What Is Proctosigmoiditis?
Proctosigmoiditis is a painful condition where the lining of your digestive tract becomes inflamed due to inflammation or irritation. The pain may come from anywhere in your body. It usually starts at one end and spreads down into the area between your shoulder blades. You might feel it all over your abdomen, lower back, chest wall, stomach, thighs and feet. The pain is often worse when you are lying down.
The cause of the problem is not known but there are several theories such as food poisoning, bacterial infection, parasites, or even cancer. There is no cure for proctosigmoiditis. Treatments include medications like ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve) and others which reduce swelling and relieve pain.
Symptoms Of Proctosigmoiditis:
Painful abdominal cramps
Feverish feeling during the day and night
Nausea and vomiting during the day and night
Feeling tired all the time, especially after eating some foods. Sometimes you have trouble concentrating or thinking properly. Your muscles ache and feel tight.
Some days you feel very weak. Other times you don’t feel any symptoms at all.
Food gets stuck when you go to the bathroom. You have to wait a long time before everything comes out. Sometimes the stool is only partly digested.
You can see undigested food when you wipe. Other times it is like water. Everything is liquid and very smelly.
You feel a burning pain in your rectum. Sometimes there is bleeding from your rectum. You might see small blood clots or fresh blood on your underwear.
Some people have no sign of blood. You have other symptoms like fever, chills, and diarrhea.
Pain in the lower part of your belly button that shoots to the right side of your stomach (sometimes just above the hip)
You feel bloated after eating some foods. You feel like your belly is swollen. Some people only have this symptom.
The pain gets worse when you are lying down or sitting. The pain is less when you are walking or changing position.
You have back pain that goes into your hips and down the backs of your legs. This pain is worse when you are standing or sitting for a long time. Sometimes the pain shoots down to your legs.
You may have shooting pain from your hips to your groin.
You have trouble getting up off the toilet. You have weakness in your legs or back pain when you stand up. Sometimes you fall over because your legs give way.
You feel like you need to go to the bathroom right now but nothing comes out even when you sit on the toilet for a long time.
There is no obvious cause for your symptoms.
You have no symptoms at all, except for blood in your stool. Sometimes you have no blood and nothing comes out.
You have bloody or red diarrhea several times a day. It looks like water and is very smelly.
You have pain above your belly button that goes into your chest, sometimes down your arms and into your fingertips. You might also get hives (urticaria) or a rash on your face and upper body.
You feel very sick and tired, especially after eating or drinking certain things like milk. Sometimes you feel bloated and have pain in your belly button. You feel so bad that you are confused or don’t know where you are.
Your skin is pale and cold to the touch. You get chills and a fast heartbeat. You have headaches when you go from a sitting or lying position to a standing one. You feel weak and shaky.
You have blood in your stool. It looks like pieces of red or black berries. It sometimes smells bad.
You feel weak and dizzy.
Your belly is swollen and hard. You get a lot of pain in your belly. You are fainting and feel confused.
If you think you may have a digestive disease, it is important to see your doctor right away since these can be serious conditions which if left untreated can lead to death.
Most digestive diseases are diagnosed by a medical history and physical exam by your family physician or gastroenterologist. In some instances, a colonoscopy, endoscopy, CT scan or ultrasound may be necessary to get a diagnosis. Examples of medical conditions that can mimic IBD are Crohn’s disease and bowel obstruction.
Treatment for these varies depending on the type of disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), how far the disease has progressed, and your age.
Sources & references used in this article:
Radiation-induced proctosigmoiditis by R Kochhar, F Patel, SC Sharma, S Ayyagari… – Digestive diseases and …, 1991 – Springer
Ischemic proctosigmoiditis. by AK Bharucha, WJ Tremaine… – American Journal of …, 1996 – search.ebscohost.com
Argon plasma coagulation therapy for hemorrhagic radiation proctosigmoiditis by RA Silva, AJ Correia, LM Dias, HL Viana… – Gastrointestinal …, 1999 – Elsevier
5-Aminosalicylic acid enema in the treatment of distal ulcerative colitis, proctosigmoiditis, and proctitis by LR Sutherland, F Martin, S Greer, M Robinson… – Gastroenterology, 1987 – Elsevier