A man from China was sitting on the toilet and playing games on his phones when his rectum slipped out of his anus, according to LiveScience. After he noticed that there was a ball-sized lump that had fallen out of his anus, the man went to a hospital in southeast China. The peculiar thing about this event, however, is that the ball-sized lump was still attached to his body, reports the Daily Mail.
When doctors finally attended to the man, they diagnosed him with rectal prolapse (prolapsed anus), which is an uncommon condition. Rectal prolapse occurs when the rectum falls from its normal position within the pelvic area, according to the Clevland Clinic. They add that this condition usually affects 2 out of every 100,000 people, and about two-thirds of those who are diagnosed with it have chronic constipation. The exact cause of the condition is not clear, but there are definitely certain factors that play a role.
The Cleveland Clinic says some of those factors include: loose muscles of the anal sphincter (the muscle that releases stool); experiencing a previous injury to the pelvic or anal area; chronic constipation; and, damage to the rectal nerves. When reporters at the Daily Mail asked the man what he was doing when this occurred, he informed them that he was playing mobile games on his phone for over half an hour on the toilet while trying to go “number 2.” Apparently he’d been experiencing rectal prolapse since he was four years old, but the rectum had always retracted to its normal position.
But now this begs the question: “does sitting on the toilet too long increase your chances of experiencing a rectal prolapse?” According to Dr, Elanor Atkins, a general surgeon from Bupa UK, it can definitely increase your chances. Atkins explained that when you sit on the toilet, you’re putting a lot of pressure on your body’s pelvic floor, especially if you’re straining while trying to have a bowel movement.
Atkins states that when stress is put on the pelvic floor and weakens it, the pelvic muscles also become weak and this leads to an increase in rectal prolapse. Atkins adds that there is also a concern that pressure damage may occur as well, especially if the individual is elderly. She says that the easiest way to prevent rectal prolapse from occurring while you’re on the toilet is to keep your bowel movements soft and regular by drinking plenty of water, eating foods that are rich in fibre and keeping active.
Symptoms of Rectal Prolapse: The most common symptoms of rectal prolapse are the feeling of a bulge that is reddish-coloured and extends outside of the anus. This can start to occur during or even after bowel movements and could just be a temporary condition. But over time, constant activity can cause the end of the rectum to extend out of the anal canal. In this case, it will need to be pushed back into the anus, according to the Clevland Clinic.
The Clevland Clinic also states that pain in the anus and rectum and rectal bleeding are other symptoms of rectal prolapse. They add that fecal incontinence is also a symptom. This is when there is leakage of mucus, blood or stool from the anus. This happens because the rectum stretches the anal muscle.
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