Pruritus Ani: Why does my anus itch?


Pruritus Ani, is the medical term for chronic itching of the tissue surrounding the anus.

According to the Mayo Clinic site. “Most anal itching doesn’t require medical care. However, see your doctor if:

Anal itching is severe or lasts longer than a few weeks

There’s bleeding from the rectum

You can’t figure out what’s causing the itch.”

There is a more extensive list of causes on the Mayo Clinic site. Here 

So as you can see it can be caused by a number of different things.

I usually get my patients after they have seen their regular doctor. Their regular doctor may check a number of things from hemorrhoids, to fissures and fistulas to cancer. So all of those things are typically ruled out by the time the patient comes to me.

Please note that I always recommend that you work closely with your doctor. Once your doctor says that you are not suffering from a serious condition then feel free to try one of my suggestions.

At this point I’m thinking Food Allergies/Sensitivities.

Follow me for a minute.

Enter: Mouth, lips, tongue, throat, palate, inner buccal surface (inside of cheeks), esophagus, stomach, small intestine (duodenum, jejunum, ileum), large intestine (ileocecal valve, ascending, hepatic flexure, transverse colon, spleenic flexure, descending colon, sigmoid colon, rectum, anus, and then… Exit!

I hope I didn’t leave out any part of the pathway. Excuse me if I did. It’s been quite awhile since I had that on an anatomy flashcard!

From Entrance to Exit: anywhere along that path the “skin” of that pathway can become irritated and inflamed. If it happens in the mouth, or the esophagus, or almost anywhere on that pathway we can name it something.

But the name doesn’t give us much to work with. Everyone gets excited when they have a name. Ileitis! Colitis! Gastritis!

I don’t.

I want to address the cause whenever possible.  Sometimes people stop looking when they get their conditioned named. They get a symptom relief solution but never get behind the reason the symptom is showing up in the first place.

I always bring up the comparison of our pet dog. When a dog is itching her butt on the floor or has diarrhea, we immediately think about what the dog might have eaten. But when it happens to a human we forget to ask that question.

A patient named “Roni” came in several months ago with persistent pruritus ani. She had it for 4 months. She already went to the doctor and had several tests run including a physical exam, and left with an anti-itch cream and a prescription to alleviate symptoms. After two months on the cream and pill she came into my office for another opinion.

I ordered an IgG Food Sensitivity test that revealed gluten, wheat, barley, milk etc.

See test below.

IgG Test for Food Sensitivities


I started her on the Quantum Paleo program, as well as eliminating any items that came back with her IgG test and in 3 weeks she had no further itching.

She continued on the diet until her wine tasting trip to Napa Valley. She ate a ton of bread for 5 days, and the itching returned. When the trip was over she got back on her grain-free program, and the itching went away in about 10 days this time. Food is a powerful item. It can be good or evil. Learning the difference may change your health,vitality, and longevity.

Always, consider what is ‘entering’ and what is ‘exiting’ the body.

Dr. Doug

NYC Chiropractor/NY Nutritionist/Weight loss in NYC


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