IN our tech obsessed world, it's not surprising that people are using their phone everywhere – even on the loo.
In fact, a recent study revealed 57 per cent of Brits admit to using their phone on the toilet, with eight per cent saying they "always" do it.
However, while it may seem a great way to multi-task, doctors are warning that using your phone on the loo may be doing a lot more harm than good.
In particular, they say it can give you haemorrhoids – or piles – which are lumps inside and around your bottom.
This is because if you're on your phone on the loo, you tend to be sat there for longer – meaning pressure increases on the veins of the anus in the lower rectum.
It’s the length of time and not the activity engaged in that raises the risk of developing haemorrhoids.
Suffering in silence
Dr Sarah Jarvis, GP and Clinical Director of patient.info, has advised against scrolling through all your apps when you're on the loo.
She told The Sun Online: "It’s hard to know how many people have piles – mostly because so many people suffer in silence.
"But they’re certainly common – estimates range from 1 in 20 to 1 in 4 adult Brits.
"Constipation and straining to poo is a major risk factor for piles – being pregnant, chronic cough and getting older also factor.
"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.
"Instead, beef up your diet with lots of fibre, make sure you drink enough fluids, exercise regularly and leave your mobile phone behind (or at least locked) when you visit the smallest room."
The most common cause of the condition is excessive straining while doing a number two – which causes the supporting tissues of the anal cushions to disintegrate.
There are two types of haemorrhoids with one type developing inside the rectum while the other develops under the skin around the anus.
Covered in germs
The link between using your phone on the loo and haemorrhoids comes after docs urged people not to take their phones to the toilet with them to prevent germs from migrating from your poo to your mouth.
The Hygiene Doctor, Lisa Ackerley, told The Sun Online: "If you take your phone to the toilet then you risk getting it covered in germs.
"In the loo there will be other people’s germs on the seat, loo flush handle or button and loo roll holder, and the door to the cubicle.
"These germs could include anything from norovirus to salmonella. So you don’t want those on your phone.
"To put it bluntly, germs go through toilet paper, so after you have finished on the loo, your hands are dirty, which is why you wash them afterwards.
"So if your hands are dirty, and contaminated with viruses or bacteria, and you pick up your phone after using the loo, then you will be transferring your germs and any others your hands have picked up onto the phone and then back on to your hands, even if you wash them after.
"The germs can then go either straight into your mouth – through nail biting or eating crisps – or from your hands to food – like making a sandwich.
"They can also go onto any surface where the phone goes.
"So if you share your phone with someone then you could be sharing out all the germs you picked up from the toilet."
But, if taking your phone to the toilet is the only way you can sneakily check your messages at work, or you really must catch up on the days current affairs, then there are ways to minimise the amount of germs you will pick up.
Dr Ackerley said: "Let me make it clear – I’m not advocating using phones in the loo, but just being realistic about what people do.
"Keep the phone in your left hand.
"Don’t touch anything else with your left hand.