Proctalgia fugax is a scary-sounding Latin name that means “fleeting rectal pain.” But the really scary part is that doctors don’t know what causes it even though it occurs in a high percentage of the population, anywhere from 3-14%.
A doctor friend recently wrote and asked me whether magnesium would help with proctalgia fugax. It’s a severe, episodic, rectal and sacrococcygeal pain caused by cramping of the pubococcygeus or levator ani muscles (anal sphincter). The pain is described as sharp, stabbing, twisting, cramping, or lancinating in nature.
With all the conditions associated with magnesium I’ve somehow overlooked proctalgia fugax. When I review my health history, however, I realize I used to suffer from this condition! I’ve never mentioned it to anyone before. It would happen during my monthly menses. Out of the clear blue I would get a knife-like pain through my anus and it would pass within a minute or two. It think it began when I was in medical school and suffering a very high magnesium burn rate!
Because it’s a muscle spasm, I know that for me and probably for most people, proctalgia fugax is a magnesium deficiency condition!
What’s the standard medical treatment? Inhaled Ventolin (asthma drug), calcium channel blockers, Valium and Botox injections have been prescribed in an effort to relax the anal sphincter. The doctors get close to the cause by using calcium channel blockers but ignore the fact that magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker.
Other causes of rectal pain are hemorrhoids (accompanied by bleeding) or anal fissures (with extended periods of pain, not fleeting pain).
My doctor friend asked if I would recommend magnesium suppositories for this condition. I don’t think you have to be so specific. If you have spasming anal sphincter muscles, that means your whole body is deficient. I’ve experienced leg, foot and back cramps, heart palpitations, eye muscle twitching and rectal pain at various times as part of my magnesium deficiency picture. So the treatment is to saturate your whole body with magnesium.
Dr Carolyn Dean
Hippocrates Pure Food Magnesium Chloride is available.