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It seems that, every single time we sit down to do our business and drop the "Browns off at the Super Bowl," if we sit there for longer than about five minutes, our feet start tingling and it makes for an awkward—and sometimes painful—wiping experience once we stand up.
The pins and needles feeling happens to us all, and, thanks to Satish S.C. Rao, M.D., Ph.D.—a professor of medicine at the Medical College of Georgia and the director of the Digestive Health Center at Augusta University who spoke with Men's Health—we have an explanation.
According to Dr. Rao, it's simply because you're sitting on the pot for too long—and in a non-ideal position—describing what happens to the blood flow in your legs during the inactivity.
"When most people sit on the toilet, they tend to hunch forward. That’s not good for pooping, since it makes it more difficult to release your waste, causing you to you strain more."
"That hunched position is bad for the nerves in your pelvis, too."
"It can compress the nerves, which hinders blood flow to them. Those nerves run all the way down to your feet, so that poor blood flow can lead to tingling in your lower extremities."
"Sitting on the toilet in this position for 10 to 15 minutes is enough to start making many guys feel pins and needles."
"That’s because body fat cushions the blood vessels in your legs, preventing them from getting compressed when you sit. But if you don’t have that cushioning, your blood vessels can get compressed, causing another problem to blood flow—and ultimately, tingling feet."
Dr. Rao went on to say that this isn't something to worry about—unless you feel numbness which, in that case, you should contact your doctor—and even offers a solution to help prevent your legs from falling asleep.
"Buy something called an air doughnut, an inflatable device that can give your butt more cushion, improving blood flow to your feet."
"Still, that’s not giving you a green light to camp out on the toilet: Spending too much time there—particularly if you’re straining to go—can lead to unpleasant conditions like hemorrhoids, bleeding, or even a tear in your lower rectum called an anal fissure."
"So if you’re not accomplishing your goal after 10 to 15 minutes, leave the bathroom and try again later."
There you go, guys, all you need to know about how to properly go No. 2 without having your legs fall asleep or damaging your anus. And you just thought poop was something fun to laugh at, tsk tsk.
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