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Author Topic: Occult Blood test Positive  (Read 3128 times)

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Offline shuless

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Occult Blood test Positive
« on: March 16, 2013, 09:57:51 AM »
I've been doing these stool tests every year with my doctor since I was 49 ( now 51) just part of my routine checkup.I did the Hemoccult ICT test with 2 panels.One panel turned up positive this time. These tests are specific for lower gi Bleeding and not affected by what you eat or medications.Of course this has freaked me out so I had to ask the doctor to give me a prescription for Xanax. They booked me for a GI app but it's over a month away.My life has been ruined by this and the not knowing AND not wanting to know are literally killing me. I called the Dr and his nurse said that my blood count was fine and that my app with the GI was not urgent but this doesn't help. No one in my family has ever had Coon Cancer or even polyps. But I read on the internet that most cases of the disease are with people with no family history . I can't cope anymore. I have no symptoms but I also read that CC has no symptoms. I know they will schedule a Colonoscopy but that will probably be a month after the initial consultation.Then of course the 2 week waiting period if they find polyps will eventually destroy me. I can't get excited about anything anymore because in my mind it is just going to end soon any way. I watched my wife's brother battle the disease in which he was diagnosed with Stage 4 right off the bat.It was horrible. I don't want to end up like this but feel that this is what is going to happen to me.How will I tell my 8 yr old son?He's a Daddy's boy to the fullest extent and the sadness is overcoming me thinking of how he'll feel.
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Offline livelaughlove

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2013, 06:01:05 AM »
Wait, hold up, I work in gastroenterology.... you will be fine! First of all, don't google stuff on the internet, as all that info you stated above is wrong about the info you found on colon cancer. You have no family history of first degree relatives with CRC so you should get your first screening colonscopy age 50. Hemoccults CAN be positive if the patient eats a lot of red meat, broccoli, or is on iron supplements. Your blood counts are fine, meaning hemoglobin is fine, so you are not anemic. It is probably just hemorrhoids, be it external or internal hemorrhoids. A lot of people that get colonoscopies have internal hemorrhoids and they don't even know it. Another cause of positive hemoccult would be severe gastritis (inflammation of stomach) or stomach ulcer. If you had a stomach ulcer, you would know it, it would hurt pretty bad, and you would probably be anemic, you would have black tarry stools, so my hunch is it is internal hemorrhoids. Also, at your age you probably have diverticulosis, which basically everyone has by the time they are 50. It's from eating too many processed foods and not enough soluble fiber (creates too much intraluminal pressure, so weak spots form in the colon, then they form little pockets called diverticula). In regards to polyps, there are 3 main types. Hyperplastic polyps are always benign (about 95% of the time) so they are no biggy. Inflammatory polyps occur in people with ulcerative colitis and crohn's disease. Adenomatous polyps (tubular adenomas) are the ones that can turn into cancer but they take about 10 years to grow in to cancer. If you had cancer, you would be getting night sweats, fatigue, cough, and the big one would be weight loss of over 10 lbs for no reason. Now, let's say worst came to worst and they found a cancerous polyp, your next step would be to get that few inch section of the colon removed, then they would resect the colon and attach it back together, then you are fine,  but i highly doubt that would even remotely happen to you. I understand your fears, I hear these fears all the time, and I can honestly tell you that you should in no way worry about cancer. Do you get constipated a lot, or do you strain to have a bowel movement? Men should have about 25 grams of fiber at least per day, but you have to slowly work your way up over a few weak period. There are 2 types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Miralax is soluble, vegetables are insoluble. You should eat 4 or 5 small meals a day and drink lots of water. In regards to getting the colonoscopy, it's a piece of cake! I had one done. Your butt will not hurt. Your stomach will not hurt. The prep wasnt bad, i took 2 dulcolax tabs at 4, then at 6 i drank 64 ounces of gatorade with a bottle of miralax. Around 7, i had finished half the prep and still hadn't gone to the bathroom. I finished the prep by 7:30 ( i decided to just get it over with). Then i had watery poop for about an hour and a half, and it just comes right out, it doesn't hurt and you don't get cramps like how you would feel if you had diarhhea from a stomach virus. So you just grab something to read and stay in the bathroom for that 1-2 hour period and let it all come out. Then i went to sleep. Then the next morning i woke up and only went to the bathroom one time. Went in for my procedure, they gave me propofol by IV and you fall asleep within 3 seconds of getting that stuff. The actual procedure only takes about 15 minutes. Then you wake up about a half hour or so later not even realizing it was done. You will be farting non-stop after the procedure, that is because they insert air to expand the colon a little for better visualization. I went home, ate a big cheesesteak, and slept all day. Next day felt totally fine and went back to work with no troubles. (i had to get a colon to rule out colitis). So you have nothing to worry about... trust me!!!
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Offline shuless

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 12:02:25 PM »
I honestly can't thank you enough. Your reply is getting me through this.I have always been a Hypochondriac and of course always had digestive concerns as well as heart concerns....you name it. It would be a pretty bad streak of luck if after your first screening they told you the worse.Especially after knowing that no one in your family has ever had polyps even. Only one of the panels was positive and I heard that the Hemoccult iCT test was a Fecal Immunochemical test and would never show a false positive for anything other than the worse. And then of course you read about Dr Oz and his healthy lifestyle and No Family history and getting the news that he has a precancerous polyp or polyps. I have no change in bowel habits. They've always been soft or loose for as long as I can remember. I tried Metamucil a few days back and actually had a relatively formed outcome. Stools are usually always the same color, Brown or maybe a darker brown at times. i usually go twice a day sometimes 3.Twice in the mornings maybe a couple of hours apart and rarely a third in the evenings. No change ever.Always been this way.Strange thing is that you mentioned red meat , broccoli affecting the test.I ate at a Chinese restaurant one of the days and had Steak and broccoli. It's just that I heard The Hemoccult ICT test would NOT be affected by this. I also remember the doctors nurse telling me " well you didn't have this last year" and telling me that they had to schedule me an appt with the gastrologist because it was standard routine if blood was found in your stool. Seems like it would have been in both samples as I took them a day apart from each other. But what do I know. And why would they schedule me so far out with the gastrologist? seems like an awful long time to wait if they suspected something. I don't know, just want it to be all over and maybe.....just maybe.....here some good news.
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Offline livelaughlove

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 06:07:42 AM »
Yes, you will be fine :)))) At my work, the docs do rectal exams and check everyone for blood in stool on a hemoccult card. The directions in the kit says if you ate a lot of red meat or broccoli or are on iron supplements you can get a positive result. Also, it can be positive if you have hemorrhoids or some irritation in that area. Women should not do the test while menstruating, of course. The biggy that we want to check is for people on coumadin and warfarin, make sure they are not bleeding. I have seen very few people under age 50 with colon cancer, like maybe 3 people in my 2 years of working. They got a colon resection and are fine now. It is one of those cancers that if you catch it early, you get treated, and have excellent prognosis. Pooping 3 times a day is normal and healthy. Some people go once per day, and that is normal for them. It is really healthy to go 2 or 3 times a day, because that means that you are getting enough fiber, so that's really good. Hang in there!!!
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Offline shuless

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2013, 04:46:05 PM »
Actually the test I took was The Fecal immunochemical test. I was just told by a GI that it was not influenced by diet or medications.It was a take home test that the doctor gave me. the only symptoms that I've been having are pain under left rib.Not overwhelming and not all of the time. Seems if I have gas it will hurt. And the other night after eating a bag of peanuts it hurt more. Also had nausea .Honestly, A lot of my stomach and digestive issues have come to be after hearing that One of my tests were positive. I have a GI appt tomorrow at 2pm.I'm just going to spill the beans about me being a hypochondriac and try to describe everything that I'm feeling. I hope he has a decent bedside manner.Us hypos always need things sugar coated. Still afraid but trying to press on.
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Offline livelaughlove

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 05:53:11 AM »
Well the left upper quadrant pain is quite common, it just means either you have gas trapped in the splenic flexure (that's right where a part of the colon turns near the spleen) or you have a mild gastritis, likely gastritis (a little stomach inflammation.). I notice many people going through periods of increased stress/anxiety complain of left upper quadrant pain, and I believe it;s from a little stomach irritation. Peanuts are very high in the glucose to fructose ratio so they will cause gas. Irritable bowel patients should not eat peanuts (you could check out the FODMAP diet) but they should eat almonds if they want nuts. Nuts are very good for you. Peanuts are totally unhealthy these day due to the way they are processed, that is why we see so many peanut allergies. It sounds like this is tearing you up with the worrying. My suggestion would be to take your vitamins, take glutamine, take either fish oil or cod liver oil. Even taking aloe vera as a supplement is helpful. Eat every 3-4 hours and watch your refined sugar intake. Take a probiotic, one with both acidophilus and bifidobacterium in it. Try to go for a walk for a about 20 minutes twice a day after eating. You could try taking some miralax, as that is soluble fiber, only take it for  a week as the package directs and don't take it longer than a week :)
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Offline shuless

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 05:19:29 PM »
I went to the GI today.I told him everything I could possibly tell him about Everything! I told him about me being a Hypochondriac, and that I was scared .He said "scared of what?" "Me?" I said no  I wasn't scared of him at all,I said I was scared that they found blood in my stool and I thought it was cancer.He said " You don't have cancer" I said how do you know that? He said "You don't have any symptoms.I said what about the blood in the stool? He said "what about it?" "Have you ever had blood in your stool before?" I said no. He then said "I have blood in my stool,everyone gets blood in their stool.He then listened to my heart,made me breathe, listened to my stomach, Thumped my stomach,pushed around on it a little.Then he said, "What they want you to do is have a colonoscopy" .Its standard at your age. I said, so I could still have cancer and he said "At your age it would be rare but you don't have cancer anyways.I said HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT???? He said you don't have any symptoms. He booked me for a colonoscopy  April 4th which I could've gotten one as early as April1st but I knew we were having a Easter get together that Sunday.I said what about a tumor whatever else you find? He said then we just take it out or look at it but you don't have that either.He said what you do have is either polyps or nothing.I told him about pains under the left rib, pains around the belly button at times,having loose stools etc.etc.etc.on and on He said intestinal spasms and anxiety can cause a lot of that but mostly they just do it on their own.Asked if that was any sign of cancer.He said "you don't have cancer, you don't have any symptoms. The whole experience would have been no different than if I asked him if I could possibly grow another finger on my right hand
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Offline floridaguy65

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2013, 02:04:29 PM »
I just wanted to commend 'livelaughlove' on the empathetic and insightful replies. Great to have peeps on The AZ who give their time and energy in trying to help others, even while often struggling some of our own:)

To shuless - I have had IBS for around 27 years. It is quite common for anxiety peeps to struggle with IBS, to their own extents. Helping ourselves with our mental health challenges sure does go a long way in helping our bods with the IBS. The whole brain-gut connection is tremendously remarkable. Stress reduction helps digestion and helps our GI trac feel mo' better:)

Peace:)
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Offline livelaughlove

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2013, 06:06:48 AM »
Hi! I knew you were going to get that explanation at the GI doctor. Get the colonscopy, then you won't have to worry. People can have blood in stool for many reasons, such as having dental work before doing the stool culture (swallowing blood) and also from hemorrhoids. Signs of cancer would be weight loss, night sweats, fatigue, itchiness (that happens when eosinophils release stuff and make you itchy), anemia. People that have cancerous tumors also might get pencil thin poops because it is squeezing past a tumor. But you do not have cancer! Trust me. There are 3 main types of polyps. Adenomatous polyps, those are the ones that can turn into cancer, but take 10 years from when they start growing to turn into cancer. Hyperplastic polyps, they are always benign, would be resected and retrieved and pose no threat to you. Inflammatory polyps, which are found in people with ulcerative colitis and crohn;s disease. The adenomatous polyps are always low-grade dysplasia. If they are high-grade dysplasia, they would probably recommend repeat colon in one years' time. But i truly think you do not have to worry. Hemorrhoids cause the bleeding, too, and a lot of people have internal hemorrhoids and don't even know it. Your labs are fine and have no family hx of CRC in first-degree relatives, so really, i can bet that you do not have cancer. Trust me. Many people with anxiety or increased stress always complain about the left upper quadrant pain. I wonder if it is because the floating rib in that area rubs against the part of the colon there, which is the splenic flexure and causes a pain. Or when you are anxious, the body is more aware of normal contractions that occur all the time in the intestines due to normal digestive processes. I can almost guarantee when you get your colonoscopy, being that you are right around 50, your results will be small internal non-bleeding hemorrhoids and mild diverticulosis of sigmoid colon area. If you have any polyps, they are probably benign hyperplastic polyps. I doubt you have any arterio-venous malformations or vascular ecstasias because you are not anemic. ALmost everyone around 50 has diverticulosis, it's from too much extra-luminal pressure due to the modern diet of processed foods. We are seeing diverticulosis in people younger and younger, and again, it's from all the junk they put in processed foods messing up digestion. Trust me. I would be curious to see your results. Do not let the anxiety get the better of you, if you can! If you just believe in me, i have a lot of experience, and i can tell you that your are fine. Just believe :)
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Offline livelaughlove

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2013, 06:15:28 AM »
oh and thanks floridaguy! yes i have my own problems i am working on. I was told i have non-celiac gluten intolerance, my secretory IGA is high, higher than normal. I have leaky gut, basically, so if i can fix that, then i can eat gluten again. My EGD was indictative of celiac, but i do not carry the DQ2 and DQ8 genes, so I do not have celiac. I have duodenal lymphocytosis, escpecially at villous tips, and crypt hyperplasia. I do best on paleo diet (avoiding all grains and dairy). It's amazing how the brain gut connection affects the body. So I am currently working on stopping the increased permeability in my intestine so toxins will stop leaking through into my bloodstream, which cause visual disturbance, ataxia, ocular migraines, diarrhea, joint pain, mental fog, anxiety. So I am using myself as my own research experiment, so to speak :)
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Offline shuless

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2013, 02:01:41 PM »
Well, Livelaughlove was dead on.And I can't thank you enough.There is no money more valuable than the advice and diagnose that you gave me.You should really consider becoming a Doctor and furthering your career.(You're already there in the experience ), especially in this field. My colonoscopy diagnose was:

Small internal non-bleeding hemorrhoids in sigmoid along with external and random small pocket diverticulosis of the entire colon area.No polyps.Diet was to increase fiber . God Bless You.You are my newest hero!
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Offline livelaughlove

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2013, 06:42:49 PM »
wow thanks so much!!! I am so happy for you to that everything turned out normal!!! God bless :)
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Offline zeppo801

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2013, 07:33:07 AM »
(I tried to this do in a PM, but was not allowed)

I just registered here to thank livelaughlove for her posts - which I bookmarked and frequently read when I was freaking out.

I just wanted her to know how much she helped a stranger on the internet. A stranger who never uses words like "a blessing" - but can find no other way to describer her.

thank you.
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Offline livelaughlove

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2013, 07:48:47 PM »
oh wow thank you so much!!! Peace and love to all and may we all have a wonderful new year... and give us the strength to deal with whatever comes our way... cause in the end...  we all DO make it through! :)))
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Offline Jbg28

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Re: Occult Blood test Positive
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2013, 07:16:31 PM »
I had a clear fob test. Clear ultrasound and a tiny tiny polyp found with a flex sig. Now waiting for full colonoscopy jan 22. My symptoms are

Felling of incomplete evacuation
Sometimes skinnier poop
Extremley loud bowel sounds mostly from traverse Colon and left side. ( noise all the time. When I lay on my belly it is worse.
Left side ache and stinging.
Gas and not so often diahreha.

Thoughts ??
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