The Squatty Potty: Health Colons, Here We Come

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Several weeks ago I was contacted by Robert Edwards from the Squatty Potty website about reviewing his product, the Squatty Potty toilet stool. Free stuff, I thought? You betcha’! “Send one right over!” I immediately replied. I am so glad that I said that.

If you are new to PoopReport, you might not have read the countless articles and comments on the site about squatting to poop. We westerners sit on a toilet, but the people of many cultures in the world – two thirds, actually – do not. They squat. Why is this, you might ask? Well, in the 1800s the flush toilet became the “in” thing to have if you were English. In fact, the flush toilet was one of the things that was thought to separate the classes (the upper class hoarded education, etiquette, and the flush toilet). As it became clear how important a sewer system was to the health and sanitation of a country, flush toilets sprouted up everywhere people could afford them, outhouses began to disappear, and squatting became a distant memory to western butts.

During the past couple of years, though, as the internet and cheaper travel have made the world a smaller place, and as different cultures come into contact with each other more frequently because of these advancements, many westerners are finding themselves considering squatting to relieve themselves. Those who squat have been proved to suffer from fewer instances of constipation, hemorrhoids, and colon dysfunctions (if suffering from them at all) than those who sit to poop. Why is this? It is simple anatomy: Sitting on the toilet causes a kink to develop in your descending colon, and it is because of this kink that people strain more. But when you squat to poop that kink in the colon straightens out, and you don’t have to strain to poop.

I have known about the differences between sitting and squatting to poop for years, much like I discovered that birthing chairs are better for delivering mothers than lying on a bed, so I was rather excited to review a Squatty Potty stool. I had to measure the space in front of my toilet from the floor to where the bowl began to bow out, because as you can read on this page the stool comes in different heights depending on that space. The stool also can be ordered slanted forward or backward, depending on whether you still sit on the toilet or fully squat.

Robert sent me one of the lower stools, because our toilets are rather short, in the white wood style. I stood on it; it’s a sturdy little piece of furniture. It doesn’t necessarily look like it came from the geriatric products aisle of our local drug store, either. I put it downstairs in our master bath and waited for nature to take its course in my lower bowels. Would I feel a difference like those who posted their testimonies on Robert’s website?

When the time came, I pulled the stool forward a few inches, turned around, sat on the toilet, and put my feet on the spots designate for them on the stool. This caused my knees to ride up around my chest and put me in a safe, squatting position. What happened next almost made me laugh. It was as if my butt was confused, because the sensation of pooping with a straight colon was really no sensation of all. The poop just kind of, well, came out.

Plop.

And that was that.

So, you might ask, how do I feel since receiving the Squatty Potty stool? Pretty good. For the past two three weeks I truly have an easier time downloading my own personal brown file. I feel more functional. It is almost as if the poop has a shorter distance to travel, if that makes any sense to you. The amount of time I spend on the pot has dramatically decreased, and I feel weird pooping on other toilets that do not have their own Squatty Potty stools.

Are there any drawbacks to using to a squatting stool? I did find I have to make sure that my shorts or underwear are pulled down far enough the hard way. Once I wasn’t careful and I ended up peeing on my underwear because they had slipped over the front of the toilet seat and into the line of fire. (To be fair, wine may have been involved.) I also kind of miss my end-of-the-day poop and reading on the pot ritual. Usually I let the dogs out in the back yard while I refresh the pets' water bowls and put more food out for the cats in our bedroom. Then when the dogs are back inside and have situated themselves in the bed, I would sit on the toilet and read for a few minutes. Currently I am reading Red Lights on the Prairies, by James H. Gray. Since I started using the Squatty Potty stool I do not read on the pot as much and have switched to reading for a few minutes in bed. I know this is better for me, but I kind of miss the bathroom time.

Do I recommend that you try a Squatty Potty stool? I do! I think the stool is made well. I notice I poop easier. I especially liked that the information Robert sent with the stool was supported with credible medical references instead of being loaded with vague, new-age bullshit. Finally, I liked corresponding with Robert, who is professional, polite, and generous. In fact, Robert is so generous that he is going to give away a few Squatty Potty stools to the pooping public. If you would like to enter the contest, all you have to is go to The Squatty Potty’s Facebook page and click “Like.” On Valentine's Day he will choose a few random lucky poopers as winners.

I give this product two enthusiastic thumbs up. Thanks, Robert!

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22 Comments on "The Squatty Potty: Health Colons, Here We Come"

C Everett Poop's picture
j 1000+ points
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1. If bringing your knees up to your chest aligns your colon, why wouldn't leaning your chest over to your knees do the same thing?
2. If this works so great, why not just stand on a couple of LA phone books next to your crapper?
3. What happens when you get old and lose the leg strength to assume the squat position?

Anonymous's picture
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1. Gravity becomes your friend with your knees up and your but down.

2. Phone books would work, If you dont miond having phone books around your toilet :)

3. My grandmother who is 84 uses the squatty potty and you'd be hard pressed to take it from her.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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Anonymous answered just about everything you asked, CEP. Leaning forward doesn't use gravity, and I am not going to put five or six phone books in my bathroom when I have been given this nifty stool that matches the rest of the bathroom. This stool is so easy to pull out a few inches and use, and it doesn't look too bad. As to having no leg muscles when one gets older, that is one of the nice things about the Squatty Potty stool -- it does the squatting for an older person. I could hover the seat in a squat if I wanted to now, but I have always sat on the toilet so I probably will continue.

One of my favorite parts of being able to help with the site is reviewing new stuff!

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Anonymous's picture
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Oh sure, I get the stuff that makes shit smell like lemon shit, and you get something useful...wtf???

Disgruntled alpha male of the Front Page Hyena Pack who didn't bother to log in.

runninggrrl2's picture
Comment Quality Moderatork 500+ points
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I'm sort of interested in one of these. I'm curious as to what it looks like, so I'll definitely go to the company website to get some more info. I don't usually have issues with my morning business, but every once in a while you get one that takes a while. I'd love to try something like this.

An apple a day keeps the ExLax away!

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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Bilgepump posted the lemon-shit comment, and he was referring to Poo-Pourri, which is the freaking bomb! Here is a link to the review he and DungDaddy wrote a few years back:

Poo-Pourri

I thought that was a great review. Actually, Dave sent us a bottle or two as well when the Poo-Pourri people sent us samples, and I fell in love with it. I wanted to buy more, but it's pretty expensive. And it does work. All of our guests used it and said they liked not having to leave the bathroom smelling like an outhouse in the middle of August.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Anonymous's picture
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How about 5 or 6 Sears catalogs... they used to be de rigeur in all the finest crappers.

Poop John the First's picture
l 100+ points
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Before I read this I didn't know squat about squatty potty.

Spreading the turd one poop at a time.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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Well, all of you -- get your butts over to Facebook and Like the page so you can win one of your own!

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Postman's picture
k 500+ points
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What about the post-crap clean up? Have you noticed a difference in the amount of toilet paper you use? A quick dump kind of becomes pointless if you have to spend 5 minutes wiping afterwords.

Anonymous's picture
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And gravity doesn't work for you while sitting? B.S. Third world people often have less difficulty defecating because their diets tend to be higher in natural fiber, not because they haven't the proverbial pot to piss (or in this case shit) in. If your colon is kinked from sitting, it would be even more kinked from squatting, unless you believe that it is normally kinked up and only straightens while squatting (also B.S.). Peruse an anatomy text or two; you'll see. The splenic flexure is one of the most common sources of discomfort, but squat or not, pooping posture should have no effect.

daphne's picture
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Anonymous, I do not have to peruse any text to remember that the splenic flexure sits up around the left kidney. Even lower in the descending colon is the sigmoid colon, which is a huge turn. As you mentioned and as I contributed, the descending colon is not straight. (Actually, the vascular and muscular support of the transverse and sigmoid mesocolon cause a bit of rumpling all over the place.) If you read my article and considered that I was suggesting squatting straightens out the entire left descending colon, then I sincerely apologize. That is not what I meant to imply. The kink to which I referred can be seen from a side view, and it is down near the rectum. I believe it can be seen with what is called a defecography.

After reviewing the stuff Robert sent me I see that the angle (what I have been calling the kink) is the anorectal angle. I should have been referring specifically to the lower colon or the upper rectum. I should have also added into the article that some scientific research has shown that natural squatting has been suspected of causing strokes in older people, which is why this stool is so awesome -- it takes some of the stress out of the maneuver. Also, I found that squatting stools have been found to relieve spastic colon in some individuals.

I may edit the article to reflect more accurately the lower portion of digestive tract because of the misunderstanding that my using the word colon has caused to Anonymous and to anyone else. To be honest, I was not surprised to read this person's post. Dozens of people over the years have assumed that an endorsed product or procedure featured on this site is worthless before conducting any research of their own. It would take little research (or perusing) to find studies online that support squatting.

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

C Everett Poop's picture
j 1000+ points
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Squatting or sitting, neither one changes the position of your torso, and that is where the dooking mechanism resides. It just changes the position of your legs. This is just more new age hooey packaging to the gullible. This is the Shamwow and Ginsu knife of the bathroom. I'll sit on the twister, thanks.

Anonymous's picture
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Honestly, people! You've never lived in outside of the West. I live in China and though squatties may have certain benefits, they are extremely unsanitary! I gag pretty much every time I go to use one here. You really should explore the world more. It's nasty out here.

Anonymous's picture
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Actually, squatting making it easier to poop makes perfect sense to me (long before I ever even heard of it being better for you). When I was a teenager, my mom needed a riser for the toilet (arthritis in the hips making it difficult to sit so far down). I quickly discovered that pooping while so high up was next to impossible for me.

I love my current toilet, it is nice and fairly low to the ground. And if I'm ever having a particularly rough time due to constipation (had problems with it since I had surgery 5 years ago) I lift my knees off the ground. Not comfortable by any means but it helps.

So, I don't need the literature. I just need my own experience.

-signed, person who signed in over a year ago and can't remember her id or password anymore

Anonymous's picture
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I suffered from frequent constipation until moving in with my fiance. I could attribute the improvement to various health habits I've picked up over the years, but come to think of it it might be at least partly due to the configuration of our bathroom; it's a small room, and the bathtub is right in front of the toilet - not as close as the stool should be, but comfortably close. I've gotten used to putting my feet on the edge of the bathtub while pooping, which puts me in a more squat-like position. It's very comfortable; I feel like I could pass a beach ball if it came to that.

I'm skeptical as to whether it's necessary to buy anything to achieve this effect, even if you're not blessed with a conveniently cramped bathroom. It should be easy enough to throw together a makeshift platform - someone mentioned phone books. A couple of overturned buckets could work too.

Anonymous's picture
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Sitting with your feet on a footstool like the Squatty Potty is a far cry from squatting. Anyone who's grown up squatting knows the difference. A footstool has a small fraction of the benefit of true squatting. This link explains why:

http://www.naturesplatform.com/faq.html#footstools

Anonymous's picture
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I came across Poop Report about a year ago during a late night web surfing session, registered, laughed myself silly, and then didn't return for a long while. I was reminded of Poop Report last week while I was watching "World's Dumbest" on Tru TV. In case you're nor familiar with it, it's a bunch of has-been celebrities (Tonya Harding, Danny Bonaduce, Leif Garrett, to name a few), who make rude comments about video clips of people (usually teenage boys doing stupid stunts or criminals).

That week's episode was "World's Dumbest Inventions." To give you an idea, they had eyelashes for car headlights, a wine glass that holds a full bottle of wine ("Honest, officer, I only had one glass."), and an electronic latex ass that quivers when you smack it. I swear. It's from Japan.

In the middle of all these was - guess what? - the Squatty Potty. There was Judy Gold (comedian) with her knickers around her ankles reading a newspaper on the toilet.

Daphne, I immediately thought of you.

shitake boy's picture
l 100+ points
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Hi Daphne,

Like you, I too have that all important end-of-day poop. I too would read, (my aviation magazines). I too, look forward to and like my bathroom time. Also, I too bought a Squatty Potty and LOVE IT! I too was skeptical at first until I saw it endorsed by Dr. Oz, and even my own doctor recommened that I purchase one. I suffer from IBS, and my doctor recommended that I squat when I poop. I told him about a stool that I was using, and how awkward it was in my bathroom. He recommended the Squatty Potty. I promptly went online, and purchased one, because if a doctor endorses it, that says a lot. I have had mine for almost three months now, and the difference is noticable. I poop at work 2-3 times in my eight hour workday. No Squatty Potty there :(. I find That my best poops are the ones at home, with Squatty Potty. While, like you, it shortens the actual 'go' time, I will spend an extra 5-7 minutes on the toilet, just because, I like my bathroom time that much. Basically my bathroom time is the only relaxation time I get these days. Bottom line...don't listen to the naysayers. I have recommended it to a few people I know. Great Product. :)

In search of the ever evasive BM

Anonymous's picture
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I don't have a Squatty Potty, but I've used a box and now a turned over crate instead. My poop time is shorter, less residue is left on the TP after I wipe, my poop comes out in one really long piece, instead of several broken up piece, and I feel like my colon is completely empty after I poop. I literally feel like I pooped out my life.

Anonymous's picture
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New to SP, was just checking out some reviews, just purchased 1.
One thing, as a Sleep Specialist I would like to add... reading in bed is OK, not advised, especially after 20 minutes. This is called bad Sleep Hygiene, and could actually cause more harm than good. To be TRULY healthy, look up good sleep hygiene. Thanks for the info, helpful.

Anonymous's picture
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Daphne,

Regarding your statement that "some scientific research has shown that natural squatting has been suspected of causing strokes in older people," I have some comments.

That study is quite bogus and really wasn't a study at all. It didn't compare the effect on strokes or heart attacks of straining in the sitting position versus the squatting position.

It just observed that most strokes occur in the morning, possibly while defecating. This is as true in the western world as among squatting populations. Defecation increases blood pressure in any position. Strokes are not caused by an increase in blood pressure, but by a blood clot. The clots are dislodged by straining -- whether while sitting or squatting.