FAQ - melena
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What does tarry mean with melena?

Melena is black, tarry stools. Mine actually look like chocolate color but they smell metallic. I did have a big package of oreos and several reese's last night.

Did a MD diagnose you w/melena ? I am a bit confused about the way your question is worded.
Several things can turn your stool black looking. Taking medication containing bismuth subsalicylate (such as Pepto-Bismol) or iron tablets can make the stool black, . Eating foods with black or dark blue food coloring can turn your stool black.
Oreos can also do this.
I would cut out chocolate/oreos/devils food cake etc. and reevaluate. However if a MD has diagnosed you w/melena- thick black stool caused by gastric bleeding, and you feel this is progressing, or have any doubt, I would go to the ED
Good luck,
RN in Ca.  (+ info)

Melena, what is the treatment of Melena, easy 10 point.?

Whats the treatment of Melena, internal bleeding in the upper GI trct, black stool. Please help.

• Inpatient (exception may be animal with intestinal parasites)
• Treat underlying disease (e.g., renal failure and hypoadrenocorticism).
• Temporarily discontinue oral intake (especially if patient is vomiting).
• Surgery may be required for severe gastric or duodenal ulceration and neoplasia.  (+ info)

If you had melena, it'd mean you had upper GI bleeding right?

It'd mean you have upper gastrointestinal bleeding right? But does having melena also apply when a girl is having her period?
is having melena a serious matter? If so.. how serious?

Melena is bloody stool so it would have nothing to do with your period. Now as to whether it was an upper GI or lower GI bleed, it would depend on the color. Brown blood is old blood, so it would be coming from higher, or upper. Red blood is fresh blood, so it would be coming from closer, or lower. Either way, there is no reason for you to have blood in your stool at all, so this would need to be seen by a doctor soon.  (+ info)

What do you think of the name Tamara Chanda Melena Humphries?

There pronounced ta-ma-ra chan-da me-le-na hum-phries

I agree if you can you should shorten it. Tamara is nice, Chanda i don't care for (it also sounds like its missing an R like in Chandra) and Melena is ok I guess. But it is your child and you can name her whatever you want.  (+ info)

Would you still name a girl "Melena" if you knew what the word meant?

I noticed a recent questioner asking for opinions about "Melena" for a girl. Most of those who answered thought it was a pretty name. But this is one of those times when an unusual name is actually a real word, and unfortunately the meaning is far from pretty.

I don't wish to offend anyone, but there's really no polite way to phrase this. In medical terminology, the word "melena" essentially means dark stools due to the presence of blood. All medical personnel are familiar with this -- it's very commonly used and not at all obscure. It would definitely raise some eyebrows in the doctor's office or emergency room, that's for sure, if a child with that name came in for treatment. And that's probably the least of the problems she'd have with the name.

The question was already in voting so I did not have the opportunity to point this out directly. I'm hoping that person, plus any others who are considering the name, see this before burdening a sweet little girl with it.
Pepper, dear, nice bit of research, but I never claimed this was a strictly medical term -- only that this particular meaning for it is VERY COMMON TODAY, and not merely one of many meanings or in the sense of 'john'. Your friend Melena obviously chose a career in a different field, and that's wonderful for her. Had she aspired to be a physician, she would have been a little less enamored of the spelling and probably changed it.

To others offering alternatives: I'm not the one naming a baby, those days are long past, but thanks anyway. They might be of help to someone else.

I wouldn't name a kid Melena anyway, because it sounds too much like melanoma. But no, I especially wouldn't name her Melena after I found out it was a medical condition involving poo. It's important to do your research on things like that, especially on pretty-sounding, Latin-based names, because there are a lot of medical conditions out there that would sort of make nice names if you didn't know what they meant. Chlamydia comes to mind- wouldn't that be a pretty name if it wasn't an STD? Or Veruca (which is a foot wart), or maybe Sarcoma, which is a type of cancer. Bottom line- consult a baby name book AND a medical dictionary, and then Google it just to make 100% sure there's nothing embarrassing connected with the name.  (+ info)

Any medicines I can take for melena?

After having terrible stomach pains for a few days and other stuff and after reading about it, I found out I have melena. The problem is I do not have health insurance. So much for seeing a doctor. I'm really hoping there is some type of medicine I am able to purchase at Walgreens or something.

Please do not give the typical "you should see a doctor" stuff. All I want to know is if there are any medicines I am able to purchase at the store or something.


Untill you are diagnosed by a doctor you don't know what you have. Also this can cause serious problems, including infection and death. If you let it go longer you will risk having to pay for emergency surgery which will cost your more than going to the doctor and getting some medicine.

No there are not, they need to be prescirbed. Also you can't diagnose yourself with something. You need a doctor to do it for you.

Go to the doctor, if you don't have insurance then you are just going to have to pay.
Also try free-clinic

-Connor  (+ info)

baby girl names i need a non common name how about melena?

melena is a winner look no further  (+ info)

how serious is a person's condition when having melena?

Melena simply indicates that the person is bleeding somewhere in the upper part of the digestive tract (esophagus, stomach, or small intestine)

So, to answer your question, there are 2 main issues:
1) How fast is the bleed?
2) What is the cause of it?

First issue: how fast is the bleed?
Obviously, if someone is rapidly losing blood from the body into the digestive tract, it can be life-threatening and is a medical emergency!

However, melena is rarely associated with such an aggressive bleed. If it is, the melena (a black tarry stool) would become bright red (hematochezia)...and the person would possibly vomit blood, as well.

But, MOST frequently, melena is just a slow bleed and the risk of bleeding to death is minimal - as the body replenishes the red blood cells fairly quickly. The person might be anemic, though (fatigue, tired, etc.)

So, in this sense, melena is most often not serious from a blood loss point of view.

Second issue: What is the cause of it?
Now this is much more important...for treatment, cure, and overall prognosis or seriousness of melena...

And the cause can range from not very serious at all to very serious:
Easy to treat and completely curable
Moderately easy to treat and completely curable
Extremely difficult to treat and incurable

Here is a breakdown of causes (per UpToDate):
55% Peptic Ulcer Disease
20% Esophagogastic varices or AV malformations
5% Mallory-Weiss tears
4% Tumors and erosions
12% Other stuff

So, the MOST common cause is Peptic Ulcer Disease. This is just a simple "stomach ulcer" - which is easily treated and cured by stopping ibuprofen-type medications and taking acid-stopping medicines like Prilosec (omeprazole). It may also require a couple weeks of antibiotics for a bacteria that can cause this problem (H. pylori).

But on the other end of the spectrum would be a cancer that is eroding the lining of the stomach...and has travelled other parts of the body. This would be a much more rare cause of melena (and likely to have many other symptoms), but it would be quite serious and deadly.

The other causes are typically amenable to minor procedures or surgeries.

So all-in-all...probably 95+% not too serious (curable)

A little vague, I know...but I gave it a shot!

Hope this helps some!

-  (+ info)

How does your stool turn black in Upper GI Bleeding?

In a person with melena, a symptom indicative of Upper GI bleeding, the stool becomes tarry black and foul smelling. On a pathophysiologic and biochemical basis, how does this happen?

It's not really a complicated process - old blood gets darker the older it is. The blood is red when it enters the upper GI tract and then darkens over time as it travels through the colon. Dark blood mixed with stool looks black (blood looks like coffee grounds when mixed with stomach acid and then vomited). Maybe not the exact answer you wanted - but as a nurse I have dumped more than my share of GI bleed stool into a toilet from a comode. When the stool gets into the toilet water - the water around the stool turns bloody. The blood doesn't chemically change into something else - it's still blood.  (+ info)

What about the name Melena?

People use it and is the medical word for black tarry poop. I'd hate to stick that on a kid.
meconium is a baby's 1st poop. Look in a medical dictionary you'll see I'm right.

Melena does mean black tarry poop, specifically bloody from the early part of the GI tract. I would definitely spell it differently. I knew a girl names Maleena. It was a unique name that I didn't really blink at, pretty. Her personality wasn't so pretty though.  (+ info)

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