We make money from advertisers and affiliate partners.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Diarrhea can Burn

Burning diarrhea might seem like a symptom of something seriously going wrong with your health. The good news is that it's usually not the case. The bad news is that it's still seriously uncomfortable.

There are two main reasons why diarrhea can cause that extremely painful burning sensation - a high level of bile or stomach acid mixed in with the explosive poop (often caused by spicy foods, stress, or other factors that we'll discuss below), and potentially if there are any rips, tears, hemorrhoids, or anal fissures that might be extremely irritated by that highly acidic and digestive enzymes that you just pushed out along with your liquid stool.

Most of the time, your diarrhea will go away in just a few hours, although it can take several days. This will happen on its own without you getting treatment or applying even basic home remedies.

Still, dehydration and malnutrition can result if your diarrhea lasts a while or is serious enough. Eventually, dehydration can turn fatal.

If you have burning diarrhea for more than a few days, or if it's particularly bloody or painful, then you should get medical attention. Of course, knowing why diarrhea burns is helpful in educating yourself about this painful condition and how to deal with it.

Avoid Foods That Can Cause Diarrhea That Burns!

While there are health issues that can contribute to the feeling of burning from a particularly painful burning diarrhea, most men face this problem due to foods that they eat. Here are some common examples of food to avoid if you want to stay safe from that "burning ring of fire" down yonder :)

Food TypeCommon ExamplesLevel of Burning PainReason for Burning Sensation
Spicy Foods Hot peppers, curry, hot sauce High Capsaicin, which makes food spicy, can irritate the gastrointestinal tract.
Acidic Foods Citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar Medium to High Acidic foods can irritate and inflame the digestive tract, worsening symptoms.
Dairy Products (for lactose intolerant individuals) Milk, cheese, ice cream Medium to High Lactose can ferment in the colon, causing gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
Artificial Sweeteners Sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol (found in sugar-free gum and candies) Medium to High These can act as laxatives in the digestive system, leading to diarrhea.
High-Fat Foods Fried foods, fast food, rich sauces Medium Fat can speed up intestinal contractions, leading to diarrhea in some people.
Caffeinated Beverages Coffee, tea, some sodas Medium Caffeine stimulates the digestive system, which can lead to diarrhea.
Alcohol Beer, wine, spirits Medium to High Alcohol can irritate the digestive tract and alter normal gut motility.
Certain Fruits and Vegetables Prunes, cherries, leafy greens Low to Medium High fiber content can accelerate bowel movements, especially if not accustomed.
Legumes Beans, lentils Low to Medium Contain oligosaccharides and fiber, which can cause gas and diarrhea in some.
Gluten (for those with sensitivity or celiac disease) Wheat, barley, rye High Gluten can trigger an immune response and damage the intestines in sensitive individuals.

*Level of Impact on Pain:

  • High: Likely to cause significant discomfort and symptoms in most individuals.
  • Medium: May cause discomfort for many, particularly in large quantities or in sensitive individuals.
  • Low: Unlikely to cause issues except possibly in large amounts or in those with specific sensitivities.

While these foods can impact the severity of the burning sensation, don't ignore the possibility of digestive health issues, including Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), that could lead to worse-than-normal abdominal pain. As with any medical issue, make sure to have your particular circumstances medically reviewed so you can avoid this painful condition in the future.

burning diarrhea is very painful

Burning Diarrhea vs Explosive Diarrhea?

Part of knowing why diarrhea burns is simply knowing what burning diarrhea is. It's not technically burning in the sense of fire and flames, but it does involve a burning sensation.

Diarrhea happens when your intestines don't absorb enough fluid out of the waste passing through them. That means that when you sit down to poop and eliminate stools, they'll be loose and full of surplus fluids. Sometimes this will result in explosive diarrhea due to bowel contractions going into overdrive and forcing everything out as quickly as possible. This extreme activity in itself isn't necessarily painful but may lead to burning diarrhea depending on a variety of factors we'll discuss below.

Normal diarrhea that can be controlled usually isn't a cause for concern. However, it can sometimes be intense and even chronic, resulting in a painful burning sensation in your anus and rectum.

Most adults have occasional diarrhea, so don't worry about having a round of it here and there. However, if you have irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, then you might be at risk of diarrhea more often and for longer stretches of time.

Burning diarrhea is when the fluid waste inflames your skin. Some burning can happen due to acidic content. Burning diarrhea might also be more likely if you have an ileoanal anastomosis procedure that alters or removes your colon.

spicy foods like hot wings can lead to painful burning diarrhea

Potential Causes Of Painful Burning Diarrhea

Burning diarrhea can happen for many reasons. Many sufferers assume they just made a mistake with spicy foods, and that can be a trigger. However, causes also include internal biochemistry and physical foods, among others.

Spicy Foods Can Cause Intestinal Pain

Certain spices have chemical compounds known to produce warm and even burning sensations if they come into contact with your body. Many spicy foods have capsaicin as a primary ingredient. It's also used in over-the-counter numbing products, so imagine what it can do inside you ... and more importantly as it passes out of you!

You don't have to imagine. It can trigger diarrhea. Since diarrhea expedites the digestive process, you know that capsaicin might not be totally broken down before it passes through you.


Internal Biochemistry

In this particular matter, your internal biochemistry that matters includes bile, digestive enzymes, and stomach acids. When food gets to your stomach, its acids and digestive enzymes attach to the food to start the process of breaking it down into specific nutrients your body can use.

Food that gets to your small intestine has bile added to it. Once food gets all the way through you, there shouldn't be any acidic enzymes or acids present any longer.

Since diarrhea expedites the process of digestion, foods don't break all the way down. Given that, bile, digestive enzymes, and stomach acids might still be around in your diarrhea. These can hurt sensitive tissue and result in burning sensations around your anus and in your rectum. It can happen during a bowel movement, after, or even both.


Trauma To Your Digestive System And Anus

While rare, sometimes food might not be entirely broken down during digestion. When this happens, as it exits your body, these rough foods might rub, tear, or cut your rectal tissues. Any food with shells, pods, or edible seeds might do the same.

There are times that you pass a stool that's rougher than normal, and you wind up wiping harder or just more often to get clean. This can also add to your irritation and be an external agitator resulting in diarrhea burning you.

 drinking too much beer can cause diarrhea

Beer and Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Beer, as well as wine and other alcoholic beverages that have large amounts of carbohydrates can cause diarrhea when consumed in large quantities. When combined with factors like various flavors and foods that you may also be consuming, this can be a bad combination if you are looking to avoid a rumbly belly and a painful ending to your evening.

Alcohol is actually a double whammy here when it comes do causing intestinal distress and problems with uncontrollable bowels because it also acts to speed up the contraction rate of your colon muscles. This will help evacuate stool faster and cause it to come out as diarrhea instead of a nice solid turd.

Furthermore, when this happens, you'll probably end up having to wipe excessively, and this can irritate your anus leading to additional pain.


Other Causes Of Painful Burning Diarrhea

Burning diarrhea can be triggered by many other things, including caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and laxative abuse. Stress is a common trigger, which isn't surprising. Something that might be surprising is fructose, a natural sugar in fruits that are normally an underused and healthy food group.

Burning diarrhea can also happen as a result of irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease. Hemorrhoids, food poisoning, and certain medical treatments or surgeries are also risk factors.

In fact, estimates suggest that 20% of Americans face symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), including burning diarrhea and other related discomfort. However, few Americans with mild symptoms have talked with their doctor about this problem to find solutions.

Diabetics might be at risk if they are being treated with metformin. This particular drug has diarrhea as a known side effect in a statistically significant number of patients, although most people develop tolerance over time.


Treatments to Make Burning Diarrhea Less Painful

Most bouts of diarrhea resolve themselves within hours or days. If you can't wait it out or want to help your body, do what you can to keep your anal area clean. Use a barrier cream, and avoid exposing the area to hot bath or shower water. Rehydrate with lots of liquids, and don't sit anywhere for too long at once. Avoid any problem foods you can, or just follow a bland diet.

Burning diarrhea can be extremely uncomfortable, often resulting from the consumption of spicy foods, food intolerances, infections, or certain gastrointestinal conditions. Here are five treatments that can help alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with burning diarrhea:

1. Stay Hydrated

  • Description: Dehydration is a common risk with diarrhea. Drinking plenty of fluids helps replace the lost liquids and prevents dehydration.
  • How to Use: Consume clear broths, herbal teas, water, and oral rehydration solutions. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can worsen dehydration.

2. Probiotics

  • Description: Probiotics can help restore the natural balance of bacteria in your gut, which can be upset by diarrhea. This may help reduce the duration and intensity of symptoms.
  • How to Use: Probiotics are available in supplement form or can be found in fermented foods like yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha. Ensure the products contain live and active cultures.

3. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications

  • Description: Certain medications can help reduce the frequency of bowel movements and soothe irritation.
  • How to Use:
    • Loperamide (Imodium): Slows down gut movement and can reduce the frequency of diarrhea.
    • Antacids: If the burning sensation is also felt in the upper digestive tract, antacids can neutralize stomach acid and provide relief.

4. Aloe Vera Juice

  • Description: Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the lining of the intestines.
  • How to Use: Drinking a small amount of aloe vera juice might help soothe the digestive tract. However, it's important to use a product designed for internal use and to follow the recommended dosage, as aloe vera can also act as a laxative in higher doses.

5. Dietary Adjustments

  • Description: Avoiding foods that trigger or worsen symptoms can provide relief and prevent future episodes.
  • How to Use:
    • Avoid spicy and acidic foods: These can irritate the digestive tract.
    • Limit high-fat and fried foods: These can exacerbate diarrhea.
    • Eat bland, easy-to-digest foods: Options include bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast (the BRAT diet), especially in the first 24 to 48 hours.

Additional Tips:

  • Personal Hygiene: After each bowel movement, gently clean the anal area with water or a moist, soft cloth. This can prevent irritation caused by wiping with dry toilet paper.
  • Warm Sitz Bath: Sitting in a warm bath can help relieve irritation in the anal area.

If symptoms persist or are accompanied by other concerning signs like high fever, blood in the stool, or severe abdominal pain, it's important to seek medical attention. These could be signs of a more serious condition that requires medical treatment.

Written by:
#MenWhoBlog MemberBlogging GuruThought Leader

James' passion for exploration and sense of duty to his community extends beyond himself. This means he is dedicated to providing a positive role model for other men and especially younger guys that need support so that they can thrive and be future positive contributors to society. This includes sharing wisdom, ideas, tips, and advice on subjects that all men should be familiar with, including: family travel, men's health, relationships, DIY advice for home and yard, car care, food, drinks, and technology. Additionally, he's a travel advisor and a leading men's travel influencer who has been featured in media ranging from New York Times to the Chicago Tribune, and LA Times. He's also been cited by LA Weekly "Top Travel Bloggers To Watch 2023" and featured by Muck Rack: "Top 10 Outdoor Journalists for 2022".

He and his wife Heather live in St Joseph, Michigan - across the lake from Chicago.