What is proctitis?

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Proctitis: Overview

Proctitis is inflammation of the lining of the rectum. It can be a short-term or long-term problem. Many things can cause proctitis. It may be a side effect of medical treatments, such as radiation therapy or antibiotics. Some sexually transmitted infections may also cause proctitis. It may be related to ulcerative colitis or to Crohn's disease. Other causes include bacterial infection, allergies, or injury or nerve problems in the rectum.

Common symptoms include pain or itching in the rectum and a constant or frequent strong need to have a bowel movement. You may have a change in bowel habits; a fever; and mucus, blood, or pus in your stools.

How can you care for yourself when you have proctitis?

  • Take your medicines exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine. You will get more details on the specific medicines your doctor prescribes.
  • If your doctor prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed. Do not stop taking them just because you feel better. You need to take the full course of antibiotics.
  • Some complementary treatments may help. These include acupuncture, herbal remedies, and diet supplements. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you use any complementary treatment.
  • Avoid anal intercourse. This will prevent further damage to the anal canal and give it time to heal.
  • Avoid foods that seem to make your symptoms worse. Common problem foods include dairy products, foods and drinks that contain caffeine, and high-fat foods. These foods can irritate the digestive tract and make conditions like ulcerative colitis worse.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.