If you’re reading this, chances are you’re battling a pain reminiscent of lava flowing from your rectum. Diarrhea on its own is horrific enough—so is the dreaded spicy butt. But when those two problems merge, it can leave you crouched on the toilet begging for sweet mercy.
Burning diarrhea can throw you off your game. But unlike 2008 Usher, you don’t have to let it burn. Let’s figure out why you have a five-alarm fire in your ass and how to stop it.
5 Common Causes of Burning Diarrhea
If you’re experiencing diarrhea with a burning sensation these are five possible causes.
1. Spicy Food
The main culprit for burning diarrhea is spicy food. That’s because spicy foods like hot peppers contain capsaicin, a compound that can’t be fully digested. So when you scarf down a burrito drenched in hot sauce and get the runs, traces of capsaicin can cause your butt to burn like hell.
If you’re extra sensitive to spicy foods, you also might experience abdominal pain, nausea, and puking.
2. Too Much Toilet Paper
Despite modern advances in anal cleansing, many people still use two-ply as their primary wiping material. TP can do serious damage to your b-hole if you have diarrhea, which causes you to poop anywhere from 3-10 times per day.
Nonstop wiping with rough, coarse material irritates the sensitive skin of your undercarriage, leading to micro-tears called anal fissures. Now every time you wipe, the burn gets more intense.
Moral of the story: ditch toilet paper.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal area, which often stem from strained bowel movements caused by chronic constipation. Over 75% of people will have hemorrhoids sometime in their life, with symptoms ranging from rectal bleeding to an itchy butthole.
If you have a case of the runs, hemorrhoids can cause burning diarrhea. That’s because the stomach acids, enzymes, and bile in diarrhea inflame the already-sensitive tissue in and around your b-hole as it works its way out.
Here are a few home remedies for hemorrhoids:
- Wipe your butt with witch hazel-infused wipes, which can reduce swelling
- Take a sitz bath with lukewarm water
- Get an over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid cream like Preparation H to soothe the inflammation
4. Food Poisoning
Almost all kinds of food poisoning cause diarrhea. That’s because of gastroenteritis, which is a fancy way of saying your digestive system feels like it’s on fire. The longer the infection lasts, the more time you’ll spend on the toilet wiping, which inevitably leads to burning diarrhea (especially if you’re using dry toilet paper.)
Some cases of food poisoning subside on their own with a steady dose of fluids and electrolytes. But if you have symptoms like stomach pain, cramping, and chronic diarrhea that last more than a few days, get in touch with your healthcare provider.
5. Digestive Diseases
Some intestinal conditions can cause chronic diarrhea and a host of other tummy troubles like bloating.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Celiac Disease
Make sure you follow any medical advice you receive to treat these problems. Doctors know better than dudes.
How to Get Relief from Burning Diarrhea
Here are a few dude-approved tips to restore your pooping patterns and alleviate your burning bum.
1. Eat a High-Fiber Diet
Fiber and dense carbs help bind food together in your digestive tract so your poop looks more like a smooth brown snake instead of a bowl of brown lava. Ditch the booze, coffee, and dairy products because oats, rice, bread, and bananas are your friends for the next few days.
Speaking of your diet, be sure to drink plenty of water and electrolytes to replenish the fluids that you’re flushing down the toilet all day.
2. Ditch Toilet Paper
3. Let Your Butt Breathe
Without proper ventilation, it’s hard for the skin around your butthole to heal and stop burning. Try to avoid tight clothes and make sure you’re wearing breathable underwear.
When to See a Doctor About Burning Diarrhea
Most cases of burning diarrhea are short-lived. But if you notice long-lasting changes in your bowel habits, it’s never a bad idea to get checked out.
This is especially important for guys, because chronic bouts of constipation and/or diarrhea may be a symptom of colon cancer. Some symptoms to look out for include unintended weight loss, blood when you wipe, black stool, and thin stools (the width of a pencil.)
Chances are your fiery feces are the result of something you ate. But remember, your poop says a lot about your health. Even after the runs subside, look before you flush—it’s one of the easiest way to spot health issues.