What happens if you sit on the toilet for more than 10-15 minutes at a time while pooping? According to gastroenterologists, sitting on your toilet seat for longer than 15 minutes indicates serious health issues. That means you have been having some problem with your system. If you are facing this, read to find out the causes and precautions to be taken.
Why Is It Bad?
Most people in the advanced countries have no idea why sitting on the toilet is bad for their health. Sitting on the toilet seat is such a common activity, that some people even keep newspapers and magazines nearby so they can enjoy their time while in the bathroom.
You Can Develop Hemorrhoids
One of the first things you can get from sitting on the toilet for too long periods of time is the dreaded hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are bulging, swollen veins located around the region of the anus or in the lower rectum. Statistics show that a whopping 50% of adults develop symptoms of hemorrhoids by the time they touch 50! Also referred to as piles, they are uncannily like varicose veins but in your lower rectum or anus rather than your legs.
There are two types of hemorrhoids; internal hemorrhoids develop inside your rectum, while external hemorrhoids develop under the skin surrounding your anus. They are known to cause severe itching, pain and remarkable difficulty in sitting.
Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids
If you suspect you’re suffering from hemorrhoids, look out for symptoms such as:
- Pain and irritation around the region of the anus
- Extreme itching around the anal region
- A painful lump or itchy swelling near the anus
- Fecal leakage
- Pain upon bowel movements
- Blood after having a bowel movement.
Though hemorrhoids can be very painful, they aren’t, however, life-threatening and are often reported to disappear by themselves without any prescribed treatment. If you’ve been often suffering from hemorrhoids then you could also develop symptoms of anemia like pale skin and weakness due to loss of blood, though it is important to note that this is rare.
What Is The Cause Of Hemorrhoids?
Experts aren’t entirely sure what leads to the development of hemorrhoids but they usually cite these factors:
- Sitting for an extended period of time, especially on a toilet
- Often straining during bowel movements
- A possible complication of chronic constipation
- Having a family history of hemorrhoids
Other Conditions Or Behaviors That Can Put You At Risk Of Hemorrhoids:
Hemorrhoids can be inherited. Hence, if your parents suffer from hemorrhoids it is very likely that you could get them as well. Other risk factors include:
- Persistent heavy lifting
- Suffering from obesity
- Persistent strain on your body
- Standing for too long without any breaks to take a seat
- Constant anal sexual intercourse
- Pregnancy: being pregnant raises your odds of developing hemorrhoids. This is due to the fact that when the uterus stretches and expands, it puts pressure on the veins in your colon thereby causing them to bulge.
How Can I Prevent This?
Well, for starters it’s always a good idea to cut down your toilet time to less than 10-15 minutes and avoid any straining during a bowel movement. If hemorrhoids run in your family or you’d like to be extra careful, take these added precautions:
- Drink sufficient water to prevent stools from hardening
- Regularly exercise to prevent constipation
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time, especially on tough surfaces like tile or concrete
- Consume a high fiber diet. Opt for brown rice, whole wheat, pears, oatmeal, carrots, and bran. Dietary fiber aids in producing a bulk effect in the intestines that helps soften stools making them easier to pass through.
Too Late, I Have Hemorrhoids. How Do I Treat It?
It is possible to treat hemorrhoids at the doctor’s clinic or even at home.
- For Pain Relief: Soak daily for 10 minutes in a warm bath. If the pain is unbearable get over-the-counter (OTC) rectal suppositories, creams or ointments that relieve burning and itching. Other pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen can also help alleviate pain.
- Get Fiber Supplements: If you suffer from constipation, get OTC fiber supplements like methylcellulose or
- Recommended Home Remedies: Hemorrhoid cream or hydrocortisone can help ease your overall discomfort. Soaking the anus in warm sitz baths for 10-15 minutes daily also helps.
Ensure that you avoid rough toilet paper or soaps as this can aggravate your hemorrhoids. To reduce pain and swelling using a cold compress over your anus can help.
- Possible Medical Procedures: If home remedies fail your doctor may suggest getting a rubber band ligation, which causes your hemorrhoids to lose its circulation, forcing it to shrink.
But as the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine” goes, it’s best to steer clear of any behavior that could lead to hemorrhoids in the first place. Hence, enter your toilet, newspaper, and phone-free. This will ensure you get out of the room soon as you finish your business. Stay healthy!