Why you should never poo without a stool
Did you know that we as humans are actually designed to squat when we poop? Our ancestors did it and so do most of the World’s population today. I bet you remember the shock the first time you saw a hole in the floor when abroad. They know the importance of squatting and how this makes it easier and healthier on your body to pass stools.
So why do we start our children off correctly, using a potty in a squat position and then we 'civilize' them and re-train them to sit on the modern toilet? CRAZY! Why are so many totally aware of the importance of the position that we poo in?
Constipation is extremely common, but that doesn't make it any less unpleasant or uncomfortable. Constipation can be caused by no obvious reason or it could be because…
- You're not eating enough fibre
- You're not drinking enough fluids
- You're not moving enough or you spend long periods sitting or lying down
- You are not active or exercising
- You ignore the urge to use the toilet
- You have changed your diet or daily routine
- You suffer from stress, anxiety or depression
- You are pregnant or have recently given birth
- You are experiencing a side effect of medication
Pooing and the pelvic floor
A large number of women are affected by constipation and this puts a huge amount of strain on the pelvic floor. Chronic straining - because of constipation - weakens the pelvic floor muscles. The rectum is very close to the bladder and when it is full of hard stool it can press on the bladder which reduces the bladder's capacity. This can cause you to leak urine. Weakened pelvic floor muscles can also lead to faecal incontinence where soft stool can leak out around the hard constipated stool.
Why you should use a stool when doing a poo
Squatting puts less strain on the large intestine and is the best position for bowel movements. This is how we are actually designed to poo. WebMD says “As food moves from your stomach to your small intestine, digestive juices break it down. Digested nutrients move through the wall of your small intestine into your bloodstream. Leftover waste mixes with water in your large intestine to form stool. Stool stays in your rectum - a collecting chamber at the end of your large intestine. A U-shaped muscle called the puborectalis wraps around your rectum. This muscle keeps the lower part of your bowel bent to hold the stool inside until you're ready to go. It works much like a kink in a garden hose that prevents water from getting out. The slight bend in your colon stops you from letting go and having an accident."
When you sit on the toilet for a poo, this part of your bowel is still kinked, just like a garden hose. The bend, called the anorectal angle, is kinked which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps the faeces inside. The sitting posture actually keeps us in ‘continence mode’. This makes elimination difficult and incomplete, creating the need to strain. Squatting helps to open up this kink and allow the faeces to exit the body with ease.
Constipation treatments/constipation remedies
Making some lifestyle changes can help ease constipation and mean less straining on the toilet…
- Drink plenty of fluids and try to avoid alcohol
- Increase your fibre intake, try bran, oats or linseed
- A daily walk or run can help you poo more regularly
- Start doing more exercise when you can, join a club or go to a gentle exercise class to get started
3. Toilet habits
- Keep a regular time and place to use the toilet, your body will get into a routine
- Don’t delay if you feel the urge to poo
- Use a stool to help raise your knees higher, ideally above the hips
- A doctor or pharmacist might recommend a laxative or other medication that helps pull water into the bowel and soften the stool if lifestyle and diet changes aren't helping to get things moving.
Final thoughtsUsing a stool on when using the toilet is vital to good toilet habits.
So protect your pelvic floor, take the pressure off, and get your feet up and poo the correct way.
This is the link to the Squatty Potty (the major toilet stool brand) or if you just want a basic stool, I recommend this one. They are also fold up which is handy. When out and have no access to a stool such as in a hotel, use the small bin to put your feet up on. You can also lean back and hug your knees. The idea is to have your knees higher than your hips, so use whatever you can find
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