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What Is Rectal Tenesmus? Signs, Symptoms And Homeopathic Treatment

Rectal tenesmus refers to a feeling of incomplete bowel movements. A person feels the urge to defecate even if he/she has already defecated. There is a feeling of incomplete defecation even when all contents in the bowels have been expelled. It can be attended with pain and hard straining to pass just a little more stool during bowel movements.

Homeopathic Management

Homeopathy is very effective in managing cases of rectal tenesmus. Homeopathic medicines help in reducing the intensity and frequency of this complaint gradually. Along with tenesmus, these also bring improvement in its attending signs and symptoms. Use of homeopathic medicines is recommended in those cases where the intensity of the complaint is mild to moderate. In cases where symptoms are severe or point towards some serious cause (example colorectal cancer), it is advised to take immediate help from conventional mode of treatment.

Homeopathic Medicines For Rectal Tenesmus

1. Nux Vomica Top-grade Medicine

It is one of the best medicines for treating cases of rectal tenesmus. Persons who need this medicine have frequent and ineffectual urge to pass stool. They go for defecation several times a day but have unsatisfactory stool and have a constant urge to pass stool. Soon after passing stool, they feel like going to the washroom again. It is a very effective medicine for tenesmus with constipation. The stool is very hard and dry in such cases. It can be blood-streaked too. Before passing stool, sometimes they have cutting pain around the navel. Sticking pain in rectum may occur after passing stool. Its use is also indicated when there is frequent urge to pass stool and the stool is slimy, watery and has blood. In such cases, small quantities of jelly-like mucus may also be present in the stool.

2. Merc Sol – For Rectal Tenesmus With A Never-Get-Done Feeling

This medicine is well indicated for cases in which there is rectal tenesmus with a never-get-done feeling. Persons requiring it have to nidulge in excessive straining for stool with relatively scanty stool being passed. The stool is also slimy, bloody and has mucus in it. It can be greenish. In some cases, undigested food is passed as stool which has sour smell. It is accompanied by pinching and cutting colic. Pain and burning in anus can also attend. Nausea and vomiting sometimes accompany. Lastly, it is indicated for ineffectual urge to pass stool with protruding piles.

3. Aloe – For Rectal Tenesmus And Excessive Passage Of Gas During Stool

It is prepared from the gum of the leaves of plant Aloe Socotrina. It belongs to family Liliaceae. It is a very effective medicine for rectal tenesmus and excessive passage of gas during stool. In cases needing it, there is a continuous urge to pass stool, and gets worse soon after eating and drinking. Along with this, a feeling of fullness and weight on the pelvis is felt.  A constant bearing down in the rectum occurs. Rumbling and gurgling in the rectum with the urgency to pass stool is also felt. Stool is lumpy, watery in cases needing it. A lot of mucus may pass in stool.

4. Merc Cor – When Mucus And Blood In Stool Attends

This medicine is well-indicated for cases in which tenesmus is attended with mucus and blood in the stool. The tenesmus is excessive and the stool is hot, scanty and contains shreds of mucous membrane. It also has an offensive smell. The colour can be yellow or green. Cutting and colicky pains may occur along with the above symptoms. The desire to pass stool is frequent and ineffectual with violent pain. Anal burning occurs while passing stool. Weakness is marked with the above symptoms.

5. Arsenic Album – For Tenesmus With Diarrhea

Arsenic Album is a beneficial medicine for cases in which there is tenesmus with diarrhea. For using it, the stool is loose, green, slimy and foul-smelling. Pieces of mucus may pass with it. Cutting pain in anus attends it with marked weakness. Besides, rumbling in intestine occurs. In some cases, the stool passes involuntarily. The last indication for using it is piles which is painful,  and swollen along with tenesmus. The pain in piles is stitching type.

6. Nitric Acid – For Tenesmus With Rectal Pain

It is a useful medicine for tenesmus with rectal pain. Mostly the pain in rectum is sharp splinter-like in nature with ineffectual urge to pass stool. The stool is putrid, loose with undigested food, along with passage of gas. It is mostly green with mucus, blood in stool may appear too. There is excessive straining to pass stool but little of it passes. It feels as if stool still remains in the rectum that could not be expelled. The anus feels raw and sore with this. Sometimes, cutting pain in anus and rectum is also felt. While passing stool, colic and nausea also occurs. Excessive exhaustion is felt along with these symptoms.

7. Lycopodium – For Tenesmus Of Rectum, Gas And Bloating

Lycopodium is prepared from plant Lycopodium Clavatum, commonly known as ‘club moss’. This plant belongs to family lycopodiaceae. It is a prominent medicine for managing cases in which there is rectal tenesmus, gas in abdomen and bloating. Persons needing it have straining while passing stool and tenesmus. With this, they have gas and bloating which is felt soon after eating even if they consume small quantity of food. The gas leads to pain in abdomen. While passing stool, they have burning, stinging sensation in rectum. A distressing pressure and pain in rectum is also felt.

8. Colchicum For Scanty Stool With Tenesmus

This medicine is prepared from the bulb of plant Colchicum autumnale, commonly known as ‘meadow saffron’. It belongs to family melanthaceae of the liliaceae. It is valuable for cases having scanty stool with tenesmus. The stool may be greenish, yellowish or reddish. It contains white shreddy particles. Along with this, pain in anus occurs.

9. Capsicum For Frequent, Small Stool With Tenesmus And Rectal Burning

This medicine is helpful for cases in which a person has frequent, little stool with tenesmus and burning in the rectum. The stool is greenish, frothy and may have blood and mucus in it. Before passing stool, there may occur cutting pain and colic due to gas, and twisting pains around the umbilicus. After passing stool, burning sensation occurs at the anus. Burning pain in rectum is well marked. Biting and stinging pain in anus may also accompany. Sometimes the tenesmus of rectum and bladder may be felt at the same time in cases needing Capsicum.

10. Colocynth – For Rectal Tenesmus And Colicky Pain In Abdomen

This medicine is prepared from the pulp of fruit Citrullus colocynthis, also called cucumis colocynthis and ‘bitter apple’. This plant belongs to family cucurbitaceae. It is beneficial for persons having rectal tenesmus and colicky pain in abdomen. Along with this, there is watery stool which is copious and strong smelling. Nausea and vomiting may also occur.

What Are The Causes Behind It?

It may arise from various reasons. First among them is IBD – inflammatory bowel disease (an autoimmune disease that causes long-term inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract). IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In case of Crohn’s disease, inflammation can occur in the lining of any part of digestive tract from mouth to anus. In this, deeper layers of the digestive tract are involved. In case of ulcerative colitis, there occurs inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine and rectum. In this, superficial lining of large intestine and rectum is involved.

Other than IBD, inflammation in the colon from infection (like a bacterial or viral infection), any non-infectious condition or radiation exposure can also lead to tenesmus. Another cause for it is diverticulitis; diverticula are small pouches that can form in the lining of the digestive system mostly in the lower part of the large intestine. When inflammation occurs in one or more of the pouches, then this condition is known as diverticulitis. Rectal tenesmus can also occur in case of ischaemic colitis (inflamed colon from decreased blood flow to it).

IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) which is a disorder affecting the large intestine that leads to cramping, pain in abdomen, gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation or both, is another cause behind it. It can also arise in cases of diarrhea and constipation. An abscess in the rectum, prolapsed hemorrhoid, sexually transmitted proctitis which is rectal inflammation (example of sexually transmitted infections that can inflame rectum are gonorrhoea, syphilis and chlamydia) may be some of the other causes of rectal tenesmus. Lastly, it can be a symptom in case of colorectal cancer.

What Are The Other Signs And Symptoms?

It can be accompanied by some other signs and symptoms depending on the cause behind it. These include rectal pain, pain in abdomen, diarrhea, constipation, blood in stool, mucus in stool, gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, weakness fever and chills.



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  1. Shona May Muir says:

    Dear Dr,
    Please help.
    In 2011 in had sigmoid and rectum removal for cancer
    Since April of 2021 after 1st astrazeneca jab I have had terrible rectal tenesmus, surgeon said a permanent STOMA might not resolve the problem, also have portal hypertensio, had ct, colonoscopy etc, no signs of cancer at all,
    Surgeon said no treatment for tenesmus,
    Yours sincerely

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