Ulcerative proctitis is a form of ulcerative colitis that affects the lowest part of the colon (the rectum)
What’s the problem?
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which causes an inflammation of the colon and large intestine that allows ulceration of the colon’s inner-most lining. Ulcerative proctitis is a type of UC that affects the lower part of the colon, and is characterized by swelling, redness, and ulcerations in the lining of the rectum. The word “ulcerative” is used because the disease actually causes the formation of sores on the inner lining of the rectum.
The cause of ulcerative proctitis is currently unknown, but researchers are actively trying to find its cause. Many scientists now believe that an agent, such as a virus, may cause a reaction of the body’s immune system which results in an inflammation of the lining of the rectum. Although the cause of the disease is still unknown, it is understood that dietary habits and stress do not cause it.
The method of treatment of ulcerative proctitis depends on the extent of the inflammation and the number of flare-ups a patient has had. For mild inflammation, medicated enemas, suppositories, or foam are usually prescribed. If the inflammation becomes more severe, oral medication may also be prescribed. Patients with repeated episodes are often prescribed oral medications to reduce the chance of further episodes.
In addition to medication, changes in a person’s diet is often helpful. A high-fiber diet and plenty of water and juice are helpful. If you have questions about how to change your diet, ask your doctor. Regular visits with the doctor are important to adjust your medication as your symptoms change. Patients who participate actively in learning how to manage their ulcerative proctitis can greatly increase their quality of life.