Experiencing loose stools is never a pleasant experience but it can get worse if your poop burns like acid. Ever experienced that burning sensation? It is called burning diarrhea and is not usually a sign of a serious health condition. Most times, the experience ends on its own within a few hours and can sometimes last up to 2 days but not more than.
If you’re experiencing burning diarrhea, you might want to know the causes so you can avoid them and also how to treat the affliction. Sometimes, it might be a serious case and can lead to malnutrition, extreme dehydration, and even death. Your best bet is to get checked by your doctor if you can’t seem to identify the cause.
Why Your Poop Burns Like Acid: 7 Common Reasons
1. Spicy foods
One of the most common reasons your poop burns like acid spicy food. The problem isn’t really because the food is spicy but because it contains a naturally reoccurring compound known as capsaicin. Capsaicin can usually be found in spicy foods like pepper and can make your skin burn on contact or even lead to asthma attacks. When ingested, capsaicin may also cause:
- stomach cramps
If you have a sensitive tummy, digestive problems, peptic ulcer or irritable bowel syndrome, it’s recommended that you avoid foods that are spicy as they can cause burning diarrhea.
Sometimes, constipation and diarrhea go hand in hand. When constipation (and other conditions) lasts longer than they ought to, they may result in hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in your rectum or anus and are one of the common causes of burning poop. The swollen veins are often irritated by bouts of diarrhea and can cause some burning sensation and pain during bowel movement. Other symptoms of hemorrhoids are:
- bleeding with pain during bowel movements
- leakage of stool
- an itching sensation
- some pain or discomfort in and around the anus
- a swelling or lump near the anus
In addition, hemorrhoids tend to occur frequently during pregnancy, after childbirth and whenever your anus has been put on stress.
3. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable bowel syndrome is an intestinal disorder that affects the large intestine and causes pain. Although the cause of this syndrome is unknown, it is usually accompanied by diarrhea which can cause pain and burning sensation during your bowel movement.
However, some studies suggest that some causes of IBS could be hormonal changes, excess stress or even dietary trends. Symptoms of IBS may vary from person to person and may come and go in waves. People with IBS may also experience:
- stomach pain and cramping
- bloating gas
- diarrhea or constipation (sometimes alternating)
- mucus stool
Did you start experiencing burning diarrhea shortly after you started taking antibiotics? That could be the reason for the burning sensation you feel because they affect the internal environment of healthy bacteria and can cause difficulties in bowel movements.
Going further, by disrupting the natural balance of internal bacteria, antibiotics may also cause an overgrowth of bacteria or infection by toxin-producing bacteria.
5. Stomach acids, digestive enzymes, and bile
After ingesting food, it makes its way to your stomach where it is acted upon by a number of stomach acids and digestive enzymes so as to break it down for absorption into the body. These acids and enzymes continue working until they pass through the small intestine when bile is added to the mixture to neutralize their effects.
However, in the event that you’re suffering from diarrhea, the foods may pass quickly from the small intestine even though the foods are not properly broken down while the stomach acids, digestive enzymes, and bile are still present. The speeding up of the process by diarrhea can damage tissues and cause a burning sensation in and around your anus.
6. Surgery or medical therapies
Recent studies by researchers have shown that radiation, therapy, chemotherapy, and several other cancer management medications can cause burning diarrhea. The studies further assert that tumor growth can cause diarrhea.
If you’re undergoing cancer therapy and experiencing burning sensations in and around your anus when you poop, it might take up to 3 weeks after your treatment session before the burning sensation stops. In addition, surgeries involving the gastrointestinal organs may also cause burning diarrhea.
7. Food allergies
Allergies differ from person to person. So whenever you ingest food that contains a compound or substance your small intestine is allergic to, it may spark an immune response. One of the common responses is diarrhea which is aimed at removing the irritant as quickly as possible. The egestion of the irritant may cause burning sensations in and around your anus.
While there are many other possible causes of burning diarrhea, here are some of the additional common causes:
- alcohol abuse, stress
- artificial sweeteners
- fructose, a naturally occurring sugar in fruits
- laxative abuse
- food poisoning
What to do about burning poop
Burning diarrhea is a temporary affliction and usually lasts just 2-3 days. You can easily treat it by making little changes to your lifestyle and by using over-the-counter medications you purchase.
One of the common ways to treat burning diarrhea is to adjust your diet, especially if you have been consuming too much spice in your food. You can reduce the spicy food you eat or entirely avoid them and then watch for any improvement. Secondly, you should consider drinking more fluids to stay hydrated as burning diarrhea tends to cause loss of fluid. While at it, consume bland foods like rice, banana as they can make your stools more solid.
Thirdly, you should also take yogurt or buttermilk to as it can help settle your stomach and restore the gastrointestinal flora. If the pain becomes unbearable, you should take over-the-counter medication based on medical advice.
However, should burning diarrhea persists after 2-3 days, don’t hesitate to see your doctor who will examine you and give appropriate prescriptions or carry out tests on you.
Burning diarrhea can be worrying and painful. The good news is that it’s a temporary condition and should go on its own after 2-3 days. If you’re experiencing one, you now know the possible causes and ways to treat it, otherwise, contact your doctor.