Seeing Red?

Let’s get a little personal, shall we?  We all eat, drink and then digest.  What we put in our bodies has to come out.  We all go to the restroom and have bowel movements.  It’s normal. It’s a part of life.  But what is not normal is red on the tissue or red in the stool – and by red we mean blood.  Seeing red can mean several different things.  It can be associated with problems in your esophagus all the way down to your rectum.

If you see red, what should you do?  The best option is to call our office or send our nurse a portal message.  We can then set you up for an appointment with one of our providers for you to come in and discuss the symptoms you are experiencing.

To give you a little more insight on how your appointment might go we asked Mary-Anne White, RN, BSN our Clinical Nurse Manager a few questions. Here is what she had to say:

When someone is being seen in the office for rectal bleeding or blood in their stool what are the first steps a Digestive Health Specialists provider will take?

“Usually when a patient comes in for rectal bleeding the provider will have an interview with the patient to gather symptoms and information about their rectal bleeding.  A physical exam is usually performed. The exam may or may not include a rectal exam.  They will then order follow up testing based on their symptoms.  This will usually include ordering a colonoscopy.”

What could some of the follow up testing possibly be?

“A FIT test is another test that may be ordered if you are seeing red.  This test is to see if you have any blood in your stool that you may or may not see when you have a bowel movement. A kit is provided to the patient with all supplies and instructions needed to perform this test.  Basically the patient places a piece of tissue paper across the toilet and has their bowel movement on this paper.  They will then use the stick provided in kit and poke the stick in their stool in six different places and then place the stick back in the vial provided.  They will do this one or two times depending on what the provider ordered.  They will then return these vials to us and we can run this test in office and call the patient with results.”

Lastly, for those out there who are a little curious about some of the possible causes of the blood we asked Mary-Anne what some of them may be.  Here were her comments: “The most common causes of rectal bleeding are hemorrhoids and anal fissures.  Other causes include colitis, inflammatory bowel disease and colon/rectal cancers.”

Here at Digestive Health Specialists we strive to always inform our patients about their condition or health issue when given a diagnosis. If you are having blood in your stool or “seeing red” please do not hesitate to give our office at call at 336.768.6211 and set up an appointment.  We are here to give you the best patient care possible. We serve patients in Winston-Salem, Kernersville, Advance, Thomasville and King.