Erythematous mucosa is a term to describe the inflammation and redness of the inner lining of the digestive tract. Erythematous mucosa is associated with conditions such as gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), colitis (inflammation of the lining of the colon, or large intestine), and proctitis (inflammation of the rectum. This article will discuss the various underlying conditions that may cause inflammation within the gastrointestinal tract, their causes symptoms, treatment options, and more.
Various conditions are characterized by erythematous mucosa, including gastritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. Each condition has specific signs that may indicate inflammation or injury.
Stomach or antrum
Acute gastritis can be caused by:
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Bile refluxing from the intestine
Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) and other bacterial infections
The H.pylori infection usually causes chronic gastritis. About one out of five Caucasians have H.pylori, and over half of African Americans, Hispanics, and older people have it.
Several things can cause colitis, including:
Inflammatory bowel disease:
There are two kinds, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. They’re both autoimmune diseases, which means your body is improperly attacking itself.
These can come from bacteria in contaminated food, such as salmonella, viruses, and parasites.
This infection happens when little sacs or pouches created by the mucosa stick through weak areas in the colon wall.
Antibiotic-associated colitis usually happens after you take strong antibiotics that kill all the good bacteria in your intestine. This allows a bacterium called Clostridium difficile, which is resistant to the antibiotic, to take over.
Lack of blood flow:
Ischemic colitis occurs when the blood supply to part of your colon has been reduced or stopped completely so that part of the colon starts to die because it’s not getting enough oxygen.
Some of the most common causes of proctitis are:
The same two types of inflammatory bowel disease can affect the colon
Radiation treatments to your rectum or prostate
Sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, herpes, and gonorrhea
Bacteria in contaminated food such as salmonella
In infants, protein-induced proctitis, which is associated with drinking soy or cow’s milk, and eosinophilic proctitis, which is caused by an excess of white cells called eosinophils in the lining, can occur.
The symptoms that occur alongside erythematous mucosa depend on the underlying condition causing them.
Many people with gastritis do not experience symptoms. However, some may have:
Pain in the upper torso
Symptoms of colitis include:
An urgent need to have bowel movements
Blood in the stool
Ulcerative colitis involves ulcers forming in the colon. If a person has this, they may experience:
Inflammation of the clear layer protecting the whites of the eyes
Red, painful lumps at the front of the legs, below the knees
Large, painful sores on the legs
Proctitis and sinusitis
Some people with proctitis or ansitis have no symptoms. But a person may experience:
Bloody mucus and pain during a bowel movement, anal sex, or a digital exam
Difficulty controlling urination and bowel movements
If the inflammation results from an STI or IBD, a person may have:
Abscesses around the anus
Ulcers in the rectum or around the anus
Bleeding from the rectum
Treatment will vary based on whether the erythematous mucosa is in the stomach, colon, or rectum. The underlying cause of the inflammation will also influence treatment.
Treatment for gastritis includes:
Stopping medications that may worsen the condition, like the NSAIDs aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen
Taking over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that decrease stomach acid, such as antacids, H2 antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors
Antibiotics if the cause of gastritis is the bacteria H.pylori
Managing diet to avoid triggering foods
Inflammation in the rectum usually goes away when the underlying cause is treated. Antibiotics may be used if an infection is the cause of the inflammation. Corticosteroids, mesalamine suppositories, or enemas may help relieve symptoms.
If this results from a bacterial infection, the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. They are more likely to do so if the person also has an immunosuppressive condition, such as HIV. to reduce the symptoms, stop smoking, if this applies, and avoid medications that can exacerbate the symptoms, such as ibuprofen and aspirin.