5 Reasons to change the way you poop
Every day we try to think of ways to improve our health— a self-promise to go to the gym to shed those extra pounds, vow to drink less, quit smoking. But as the demands of everyday life take over, we abandon our quest for better health. As a general surgeon and mother of three young children, I understand the difficulty of trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the midst of a busy life. But just as we find time to look up pictures of celebrity booties, we need to take time to care for what exists between our own butt cheeks….the anus (or whatever you call it: bunghole, poophole, cornhole and stinky winky, or my favorite, booty).
The anus is the most neglected and mistreated part of the body so it’s no wonder many people suffer from anal problems. After having treated thousands of patients, I’ve realized that people with problems pooping are miserable as they are often suffering in silence and shame. So as you are considering ways to improve your health, please stop neglecting your behind and start taking good care of it. You only have one and you want to make sure it works for you for the rest of your life.
Even though most people would never admit it, there are few things in life more satisfying than taking a nice big dump. So go ahead, you deserve it. By following these five simple steps, you will improve the health of probably the most ignored part of your body. Let’s face it, your booty will never get as much attention as Kim Kardashian’s champagne-holding moneymaker, but the silent “like” you give your rear after your next poop will be priceless.
Here are five simple steps to improving your pooping habits, and in turn, your booty. Make them part of your anytime resolutions and feel good when you easily cross them off your to-do list.
1) Clean your booty without damaging it.
The most common ways of cleaning yourself after a bowel movement are also the most damaging. The skin around the anus can be very sensitive, so if it is not cleaned properly, problems can arise. Because poop is dirty and stinky, people feel the need to sterilize the area after a bowel movement. Our favorite way in the western world is to use toilet paper. But this isn’t the ideal cleaning method. The anus suffers when people aggressively wipe due to fear of having stool left behind. They wipe and wipe and wipe until the top layer of their skin ends up on the toilet paper.
No wonder people started using flushable wet wipes. Marketed as the best thing to happen to the behind since the invention of butt implants, the companies making these wipes tell us our booties are not clean unless we use them. Butt (pun intended), they failed to mention that there are so many chemicals in these wipes that instead of cleaning your anus, you are damaging it. The number of people with anal irritation and skin breakdown due to these wipes is astounding (but they don’t even realize this is the cause of their problems).
So, what is a better way? When you get dirt on your hands, you run it under some water. When you get poop on your bunghole, why not shoot some water to clean it off. Revolutionary idea? Hardly. People have used water for post-pooping hygiene for centuries. It cleans gently without added chemicals. Brilliant, yet simple. All you need is an attachment you can add to any toilet and BAM, your toilet can now clean your anus with less cost in the long run. Of course, you are not going to pull up your underwear with a wet booty, so you can still use some paper to pat dry or, even better, the blow dryer on low heat or cool setting works wonders.
2) Don’t spend more than TWO minutes on the toilet.
When did the toilet surpass the couch’s popularity for the best place to relax in the house? Spending a half hour on the toilet with your own poop, reading updates on Facebook is the best part of the day for many people. I hate to burst your bubble, but your butt is not meant to be hanging in the middle of the toilet seat, much less for 20 minutes. If you hang your head down for 15 minutes, blood will rush to your head and you will feel very uncomfortable. When you sit on the toilet for 15 minutes, gravity will pull down the anal tissue and blood will rush there and your anus will feel like your upside-down head.
“Hemorrhoids” are a normal part of all of our bodies. The problem starts when they get swollen, filling up with blood, and stretched out, which can occur if you spend more than two minutes on the toilet. If you keep spending too much time on the toilet, your anus has no chance. You will end up bottom-up on an exam table of a surgeon’s office to get your booty problems examined. So if you are addicted to pooping while playing with your phone, then activate the timer and get up when it has been two minutes.
3) Put a stool under your feet while pooping.
Before the popularization of the porcelain throne (aka, the western toilet), men pulled down their pants or women pulled up their skirts to take a dump wherever and whenever they got the urge. We don’t want to bring back the days of pooping anywhere and everywhere, but we should bring back the correct pooping position — squatting not sitting.
Our bodies are meant to poop in a squatting position, as it straightens out our rectum, which is the final storage area of the poop. Straightening the rectum allows it to empty properly, which is why people all around the world still poop into toilets that are holes in the ground. I’m not saying we should all rip out our toilets and squat into the hole left in the bathroom floor. There is a compromise between these two choices, which is to put a stool under your feet while on the toilet. This brings up your knees, puts you into more of a squatting position and helps you to more easily pass the stool, allowing it to flow out instead of having to push it out.
4) Avoid following the anal care advice of commercials.
I hate to break it to you, but those commercials telling you that your anal problems will disappear if you use hemorrhoidal products are untrue. The truth is that the most common anal problems come from incorrect bathroom habits and constipation. An easy way out sounds awesome, but the sole act of placing an ointment on the anus will not cure your problems. In fact, many of the ointments have a steroid such as hydrocortisone as the active ingredient.
Continued use of a steroid-based product can result in an even worse situation–the thinning or irritation of the anal skin. People use these steroid products for weeks or months, resulting in broken skin surrounding their anus, which has become raw and painful. It is important to remember that many of the ointments out there–be it prescription or over-the-counter–can do more harm than good. The key to resolving your issues lies in addressing the underlying problem and avoiding the use of steroid-based ointments.
5) Do not automatically blame booty problems on hemorrhoids.
One of the biggest misconceptions out there is that all anal issues stem from hemorrhoids. The most common problems are anal pain, bleeding, or itching. What many think are problems associated with hemorrhoids, actually have completely other diagnoses such as anal fissures (cuts in the anus due to passing a hard bowel movement), which causes bleeding and pain at the same time. Another common problem is a skin issue that happens to be in the anal region (such as itching), unrelated to hemorrhoids. See article “Do I have hemorrhoids?” for more details. If you have anal problems, see your doctor so you can get diagnosed correctly and experience relief as soon as possible.
Don’t hesitate another minute. Take these five easy steps so you can be a healthier and happier you!
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