My friend Olga came into my office a few weeks ago and told me that she purchased a Squatty Potty Toilet Stool. Although I did not know such a product existed I told her that I would look into it and possibly review one for my audience.
So just what is a Squatty Potty and what problems does it set out to eliminate? See the extract below from the Squatty Potty website:
“When we’re standing or sitting the bend, called the anorectal angle, is kinked which puts upward pressure on the rectum and keeps the feces inside. The sitting posture actually keeps us in ‘continence mode’. This makes elimination difficult and incomplete, creating the need to STRAIN. Some researchers have compared the anatomical predicament created by sitting on a toilet to trying to defecate through a kinked garden hose. It just doesn’t work.
In the squatting posture, the puborectalis muscle relaxes allowing the bend to straighten out resulting in easier defecation. Squatting is the natural way to achieve easier and more complete elimination. Research shows that squatting relieves the kink effect. Also, the pressure of thigh muscles against the lower abdomen helps with exertion and elimination.
5 Problems with Sitting On Your Toilet
Let’s face it: most of us don’t get the fiber we need in our diets. It’s true. And we fail to get all the water we need as well. These two things along with improper toilet posture which doesn’t allow us to eliminate completely is a bad combination that creates hard dry stools. These hard dry stools are very hard to push out. It’s called constipation, and we’ve all experienced it. Unfortunately, it’s the norm for altogether too many of us. But that’s just the beginning…
Getting those hard stools out calls for lots of pushing. And that pressure causes hemorrhoids, which can be very painful. Hemorrhoids are inflamed anal varicose veins that have swollen because of our need to push excessively to get those hard stools to pass. And as bad as hemorrhoids are, they aren’t the worst of our potential problems.
#3: Colon Disease
Eliminating completely and often helps maintain good colon health. Many studies point to fecal buildup in the colon as a cause of diseases including colon cancer. And when there is buildup in the colon, our bodies can’t absorb all the nutrients from the food we eat, leaving us without the energy we could enjoy if our colons were healthy.
#4: Urinary Difficulty/Infections
Urinary flow is usually stronger and easier when women squat to urinate. The bladder is emptied more completely when squatting rather than sitting or “hovering”. Squatting can help reduce episodes of urinary tract infections in both frequency and intensity. Now, that is good news!
#5: Pelvic Floor Issues
One of the main causes of this condition is straining on the toilet. The “sitting” position causes a great amount of pressure on the anorectal Angle of the colon causing the lower part of the colon to drop and protrude into the wall of the vagina. Pelvic floor nerves can be protected by squatting for bowel elimination. Men can also suffer from pelvic floor disorders and can readily benefit from using the Squatty Potty as a part of their everyday routine.
Thanks to the folks over at Squatty Potty I received my very own and set off for a few tests. The Squatty Potty came carefully packaged with an educational pamphlet and instructions for use.
I first had my children try it. Immediately the two older ones mentioned that using the Squatty Potty allowed them to eliminate quicker, with little to no straining, however the kids mentioned that it was a wee bit too big for them and they asked if a version for kids was available. Until a kids version of the Squatty Potty is available my middle child is using a small stepping stool which seems to be a bit more comfortable for her small frame. **Update, kids version is now available here. **
Something noteworthy is that a few days into using the S.P a problem arose when our toddler who is still too short to use it thought it was a stepping stool and decided to use it to climb up on the toilet, which I found was a nice advantage to the Squatty Potty.
Now I only wish we had one more for the kid’s bathroom so they aren’t always lugging mine in and out of our bathroom.
As far as my personal experience I really liked it. There is something natural and comfortable about squatting that relieves tension and unnecessary straining. When I was a child and traveled abroad with my father, we were often in farms and places where squatting was the only way to get your business done. Tools like the Squatty Potty are worth mentioning and reviewing as there are many people who suffer from painful elimination and hemorrhoids.
For years when I was a teen I strained and would go days without emptying my bowels. This lead me to an internal tear, hemorrhoids and rectal bleeding. It was a terrible experience that I continued to have until my first child was born. Had I been given a tool like the Squatty Potty I think it would have alleviated some of my pain, bleeding and constipation. I must add however that no external tool should be substituted for a healthy diet. To eliminate issues with constipation that cause straining; a balanced diet is imperative and daily consumption of probiotics and or fermented foods.
I also believe that after giving birth it can be extremely painful to use the bathroom, especially if the woman has torn or received stitches. A Squatty Potty would be on my list of preferred baby shower products if I was expecting.
Children also can benefit as did mine, eliminating some of the fear children have of pushing or straining to use the bathroom.
Squatty Potty is an ingenious creation that can definitely aid many in their bathroom perils.
Its been over 15 years since my digestive and elimination issues and I can’t be happier. To find out what a healthy bowel movement should look like, click here.