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Understanding Proctalgia Fugax and Its Causes

Updated: Jun 19

Proctalgia fugax is derived from two Latin words: "proctalgia" (proctos meaning rectum and algia meaning pain) and "fugax" (meaning fleeting or transitory). This condition is characterized by sudden, severe rectal pain that lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes. The exact cause is not well understood, but it is believed to be related to muscle spasms in the rectal or anal region. Factors such as stress, certain foods, and bowel movements can trigger episodes. While the condition is benign, it can be distressing and disruptive.


  • NHS. (n.d.). Proctalgia Fugax.

  • UpToDate. (n.d.). Proctalgia Fugax and Levator Ani Syndrome. Retrieved from UpToDate.

Can Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) Lead to Proctalgia Fugax?

Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS) is a disorder where mast cells release excessive histamine and other chemicals, leading to various symptoms, including muscle spasms and increased pain sensitivity. These effects can potentially contribute to conditions like proctalgia fugax. Histamine release from mast cells can cause smooth muscle contraction and localized inflammation, which may trigger the sudden rectal pain seen in proctalgia fugax.


  • Afrin, L. B., Butterfield, J. H., & Raithel, M. (2016). Presentation, Diagnosis, and Management of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. In Mast Cells: Phenotypic Features, Biological Functions and Role in Immunity (pp. 155-166). Springer, Cham.

  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. (n.d.). Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS).

Linking the Two:

Recent insights suggest a potential link between MCAS and proctalgia fugax. The excessive histamine release in MCAS can cause muscle spasms and heightened pain sensitivity, potentially leading to the development of proctalgia fugax. Managing MCAS with antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, and dietary changes may help alleviate the symptoms of proctalgia fugax. If you experience persistent rectal pain, consulting with specialists can provide a comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment.

Manage Proctalgia Fugax by addressing MCAS, here’s a link to my blog on MCAS. Manage MCAS


  • Castells, M., Matito, A., & Escribano, L. (2015). Diagnosis and Management of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS). Advances in Therapy, 32(5), 368-377.

  • Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Proctalgia Fugax. Retrieved from Cleveland Clinic.

By Dr Purity Carr

GP&Menopauae Doctor

Harvey, WA

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1 Comment

Unknown member
Jun 18

I have been suffering with this for about 1 year. It takes my breath away completely. The pain reminds me alot of labour contractions. You feel it building to a peak and then fades off. It can be a long few minutes that often leave me in tears. I'm glad it's being spoken about.

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