Could western toilet design contribute to constipation? A Harvard gastroenterologist weighs in
Defecation is a natural process, although often a somewhat embarrassing subject to discuss. Issues with constipation can arise from an unhealthy diet, inadequate fiber intake, and scarce physical activity.
Harvard gastroenterologist, Dr. Sethi, has identified another factor that could contribute to extended bathroom visits. According to him, western toilets may be part of the cause of this prevalent issue.
The constipation issue could be linked to the design of toilets
Dr. Sethi recently decided to share his observations on social media. In a TikTok video, he highlighted the major difference between western toilets and those in the East. He notes that the western design may pose difficulties in defecation due to the semi-bent position of hips and thighs required for usage.
"This may necessitate more effort, leading to increased constipation and potentially hemorrhoids and fissures," Dr. Sethi explained.
The doctor noted that toilets in the eastern part of the world "promote a squatting position, aligning the anus and rectum for smoother stool passage."
How can the problem of constipation be addressed?
Dr. Sethi also mentioned that widely used toilets serve as a suitable solution for those with joint problems or the elderly. In his video, he denoted that renovating one's bathroom isn’t necessary. To expedite the defecation process and mitigate discomfort, investing in a special stool to facilitate the process is recommended.
Internet users were quick to express their experiences with the eastern toilet model during their travels, and some mentioned it was not comfortable: "Ever since I started using such a toilet, I've been having knee problems", "Eastern toilets are too painful for my joints". Others mentioned in the comments that they are likely to invest in a specialized stool.