Hello and welcome to Flaming Gut. This post is my opinion on the matter of dealing with Ulcerative Proctitis. This is an opinion article, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on the internet. I’m here to help you, the sufferer. Or your spouse, family member, friend, coworker, boss or whomever has this unfortunate disease.
To start, let’s take a look at Ulcerative Proctitis, what it is, what happens when you get it, how it can affect you and what to do to deal with this type of chronic illness. When explaining an illness such as this the first thing to do is to start at the beginning.
What is Ulcerative Proctitis?
Ulcerative Proctitis is a mucosal inflammatory disease where a part of the bowel, in this case the rectum, is affected. What does that mean? It means you’ve got inflammation going on in your body that is presenting in the rectum area only in the case of a proctitis sufferer. These diseases with inflammation of the internal organs fall into the spectrum of the autoimmune response type disease.
The thing all these Inflammatory Bowel Diseases have in common is becoming inflamed due to some cause (usually what doctors like to call idiopathic causes). The body works to neutralize the inflammation, but can sometimes overdo it by attacking and continuing to attack the affected area. This is an autoimmune response and can happen to the point of massive complications with a patient’s health.
Here’s an article from PubMed that explains everything in graphic medical terms
What has happened when you have this Ulcerative condition is the body has turned on you. In this case of having Ulcerative Proctitis, you have a literal pain in the ass that isn’t going to just go away. And this is not to be confused with “regular” Proctitis where the outcomes and interventions can be different.
I have had bad ulcerative proctitis that then travelled up the colon from 18cm to 31cm… And I remember not being able to sit down, while having an incessant searing pain directly left of my tailbone. Steroids did the trick a little, prednisone mainly and then azathioprine and budesonide, until I was dependent on them. They became the only thing that took the pain away for even a short time. That mixed with the systemic inflammation across all joints and the mouth sores when I stopped the roids… that all kept me focused on taking the pills in order to have some semblance of normalcy.
Ulcerative Proctitis Symptoms
Here are some of the symptoms that can be present:
- Tenesmus – straining incredibly hard to pass perhaps one little cat turd and a bunch of blood in the process, depending on your condition and the level of ulceration.
- Lower abdominal pain
- Fecal urgency
- Blood and or mucus in the stool
- Bowel Leakage
- I could go on but you get the point
This list is similar to most of the ‘-itis’ type inflammatory bowel diseases. In the case of Ulcerative Proctitis the affected area is only in the rectum. When the affected area enlarges to include more of the colon, this is called Ulcerative Colitis. The inflammation can spread further up the colon, and in some patients the entire large intestine is affected which can require surgery.
Surgery is a last resort and was a suggestion in my case. I passed and went the Naturopathic route, at the advice and demand of a close friend. I thank my lucky stars for that.
Why Did I Get Ulcerative Proctitis?
Doctors call this an idopathic disease – which means they don’t know what causes ulcerative proctitis or ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease or any other IBD for that matter. From experience, I know that there are some things that can spur on an uproar in the digestive system in general with any inflammatory condition.
A few potential causes
- Nonsexually transmitted infections
- Sexually Transmitted infections – see wikipedia article on Proctitis here
- Harmful physical agents
This is not an exhaustive list of potential causes of Ulcerative Proctitis. And as there are some directly related causes, other patients begin to experience symptoms between ages 15 and 30. The symptoms encroach upon their lives from seemingly out of nowhere. Afterward, they have a disease that can potentially affect the rest of their lives. Remission is an answer, and as is the case with many autoimmune diseases, remission may be the only good option.
What To Do About Ulcerative Proctitis?
Here’s the most important part of this entire article. What do you do if you have these symptoms, you go to the doctor or you even “self diagnose” (which I managed to do using WebMD symptom checker and then had a bunch of other tests to confirm with an MD). The symptoms are not unnoticeable and will be fairly incessant. Step up and go to your GP or Gastroenterologist as soon as you have an issue. Make the appointment and go.
So what do you do when you have this disease, after you’ve been diagnosed?
The first thing is to accept that you are sick. Yes it is unfortunate and there’s the whole mind over matter thing… but you are sick and now you get to do something about it. It could be a hard thing to understand at first and for me, I had my realization of this fact while glued to the toilet one morning about 8 months into my symptoms being very prevalent. I said to myself, “You’re sick. And this sucks. And we need to fix this.”
The fixing of the disease is something that the medical community likes to refer to as “achieving a medicated state of normalcy.”
This sounded like a nightmare to me. It was a nightmare. I was on the toilet 12-15 times a day, throughout the night, and for over a year I didn’t sleep more than 2 hours at a time. What’s wild is how much a human being can adapt to something like this. The rigors of being constantly sick.
What Actually Happens When You Have Ulcerative Proctitis Like This?
- Lose Weight
- Anemia – that’s when your hemoglobin count is ridiculously low, you get the chills easy, cold easy and you’re just weak all over
- Constipation and/or loose bowels – literally having to go at a moment’s notice
- Straining like crazy on the toilet
- External Hemmorhoids / Internal Hemmorhoids
- No being able to leave out of the house for fear of having an accident
- Not being able to carry on a regular way of life
- Embarrassment, depression, overly emotional outbursts due to massive prescribed pharmaceutical drug intake
- Loss of net worth, loss of relationships, employment, self respect even
Before this list gets too long. Let’s see how we come back from it – because honestly this is most likely not your fault in any way shape or form
Conventional Treatments For Proctitis
There are plenty of drugs at the pharmacy and at the tip of any doctor’s tongue when it comes to Ulcerative Anything…
- AntiSpasmodic medicine – Colosimic or something
at first we thought it was just some “Irritable Bowel Syndrome” until the blood work came back
- Prednisone 20mg – 40mg/day
- Azacol – 6 pills a day
- Balsalazide Disodium 180 pills a month – 9 pills a day
- Mesalamine Enemas – nightly (didn’t last)
- Prednisone Steroid Enemas (didn’t last)
- 2 Colonoscopies and a Sigmoidoscopy – the sig was painful when he gave an unexpected anal exam with his finger prior to the camera going up there and no knockout juice at all being administered
- Preparation H, Tucks Pads, any other cream for horrible hemorrhoid pain / borderline prolapsed anus from straining so hard I thought I would surely release my entire insides out of my ass
- Pilex – for the hemorrhoids – OMG THIS WORKED and an MD gave it to me and it’s herbal
When he prescribed the Pilex it was the only thing that didn’t need a prescription for the pharmacy. I actually went to a natural health food store and they had it on the shelf for $45 at the time down in South Florida. I got 7 pills and it almost did the trick in 7 days, then I went and got 14 more and saved my ass from being completely useless to me.
Some people take steroids and suppositories, and they make it through – depending on when they take action against this disease.
I did not take action fast enough. I dealt with progressively worsening symptoms for over 6 months before going for a blood test. When my C Reactive Protein was at an insane level it was time for a camera looking up my butt and then the diagnosis of “this is no joke, you have Acute Ulcerative Colitis” – and about 2 years of eating a lot of pharmaceutical drugs to try and stop it
The drugs only really started to work one time, when I first started Azacol and then it didn’t fix things, switched back to Balsalazide Disodium, and then that was it, Flare and massive downturn into oblivion
***Pilex – saved me from not being able to sit down for the longest time due to massive hemorrhoid
Naturopathic Treatment For Ulcerative Proctitis
And other Itis’s and shit like that
Naturopathy I thought was a bunch of “take herbs and be one with the universe and then you’ll be fine and the spirit will heal you” type of hogwash bullshit.
Well I was dead wrong. Naturopaths are no joke. Mine wasn’t anyways.
And he returned me from an almost death sentence to gaining 50 pounds back to my emaciated frame, no more blood passing out of unwanted places, no more mucus from there either, no systemic joint pain, no left sided stomach pain, and as long as I eat within the foods I’m not sensitive to… I feel pretty great all the time
I do need to sleep more… but that’s a different topic all together
Here’s The Deal About Fixing Ulcerative Proctitis And Other Chronic Illnesses
You need to go the natural route! See a Naturopathic Physician
The body is made to stay at a stasis point. Meaning we heal ourselves. This sounds hoakey? Shush and listen up. I’ve done it.
It’s real. Even though wikipedia basically implies it a bunch of quackery. Here’s the issue, I’m living proof of it herbs work
Human Homeostasis is the technical term for this type of balancing act that the human body does. I mean seriously we are some resilient people.
If aliens attacked I have no doubt they would have a serious run for their money. We agile, strong, regenerate quickly, critically analyze, learn, adapt and overcome. We are the apex predators in our ecosystem.
So with all of this ingenuity what are we doing about our Flaming Guts?
Because that is what is causing this problem. You gut is inflamed. Well your body for that matter.
And therefore you must first find out what is the cause of the inflammation.
***Hint: it is not that you are low on mesalamine or steroids in your body
Your blood is most likely boiling with something fierce. You need specific blood analysis to know what is going at a very granular level with you currently.
And once you’ve tested this, you must retest it every 3 months to see your progress.
No, this isn’t cheap and no it is also not fair.
What it is, is what it is. Face it and move through it. That’s what this site is here for
Now get yourself to a naturopath and ask them what their plans are for curing your Ulcerative Proctitis.
I will never forget when my Naturopathic Doctor told me “I want to hear you having normal bowel movements in the next 1-3 months”
First off, who says that? Second… I was amazed and in disbelief. I had been having blood in the stool for 3+ years at that point
How the hell was he going to stop me from having this horrible pain, the pain I had experienced every day and night for over 3 years
Prior to this, a traditional MD from a hospital local to me told me that because the Balsalazide Disodium was not working and he didn’t want to switch back to the Azacol (which was working) he said I can start taking Humira or I can get my colon removed because it’s been a problem for so long.
Ok, Humira is a TNF blocker – which Stinging Nettles does the same thing for $8 a bottle
In under one year of treatment, diet change, and seriously seeing what my body was up to internally, I am happy to say that I am symptom free!!!
And it’s amazing and it is something that you can achieve as well. No matter how bad your condition or how light it is right now.
DON’T LET IT GET WORSE! Don’t be like me and try and do it on your own, GET THE RIGHT HELP!
ps. I’m not a doctor nor do I play on the internet. This is just my experience and what I would have done sooner had I known this was an option.