The common mistake people make when having a poo that can be ‘really harmful’ – expert

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When you do something every day, it is easy to go into autopilot. This is particularly true if your body does not tell you that it is harmful. However, many practices can be detrimental to your health without you realising.

When going to the toilet, it is vital that you flush with the seat down.

Why? “When you flush the toilet with the toilet seat up, your toilet shoots out tiny water particles mixed with your waste. These are known as toilet plume,” warns Adam Leech, Owner of Showers Direct.

According to Mr Leech, “these particles contain some really harmful bacteria and could have traces of Shingella, E Coli and C difficile, all of which could be really bad for your health”.

As he explained, these harmful bacteria could live on surfaces in your bathroom for months.

This means that even after a shower – when you think you are clean – you could be picking these harmful bacteria up on your toothbrush, soap, or towel rail, warned Mr Leech.

Fortunately, there are precautions you can take to stop this happening.

In addition to making sure to flush with the toilet seat down, you should always wash your hands thoroughly, advised Mr Leech.

“Additionally when you use public bathrooms and the toilet doesn’t have a lid, make sure to leave as soon as you flush the toilet.”

For extra protection, it is worth keeping your toothbrush tucked out of sight. 

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“For safety, either store it away in a cabinet, or buy a toothbrush head protector,” advised Stephanie Taylor of StressNoMore.

“One small investment could save your mouth from a dirt frenzy.”

Other ways bacteria can spread

Most germs can survive on fabrics for some time.

“Underwear is more likely to have germs on it than outer clothing like jumpers or trousers,” explains the NHS.

The health body continues: “Underwear may contain germs from traces of faeces (poo) and from genital infections, such as thrush.

“However, you can also pick up germs on your outer clothes, for example if you nurse someone with an illness or clean up vomit.

“Germs can also get onto outer clothing if you handle contaminated food or brush against a soiled object.”

Bacterial contamination complications

Gastroenteritis – a common condition that triggers diarrhoea, sickness and tummy pain – can be the result of a bacterial infection.

It is estimated that around one in five people in the UK get gastroenteritis each year.

“You can get gastroenteritis if you eat or drink anything containing bacteria, viruses or parasites,” warns Bupa.

“You can also catch it from someone who has the infection, or by touching objects and surfaces that they’ve touched before you.”

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