Thursday, July 28, 2011

Too much toilet time

C loves to read. When she is doing something she considers boring like eating or when she's on the 'throne', she has to read. When she gets her hands on a book, she'll not put it down until she's read the last page. We have difficulty getting her to stop reading during such times. While reading is a good habit, I feel, like in everything we do, there's a time and place for it.

Reading during mealtimes takes your attention away from enjoying your food and the company of the people you are eating with. You miss out on bonding time, sharing and talking with your family members.

Many people read while sitting on the 'throne'. I think that there's nothing too wrong with that except that when most people do that, they tend to spend a longer time in the toilet. It's alright if you are self-disiciplined and stop reading once you're done. With C, she can spend between half to an hour in there, even if she's done what she's supposed to do within 15 minutes. My main concern is that it is not a physcially healthy habit. Sitting too long on the toilet can cause hemorrhoids. As it is, she is sometimes constipated and has to strain.

Pressure to the anal veins, due to improper diet and straining causes the veins to become irritated and swollen, resulting in hemorrhoids. Sitting for too long on the toilet, like when you read in the toilet, also causes strain to the anal veins.

Here are some links for further information:
Mayo Clinic info
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC)
Hemorrhoid - Understanding Its Causes and Symptoms
And here's an excerpt from an article in Esquire dotcom:

Explains Dr. David Gutman, founder and lead physician of Advanced Hemorrhoid Specialists, "Hemorrhoids are derived from anatomical structures called anal cushions — like small balloons — embedded within the wall of the anal canal. When abdominal pressure is increased, these cushions instantly fill with blood to form a hydraulic seal to help prevent leakage.

"If the anal cushions become stretched out or get irritated, they are called hemorrhoids and can cause bleeding, itching, pain, and the protrusion of tissue through the rectum," the last condition also known as Jimmyfallonitis. "Sitting on the toilet too long can increase pressure on these anal cushions, which may eventually cause them to become hemorrhoids."

But doc, how long is too long?

"Well, you shouldn't be reading on the toilet. Bowel movements should be quick. I know people like to read in the bathroom, and what I would recommend is once they are done with the movement — if they insist on wanting to stay and read — they should wipe, flush, put the toilet-seat cover down, and sit on that. It's almost like sitting on a chair."

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