Texting on the loo could give you piles

closeup of a young caucasian man using his smartphone in the toilet while sitting in the bowl
Piles: Texting on the loo could lead to this unfortunate condition.

Using your phone on the loo could land you with an unpleasant case of piles.

While the practice might seem pretty unhygienic, that doesn’t stop almost six in 10 of us (57%) from doing it, according to a survey.

And the habit has been linked to piles, medically known as haemorrhoids, a condition in which you develop lumps inside and around your anus.

This is because prolonged sitting on the loo – which often happens when you’re busy texting or scrolling your phone – puts increased pressure on the veins in the lower rectum of your anus.

The longer you spend on the loo, the higher your risk of developing haemorrhoids, effectively.

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"Constipation and straining to poo is a major risk factor for piles – being pregnant, chronic cough and getting older also factor,” Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and clinical director of patient.info, told The Sun Online.

"But so too does prolonged sitting on the loo. And while in the past, some of us took a good book into the toilet with us, these days it’s more likely to be the ever-present mobile phone.

"So tempting while it may be to scroll through your apps while you’re waiting to perform, doctors don’t recommend it.”

Piles: Signs, symptoms and how to treat

According to the NHS website, symptoms of piles can include bright-red blood after pooing, an itchy anus, lumps around the anus, and pain around the anus.

Piles symptoms will usually disappear on their own in a matter of days.

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There are a number of things you can do to help prevent piles. Drinking lots of water and eating lots of fibre-rich foods helps, as does exercising regularly and cutting down on alcohol and caffeine to avoid constipation. It is also a good idea to avoid straining when you poo, and to avoid spending too much time on the toilet.

If you are suffering from piles, things you can do to relieve symptoms include taking paracetamol, using an ice pack wrapped in a towel to ease discomfort, using damp toilet paper, and taking a warm bath to ease pain.