Hot snakes. Devil squirts. Anal lava. No matter what you call it, even the most chaste buttholes can experience burning poop. But not all spicy sh*ts are caused by wing night or vindaloo. A smoldering turd could be your body’s way of sending you a smoke signal. Follow along as we answer the burning question of “why does it burn when I poop?”
Possible Reasons Why Your Butt Is Burning
There are many reasons why your poop feels like it’s torching your tush. Painful or burning bowel movements are clinically referred to as dyschezia, which means “difficulty pooping.” Dyschezia describes the inability to poop without experiencing some type of strain or pain, and it can majorly inflame the lining of the rectum.
A painful bowel movement can have many related symptoms, including stomach cramping, gas, pelvic pressure, bloating, bleeding, and, yes, burning. It can also have many related causes. Here are a few.
If you have three or more sudden, loose, or watery bowel movements in 24 hours, guess what? You probably have diarrhea.
Everyone experiences diarrhea. If yours is exceptionally spicy, it can irritate the lining in your rectum and the skin around your anus. This is what causes the sensation of burning poop. If you’re feeling bloated or crampy, that pain can be perpetuated.
How To Treat: Drink plenty of fluids, including water, broths, and juices. Avoid caffeine and alcohol until your poops can actually hold a shape, and nibble on semisolid and low-fiber foods such as soda crackers, toast, eggs, rice, and chicken.
Have you ever heard of anal fissures? If you’re brave enough, look them up. These small tears and rips in your anus typically result from trauma to the anal canal, which can happen if:
- You pass a large or hard poop
- Your anal canal is irritated by diarrhea or scratching
- You’ve had anal sex with insufficient lube
If you have an anal tear, you may see blood in your stool, and sharp pain is often present only when pooping or up to a few hours after.
How To Treat: Increase your fiber and fluid intake to keep your stools soft and more comfortable. You can also soak your booty in warm water for 10-20 minutes, especially after bowel movements, to relax that sphincter. Anal fissures typically heal within a few weeks.
cConstipation can also cause painful burning poops. Constipation can leave you feeling “backed up” because you’re not pooping as much as you should be. If you’re having fewer than three bowel movements per week, you’re constipated. Some people experience constipation before their period when the progesterone spikes after ovulation.
How To Treat: If constipation is a PMS symptom, it will usually go away within a couple of days. Dairy products, coffee, tea, and alcohol can make constipation worse – avoid these fluids, increase your water and fiber intake, and try these TUSHY-verified tips to get things moving again.
Over time, constipation and other conditions can cause hemorrhoids, which are inflamed veins on your anus or rectum. These veins can end up exposed and they can hurt like heck. Irritation to these veins can make you feel burning and pain during bowel movements.
How To Treat: In addition to eating more high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you can apply topical creams containing witch hazel or a numbing agent.
Proctitis happens when the lining of your rectum (the exit tube for bowel movements) is inflamed, which can cause major discomfort when you go to the bathroom. It’s a common symptom of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), radiation treatments for cancer, or inflammatory bowel conditions such as ulcerative colitis.
How To Treat: Treating proctitis depends on the cause and severity. If you have an infection, you can get a script for antibiotics or antivirals. Otherwise your provider can treat it with steroids to clear up the inflammation. If you have radiation proctitis, you can use topical pain medications until the inflammation goes away after your therapy is complete. Proctitis caused by IBD may come and go on its own.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe two types of conditions that cause chronic inflammation in the intestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis (UC) involves the inner lining of the colon and rectum. Crohn’s disease (CD) can affect anywhere along the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus.
IBD symptoms include blood in stool, incontinence, irregular bowel movements, pain in the abdomen or rectum, the urgent and severe need to empty the bowels, cramping, nausea, and vomiting.
How To Treat: There is no cure for IBD, but medicines such as steroids, surgery, and lifestyle changes can reduce inflammation and increase the longevity of remission.
Endometriosis is a painful condition that occurs when endometrial cells grow outside of the uterus. If the cells grow on the peritoneum or intestines, this can cause painful bowel movements. Endometriosis can also cause diarrhea and constipation.
How To Treat: There are standard clinical protocols for treating endometriosis that can alleviate painful bowel movements caused by the condition. Your doctor might also recommend other additional treatments for your symptoms if endometriosis treatment alone isn’t effective.
Before you freak out, remember that there are many, many causes of burning poop. Cancer is only one of them and you should speak to a doctor before assuming the worst.
If you notice changes in your poo consistency or going to the bathroom becomes increasingly difficult, you could be experiencing symptoms of colorectal cancer. You may also notice other symptoms outside of your toilet time, such as unexplained weight loss and fatigue.
How To Treat: If you’re experiencing symptoms for 3 weeks or more, talk to a doctor or nurse to schedule a screening such as a colonoscopy to put your mind (and behind) at ease.
- Spicy food. The heat-causing compounds in spicy food travel right through you, meaning your poop actually contains these spicy particles and “burns” your butthole like a jalapeno might burn your mouth.
- STIs. Sexually Transmitted Infections like syphilis, chlamydia, herpes, and gonorrhea can cause inflammation, rectal pain, and burning.
- Stress. Chronic stress can easily affect your second brain – your gut – causing inflammation and burning poop.
- New Meds. Any changes to your system can affect your bodily functions. If you’re experiencing issues with pooping because of a new long-term medication, talk to your doctor.
For far too long, the common routine after you poop is to wipe, wipe, and wipe some more with toilet paper. This frequent and repetitive motion can cause skin break down and thinning, which can lead to tearing and skin build up (ew!).
A Healthy Bum Starts Inside
While chronic diseases are lifelong, what you put into your body does have a direct effect on what comes out. Here are our top tips for keeping your BMs regular and on the mild side.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Down 6-8 glasses of water every day. When you aren’t taking in enough water, your body pulls hydration from other sources, like your digestive system.
- Eat foods rich in fiber. Not just when you’re constipated, always! Fiber is the magic bullet that makes your poops bulky yet soft so they trigger that glorious rectum to RELEASE pain-free.
- Get your blood flowing. Walk, bike, swim, stretch, do yoga, or try deep-breathing. Getting that heart pumping for 30 minutes every day keeps your system moving.
Will a Bidet Help If My Poop Burns?
While a bidet can’t fix what’s happening inside your booty, it can make what’s happening on the outside waaaaay more comfortable.Bidets are 2x cleaner with zero chafe. Bidets are the only way to keep your poop hole clean as a whistle without any of the irritating side effects of wiping.
Bidets reduce stress. If you struggle with a problem b-hole, toilet time probably makes you anxious. Bidets can alleviate that angst with soothing warm water or refreshing cool water that gets you all-the-way clean without needing to touch your bum.
Bidets reduce the spread of infection. Washing with clean water lowers your risk of experiencing other uncomfortable down-there conditions, like UTIs and anal fissures.
The Bottom Line
Everyone’s butthole feels like a portal to hell from time to time. Paying attention to your body, making appropriate lifestyle changes, and soothing your volcano ring with TUSHY Bidet are all steps you can control. If you're curious if TUSHY is right for you, check out some of our TUSHY Bidet Attachment Reviews from Real Pooping Humans, like you!