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
- Tenderness and mild irritation around the anus and rectum
- Bloody discharge from the anus, sometimes pus discharge too.
- Pain while passing stool
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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
- 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.