Are You Going to the Bathroom the Wrong Way? | Minnesota

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, 2.5 million people see a doctor for constipation a year and 75% will experience hemorrhoids someday. The average American will spend almost a year sitting on the toilet in their lifetime. Going to the bathroom’s is more important than people give it credit for. We’ve gotten used to our porcelain thrones and the pleasure of distracting ourselves with smart phones while we’re one them. But there might be more to this than a just a way to procrastinate- sitting on the toilet for an extended amount of time might not be good if you’re trying to avoid hemorrhoids.

First of all, you should probably limit cell phone usage on the toilet. Besides being a little gross, sitting on the toilet is not good for bowel movements and can increases the chances of hemorrhoids in the future. Sitting during a bowel movement puts pressure on the anorectal area, irritating the veins in the bowels that cause hemorrhoids. In most places outside the US, squatting toilets are used, where there is no seat and one must squat over the toilet. This has been shown to be better for bowel movements and more natural. In America, products that keep your feet elevated while on the toilet try to achieve this natural squat position, though the efficacy of such a device is still being studied.

Dietary fiber is also very important, in both soothing hemorrhoids and preventing them in the future. Fiber bulks stool ensures its smooth passage through the intestines. Dietary Guidelines recommend 25 grams of fiber for women under 50, and 35+ for men under 50. This is much more than the average person gets, and it’s imperative that people get an adequate amount of fiber in their diet. These bulking agents work better if you drink plenty of water every day (6-8 glasses of water daily). Diet and toilet habits are the best preventative measure for hemorrhoids.

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