Prop a squat instead? Instead of what you ask? Well, we’re talking about laxatives in particular; which are one of the most common methods used to help empty our bowels when suffering from what has become a widespread digestive ailment in western societies – constipation.
Many of us get told to take these medications as a regular part of daily life, and while they may have their place in the short term, there are potential risks from the long-term use of laxatives.
The lowdown on laxatives
While we haven’t found Australian specific figures, studies elsewhere across the globe have pointed to the millions of dollars spent on digestive health medication and laxatives alone, to deal with constipation.
As outlined in our article, Why do I need a toilet stool?, in 2019 The Lancet reported on a UK study by the Bowel Interest Group which found that constipation cost the English National Health Service (NHS) £162 million in 2017–18. And this was only related to patients reporting to a hospital. Prescription of laxatives is fairly common practice in England, costing £91 million in 2017–18; which doesn’t include the amount spent on over-the-counter laxatives, estimated to be considerably higher.
Each year in the United States, there are about 2.5 million visits to the doctor because of constipation and again, hundreds of millions of dollars spent on laxatives.
While laxatives can assist with the short term resolution of constipation, the overuse of them can lead to a number of issues, with some being potentially permanent. Even when taking laxatives for a short time, you may experience electrolyte disturbances, dehydration and mineral deficiencies.
According to the Mayo clinic, oral laxatives may interfere with your body’s absorption of some medications and nutrients; and in some cases can lead to an electrolyte imbalance, especially after prolonged use.
The ongoing use of laxatives can also lead to dependency in order to ‘go’ along with decreased bowel function; which is pretty much the opposite of what we were needing the meds for in the first place! In the longer term, laxative abuse can also cause potentially permanent damage to the digestive system, including chronic constipation, as well as damage to the nerves and muscles of the colon.
So… what can we do instead of developing a reliance on meds to get our poo game going?
It’s the natural way to go
Did you know that almost two-thirds of the world’s population still squat to poop? And, research tells us these are the people who generally enjoy good gut health? Yet in countries where we sit on a western toilet, we have alarmingly high incidences of not only constipation, but also haemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), bowel cancer and other digestive health issues.
These gut ailments are almost unheard of in the parts of the world where people still squat. The relatively high incidence of gut health and digestive issues in countries like Australia, the UK and the US, can be a direct result of sitting on our western pedestal toilets (aka our ‘thrones’). Hmmm… the modern western toilet is perhaps not so regal after all?!
Squatting is the best and most natural way ‘to go’, and it’s actually easier on you too. The squat position on the toilet changes the angle of your sigmoid colon making it work with gravity rather than against it. Squatting is in fact the ancient way to poo, responsible for billions of folks pooping with no stress and no pain!
How do I prop a squat on a pedestal toilet?
Well, you don’t. Or at least, for personal safety, we wouldn’t recommend it. In most western countries, squatting isn’t exactly the most practical thing you can do. Most of us are not about to replace the pedestal toilet for squat toilets in our homes (though we have certainly heard of some who have!).
So, using a toilet squat stool is the next best thing. It helps simulate the squat position while using your pedestal toilet – you squat and sit at the same time!
Using a foot stool for western toilets gets you comfortably close to the perfect squatting/releasing alignment (releasing the kink in your gut and allowing the colon to straighten) and is suitable for most levels of flexibility.
Let’s consider the costs
If you want to be free from the constant cycle of buying laxatives and suffering from uncomfortable side effects, then using a toilet squat stool could be the best thing you’ve ever done.
The PROPPR is intended to be a one-off purchase for daily use, and if looked after, it will last a lifetime. In addition, consider the price of the PROPPR against the cost of ongoing treatments with health professionals or the purchase of laxatives and supplements that may not assist over the long term.
Let your bowels become addicted to propping instead of laxatives. It’s not to say that laxatives may not be necessary for some, however the simple act of ‘propping’ may greatly reduce the need for these ongoing interventions.
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to prop a squat to poop people! Why not start today? And if you need a PROPPR to help you prop that squat, then check out our range on the shop.