One of our favorite breads is the Three-Seed Sourdough Artisan Bread. We make French-bread style loaves and top them with poppy, flax and sesame seeds. However, if these seeds are not chewed thoroughly, they can cause rectal bleeding. We have had reports from a number of people who have linked the chewing of nuts and seeds with rectal bleeding. In a few cases it can be severe as in the case of our friend Joseph.
Sometimes one food can cause enough irritation to make you think you are bleeding to death. For some people, that food is peanuts. One day Joseph noticed he was bleeding from the rectum. It was not just a little spotting on the toilet paper. He figured he lost close to a pint of blood after having a bowel movement.
He immediately panicked. "It must be cancer," he thought. He made an appointment to see a doctor right away. His heart was checked, blood tests were given. The worst part was when they inserted an instrument up into his colon. They went up several feet to probe for the cause of the bleeding. After two hours of testing, they found no cancer. What was causing the bleeding? They had no idea.
Joe went home with some pills and was told to come back if the bleeding continued. Two days later, the bleeding returned. Then a week later, another outpouring of blood. Every week or two it would happen again. Sometimes there was lots of blood, other times there was just some spotting.
Joe visited doctor after doctor. His anxiety intensified because no one could cure his bleeding problem.
Joe didn't feel physically weak, but still passing so much blood was scary and there was no end in sight. The doctors did the best they could, even taking x-rays, but they could not find the cause.
After moving to a new area, Joe located a clinic where he was seen by a kindly foreign doctor. After listening to Joe's history he said, "I can understand your position and your problem. You went through hell." Then the doctor looked straight into Joe's eyes and asked, "Do you like peanuts?"
The question seemed ridiculous, but Joe answered. "Yes, sir, I do. I eat peanuts every chance I get. I eat them everywhere I go, at happy hours, dinners, and at clubs with the staff members. We all get together every Friday night. There are always peanuts on the table and I will eat them till they are all gone. Having a good appetite, I eat everything. I don't bother much in chewing up the food, I just swallow."
Joe had told the doctor what he needed to know to cure him. "Quit eating those peanuts. If after you stop, you continue to pass blood, come back and see me. If you stop passing blood, you don't have to come back."
Joe was shocked. "Doc, is that all there is to it?"
The doctor was getting up to leave, "Take my advice and do as I tell you. Stop eating those blasted peanuts!"
Joe was unnerved by this simple solution. How could not eating peanuts end his problem? But it did. A week went by. No bleeding. Then a month. No bleeding. As long as he skipped the peanuts, there was no bleeding.
After a few months without peanuts and without bleeding, Joe had the urge to eat a few peanuts. He took a handful of peanuts and ate them. The next day when he went to the bathroom, he passed blood. It was only a little bit, but it was there. He did a few more tests, and he always bled after eating peanuts. "This is for the birds. There will be no more peanuts for me," he said.
Joe was curious to know why the peanuts were causing the bleeding. He discovered that he had been eating peanuts too fast. As the peanut pieces were going through, they were cutting the intestines.
Joe tried taking a few peanuts and chewing them until they were mushy. That made a big difference. He started chewing all his food more thoroughly, making it mushy, almost liquid. Joe is a much healthier and happier man now. No cancer worries and no more irritated colon.