternoon and he has to have (or give himself?) Vitamin B injections and go back in a week? So no colonoscopy.

I know Gransnet isnt a doctors but I wondered if anyone knows if that means we can breathe now and that low vitamin B really does leading to such bleeding?

BlueSky Mon 09-May-22 12:42:46

Good that he was seen so quickly, I know I’m stating the obvious, but he’s not any iron tablet, or supplements containing iron? I remember the sheer panic when this happened to me and nobody had warned me it could happen. Otherwise sorry no idea about low B Vits.

Luckylegs Mon 09-May-22 13:32:27

Thanks for replying anyway. No, he’s not on anything like that. He’s been on a tablet for more than 20 hrs for arthritis and should have had Lansoprazole or something to protect his stomach but had not had anything. He’d also had a handful of liquorice the night before so thought it was that the first day. He’s going to have to have vit B injections now which is iron, isn’t it?

Luckylegs Mon 09-May-22 13:34:11

It just shows that a man ringing for an appointment and being insistent works to get one whereas I’d have meekly accepted that I had to wait! He’s not usually insistent but he knew it was worrying.

Hithere Mon 09-May-22 13:34:33

Has he taken activated charcoal?

MerylStreep Mon 09-May-22 13:43:19

Are you talking about B12 injections?
If so I certainly couldn’t do them myself, they hurt like hell. You would be inflicting pain on yourself: not easy 😱

Mouseybrown60 Mon 09-May-22 13:45:10

Vitamin b12 helps the absorption of iron I think. Was he given the pre treatment packs to take before having a colonoscopy?

MerylStreep Mon 09-May-22 13:48:33

Mousybrown
I have them because my body doesn’t make B12.
Pernicious anemia.

Whiff Mon 09-May-22 13:50:56

Luckylegs you mention your husband should be on Lansoprazole just a warning in case he has it. Its for manly treating acid reflux. I was on it but had to come off it as it reduced my sodium and folic acid levels to much. If he does go on it he needs to have regular blood tests. I had to have a 3 month course of folic acid tablets. And was told by my GP to use Gaviscon .

My dad had black poo he had a stomach bled but after a barrage of tests they never found where it came from and it just stopped one day. And never came back.

ElaineI Mon 09-May-22 13:58:18

Vitamin B12 injections are not iron. They help the absorption so he must had had low levels of both. You normally get 6 over 2 weeks and then one every 3 months. They are normally given by a nurse as can be nippy but some people give themselves after training. Black tarry stools are the end product of digesting blood from somewhere in the digestive tract. DS had this at New Year and ended up having 4 blood transfusions and an endoscopy, CT scan, radioactive CT scan and a test like a colonoscopy but you swallow the camera and it films all the way down. They have ended up putting it down to ibuprofen which he was told to take for a month with an ear infection. He is now never to take ibuprofen or drugs like it again.

Mouseybrown60 Mon 09-May-22 13:59:04

Yes MerylStreep, pernicious anemia is a very serious condition. I used to have 3 monthly injections but now just take the tablets.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 09-May-22 13:59:16

Iron is iron and can either darken your bowel movements or loosen them, Vitamin B or any other Vitamin has nothing to do with iron.

Glad to hear they fast tracked him and did not find indications of cancer - have they referred him for a scan? There is a kind of scanning that registers cancer anywhere at all in your body. It is not painful - but you have to not have eaten anything for four or five hours previous to it.

Some foodstuffs can dye your faeces dark brown or black, so it is worth considering whether anything you eat or drink lately has changed.

In your husband's place I would insist on the colonoscopy - unpleasant as that is, but better safe than sorry.

Keep us posted, and we shall keep our fingers crossed.

GagaJo Mon 09-May-22 16:13:11

My ex had something very similar. Given a big run around by the NHS. GP, A&E (in the days where you could go to A&E), even as an in patient. Was told there was nothing wrong, then had a big haemorrhage as was about to be discharged. Big. Bags of blood and plasma being screwed in (by a nurse literally wringing the bag to get it in faster). Emergency surgery.

There had been a bleed from a valve somewhere untraceable by the colonoscopy.

I'm not saying this to scare you, just to say, don't be fobbed off if the problem doesn't go away.

If my ex hadn't been in hospital when it happened, they'd be dead now.

BlueSky Mon 09-May-22 18:40:35

That’s worrying Gaga but as we know nothing is 100% safe or reliable. Hopefully most scans will get to the bottom of the matter. (Sorry no pun intended)!
Luckylegs keep us updated.

lemsip Mon 09-May-22 19:58:24

Luckylegs.....You said He’d also had a a handful of liquorice the night before so thought it was that the first day.

well it'll be the liquorice then!

MawtheMerrier Mon 09-May-22 20:30:41

Black poo can be caused by too much iron (iron pills) even I believe spinach, but can also indicate the presence of digested blood so bleeding somewhere in the gastric tract.
Red blood is “undigested” so might indicate bleeding in the colon or of course haemorrhoids .
Paw had UC (Ulcerative colitis) and was also prone to gastric bleeds so I became quite familiar with these instances!

Fennel Tue 10-May-22 18:23:26

I had this once and was admitted to hospital for tests. They found a small duodenal ulcer and antibiotics seemed to sort it out because no more since then.

AGAA4 Tue 10-May-22 20:07:01

Is he taking pepto bismal for his stomach? That does turn the poo black.

Luckylegs Wed 11-May-22 16:34:27

Right, time to come back on here now after bringing him home. He had an injection and a drip and was sent home, to go back next Monday. No sign of black poo now! It’s a miracle! I do not understand. They didn’t do a colonoscopy, obviously felt it wasn’t necessary. Can this injection/drip really stop whatever it was forever?

There has been no scan. It appears he was low on vitamin B (or B12, don’t know yet) and that was what caused it. Yes, the first day he put it down to eating licorice the night before but obviously eaten none since. There was no red blood at all and it’s thought that it wasn’t blood at all now but what?

We’ll get to know presumably next Monday but he’s stopped drinking tea or coffee, trying to eat iron rich food, drinking tomato juice and so on. Unfortunately I’m advised not to eat a lot of iron so it’s going to be tricky.

Thank you all for your advice and good wishes.

Aveline Wed 11-May-22 16:38:19

Thanks for update. Hope you get to the, er, 'bottom' of it soon.

Whiff Wed 11-May-22 16:42:10

Luckylegs glad your husband is home. If you don't mind me asking do you have problems with your potassium levels. I do and can't have foods high in potassium. Funny enough some of the foods are high in iron as well.

You don't have to answer .

Luckylegs Thu 12-May-22 00:37:59

No as far as I know, I have no problem with potassium levels. I suffer from polycythemia rubra Vera which means I make too many red blood cells and platelets so I have to be careful about extra iron.

Whiff Thu 12-May-22 08:50:41

Luckylegs thank you . It must be difficult as some foods have hidden iron. I was surprised but what foods where high in potassium eg tomatoes,mushrooms ,spinach pineapple and a host of others. Been following low potassium for over 10 years now.

Hopefully you will both enjoy better health from now on.💐

timetogo2016 Sun 15-May-22 10:36:55

Is he eating lots of green veggies and red meat ?.
I know from experiance that lots of veg and der wine can have the same effect.

Caleo Sun 15-May-22 11:13:21

If he's taking charcoal biscuits that would give him black poo.