Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome is a rare medical condition that you develop when you get one or more ulcers in your rectum. Though the condition is called solitary rectal ulcer syndrome , more than one ulcer can form .Even though it is a rare condition, it can occur in individuals of any age group. It can be treated by making changes in your diet and lifestyle. However, doctors may recommend surgery in severe cases.
What is Solitary Rectal Ulcer Syndrome?
The rectum is a tube that connects your colon, the end of your intestine to the anal opening, known as the anus. Stool leaves your body through the rectum and anus. Rectal ulcers can develop in any part of your rectum.
More often, it occurs in individuals who suffer from severe constipation.
Signs and Symptoms of Solitary Rectal Ulcer Syndrome
The common symptoms are:
- Rectal bleeding
- Rectal pain
- Passing mucus from your rectum
- Strain while passing stool
- Pain in your pelvic region
- Fecal incontinence
In some cases, you may not experience any symptoms .
Causes of Solitary Rectal Ulcer Syndrome
Although the exact causes of it are unknown, doctors believe that stress or a rectal injury can cause ulcers to develop.
A rectal injury can be caused by:
- Straining while passing stool
- Impacted stool in the rectum that is difficult to pass
- Attempting to removing hardened stool manually
- Tightening of the muscles in your pelvic region may slow down the flow of blood to the rectum
- A stretched rectum that may come out of your anus, known as rectal prolapse
- One part slides into another part of the intestine, known as intussusception
When Should You Visit the Doctor?
Visit a doctor if you experience symptoms that worry you. Several other medical conditions cause symptoms similar to solitary rectal ulcer syndrome.
What are the Treatment Options?
After considering the causes and severity of solitary rectal ulcer syndrome, the doctor will devise a treatment plan for you.
If you experience mild symptoms, the doctor may recommend dietary and lifestyle changes. In cases of severe symptoms, the doctor may recommend medical and surgical options.
The treatment options include:
The doctor may recommend dietary changes if you suffer from constipation. For example, they may recommend that you incorporate food items rich in fiber into your diet. Fiber helps soften your stool to pass through your rectum quicker. The doctor may also recommend that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. It also helps soften your stool.
In some cases, people may strain during bowel movement. It is one of the causes of solitary rectal ulcer syndrome. The doctor may recommend behavior therapy to help you relax the pelvic muscles and anal sphincter when you pass a stool.
To help ease your symptoms, the doctor may recommend medications such as sulfasalazine enemas, topical steroids, and onabotulinumtoxinA or Botox .These are best considered experimental and may work for some .
Rectal prolapse surgery
In cases where symptoms get caused due to rectal prolapse, the doctor may recommend a rectal prolapse surgery, known as rectopexy procedure. This procedure involves surgically placing the rectum back to its original position.
Surgical removal of the rectum
If other treatment options for solitary rectal ulcer syndrome do not work for you, the doctor may recommend surgical removal of the rectum.
After removing the rectum, the surgeon will connect the colon to the opening in your abdomen. It will help with the removal of the waste products from your body. If you go through this surgery, you will have a small bag or pouch attached to collect your stool.
In most cases, solitary rectal ulcer syndrome shows symptoms similar to other medical conditions. However, it is recommended that you consult with a doctor as soon as you start experiencing mild symptoms to avoid complications.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How common is solitary rectal ulcer syndrome?
Solitary rectal ulcer syndrome is quite rare. It occurs in 1 out of every 100,00 people.
What are the side effects of the treatment of solitary rectal ulcer syndrome?
Medications for the treatment can have some side effects. These include:
However, not everyone experiences the side effects. You can discuss the possible side effects of medication with your doctor before taking them.
Can solitary rectal ulcer syndrome be prevented?
It is not entirely possible to prevent solitary rectal ulcer syndrome. However, you can stay hydrated and consume a fiber-rich diet to help reduce your chances of developing ulcers.