Pouchitis is inflammation of the ileal pouch, which is created in the management of patients with ulcerative colitis, indeterminate colitis, familial adenomatous polyposis or other colitides. This complication occurs in up to half of people who have undergone a surgery to remove their diseased colon. Patients with Pouchitis typically present with bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramps, urgency in passing stools, or discomfort while passing stools. The loss of blood and/or dehydration resulting from the frequent stools will frequently result in nausea. In some cases, extreme cramping and pain can occur as well.
The most common symptoms of Pouchitis include the following:
- Greater need to pass stools;
- Painful spasms and straining of the anal sphincter while passing little or no waste matter;
- Straining during defecation;
- Blood in the stool;
- Loss of control over bodily functions;
- Seepage of waste matter while asleep;
- Increased frequency in nighttime bowel movements;
- Abdominal cramps;
- Discomfort in the pelvic area or lower abdomen;
- Tail bone pain.
In more severe cases, the patients may also experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Malnutrition that sends the patient to the emergency room or hospital
- Iron-deficiency anemia
- A low vitamin D level
- Severe joint pain
The cause of Pouchitis is still not entirely clear, but it almost always occurs in patients with ulcerative colitis or another form of colitis, and sometimes in those with familial adenomatous polyposis, a genetic condition in which many polyps form in the colon. The changes in the bowel pattern that happen during surgery for colon-removal may also trigger this inflammation due to the fact that the ileum is artificially changed into a storage space for waste matter, which consequently leads to inflammation.