Diarrhea occurs when your intestines are unable to absorb enough fluid from your body’s waste. It is one of the most unpleasant experiences anyone can have. The bloating, the abdominal cramps, the frequent urge to have a bowel movement, and loose, watery stools can definitely test your patience. And when it hurts or burns every time you empty your bowels, it can make matters much worse.
What Is Burning Diarrhea?
Painful, burning diarrhea is not generally a sign of a serious health condition. Although it is extremely uncomfortable, it usually resolves within a few hours or days on its own. However, you need to eat well and should keep yourself hydrated during that time in order to avoid complications. The reason for your burning anus or rectum, during or after diarrhea, may be a subjective one.
Causes Of Burning Diarrhea
Your rectum and anus can get inflamed due to various reasons, increasing the blood flow to the affected area, causing temperature increases in the region, and resulting in a burning sensation. Here are some of the common causes of burning diarrhea.
- Physical Trauma: Foods that are rough or large or those that contain edible pods, shells, and seeds, may not be broken down entirely during the process of digestion. So when these foods leave the body, they may rub against your rectal tissues and cause small cuts and tears. This can result in a painful experience when you defecate. Even wiping your anus frequently when you can diarrhea can result in a similar experience.
- Stomach Acids And Digestive Enzymes: When you eat food, stomach acids and digestive enzymes present in your stomach help break it down. Finally, when the food reaches the small intestine, bile gets introduced into the mixture to help neutralize the acids and enzymes. But when you have diarrhea, the process of digestion speeds up. This can cause the acids and enzymes to remain in your waste, causing a burning sensation when you pass stool.
- Capsaicin: Spicy foods like peppers contain a compound called capsaicin, which is one of the most common causes of burning diarrhea. Since diarrhea speeds up the process of digestion, capsaicin may not be broken down completely by the time it leaves your system, causing your anus and rectum to burn.1
Health Conditions That Increase Your Risk Of Burning Diarrhea
There are certain health conditions that can increase your risk of burning diarrhea, which are:
- Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD): IBD is an autoimmune condition that is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. There are 2 forms of IBS, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These conditions lead to the formation of abnormal growths and ulcers in the digestive tract, which can cause burning pain while defecating.2
- Food Intolerances And Allergies: If you are allergic or intolerant to certain foods, and you happen to consume them, your body reacts by speeding up digestion to get rid of them. This can result in diarrhea.3
- Hemorrhoids: This condition results in the swelling of veins in your lower rectum and around your anus. When you experience episodes of diarrhea, these areas can get irritated, causing a burning and painful sensation.4
- Antibiotics: Antibiotics disturbs the delicate balance of microbes in your gut and can allow the overgrowth of unwanted bacteria, causing diarrhea.5
- Colorectal Cancer: Colorectal cancer leads to the development of polyps in the lower part of the digestive system and the rectum area. Burning diarrhea may occur as a result of this health condition.6
- Diabetes: Diabetic patients are unable to effectively remove glucose from their blood. When glucose builds up in the bloodstream, it can result in diarrheal complications.7
How To Treat Burning Diarrhea Naturally
Certain home remedies can help lower the intensity of burning diarrhea without affecting your immune processes. Here are a few ways to treat burning diarrhea naturally.
- Drink plenty of water to replace lost fluid.
- Drink saltine water or diluted juices to replace lost salts and sugars.
- Have yogurt or probiotic supplements to restore the natural balance of your gut microbes.
- Use a soft bathroom tissue or a wet towel to wipe your anus and be as gentle as possible.
- Avoid spicy foods, foods you are allergic to, greasy foods, sugar, and artificial sweeteners.
- Avoid foods that dehydrate your body, like caffeine and alcohol.
- Soak in warm water or a sitz bath for 10 to 15 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
When Should You See A Doctor?
You will have to seek medical attention if you experience any of the following.
- No sign of relief from diarrhea even after a day or two
- Lack of appetite and severe weight loss
- Fever, chills, and night sweats
- Skin rash
- Severe abdominal cramps
- Extremely painful diarrhea
- Blood in the stool
- Black stool
- Extreme thirst, exhaustion, and light-headedness
- Dark-colored urine
- Unusual smelling waste
|↑1||Capsaicin. National Library of Medicine.|
|↑2||Binder, Henry J. “Mechanisms of diarrhea in inflammatory bowel diseases.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1165, no. 1. 2009.|
|↑3||Żukiewicz-Sobczak, Wioletta Agnieszka, Paula Wróblewska, Piotr Adamczuk, and Przemysław Kopczyński. “Causes, symptoms and prevention of food allergy.” Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postȩpy Dermatologii I Alergologii 30, no. 2. 2013.|
|↑4||Lohsiriwat, Varut. “Hemorrhoids: from basic pathophysiology to clinical management.” World journal of gastroenterology: WJG 18, no. 17. 2012.|
|↑5||Varughese, Christy A., Niyati H. Vakil, and Kristy M. Phillips. “Antibiotic-associated diarrhea: A refresher on causes and possible prevention with probiotics—continuing education article.” Journal of pharmacy practice 26, no. 5. 2013.|
|↑6||Cai, Jia, Zhe Yuan, and Shujun Zhang. “Abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation-which symptom is more indispensable to have a colonoscopy?.” International journal of clinical and experimental pathology 8, no. 1. 2015.|
|↑7||Ogbonnaya, Kalu I., and Ridha Arem. “Diabetic diarrhea: pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management.” Archives of internal medicine 150, no. 2. 1990.|