Proctitis that isn't treated or that doesn't respond to treatment may lead to complications, including:

  • Anemia. Chronic bleeding from your rectum caused by proctitis can cause anemia. With anemia, you don't have enough red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your tissues. Anemia causes you to feel tired, and you may also experience dizziness, shortness of breath, headache, pale skin and irritability.
  • Ulcers. Chronic inflammation in the rectum can lead to open sores (ulcers) on the inside lining of the rectum.
  • Fistulas. Sometimes ulcers extend completely through the intestinal wall, creating a fistula, an abnormal connection that can occur between different parts of your intestine, between your intestine and skin, or between your intestine and other organs, such as the bladder and vagina. For women, a recto-vaginal fistula can connect the rectum to the vagina, causing bowel contents to drain from the vagina.
  • Cancer. Damage to cells from radiation can increase the risk of occurrence of other cancers in the rectal area.
Jun. 12, 2012

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