GC: n

S: HUM – http://www.humanitarian.net/biodefense/fazdc/zdc1/zoores_protozoan.html (last access: 2 December 2014); MEDLP – http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003131.htm (last access: 2 December 2014); DORLAND p. 384.

N: 1. “a straining” (to void the contents of the bowels), 1520s, medical Latin, from Greek tenesmos “a straining,” from teinein “to stretch”.
2. Spasmodic contraction of anal or vesical sphincter with pain and persistent desire to empty the bowel or bladder, with involuntary ineffectual straining efforts.
3. In medicine, a name given by medical writers to a complaint which is a continual defire of going to ftool, but without any ftool being ready to be voided. This is properly no primary difcafe, but merely a fymptomatic on which it is an attendant.
4. There are a number of possible causes of tenesmus. The most common is inflammatory bowel disease. Causes include:

  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Ulcerative colitis.
  • Anorectal abscess.
  • Infective colitis.
  • Colorectal tumours, especially polyps.
  • Radiation proctitis: this may follow irradiation for tumours of other sites, such as bladder tumours, cervical carcinoma and prostatic tumours.
  • Irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Thrombosed haemorrhoids.
  • Endometriosis: can affect the rectum and cause pain and tenesmus.
  • Rectal chlamydia trachomatis infection: this is becoming more common in heterosexual females.

S: 1. OED (last access: 2 December 2014). 2. TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 2 December 2014). 3. EncBritAS – http://goo.gl/Nx2qGW (last access: 2 December 2014). 4. Patient.co.uk (last access: 2 December 2014).


CR: Crohn’s disease