How to use the toilet properly and why it is important for your health
The dentist tells you that you brush your teeth incorrectly.
The beautician tells you that you don’t take good care of your skin.
The vet scolds you for feeding your cat wrong.
As if that wasn’t enough, different websites of varying credibility sometimes post images of an unfamiliar gentleman on the toilet, subtly suggesting that perhaps you’re not using the facilities correctly!
Faced with this situation, you might find support in the guy at the local pub who will finally tell you that you’ve made the right choice.
For those blessed with trouble-free gastrointestinal tracts, scrolling past this peculiar spectacle might be the instinctive response.
However, if you do have digestive issues, you might have doubts: what if there’s some truth to this matter?
Well, here’s the answer: it’s true, but there’s a catch. It’s not as simple as merely changing your position to resolve constipation.
Let’s begin with the position.
The National Health Service in the UK suggests keeping a small stool at home to elevate your feet when using the toilet.
Ideally, your knees should be positioned higher than your hips.
The fact that such a position can be helpful is confirmed by the popular website of the Cochrane Society - Evidently Cochrane.
The logic behind this position lies in its ability to aid the pelvic floor in relaxing and managing larger movements more effectively.
In the other position, where your hips form a 90-degree angle, the puborectalis muscle remains tensed, preventing the straightening of the upper part of the rectum. This tension can complicate the process of defecation.
In principle, this position is also worth considering for people who do not suffer from constipation. However, defecation troubles extend beyond just the toilet position. They are also connected to lifestyle choices.
Common reasons behind constipation include:
- insufficient fiber in the diet;
- a sedentary lifestyle;
- a lack of fluids in the diet;
- hormonal changes. For instance, women may suffer from constipation before periods and it’s also a common issue during pregnancy;
- difficulty adhering to timely visits to the toilet.
A good starting point is to try to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and cereals into your diet. In addition, add more fluids to your diet and ideally, drink more pure water.
Allocate at least 20-30 minutes each day for a brisk walk.
If these changes prove ineffective, it’s advisable to consult your family doctor for potential medications.
Immediate medical attention is required if:
constipation persists despite medication and lifestyle adjustments;
blood is noticed in your stools;
there is persistent fatigue despite experiencing constipation;
you experience unexplained weight loss.
And here’s a tip for overall well-being: maintain information hygiene. The less susceptible you are to misinformation, the less stressed you will be. This means that trips to the toilet will be more comfortable.
Yes, yes, you heard it right! Less misinformation means less shit in both your stomach and your mind
Prepared by Natalia Bushkovska.