Toilet warning: Straining on the loo can cause rectal prolapse – warning signs

Haemorrhoids: NHS expert gives advice on treatment

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“Harder stools can be a pain, especially when forced to strain, as this puts pressure on the muscles and blood vessels making them swell,” explains health and wellbeing expert Stephanie Taylor. This can then lead to various complications, ranging from rectal prolapse to anal fissures. Here are the warning signs to spot and how to fix this problem.

If going for number two feels like a constant battle, it might be time to switch up your diet.

Especially, because straining on the loo can leave you with an unwanted souvenir in the form of health problems, Taylor warned.

She said: “Straining can result in anal fissures – a small tear in the large intestine near the anus, which can be itchy, painful and result in bleeding.”

From pain to lumps, the expert explained how to spot this painful condition.

Taylor said: “Warning signs of anal fissures include severe pain during and after a bowel movement.

“Blood in your stool or [on] toilet paper after a bowel movement, lumps or skin tags around the anus.”

A visible tear or crack around your bottom and discomfort when urinating could also point to anal fissures.

However, this isn’t the “worst” possible health outcome of straining as it can also lead to rectal prolapse.

Taylor said: “Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum slips outside of the anus.

“[It can be] spotted by a mass outside the anus, as well as the inability to control your bowel movements, [or] the leaking of blood or mucus.”

Other tell-tale signs of this scary condition are the feeling that your bowel hasn’t emptied properly.

You can also experience changes in bowel movements, such as constipation or diarrhoea.  

The last health problem that can occur after a difficult loo experience are haemorrhoids.

As straining puts pressure on the muscles and blood vessels, this can result in haemorrhoids popping up around your bottom.

Also known as piles, the condition can later progress to rectal bleeding when “hard bowel movements” hit a blood vessel, Taylor explained.

Piles can be spotted by bright red blood on the loo roll, irritation and lumps around your bottom and discomfort when on the loo.

Fortunately, there’s a simple solution that can reduce your risk of these painful problems – a dietary change.

The founder of StressNoMore advised: “If you’re straining, it’s likely due to constipation. Try upping your fibre intake to loosen your bowels.

“[Eat] meals containing oats, wheat, pulses (beans, lentils etc.), potatoes and fresh or dried foods or vegetables. 

“However, if you suffer from IBS (inflammatory bowel syndrome) or IBD (inflammatory bowel disease), it’s best to stick to insoluble fibres, such as cauliflower, beans, nuts, root vegetables and wholegrain foods like brown rice or couscous.”

The expert added that when straining persists even after boosting your fibre intake, you should visit a doctor.

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