The cause of ulcerative proctitis is unknown as of 2015, but researchers believe that intestinal flora, improper immune function, environmental triggers and genetics may be contributing factors, according to the GI Society. Patients with a family history of ulcerative proctitis are at a slightly higher risk of developing the condition.
Researchers believe that stress and diet do not cause ulcerative proctitis, although patients who are stressed may find their symptoms aggravated, as stated by Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates. The illness cannot be transmitted from person to person. Some studies suggest that foreign matter may cause ulcerative proctitis or trigger a reaction of the body's immune system that results in uncontrolled inflammation of the rectum, according to Gastroenterology Consultants. Once the immune response is triggered, the body may be unable to suppress it, so certain treatment methods, such as immune modifiers, are prescribed to control the immune system.
Symptoms of ulcerative proctitis include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss and loss of appetite, as listed by Gastroenterology Consultants. Treatment options include biologic therapies, surgery and medications to control inflammation. Patients should eat a well-balanced diet to supply nutrients that may be diminished due to diarrhea, and they should avoid coffee during bouts of severe diarrhea.