Proctologist & colorectal surgeon Dr. David Rosenfeld and gastroenterologist Dr. Jorge Rodriguez AKA “The Stool Squad” join The Doctors to answer viewers' bathroom-related questions.
The first question is “When should you see a doctor about diarrhea?” Dr. Rodriguez has a rule of thumb that if it’s been more than 3 days, and it's happening more than 3 times per day, you should see your doctor. Or, if you are having symptoms where you feel dehydrated and can’t keep anything down.
Dr. Rosenfeld agrees and adds that if you are having abdominal symptoms, a lot of diarrhea and vomiting at the same time and can’t keep fluids down, then it’s time to see a doctor or go to urgent care or the ER because you may need them to help hydrate you. Also, if there is blood in the stool, see a doctor.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon adds that kids with underlying conditions that get diarrhea may need to see a doctor and OB/GYN Dr. Nita chimes in that pregnant woman too may need a doctor to avoid dehydration caused by diarrhea.
Next up, toilet seat covers. How important are they?
Dr. Rodriguez says it’s really “a cooties issues” and Dr. Rosenfeld says “It’s not really important but who likes to sit in someone else’s urine?” Both doctors say they always take toilet paper and wipe down the seat before sitting. The risk isn’t that you are going to get an STD, but it’s just gross.
Dermatologist Dr. Sonia Batra asks if you can still catch infections even with a seat cover? Dr. Rosenfeld says that you aren’t going to get anything, no bacteria is going to go into your urethra, it’s just the possibility of urine on your skin. Dr. Rodriguez clarifies that there is a small change you could get MRSA or a staph infection if there is something moist on the toilet seat but you’re likely not going to catch anything.
The last question is “Why do other's poop smell worse than your own?” Dr. Rosenfeld compares this to “survival of the fittest.” It’s just like how animals mark their territory so that other animals know and stay away. We’re used to our own scents.
Dr. Rosenfeld continues, “It’s the same thing as if you cough up phlegm, you’ll swallow your own but you don’t want to swallow anyone else’s.” The Doctors all comment on that gross analogy and Dr. Rodriguez reminds viewers, “At the end of the day, your poop smells too.”