Proctitis is an inflammation of the mucous membrane of the rectum. Proctitis is usually a chronic condition that is linked to inflammatory bowel disease, but it can also occur for other reasons.
Symptoms of proctitis
Some symptoms of proctitis are:
- Light red bleeding in the rectum
- Dull grinding pain around the rectum
- Fever (in bacterially caused proctitis)
- Urges and cramps during toilet visits
The general condition is usually not affected by proctitis. You also don’t suffer from diarrhea.
Causes of proctitis
The most common cause of proctitis is that it is part of an inflammatory bowel disease. Proctitis is sometimes considered a type of ulcerative colitis and is usually called ulcerative proctitis. Other subtypes of ulcerative colitis are left-sided colitis and extensive colitis. In the other types of ulcerative colitis and other types of IBD diseases such as Crohn’s disease, larger parts of the intestinal system are attacked. In some cases, the inflammation grows from proctitis to deeper ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease over time.
Proctitis can be a sexually transmitted inflammation of the rectum mucosa. It can also occur as a result of drugs, surgeries, radiotherapy and other forms of trauma to the area.
Investigation and diagnosis
When looking for proctitis or inflammatory bowel disease you usually do a colonoscopy. When making a colonoscopy, a narrow, flexible instrument is inserted into the large intestine through the rectum opening. The instrument is equipped with a camera so that the doctor can have pictures in the intestinal mucosa. It is also possible to take samples of the tissue in the intestine. Diagnosis can be made after the colonoscopy, but in some cases other examinations also need to be performed.
Treatment of proctitis
The treatment of proctitis usually depends on the underlying cause. If it is linked to an inflammatory bowel disease, it is usually treated with similar drugs to other inflammatory bowel diseases. The most common is taking medicines with mesalazine, for example in tablet or granular form, rectal suspension (container with a small tip inserted into the rectum), rectal foam (foam injected into the rectum) or suppositories (pills inserted and acting in the rectum) ).
If the proctite is caused by a bacterial infection, for example during sexual transmission, it is usually treated with antibiotics. In some severe cases of trauma, surgery may be necessary.