Medical Specialty >> Gastroenterology

Doctors Lounge - Gastroenterology Answers

Back to Gastroenterology Answers List

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Doctors Lounge ( does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Site.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between a patient/site visitor and his/her physician. Please read our 'Terms and Conditions of Use' carefully before using this site.

Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: how long does it take an ulcer to heal on it's own?

 lilonething - Fri Oct 26, 2007 5:31 pm

If I last had black tarry stool in July (5 days) and haven't had it happen since...assuming that it was an ulcer that caused it... would there even be any sign of it at my colonoscopy mid-November? It takes so long to get to see a GI doc and then to get the endoscopy scheduled that I just wonder if it would have healed on it's own (not H.Pylori caused). Will they be able to tell if that's what it was, or is it a matter of assuming ulcer when there is no other sign of anything awry?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:01 pm

User avatar Hi Lilonething,

Most likely, if you are no longer having symptoms the ulcer has healed. The GI doctor may still be able to see some evidence of an ulcer if there is still inflammation going on.

The endoscopy is still important to look for other possible causes of the inflammation/bleeding such as inflammatory bowel disease that is less likely to have resolved.

Best wishes.
 lilonething - Sun Nov 04, 2007 9:23 pm

If it were an IBD and I am not having any symptoms at the moment (not in a "flare"), would they still be able to tell that it was Crohns or Colitis ? Or would you have to be in an active flare for it to be visible?

I don't really expect that I have an IBD, but I have noticed that when my stomach problems are really bad, I also get very painful hip and knee joint problems and canker sores. This has been the case for years and I just wait it out because it always goes away eventually. I do think would be comforting to have IBD's definitively ruled out, though. Can they do this when I'm asymptomatic?
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:08 pm

User avatar Often, even when there is no overt signs of IBD the diagnosis can still be made or fairly certainly ruled out. The antibody tests will stay positive even if there is no active disease. The catch here is that they are not 100% sensitive/specific so they may not be positive even with IBD.

During non-flare times, it may be necessary to make the diagnosis by endoscopy and biopsy of the colon. Often there will still be some areas of inflammation that can be biopsies to get a good idea of the cause even during calm periods.

Best wishes.

| Check a doctor's response to similar questions

Are you a Doctor, Pharmacist, PA or a Nurse?

Join the Doctors Lounge online medical community

  • Editorial activities: Publish, peer review, edit online articles.

  • Ask a Doctor Teams: Respond to patient questions and discuss challenging presentations with other members.

Doctors Lounge Membership Application

Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us