Have you ever been sitting on the pot and thought why does my poop burn like acid?
Having loose stools is always a bad experience, but even worse is when your poop burns like acid. If you’ve ever felt that burning sensation, you’d relate better. That sensation is called burning diarrhea. The truth is, it is usually not a sign of a serious health problem. And most of the time, the problem resolves on its own within a few hours but can sometimes last up to two days.
If you’re having burning diarrhea, chances are you want to know the causes, so you can avoid them. You might also want to know what to do about the condition. In rare cases, poop that burns might be a serious case and can lead to malnutrition, extreme dehydration, and even death.
Your best bet in any case is to get checked by your doctor if you can’t seem to identify the cause. But here are some of the commonest causes of why does my poop burn like acid?
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. Another problem with spicy foods is they can trigger acid reflux. Acid reflux can contribute to hemorrhoids. We outline below how hemorrhoids can make your poop burn really bad like acid.
Sometimes, constipation and diarrhea happen simultaneously. When constipation lasts for longer periods, it may result in hemorrhoids — swollen veins in your rectum or anus — and this commonly causes burning poop. The burning sensation and pain result when the swollen veins are irritated by bouts of diarrhea during bowel movements. Other symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- bleeding with pain during bowel movements
- a swelling or lump near the anus
- an itching sensation
- leakage of stool
- some pain or discomfort in and around the anus
In addition, hemorrhoids tend to occur frequently during conditions that put stress on your anus, such as pregnancy and childbirth.
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. Also antibiotics can cause hemorrhoids as we discussed above which can contribute to your poop burning like acid.
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.
Why does my poop burn like acid? Wrap-up
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 wondering the reason why does poop burn like acid? You now know the possible causes and ways to treat it, otherwise, contact your doctor.