Could the Western toilet seat be at the heart of our digestive issues? Harvard-trained Gastroenterologist Dr. Sethi delves into the potential link between constipation and the type of toilet we commonly use in the West. Constipation, a common concern, is attributed to various factors according to the NHS, including insufficient fiber intake, inadequate fluid consumption, extended periods of sitting or lying down, and dietary changes. However, Dr. Sethi suggests that the Western toilet seat may be a contributing factor to bowel movement difficulties.

Dr. Sethi asserts, “A Western toilet may be the primary reason for your constipation.” He elaborates on how Eastern toilet seats, promoting a squatting posture, align the anus and rectum for more straightforward stool evacuation. In contrast, Western toilet seats, with their semi-flexed hips and thighs, may necessitate increased straining, potentially exacerbating constipation, and leading to issues such as hemorrhoids and fissures, told The Mirror.

Despite highlighting the potential concerns, Dr. Sethi offers a practical solution, stating that one doesn’t “have to go wild” and replace their toilet seat. Instead, he suggests optimizing posture during toilet use by utilizing a stool to lift the feet. He emphasizes that Western toilets are reasonable, particularly for older individuals or those with joint issues, as they are easier to sit on.

Symptoms of bowel cancer may include:

  • changes in your poo, such as having a softer poo, diarrhea, or constipation that is not usual for you
  • needing to poo more or less often than usual for you
  • blood in your poo, which may look red or black
  • bleeding from your bottom
  • often feeling like you need to poo, even if you’ve just been to the toilet
  • tummy pain
  • a lump in your tummy
  • bloating
  • losing weight without trying
  • feeling very tired for no reason

The TikTok video, where Dr. Sethi shared this information, garnered positive responses from viewers, with some expressing surprise at the revelation and others considering adjustments to their toilet habits. The engagement in the comments reflects a mix of amazement, realization, and a willingness to adopt the suggested changes.

For those concerned about their toilet habits or experiencing unusual symptoms, Dr. Sethi recommends consulting a GP. The video also touches on red flag symptoms of bowel cancer, encouraging individuals to seek medical attention if they notice changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool, abdominal pain, bloating, unintended weight loss, or persistent fatigue. While these symptoms may not necessarily indicate bowel cancer, timely medical evaluation is crucial for ruling out serious underlying issues, as emphasized by the NHS.

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