ILLUMINATION
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ILLUMINATION

Want to Relieve Your Gut Issues?Change the Way You Poop

It’s time we take a hard look at the way we have been pooping

Photo by Guillaume Bolduc on Unsplash

It’s pretty simple, right?

When you have to poop, you go to the toilet, sit on it, poop until you are satisfied, get up and clean yourself, and be on your way.

However, around 66% of the world still uses the squatting position to poop.

Whether that is squatting to poop in the fields because some people don’t have access to a sit-on toilet or actually using a squat toilet, squatting is very popular in Asia, Middle East, and Africa, while being practically unheard of in the Western world.

Squat Toilet (Wikipedia Commons)

This is how a squat toilet looks like, and it’s used how you would expect. You place your feet on those horizontal lines with your butt directly hovering over the hole that has water in it.

When you need to clean yourself, you use the hose that has been generously placed within arm’s reach.

Now, what are the benefits of squatting rather than sitting when mother nature calls?

It’s far easier to empty your bowels, which leads to less straining.

Without knowing anatomy, you would think that poop is simply stored in the rectum and when you have to poop, you squeeze and poop just flows out of the anus.

However, that is true, but a lot goes on up your butt-hole to accomplish this process.

Look at this photo:

Squatting vs sitting (Reference) creative commons

The left image shows the position of the rectum and anal canal in relation to each other.

Whenever you sit on a toilet, the anorectal angle is not that wide so the feces or poop has to first pass in a diagonal direction before falling straight through the anus.

However, in the squatting position, the anorectal angle becomes almost 180° thus allowing for a straighter passage for the feces to exit through the anus.

The reason the anorectal angle becomes wider is that the puborectalis muscle relaxes much more in the squatting position thus relieving the constriction or choke it would have had on the rectum had the person been sitting on the toilet.

As you can already figure out, the squat position allows for easier emptying of the bowels which leads to less straining and can ease constipation.

One study recruited 28 healthy volunteers who sat on two toilets with each toilet having either a height of 32 or 42 cm high. Then they also were told to squat over a plastic container and record data for their bowel motions in these three different postures (two toilets & one squat).

Average time for passing bowel motion:

Squat position — — — — 51 seconds

32 cm toilet seat — — — 114 seconds

42 cm toilet seat — — —130 seconds

As you can see, these people were able to pass their bowel motions in a much shorter time in the squat position compared to the toilet seats.

It can help with constipation and hemorrhoids.

First, let’s define these words.

Constipation can mean one of two things. For some people, constipation refers to the infrequent passage of stool from the bowels while for others it means it’s difficult or even painful to pass stool.

Constipation is actually both things and anything that can straighten the route towards the exit can potentially help with this condition.

Because the squat position relaxes the puborectalis muscle thus widening the anorectal angle, feces has a much straighter route to exit through the anus thus helping people who are constipated or who have straining problems.

Now, hemorrhoids are basically swollen veins in the lower part of the rectum or anus. Some usual causes of hemorrhoids are:

  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Having constipation or diarrhea
  • Pregnancy

By using squat toilets or just simply being in the squat position can help with straining movements and constipation, which can reduce the risk of hemorrhoids.

In fact, one study had people with hemorrhoids use squat toilets and after a period of time, 18 of the 20 people were completely relieved of their symptoms and this stayed true even 30 months after the study was completed.

A bit of history: Jimmy Carter came down with a severe case of hemorrhoids in 1978 and a proctologist, Michael Freilich said that “We were not meant to sit on toilets, we were meant to squat in the field.”

Takeaways

A recent survey showed that around 16% of Americans suffer from chronic constipation.

1 million new cases of hemorrhoids occur each year in the United States.

Shifting to the squat position for pooping can help with these issues as it allows for easier emptying of the feces while also exerting less pressure on the intestines.

Now, I know what you people are thinking. There is no way I can use a squat toilet or the squat position because I only have a sit-on toilet at home.

The solution is simple.

Next time you have to do a #2, proceed to rest your feet on a small stool or elevation which will have the effect of mimicking the squat position.

Doing so will relax the puborectalis muscle even more thus widening the anorectal angle and making it easier for you to poop.

One of the most popular products is the Squatty Potty (Not an affiliate link).

If you don’t want to pay for a product like this, then feel free to use a small box or literally anything that will comfortably and gently elevate your feet when you are sitting on the toilet.

Go spread the message and save your friends from GI Issues!

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Samir S.

Samir S.

Writing to Inform, Educate, & Teach | Obsessed with Health & Wellness | https://samir-s.medium.com/subscribe