The Squat Toilet: A healthier alternative?

By | April 9, 2010

Squat toilets are a fact of life, for tourists who intend to travel to parts of the developing world such as China and India. While you will certainly come across regular toilets in many tourist class facilities, as soon as you head off the ‘beaten track’ you will come across this type of toilet.

For me, even now, it’s a real challenge to use the squat toilet… so I have no tips on how to improve your use of them! There are a few resources that suggest tips on using a squat toilet! I’m surprised that someone researched as much as this article. It’s pretty good.

But one researcher did recommend the squat toilet as one of the natural hemorrhoid treatments. You can take a look at the notes on Wikipedia for this. I present a summary for your education:

Based on their very low incidence in the underdeveloped world, where most people squat for defecation, hemorrhoids have been attributed to the use of the "sitting" toilet. Dr. Berko Sikirov published a study in 1987 testing this hypothesis by having hemorrhoid sufferers convert to squat toilets. Eighteen of the 20 patients were completely relieved of their symptoms (pain and bleeding) with no recurrence, even 30 months after completion of the study.

It’s interesting to note that with the squat toilet, gravity plays more of a role; and therefore, we put less strain on our lower parts. The doctors did suggest for those suffering hemorrhoids that consuming more fluids, dietary fiber, exercise and better posture will help to reduce discomfort. But then this is common sense, isn’t it?