People who take their phone with them to the bathroom are at risk of developing a painful condition that could require surgery to fix.
Last year, Sydney gastroenterologist Professor Chris Berney operated on a 23-year-old woman who required an emergency haemorrhoid thrombectomy after she developed a huge haemorrhoid, among 15 other young people over the past 18 months for whom he can find no other explanation for their condition.
“I started to ask how long they spend in the toilet, and suddenly I realise that some of these people will spend 20 minutes, 25 minutes, half an hour on average,” Prof Berney told News Corp Australia.
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He said some people will spend that time looking at their phone — and while they do their sphincter control declines and blood clots develop.
Haemorrhoids can form when constipated people strain to go to the toilet or by the increased pressure during pregnancy and they increase in prevalence as people age.
Prof Berney warned the recent prevalence in young people is likely due to spending too long on the toilet looking at your phone in a recent letter published in the journal of Australia New Zealand Surgery.
It cited a recent US study that found nine out of 10 people were using their phone on the toilet and a yet-to-be-published Turkish study into links between phone use on the toilet and haemorrhoids that backed up the claim.
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Among members of Gen Z born between 1995 and 2010, the percentage rose up to 96 per cent who said they wouldn’t go to the bathroom without their phone.
Instagrammer Lauren Bath old News Corp Australia the news was enough to make her leave her phone at the bathroom door.
“I believe that I’ve done my last Instagramming on the toilet ever,” she said.
Ms Bath was working as a chef when Instagram came along and was so addicted she once got busted checking her account in the restaurant cool room during dinner service.
She used to spend eight hours a day on her phone but after noticing increased anxiety she halved her habit to four hours per day.