An Inflammatory Condition of the Anus or Proctitis

An Inflammatory Condition of the Anus or Proctitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Risk Factors

Proctitis has originated from two Greek words procto which means anus and itis which means inflammation. Proctitis is a condition caused due to inflammation of the rectum and anus, usually caused either by sexually transmitted diseases, radiation injury, inflammatory bowel disease, allergy, trauma, or ischemia.

Types of proctitis:

  • Diphtheritic proctitis: Proctitis caused by diphtheria, although it is a rare condition.
  • Dysenteric proctitis: Proctitis caused by infectious diarrhea resulting in ulceration and scarring of rectum and anus.
  • Gonococcal proctitis: Proctitis caused by gonorrheal infection around the anus.
  • Traumatic proctitis: This type of proctitis is caused by trauma either in anus or rectum.


  • Tenesmus or constant urge to pass stool.
  • Sense of fullness of the rectum
  • Constipation
  • Tenderness and mild irritation around the anus and rectum
  • Bloody discharge from the anus, sometimes pus discharge too.
  • Pain while passing stool
  • Cramps
  • Passage of mucous stool
  • Pain in the left side of the lower abdomen
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Shortness of breath
  • Brittle nails
  • Weakness and dizziness
  • Anemia
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
  • Anorectal pain.

People who are HIV positive and contract proctitis caused by genital herpes have severe symptoms.


Proctitis is be known to have many possible causes:

  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Anal sex
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Allergy
  • Ischemia
  • Trauma
  • Radiation injury
  • Idiopathic or whose cause is not determined
  • Some antibiotics
  • In an infant who drinks cow milk or a soy-based formula. Proctitis is also seen in breast-fed babies who consume dairy products.
  • Proctitis in children under the age of two happens sometimes, because of building up of eosinophil on the lining of the rectum.
  • Some antibiotics
  • Proctitis is also caused in person who underwent surgery of the colon and there is a diversion in the passage of the stool.

Risk factors:

  • People who have multiple sex partners
  • People who indulge in anal sex
  • People having inflammatory bowel disease
  • People undergoing radiation therapy in areas that are to the rectum.


If proctitis is left untreated it can lead to the following complications:

  • Ulceration around the anus and rectum
  • Fissure around the anus
  • Anemia
  • Fistula
  • Severe bleeding

How to prevent the disease?

The following tips if followed help, prevent the disease:

  • Avoid multiple sex partners
  • Avoid anal intercourse
  • Using condoms while having sex with unknown partners
  • Not having sex with someone who has abnormal discharges.
  • Do not feed infant cow milk or a soy-based formula. Avoid dairy products until the child turns one.

Tips to manage symptoms:

If you have proctitis the following  tips can help to manage symptoms:

  • Avoid spicy food
  • Avoid dairy products
  • Eat soft and bland food
  • Drink lots of fluids.
  • Avoid coffee, tea, and sodas. Avoid any caffeinated drink.
  • Avoid eating sugar
  • Avoid alcohol

If you experience any new symptoms please visit your doctor and discuss the symptoms with him.

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