Column Chronicles
Ask Dr. Wellbottom: where not to find blood
Frank Cotolo
September 28, 2017
Once again it's time to confer with Dr. Adrian Wellbottom for dead-on diagnoses. The popular physician and author of 56 books on medical matters that matter to the young and the old, the sick and the poor and others, always takes a fresh yet traditional approach to the health of anyone. In this episode, we ask the doctor about the presence of blood in places where blood should not be seen.
Q: When I brush my teeth, no matter how careful I am about the pressure I apply to their fronts or backs, I always see a trace of blood. Is this common.
Dr.W: It's more common when someone is using an electric toothbrush because no hand can move as quickly with a toothbrush as when AC or DC is vibrating the bristles. By the way, I have been working with Arcane Siftenflux on a blues album we are calling "Vibrating the Bristles." As some of you know, I am a blues ukulele player and Arcane plays what he likes to call a backwards guitar, which is a guitar with the strings on the inside of the body. Anyways, we thought of starting a group called The Bristles and we still may do so after we complete the album. As for blood when you manually brush your teeth, yes, that is bad, it usually means gum disease.
Q: I've always heard that blood should not be in someone's stools but no one ever told me specifically why it is bad. Can you tell me?
Dr. W: Believe it or not, the term "blood in the stools" dates back to the seventeen hundreds and the work of classical composer George Frederic Handel. One of his orchestra violin players was a prankster and got a kick out of putting thumb tacks on the stool where Handel sat when he played piano with the orchestra. Oddly enough, Handel never felt the pinches, ruining the joke, but, when he was done playing piano for the night, resulted in leaving blood on his piano stool. The prankster tried to use longer tacks and more of them but Handel never felt a one, over and over ruining expensive piano stools, which he denied had been stained with his blood. Also, Handel eventually died from a heart attack, which doctors in those days did not know could be forecast from finding blood in his feces. Blood in the feces, or stools, could also be signs of an Anisakisasis infection, Japanese Encephalitis, Diamond Blackfan Anemia, Onchocerciasis and sometimes Pertussis. There are other diseases related to the occurence but we have no room left to answer this question.
Q: If you get a cut or a slice or a stab, does blood always find its way to the surface?
Dr. W: This is one of the rare times you want to see blood. Some people are stabbed, sliced or cut and don't feel it. Were it not for the body’s quick response to deliver blood from the inside of the body to the outside in plain sight, some people could mysteriously die never knowing it was from a stab, slice or cut.
Frank Cotolo can be found hosting the talk and interview programme Cotolo Chronicles. You can send him an e-mail at this address:
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