What is Burning Diarrhea?
Diarrhea is not a pleasant experience for anyone. Sometimes, it may appear as a symptom of some other disease. Diarrhea itself can be accompanied by a number of other symptoms. One such symptom is a burning sensation in the rectum or anus. This is known as burning diarrhea. Let us understand what is burning diarrhea, its causes and management.
Such burning sensation occurs either during or after diarrhea, means while passing the loose stools or after that and sometimes the sensation persists in both cases. The occurrence of burning sensation when there is no external source of heat, it is a sign of inflammation. This is the first sign for diagnosing burning diarrhea. Knowing the causes of burning diarrhea and the ways of management can help you deal with the condition better.
Know the Causes of Burning Diarrhea
You may be experiencing burning diarrhea for a number of reasons, some of the common causes of burning diarrhea include
While it is normal for your stool to be warm as it is housed in the colon and rectum in your abdominal cavity, a burning sensation may be an indicator of an inflamed colon, rectum, or anus. Consulting a doctor is always a good idea when you notice a change in your bowel movements; however, some causes of burning diarrhea are quite common like eating a lot of spicy food.
A naturally occurring compound known as capsaicin is found in spicy food like peppers. Consumption of spicy foods or those containing capsaicin is one of the commonest causes of burning diarrhea. This compound causes skin to burn on contact and may even lead to asthma attacks. This compound, when ingested, can not only cause burning diarrhea, but also stomach cramp, nausea, and vomiting. It is best avoided by people who have a sensitive tummy, digestive problems, peptic ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome.
Prolonged constipation and other conditions, like putting a lot of stress on your anus, may cause hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are inflamed veins in your anus or rectum. Though more commonly associated with constipation, hemorrhoids are also one of the frequent causes of burning diarrhea. Irritation of these inflamed veins can cause some burning sensation and pain during bowel movement. If you are suffering from hemorrhoids, you may experience bleeding during bowel movements with or without pain, leakage of stool, an itching sensation, some pain or discomfort in and around your anus and a swelling or lump near your anus.
Antibiotics are yet another popular cause of burning diarrhea. Antibiotics affect the internal environment of healthy bacteria and cause difficulties in bowel movements. Disturbance of the natural balance of internal bacteria may cause an overgrowth of bacteria or infection by toxin-producing bacteria.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) often accompanied by frequent diarrhea can cause discomfort and burning sensation during your bowel movement. Though this condition is quite common, a specific cause for it is yet to be ascertained, but it is one of the common causes of burning diarrhea. Some suspected causes of IBS may be hormonal changes, excess stress or certain types of food.
Symptoms of IBS vary from person to person. It is a chronic condition, and subsequently, symptoms may appear and disappear from time to time. Symptoms of IBS may include, bloating, gas, mucus stool, stomach pain and cramping and sometimes alternating constipation and diarrhea.
What is the Management of Burning Diarrhea?
Burning diarrhea is usually a temporary affliction in most cases and management of burning diarrhea often includes lifestyle alterations and simple treatments. Some of the important ways to treat burning diarrhea include,
Modification of Diet
If you suspect that are experiencing burning diarrhea due to over-consumption of spicy food, you may want to limit your intake of it. Maintain a food diary to note down trigger foods and make it a point to avoid them. Include foods that soothe your tummy and offer better digestion. Take probiotics like yoghurt or buttermilk to aid digestion, which helps in better management of burning diarrhea. Consuming yogurt not only helps settle your stomach, but it also helps restore the natural balance of gastrointestinal flora.
Replenishment of Fluids and Electrolytes
Diarrhea usually causes great loss of fluids. Hence, people suffering from any kind of diarrhea benefit from consuming oral rehydrating solutions containing electrolytes. It is also important to replenish the salt and sugar that has been lost along with the fluids. Hence, it forms an important part of the management of burning diarrhea.
In addition to these lifestyle modifications, it is important to treat the underlying cause for effective management of burning diarrhea. Also, treatment to control diarrhea may be considered depending on the severity of the condition and the frequency of loose stools.
Treatment of the Underlying Cause of Burning Diarrhea
- Hemorrhoids - Hemorrhoids, usually, heal on their own over time. However, you can definitely use a few items that may help speed up the process. Over the counter hemorrhoid creams and witch hazel pads may be one option. You can even ease your pain by opting for a moist towelettes or wet toilet paper for wiping instead of a dry one. For advanced cases, medical and surgical treatment may be considered. Hence, it is important to seek medical advice and get the right treatment for management of burning diarrhea.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome - Though IBS cannot be treated completely as it is a chronic condition, you can definitely make a few lifestyle changes and use different treatments to help with flare-ups of any kind. Exercising regularly and drinking plenty of water is a simple way in which you can promote healthy bowel movements.
Adjusting your fiber intake is another way in which you can aid your bowel movement. However, you should proceed with caution; while some people find diets that have quantity of fiber quite helpful, as it reduces constipation, some find that it causes cramping and gas. Medicines, if required can be taken with medical advice.
Burning diarrhea is usually temporary, however, if you find that your symptoms persist even after a day or two, be sure to consult a medical professional. Additionally, if, along with a burning sensation, you experience a black or bloody stool, diarrhea that smells unusual, progressively worse abdominal pain, especially late during the night and signs of dehydration, you may want to seek a professional help. Burning diarrhea that is a result of antibiotics also require medical help.
Now that you know what burning diarrhea is, its causes and ways of management, you can deal with it better.