“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.
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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