Oops! Don’t hold your poop or face these side effects

Holding your poop for a long period is not really a good idea because it can lead to multiple side effects. Find out more.
You shouldn't hold your poop. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 14 Dec 2021, 15:30 pm IST
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How many times have you been stuck with the urge to poop at the wrong time? Many times, right? Sometimes, you need to relieve yourself, but the timing may be socially inappropriate and that’s why your option is to hold it! Having said that, maintaining healthy bowel movements is important, particularly because it can be a big indicator of the state of your health.

For anyone who is not pooping regularly or suffering from constipation, there may be a number of underlying causes – particularly to do with diet and lifestyle. Besides, having irregular pooping habits, holding poop for a longer period of time can affect your body in a number of ways.

side effects of holding poop
Controlling poop always is not a good idea! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

So what happens if you don’t pop when you need to? Well, when you hold it in, stool travels from the rectum back up to the colon, allowing the water in the stool to reabsorb into the body. This can give you digestive issues like constipation. 

HealthShots got in touch with Dr Pratik Tibdewal, Consultant Gastroenterologist, Wockhardt Hospitals, Mira Road, Mumbai, to find out what happens if you hold your poop for too long. 

Is it bad to hold your poop?

Dr Tibdewal said, “Holding poop occasionally is fine. But if you end up doing it on a daily basis, there will be a lot of complications. Constipation is commonly seen when you hold the poop for extended hours.”

Here are the side effects of holding poop:

1. Haemorrhoids and fissures

Do you have issues like anal fissures that is a tear in the anal canal or even hemorrhoids, which are swollen veins inside of the anus and rectum or outside? Then they can strike, owing to holding the poop for a longer time.

2. Colon cancer

According to a study published in the journal PubMed Central, those who held stool in the colon witnessed that the inner lining of the colon was permanently inflamed and had an increased bacterial count. Did you know these factors can lead to colon cancer?

side effects of holding poop
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that begins in the large intestine (colon). Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

3. Distention

Are you aware that the rectum can overstretch if you tend to hold in poop on a daily basis. If the rectum is stretched too far, this can lead to fecal incontinence, which means when you have the urge to go, you will be unable to hold it.

4. Appendicitis

Holding in poop can also double one’s chances of getting appendicitis. So, it is the best option to avoid holding poop and regulate bowel movements.

In the same way, what happens if you hold your urine for too long?

Dr Santosh Palkar, Consultant – Urologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital, listed down the side effects of holding urine:

1. Incontinence

Are you holding the pee for a longer time? Then, you have to stop doing that on an immediate basis! You will be shocked to know that doing so can weaken the bladder muscles over time. This can lead to problems like incontinence and the inability to fully empty your bladder.

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side effects of holding poop
Holding your urune is also not a good idea. courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Urinary tract infection (UTI)

If you are holding your urine on a daily basis, you may encounter urinary tract infection (UTI) because of the bacteria build-up.

3. Kidney disease

This is another serious complication of holding your pee. It will be a good idea to visit the washroom when you feel like attending nature’s call.

Whether it’s poop or urine, it should be attended to when you have the chance!

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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