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Old 09-24-2007, 02:04 PM   #1
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What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

I was just told 2 of my 3 heme-occult tests were positive for blood. I have had a weight loss of about 28-30 lbs in 3 months. Appetite still strong. Intense pain in left rib/flank/back area also goes through to front left bottom rib area. No diarrhea or anything like that. Have had hard stools my entire life.... What could this be, I am concerned... Should I be?

 
Old 09-24-2007, 03:31 PM   #2
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hukleberrie View Post
I was just told 2 of my 3 heme-occult tests were positive for blood. I have had a weight loss of about 28-30 lbs in 3 months. Appetite still strong. Intense pain in left rib/flank/back area also goes through to front left bottom rib area. No diarrhea or anything like that. Have had hard stools my entire life.... What could this be, I am concerned... Should I be?
A positive hemocult test means you have bleeding somewhere in the GI tract. This could be from your stomach all the way down to some anal fissures or hemmorhoids. Occasionally, you can get a false "positive" on a hemocult if you've eaten something during the testing phase that will trigger the reactive dye they use to register (iron supplements, red meat).

You should always be concerned with bleeding in this area. Usually a positive hemoccult leads to a colonoscopy and upper endoscopy. Given your symptoms, I would say that you need to have this done. The weight loss and pains are concerning.

 
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Old 09-24-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

Thank you for the clarification. I have just never been put under before & am a little nervous about the whole procedure.

I followed the test requirements & did not eat melon or red meat or take any ibuprofen 2-3 days before I started taking the samples. I was pretty careful, I have thought.

I was wondering what anal fissures & hemmorhoids would do. Would I notice them or some type of pain down there or something? I haven't noticed anything new with my bowel movements, really, and no pain down low, so I am just confused as to why I had 2 positive results....

 
Old 09-25-2007, 06:35 AM   #4
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

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Originally Posted by hukleberrie View Post
Thank you for the clarification. I have just never been put under before & am a little nervous about the whole procedure.

I followed the test requirements & did not eat melon or red meat or take any ibuprofen 2-3 days before I started taking the samples. I was pretty careful, I have thought.

I was wondering what anal fissures & hemmorhoids would do. Would I notice them or some type of pain down there or something? I haven't noticed anything new with my bowel movements, really, and no pain down low, so I am just confused as to why I had 2 positive results....
Most people would notice hemmorhoids are anal fissure. They may not cause a lot of pain but they can cause some irritation and occasionally you might see blood on your toilet tissue (if you happen to be checking). Most people never even LOOK at their stools or what is going on, so while they might have obvious symptoms they are not paying attention.

If you don't have any of these problems, you really need to heed the warning of the test and get it checked out. GI bleeding is NEVER okay. Getting put under for the tests is very easy--it is not the same kind of stuff that they give you for major surgery. It is basically just a sedation that you come out of very quickly. In fact, I woke up several times during my colonoscopy because the sedation was so light.

 
Old 09-25-2007, 09:08 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ChristineVA View Post
Most people would notice hemmorhoids are anal fissure. They may not cause a lot of pain but they can cause some irritation and occasionally you might see blood on your toilet tissue (if you happen to be checking). Most people never even LOOK at their stools or what is going on, so while they might have obvious symptoms they are not paying attention.

If you don't have any of these problems, you really need to heed the warning of the test and get it checked out. GI bleeding is NEVER okay. Getting put under for the tests is very easy--it is not the same kind of stuff that they give you for major surgery. It is basically just a sedation that you come out of very quickly. In fact, I woke up several times during my colonoscopy because the sedation was so light.
I have been having a lot of problems peeing, too, (I had a kidney infection that started this all off...) so I have been paying a lot of attention to the toilet tissue & the stools in the toilet. I have always had very firm stools & used to go only 3 times a week, but lately I have been going every day while my stools have remained very firm & round. I have noticed some black spots, but no bright red blood of any kind. I am really worried, but my husband thinks it's just because I have such firm poo. I think maybe he questions whether I should do these tests... I guess I will see what the general surgeon tells me.

So, you had this done. Did you have the EGD done at the same time, too? They want to do them both & I am really nervous. I have never had any type of "procedure" or "surgery" ever in my life. I am a very healthy (so I thought) 33 year old woman... Please let me know how these procedures went & what your issue was. Thank you.

 
Old 09-25-2007, 11:06 AM   #6
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

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Originally Posted by hukleberrie View Post
So, you had this done. Did you have the EGD done at the same time, too? They want to do them both & I am really nervous. I have never had any type of "procedure" or "surgery" ever in my life. I am a very healthy (so I thought) 33 year old woman... Please let me know how these procedures went & what your issue was. Thank you.
Yes, I had the colonoscopy and the EGD done at the same time. I was really nervous too (and I've had LOTS of tests done before--everything makes me nervous).

My hemocult was actually negative but my doctor kept pushing me to do a colonoscopy because I have iron deficiency anemia and we don't know why. Their biggest fear some type of blood loss from the GI area. So I scheduled the colonoscopy. I asked my doctor if we could also do the EGD because I have been living with acid reflux for awhile and I felt it would be a good idea to get my stomach check out as it bothers me off and on.

My colonoscopy was perfect. No bleeding. My stomach was another matter. I had gastritis and fresh bleeding in the stomach (probably due to using ibuprofen). So, I did have bleeding but the hemocult missed it as sometimes happens. However, if you have blood on your hemocult is is coming from somewhere. Your weight loss is the most disturbing. Have you been tested for celiac disease? Doctors are usually very alarmed with unexpected weight loss.

 
Old 09-25-2007, 12:55 PM   #7
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

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Yes, I had the colonoscopy and the EGD done at the same time. I was really nervous too (and I've had LOTS of tests done before--everything makes me nervous).

My hemocult was actually negative but my doctor kept pushing me to do a colonoscopy because I have iron deficiency anemia and we don't know why. Their biggest fear some type of blood loss from the GI area. So I scheduled the colonoscopy. I asked my doctor if we could also do the EGD because I have been living with acid reflux for awhile and I felt it would be a good idea to get my stomach check out as it bothers me off and on.

My colonoscopy was perfect. No bleeding. My stomach was another matter. I had gastritis and fresh bleeding in the stomach (probably due to using ibuprofen). So, I did have bleeding but the hemocult missed it as sometimes happens. However, if you have blood on your hemocult is is coming from somewhere. Your weight loss is the most disturbing. Have you been tested for celiac disease? Doctors are usually very alarmed with unexpected weight loss.
What is celiac disease... I will go check it out on the web.... Yes, my doctor is very alarmed with my unintentional weight loss. I have lost almost 20% of my body weight in 3 months. I lost most of it in July, & since my brother (age 36) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at the beginning of August, I have been pigging trying to gain some weight so my parents & doctors won't be worried. But my PCP is very concerned about the weight loss. I really don't mind too much, I haven't been this thin since high school, LOL! But I do know it can be a sign of a serious illness, so I do worry about it a bit. I will post more when I look up this celiac disease & when I know more...

Thank you sooooo much for continuing to post. I am really hoping this is nothing. Did your PCP send you to a gastro or a general surgeon? I am going to a general surgeon, and I was told that was odd, usually gastros do these tests?

 
Old 09-25-2007, 01:18 PM   #8
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

I just looked up Celiac Disease. I have never heard of it & don't have any family members with this disease. I do know that they have done blood work often already on me & I was NOT anemic. I don't know if that makes a difference or not....

 
Old 09-25-2007, 02:08 PM   #9
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

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Originally Posted by hukleberrie View Post
Thank you sooooo much for continuing to post. I am really hoping this is nothing. Did your PCP send you to a gastro or a general surgeon? I am going to a general surgeon, and I was told that was odd, usually gastros do these tests?
My GP sent me to a gastro. I already had one since I had the acid reflux many years ago, so I just went back to him. But, yeah, around here it would be a gastro that would check this stuff out. Odd that you are referred to a surgeon.

As for celiac disease, you've looked it up so you know what it is. The reason I thought about it for you is the weight loss. It is a disorder that, once it gets started, can cause severe malabsorption. More and more people are being diagnosed with it and if you are from places like England, Ireland, etc, you have a higher chance of having it. It is an autoimmune disorder.

Doctors don't routinely run a celiac panel so your anemia tests would not have shown anything, although many celiacs are anemic. I think if you went to a gastroenterologist it would be a good start.

 
Old 09-25-2007, 03:05 PM   #10
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

Hmmmm.... wonder why she is sending me to a surgeon & not a gastro.... Do you think a gastro would be better?

 
Old 09-25-2007, 04:13 PM   #11
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

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Hmmmm.... wonder why she is sending me to a surgeon & not a gastro.... Do you think a gastro would be better?
Well, I don't know what else you've got going on but I believe that with weight loss and blood in the stool, you go to a gastro. One doesn't usually even see a surgeon unless you know you have something that needs to be removed. A surgeon doesn't diagnose for blood in the stool. Now if they find that part of your colon needs removed, yep, then you'd see a surgeon.

Has your doctor seen something in all your testing that requires surgical care?

 
Old 09-25-2007, 06:04 PM   #12
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Question Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

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Well, I don't know what else you've got going on but I believe that with weight loss and blood in the stool, you go to a gastro. One doesn't usually even see a surgeon unless you know you have something that needs to be removed. A surgeon doesn't diagnose for blood in the stool. Now if they find that part of your colon needs removed, yep, then you'd see a surgeon.

Has your doctor seen something in all your testing that requires surgical care?
Gosh, not that I know of. Maybe it's just that there aren't any gastros around here? They wanted me to see a surgeon about that pain in my left flank, too, so maybe they just decided to have one see me for both?

Other symptoms I have had are palpitations (my resting HR has been 100+, last appointment was 122), blood in urine (although last time 3 weeks ago it was clear), (also had crystals & protein a couple times in my urine). I have been really tired & the pain in my side/flank gets really bad sometimes. I was having low grade fevers, but not too much anymore. I still have water in my ear (left side, too!) we can't seem to get rid of (I'm on steroids for it now) but I am sure that's unrelated. I only pee 2 or 3 times a day & if I try to pee in the middle of the day without the urge to go it burns. I have had upteen zillion (okay maybe a slight exageration, lol) tests... CT scans, Ultrasound, MRI, IVP, Bone Scan & bloodwork. No DX yet. Doctor seems very concerned, though.

I was kinda concerned about the whole surgeon thing... I guess maybe there aren't any gastros around or something... I hope that's what it is.

 
Old 09-29-2007, 09:57 AM   #13
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

Where I live, I'd be sent to a surgeon, too. Those symptoms are consistent with e pylori infection..mine caused an ulcer. It can be treated with antibiotics followed by probiotics(acidophilus).

 
Old 10-03-2007, 04:42 PM   #14
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

Surgeon didn't think I had an ulcer because the pain is not only after I eat. I still think it is. He was talking palyps, lesions or the C word, althought I am young & it is unlikely (but he did say he has seen in in someone 30). But they want me to get the scopes done, but I don't have insurance so they have put me off. I do go back to my pcp, she called & wants to see me, so we'll see what she says.

Concerning the pain, he thinks it's nerve pain caused by inflammation, possibly due to arthritis in the ribs. He doesn't think the weight loss & pain are related.

So now I wait & have another test again....

 
Old 10-23-2007, 04:02 PM   #15
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Re: What does a positive hemoccult test mean?

Had the scopes this morning. Remind me to never do that again. Found a spot on the colonscopy. Surgeon thinks it's colitis. Took 3 biopsies, go back in 3 weeks to find out treatment. Don't have diahrrea though.... funny.... thought you always had diahrrea with colitis....

 
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