Proctitis - Symptoms, causes and treatment

Proctitis is inflammation on Wall end of large intestine or rectum. This inflammation makes sufferers proctitis feel big bellyas, stomachache and anal, diarrhea, and Bloody and slimy defecation.

Proctitis can be caused by inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as sexually transmitted diseases from unprotected anal sex.

To prevent proctitis, one way is to not change sexual partners and use condoms during sexual intercourse. If a person is suspected of having proctitis, the doctor will perform a number of tests, including stool tests, blood tests, and colonoscopy. Immediately consult a doctor if you feel symptoms of proctitis.

Symptoms of Proctitis

Proctitis is characterized by heartburn or a constant urge to defecate. These symptoms can be temporary or prolonged (chronic) for weeks or months. In addition, there are a number of other symptoms that indicate the occurrence of proctitis, namely:

  • Left side abdominal pain, especially when defecating.
  • Anal hurts.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Feeling incomplete after defecation.
  • Bloody or mucus stools.

When should to the doctor

Check regularly with your doctor if you have multiple sexual partners. This aims to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases or detect them early.

You also need to see a doctor if you experience symptoms of proctitis, such as heartburn, pain in the rectum, and bloody or mucus-tinged stools.

Causes of Proctitis

Proctitis can be caused by various things, either due to disease, use of drugs, or an unhealthy lifestyle. These factors will be explained further below:

  1.  Sexually transmitted disease

    Gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, or chlamydia are the most common sexually transmitted diseases that cause proctitis. This condition can occur in people who often have anal sex.

  2. Bacterial infection

    Bacteria those from food can cause gastrointestinal infections, such as typhoid, thereby triggering inflammation of the rectum.

  3. Inflammation of the intestine

    Some people with inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, also experience inflammation of the rectum.

  4. Useantibioticswithout a doctor's supervision

    Not only kill bacteria that cause infection, the antibiotics used also kill good bacteria that function to maintain digestive tract health. As a result, various harmful bacteria, such as Clostridium difficile, can grow and multiply in the rectum. Therefore, do not use antibiotics carelessly. Before using antibiotics, first consult with your doctor about the benefits and risks.

  5. Radiotherapy

    Radiation therapy or radiotherapy to treat cancers around the rectum, such as prostate or ovarian cancer, can cause inflammation of the rectum.

  6. Side effects of surgery

    Proctitis can occur in patients who have undergone colon surgery and the creation of a stoma (a new artificial opening in the abdomen for bowel movements). The rectum that is not passed by food is at risk of inflammation.

  7. Reaction to protein from food

    Babies who drink cow's milk or soy milk are more likely to develop proctitis. This is because certain proteins in milk and food can cause gastrointestinal inflammation in some people.

Proctitis Diagnosis

Symptoms of proctitis are similar to those of other digestive disorders. Therefore, it is very important to do a doctor's examination to find out the cause of the patient's symptoms.

In the early stages, the doctor will ask about the symptoms, as well as the diseases that the patient has or is currently suffering from. If the patient is suspected of having proctitis, the doctor will perform a stool examination to determine if the proctitis is caused by bacteria.

The gastroenterologist may also perform a colonoscopy to examine the wall of the lower intestine and rectum. During this procedure, the doctor will take a small piece of rectal tissue for examination in a laboratory (rectal biopsy).

In addition to the above procedures, other tests commonly performed to diagnose proctitis are:

  • Blood tests, to check for possible infection.
  • Sampling of mucus from the rectum, to determine whether the patient is suffering from sexually transmitted diseases or not.

The results of these examinations will help the doctor in determining the right type of treatment for the patient.

Proctitis Treatment

The main goals of proctitis treatment are to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and cure infection. The type of treatment given by the doctor depends on the cause of the proctitis. Treatment includes:

  • Antibiotics, if the proctitis is caused by a bacterial infection.
  • Antiviral drugs, if the proctitis is caused by a viral infection (eg herpes).
  • Stool softeners and rectal dilation or ablation procedures, if proctitis is a side effect of radiotherapy.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressive drugs, if the proctitis is caused by inflammatory bowel disease.

If the patient's symptoms do not go away, the doctor may perform surgery to remove the damaged tissue to treat proctitis.

In addition to medical treatment, inflammation and minor pain can be relieved by simple ways, such as:

  • Avoid eating habits just before bed, so the digestive system can rest.
  • Soak the buttocks and groin with warm water for a few minutes.
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers.
  • Avoid spicy, sour, or fatty foods.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Avoid consumption of drinks containing soda, caffeine, and milk.

Complications Proctitis

Proctitis that is not treated properly can lead to complications such as:

  • Anemia due to continuous bleeding.
  • Purulent infection (abscess) in the infected area.
  • Ulcers in the rectal wall.
  • Anal fistula, that isan abnormal channel that forms between the intestines and the skin around the anus.
  • Rectovaginal fistula, which is an abnormal channel that forms between the rectum and the vagina, allowing feces to pass into the vagina.

Proctitis Prevention

To reduce the risk of developing proctitis, you are advised not to have risky sex, namely having multiple partners and without using a condom. In addition, ways that can be done to prevent proctitis are:

  • Do not have sex first if your partner has sores around the genital organs.
  • Do not use drugs and do not consume alcohol.