Do you suffer from or have suffered from hemorrhoids, constipation, colon disease, ileocecal valve issues, or urinary tract infections? Research shows that squatting, rather than sitting, during bowel movements makes defecation more efficient and easier with less strain. Thus squatting helps avoid the above mentioned health problems.
Constipation and Hemorrhoids
Constipation and hemorrhoids go hand in hand as hemorrhoids are inflamed anal varicose veins that are the result of excessive pressure applied during hard to pass stools or constipation.
Most of us know that proper hydration and fiber intake are important to avoiding constipation but many of us do not consider the importance of bathroom posture. Anatomically, humans best eliminate stool when squatting.
*photo from squatty potty
The puborectalis muscle, which normally squeezes the rectum shut, is relaxed fully when squatting allowing for full and easy elimination. Less pushing and strain is necessary because less colon obstruction is present allowing stool to pass more freely. On the contrary, when sitting, the puborectalis muscle is not fully but only partially relaxed leading to more difficulty in the elimination process.
Colon Disease and ileocecal valve issues
During proper elimination not only should the puborectalis muscle be fully relaxed, but the ileocecal valve should close. Both of these things happen when we squat but not fully when we sit. Fecal buildup in the colon from incomplete elimination, and soiling of the small intestine from incomplete closure of the ileocecal valve, can lead to many health issues including colon disease and ileocecal valve issues to name a few.
Urinary Tract Infections for Women
Not only is squatting beneficial when passing stool but also during urination. When squatting, rather than sitting, the bladder is more efficiently emptied as urinary flow is stronger, lowering risk of urinary tract infections.
I first heard about the squatting technique from a friend who suffers from digestive issues. He mentioned to me that he started squatting during bowel movements and saw a reduction in his symptoms from doing this. My friend actually climbs up on to the toilet with his feet on the bowel and squats down. If you do not feel comfortable doing this, they do sell a product called the squatty potty which I stumbled upon when doing my research for this post! If you would like to check it out,
If you do decide to start squatting please let me know how it goes, I am interested in the results!
-Brenda Baran, NTP