Gastro Health Data Verified

Burning Diarrhea - Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Published on Nov 18, 2021   -  4 min read


People who have experienced burning diarrhea will already know how unpleasant it can be. Let us understand what burning diarrhea is, its causes, and its management. 

Burning Diarrhea - Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

What Is Burning Diarrhea?

Diarrhea cannot be a pleasant experience for anyone, and sometimes, it can also be a symptom of some other disease. Several other symptoms can accompany diarrhea, and one such symptom is a burning sensation in the anus or rectum. This is known as burning diarrhea. The forceful bowel evacuation will not cause much discomfort, but the burning sensation in the rectum or anus will cause them extreme pain.

Diarrhea is caused by the intestines' improper absorption of enough fluid from the body's waste. This means that stools will contain surplus fluids, and a person may experience loose, fluid-filled stools with or without rectal pain three or more times every day.

What Are The Causes Of Burning Diarrhea?

You may be experiencing burning diarrhea for several reasons. The most common causes of burning diarrhea include:

1. Eating Spicy Food (Capsaicin):

It is usual for the stools to be warm in the colon and rectum in the abdominal cavity. But a burning sensation is an indicator of inflammation in the colon, rectum, or anus. However, sometimes burning diarrhea can also be caused due to the consumption of a lot of spicy food. It is better to consult a doctor when you notice any change in bowel movements.

A naturally occurring compound called capsaicin is usually found in spicy foods like peppers. Consumption of spicy foods or those that contain capsaicin is one of the common causes of burning diarrhea. When it comes in contact with the skin, this capsaicin will cause it to burn and can even lead to asthma attacks. When ingested, this compound will not only cause burning diarrhea but also cause stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Therefore, it should be avoided by people who have a sensitive tummy, peptic ulcers, digestive problems, and irritable bowel syndrome.

If this is the first time you have this burning diarrhea, think about what you have consumed recently.

Acidic substances in the stool can also cause a burning sensation.

Additional factors that can cause burning diarrhea are:

2. Hemorrhoids:

Prolonged constipation and other conditions like putting too much pressure or stress on your anus can cause hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are nothing but inflamed veins in the anus or rectum. Even though more commonly combined with constipation, hemorrhoids are also one of the common causes of burning diarrhea. When these inflamed veins get irritated during bowel movements, it can lead to pain and a burning sensation.

3. Medication:

Medications like antibiotics are another popular cause of burning diarrhea. Antibiotics affect the physiological environment of healthy bacteria inside the intestines and cause problems in bowel movements. Disturbance of the natural balance of the beneficial bacteria inside the intestine can cause bacteria overgrowth or infection by toxin-producing bacteria.

4. Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is often accompanied by frequent diarrhea and can cause discomfort and burning sensation during bowel movement. IBS is one of the causes of burning diarrhea. Some popular causes of IBS are excess stress, hormonal changes, or certain types of food. Symptoms of IBS may include:

Symptoms can vary from person to person. The symptoms of IBS may appear and disappear from time to time.

5. Injury and Irritation:

Passing stool strenuously can irritate the anus and sometimes even injure the tissues when it repeatedly occurs over a short period. Another associated factor that may damage and irritate the anus is constantly wiping the anal area after a bowel movement. Even soft toilet paper may cause a problem when the area is inflamed and injured. Sometimes even inadequate cleaning can also cause fecal particles to remain on the anal skin. The injury and irritation can lead to inflammation and cause a burning sensation.

6. Fever:

Another possibility of burning diarrhea is the occurrence of fever with diarrhea. Fever tends to occur with infectious causes of diarrhea, like viral or bacterial gastroenteritis. The rise in body temperature can also cause diarrheal stool to feel warmer than normal. When the anus is very sensitive, even a slight change in stool temperature can be perceived as burning diarrhea.

7. Proctitis:

Proctitis is nothing but the inflammation of the rectum. It can occur due to many different reasons like injury, allergies, irritation, infections, and autoimmune factors like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Infectious proctitis can be caused by different types of infectious agents, some of which are sexually transmitted. When the rectum gets infected, there will be pain and burning sensation and symptoms like diarrhea, blood or mucus in the stool, and constant urge to pass stool.

8. Colorectal Cancer:

Colorectal cancer is one of the more severe conditions where burning diarrhea can occur. The malignant tumor that invades the rectal tissue can cause pain or a burning sensation. Diarrhea can also be accompanied by other symptoms like rectal bleeding concurrently. These symptoms are more common to be mistaken as other conditions, like hemorrhoids or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

How To Diagnose the Cause of Burning Diarrhea?

The methods to detect the cause of burning diarrhea are:

How To Manage Burning Diarrhea?

The management of burning diarrhea usually includes lifestyle alterations and simple treatments. Some of the ways to treat burning diarrhea include:

Dietary Modification:

If you suspect that you have burning diarrhea due to over-consumption of spicy food, you should reduce its intake. Maintain a food log to note down triggering foods and make a point to avoid them. Consume foods that soothe your stomach and improve digestion. You can take probiotics like buttermilk or yogurt to promote digestion and reduce the symptoms of burning diarrhea.

Restoration of Fluids and Electrolytes:

Diarrhea can usually cause a great loss of fluids. Therefore, people suffering from any kind of diarrhea should consume oral rehydration solutions that contain electrolytes because it is essential to replenish the salt and sugar that has been lost due to diarrhea.

Along with these lifestyle modifications, it is also essential to treat the underlying cause of burning diarrhea for the treatment to be effective. The treatment to control diarrhea also depends on the severity of the condition and the frequency of loose stools.

Last reviewed at:
18 Nov 2021  -  4 min read




Comprehensive Medical Second Opinion.Submit your Case

Related Questions & Answers

Why am I feeling lazy with low energy and daytime sleepiness?

Query: Hi doctor, I am a 27 year old male. From last six months, I am suffering from poor quality of sleep. I am not able to wake up early in the morning whether I go to bed early or late. My body feels heavy and lazy. I also have muscle aches, especially the muscle of palm and feet. Low energy, fatigue,...  Read Full »

Is diarrhea a symptom of indigestion?

Query: Hello doctor, I have been having a bad case of diarrhea since last two days. I had outside food before two days and from that time I am experiencing diarrhea. I am excreting around six times daily. The consistency is not completely watery, but still very loose. The symptoms I am experiencing are as...  Read Full »

Why am I having diarrhea following constipation for a long time?

Query: Hi doctor, I am having a slightly upset stomach with bloating for the past four months. I thought I had a bug. Two weeks later, it seemed much better. However, my bowel movements did not return to normal. I had mostly constipation for about a month (even though my stomach did not feel as upset anym...  Read Full »

Popular Articles Most Popular Articles

Do you have a question on Burning Diarrhea or ?

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.