The Urge to Use the Bathroom: Why Is It Bad to Fight It?

24 November, 2020
In addition to causing hemorrhoids and constipation, resisting the urge to use the bathroom can alter the function of the intestine and make it difficult to absorb nutrients. Here's why you shouldn't do it.

You’ve probably heard more than once that resisting the urge to use the bathroom can be harmful. Well, that’s not so far from reality, holding back the urge to defecate can have consequences on your health, beyond the typical discomfort it causes.

Most of the time, it’s not convenient to go to the restroom. Thus, the mistake that many make is to turn this into a daily habit. For the most part, everyone who works or studies is uncomfortable going to the bathroom. Because of this, they often see the action of holding the urge as harmless. How can it be so bad?

Why is it bad to fight the urge to use the bathroom?

A woman going to the bathroom.

Digestion is the way your body absorbs nutrients. However, this process leaves behind some waste it needs to get rid of. Your body does this with poop. When it sends the signal to go the restroom, the worst thing you can do is ignore it because this is when your body needs to get rid of the waste.

It’s of the utmost importance to eliminate all of the residue. Apart from making you feel bad and heavy, stool that’s held back affects the functions of your intestine

As a result of this change, you digest food poorly. This problem causes:

  • Indigestion
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach pain
  • Even vomiting

You should only fight the urge to use the bathroom in extreme emergencies. If you feel the need to defecate, it’s important that you not ignore this urge. Your body is telling you that it has to get rid of this waste to be able to digest nutrients that you just ate.

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The consequences of ignoring the urge to use to the bathroom

As we told you before, if you often ignore the urge to use the restroom, the way your intestines work will start to change. As a result, your body won’t absorb nutrients correctly. You may believe that not going to the bathroom when you feel the need is harmless, but that thought couldn’t be farther from the truth.

  • Besides causing great problems for your intestinal and digestive process in general, not emptying your bowel when you feel the urge can adversely influence all of your body.
  • Remember: you get rid of thousands of toxins through fecal matter. By delaying, these will start poisoning your body.

Pain

A woman with the urge to use the bathroom.

By suppressing the urge to defecate for a long period of time, you’re causing poop to accumulate and create a kind of “plug.” When you try to get rid of the waste, this turns into torture. This is because the waste is very hard. Therefore, it can be very painful to get rid of it.

Bad smells

A woman in the bathroom.

The same thing happens with gas. By keeping it in, you create an odor bomb. In other words, poop and flatulence will smell much worse than normally. Also, by suppressing the urge, you increase the development of gases in your stomach. These can make you feel much heavier and bloated.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins that are found in your anus. Their inflammation causes pain, discomfort and, in severe cases, heavy bleeding.

  • Not getting rid of poop dries out your whole anal cavity. Accordingly, your stool gets harder and more difficult to get rid of. As a result, it can inflame hemorrhoids, as explained in this publication of the World Journal of Gastroenterology.
  • In other words, a consequence of keeping poop in can be that when you try to relieve yourself, it’ll be very painful and you may even start to see blood.

According to this study, hemorrhoids aren’t very common in childhood or adolescence. They occur in 40% of people over 50 years old.

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5. Constipation

Constipation can be a consequence of ignoring the urge to use the bathroom.

If you keep your stool in for a long time on a constant basis, this system will start to fail. According to information in the journal Medicine, this will cause you to lack control of your bowel movements or make your poop become hard and very difficult to get rid of.

In conclusion, don’t fight the urge to go to the bathroom. Wherever you are, if you need to go, then go. Furthermore, don’t feel embarrassed: it’s something normal that happens to everyone. Think about your health first, and take care of yourself.

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