Can Turmeric Help in Proctitis?

Proctitis is an inflammatory disorder of the rectum that causes bleeding and discharge of mucus and pus from that area.

It is caused by several reasons such as dysfunctioning of the immune system, contact of the rectal area with harmful substances, infection or sexually transmitted diseases.

Proctitis is usually a secondary disorder; a symptom of a more severe problem; for instance, autoimmune disorders like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease or inflammatory bowel disease.

In fact, proctitis is very much similar to these two diseases in terms of symptoms and target organ.

Sexually transmitted disorders like gonorrhea, herpes, Chlamydia etc also contribute to the inflammation of the rectum and hence, proctitis. Once encountered, the inflammation can spread upwards in the intestines and cause a major problem.

Some other disorders that can cause proctitis are cancer and irradiation therapy used to treat colon cancer.

The symptoms of the disorder include bloody stools, pain, constipation, rectal discharge, pus and pain in the bowel movements. Proctitis can be easily treated if the background causative or primary ailment is cured [1],[2].

Turmeric for Treatment of Proctitis

Turmeric is an ancient herb that has long been used for edible and medicinal purposes and its properties have been widely accepted in most Asian countries. It is used in cooking for flavoring and coloring items such as curry.

Medicinally, it is well known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties.

It is acclaimed for treating pain, nausea, stomach problems, skin problems, eye ailments, swelling, bruises, worms, arthritis, and even cancer.

Research has proven that curcumin and several other active ingredients in curcumin are responsible for its therapeutic properties.

Proctitis is easily cured when the underlying cause of this disorder is treated, making it a secondary ailment.

Turmeric has been found to be extremely efficient in treating those underlying disorders, curing both proctitis and the root problems effectively [3].

Curcumin from Turmeric Reduces Inflammation of the Rectum

Inflammation is the biggest cause of proctitis and is caused due to inflammatory diseases of the rectum such as inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, colon cancer, etc.

All these diseases are in fact, the major causes of proctitis and treating these inflammatory disorders cures proctitis automatically.

Curcumin, the active ingredient of turmeric is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in reducing the number of inflammatory cytokines and proteins that ameliorates the condition [4].

1. Colon Cancer

One of the disorders causing proctitis is colon cancer and a lot of research has provided evidence that turmeric indeed helps in reducing the inflammation of the colon, providing relief from both cancer and proctitis.

A very important cancer and inflammation causing agent in colon cancer is the enzyme cycloxygenase-2 (COX-2) [5]. This enzyme mediates the inflammatory process and also advances the cancerous growth of the cells [6].

Non-toxic concentrations of turmeric or purified curcumin from turmeric has shown to inhibit this enzyme COX 2 which ultimately reduces not just the inflammation but also cancer.

The process indirectly acts as a preventive, protective and healing agent against proctitis [7],[8],[9].

2. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Yet another inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal system that can cause proctitis is inflammatory bowel disease. It leads to inflammation in the intestines and painful or constipated bowel movements with blood and mucus.

There are two subtypes of inflammatory bowel diseases namely Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In Crohn’s disease, inflammation occurs in the whole digestive tract whereas, in colitis, it is restricted to the large intestine.

Inflammatory bowel disease is caused due to the immune system gone wrong. In this disorder, the immune system recognizes food and microbes of the gut as foreign and attacks the intestines leading to inflammation.

If not treated, it progresses over time to a chronic level and severely affects the quality of life. It causes many secondary disorders as well and one of the most common ones of those is proctitis.

It is characterized by the excessive display of the symptoms of IBD with mucosal and blood discharge [10].

Turmeric is now scientifically accepted as an effective agent to prevent proctitis in IBD by reducing the inflammation of the intestines in this disorder.

If the inflammation is kept under control in all types of IBD, the resulting secondary ailments such as proctitis are healed or prevented from occurring.

Curcumin in turmeric has been shown to reduce the major inflammatory pathways leading to the symptoms of inflammation in IBD.

The signaling pathway of NF-κB that leads to the activation of inflammatory molecules in the gut is effectively inhibited by curcumin [11].

Additionally, it blocks certain other pathways that generate molecules that attract the immune system to attack and cause inflammation [12].

Some of these molecules are called cytokines and the primary inflammatory cytokines in IBD are interleukins (ILs).

Curcumin has been shown to block several interleukins such as IL-1, IL-6, and IL-8. It also blocks another major cytokine called TNF-alpha [13].

Apart from these, it stops the production of the enzyme COX 2, which is also active in colon cancer [14],[15].

Thus, curcumin reduces the inflammation and its progression in all types of IBD, ultimately preventing and healing proctitis and other secondary problems of this disease [16].

What it Means : The primary inflammatory diseases that cause proctitis are reduced by turmeric. Curcumin in turmeric controls the formation of inflammatory molecules released in these disorders and controls not just proctitis but also the causative primary inflammatory disease like IBD or cancer.

Turmeric/Curcumin Enema helps in Providing Relief from Proctitis

Enema is a process in which the stool and other fecal matter are pushed out of the rectum artificially.

In the case of IBD, colon cancer, and proctitis; constipation and painful defecation is the major problem. It usually accompanies blood and mucus too.

To clean up the intestines, enema is administered that helps provide relief from constipation and pain.

This process, however, does not cure the disease but only provides temporary assistance for the management of the problem [17].

In some cases, special enemas are administered to the patients that not just help in defecation but also show anti-inflammatory or pain relief effects.

These enemas are combined with certain compounds or drugs, for example, nicotine and coffee [18],[19].

In several research studies, it has been found that combining turmeric or curcumin with the enema helps in increasing the therapeutic effects of the medication for ulcerative colitis, colon cancer and other inflammatory diseases leading to proctitis.

Curcumin enema directly contacts the area of disorder and thus gives curcumin, the chance to act directly on the target tissue.

With its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and pain relieving action it helps relieve inflammation of the colon [20].

Turmeric is also well known for its healing effects and is thought to provide soothing effects in the large intestine. It heals the wounds and ulcers caused due to inflammation and thus treats proctitis and its primary inflammatory condition [21],[22].

What it Means: Curcumin or turmeric enema helps heal the wounds and ulcers in the large intestine, where proctitis causing inflammation has occurred.

It thus acts directly on the target and administers its anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidant effects, healing proctitis [23],[24].

Dosage

Turmeric is being established as a potential drug for several disorders and the oral dosage of this herb has been defined by research.

However, a lot of research is still ongoing to accept its consumption in different medicinal amounts to be effective for different disorders.

Also, it is not considered safe to be consumed in large amounts during pregnancy and should be avoided during gestation as well.

For adults, it can be consumed in powdered form in the doses of 400-600 mg, 3 times a day. Its cut fresh root can be taken in amounts of 1.5-3 grams a day and cried root can be taken in quantities of 1-3 grams a day.

Turmeric can also be used in the form of oils and extracts. Its extract (1:1) can be taken 30-90 drops a day or its tincture (1:2) can be consumed 15-30 drops, 4 times a day [25].

Precautions

Though consumption of turmeric does not pose any side effects but can be harmful to take in large amounts by people already on drugs that can interact with turmeric.

Turmeric can interact with blood clotting medications. Since it is an effective blood thinner, it can increase the effects of drugs that reduce blood clotting or dilute blood.

Conversely, it can interfere with the effects of the drugs that can increase blood viscosity.

It is not safe to consume turmeric in large amounts before surgery as it might lead to the risk of bleeding. It also reduces blood glucose and can increase the effects of diabetes medications causing hypoglycemia [26].

Summary

Turmeric is a golden herb that is not just a spice but also an effective medication, used to treat several simple and complex disorders.

It can help people with proctitis by ameliorating the effects of the underlying primary disorder responsible for this disease.

It reduces inflammation, pain, and swelling, thereby healing the wounding and ulcerations caused in the intestines by proctitis.

Turmeric can thus be taken as an emerging potential therapy for inflammatory disorders like proctitis.

About the Author

Shruti (BE Biotech. & PGD Clinical Research)

Turmeric for Health's writer team consists of passionate writers from the fields of biotechnology, pharmacy, nutrition, Ayurveda & microbiology.Our writers are highly qualified with many having Ph.D., M.Tech & MSc degrees while others having B.Tech, BSc, B.Pharm. Our differentiation lies in researching and presenting ONLY FACTUAL SCIENTIFIC information. We spend 10s of hours to write a single article. Info of our articles is sourced from reliable scientific sources which are also provided as a link alongside for readers to refer if they want. You can read more about our team in the " About us" section.

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