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What does your smartphone have to do with hemorrhoids?

First point that everyone needs to understand is that hemorrrhoids are a normal part of your anatomy!!! That's right, everyone has them, they aren't a disease, and it's not a diagnosis...

Hemorrhoids are cushions of tissues filled with veins in the lower part of your rectum and anal canal that under NORMAL circumstances do not cause any symptoms. Up to 50% of the population will suffer from some combination of symptoms by the age of 50 and as a gastroenterologist, it is one of the most common office visits I encounter.

The initial treatment approach to most patients with new-onset symptomatic hemorrhoids is conservative, consisting of over the counter medications, dietary changes and lifestyle modification including refraining from straining and lingering (eg. playing with your smartphone) on the toilet.

Its part of mobile-phone overuse, and we seem to have a high tendency to play with our smartphones in the bathroom. One study showed that 90% of people bring their smartphone into the bathroom, a separate study in the UK showed that adults clock up to an average of three hours and nine minutes on their toilets every week (compare that to how much exercise you have done over the same time period). This translates to lots of time to sit, read, play, shop, email, text, tweet and develop symptomatic hemorrhoids.

So do yourself and your hemorrhoids a favor. Next time you decide to go to the bathroom, leave the smartphones out of it...

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