How to Avoid Fainting on the Toilet

How to Avoid Fainting on the Toilet
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To some people this may all seem like a joke, or a scene taken out of a sitcom, meant to illicit laughter from the audience. However, this is a real problem and a number of people are affected by it on a daily basis. While some of you may try to hide a small smile while reading, we will warn you of the causes of this problem and how it can be solved, just in case, if you are ever put in a similar situation.

How does this manifest

Patients have stated that they are usually hit by the feeling that they need to poop. However, when they reach the toilet and try to flush their intestines, nothing comes out, leading them to push and strain in order to get everything out, feeling lightheaded and like they will faint at any minute. Some may even feel that they are constipated. However, a regular check up at the doctor’s office should reveal that everything is normal.

So how can this be explained? Well, doctors are linking this with the vasovagal response, typically encountered when one strains a lot after a long period of effort or after they are constipated. This somewhat embarrassing situation has been named by doctors as the Defecation syncope. In Canada alone, this condition accounts for one percent of all the emergency room visits in the country on a yearly basis.

On the bright side, this condition is not life threatening at all, it is just the bodies’ way of dealing with increased pressure, where pressure receptors send signals to the heart in order to lower the blood pressure, which in some cases may lead to fainting. A study done last year has shown that out of the 300 people that were recorded having such episodes, after a two year period they did not die from it. This study was published in the Journal Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology.


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