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Molly Maloof, MD

Director of Clinical Content

Severe Stomach Pains


I have recently been experiencing some excruciating stomach pains for the past two nights. I took Pepto Bismal both nights to try and ease the pain. I have also had a loss in appetite, fatigue/weekness, nausea, and a constant feeling to release gas either by belching or from my rear end. This morning I got up to use the bathroom and my stool was black. Also, I just noticed that the back part of my tounge was brown. Should I go see a doctor ?
  • Female | 58 years old
  • Complaint duration: 2 days
  • Medications: Pepto Bismal

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Yes, you do need to be seen to make sure you don't have any ulcer cancer etc. Your symptoms are concerning enough. Even though you might experience some relief from your symptoms it might be temporary, good luck.
Kent Erickson
I would say yes, you should see a Dr. Your stool is possibly black because you took pepto-bismol-it does that always. But it could be melena, which most commonly is due to bleeding in the stomach, mixed with the acid in the stomach. since you have abdominal pain, and the other symptoms, i would suggest you visit your Dr.
Mark  Buckner
I am no longer having the stomach pains and most of my symptoms have subsided. Do I still need to make an appointment with my doctor ?
YES!!! Your symptoms could be due to a bleed in the GI system. HOWEVER, PEPTO BISMOL (as well as blood from the upper GI system) CAN CAUSE BLACK STOOLS. Pepto will also discolor your tongue (making it brown/black). If brushing your tongue with a toothbrush removes the brown/black, it's likely Pepto. Nonetheless, your symptoms are concerning and the better part of valor would be to get checked out by your doctor.
You should get checked. The symptoms suggest peptic pain and possibly an ulcer . The black stools are probably caused by PeptoBismol . I would recommend starting ranitidine or Pepcid

For pain. If not better pain may be gall bladder and should get evaluated.
Juan Nieto
Your symptoms are indicative of internal bleeding. This can be very serious and lead to severe bleeding and death. Go directly to your nearest emergency room.
See a medical doctor right away. The discoloration of your tongue and fecal material is likely from the PeptoBismal, but you still need to be check for bleeding from your intestinal tract. Many conditions could cause your symptoms, but the severity of them requires immediate evaluation. If you don't have a doctor, go to the emergency room at your nearest hospital.
John G. Van Derwood
First, both the brown tongue and the black stool can be the result of taking Pepto Bismol. More importantly, the black stool may also be the result of a slowly bleeding ulcer. In the case of ulcer, the digestive process works on the blood, turning it black. Your symptoms may be the result of inflammation (gastritis) or peptic ulcer. Ulcers can come from many causes and some are the result of infection with the H. pylori bacteria, which is treatable with antibiotics. Pepto Bismol contains an aspirin-related drug and not helpful for this concern. Loss of appetite or feeling full too soon, weakness and nausea may all be signs of internal bleeding. Increased gas from belching or flatus (rear end) may also be signs of increased acid. You should see a doctor to determine if there is blood in the stool or other evidence of bleeding. The doctor may order blood test for possible infection, as well as other tests. Stop the Pepto Bismol and make an appointment as soon as possible with your doctor, If you do not have a doctor, then a primary care doctor (family medicine, internal medicine) or an urgent care center would be appropriate to help determine if there is a serious condition and begin testing and treatment.
Nancy Ferguson