Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I cannot sit on the toilet long before my legs go to sleep - why?"
Okay, this is a serious question. I am a 33 year old male, maybe about 25lbs overweight, but all in all healthy. When I was younger and had to go use the bathroom, I used to be able bring books and sit for and extended period while after doing my business. Within the last several years, I have not been able to do that, as my feet get tingly, and my lower leg/feet start to go to sleep, maybe after as little as 10 mins. I can sit anywhere else and be fine, I've worked years sitting at desk, sitting behind the wheel for extended periods, but for some reason, I am unable to sit on the toilet long enough to get through a magazine article. Of course it's not such a devastating condition, just a little inconvenient and odd to me. And ideas?
This is a common complaint and you can rest assured that it is not a serious problem. Essentially what is happening is that the position while seated on the toilet is allowing some of the nerves in your legs to be compressed by your body weight, which causes numbness and tingling on your legs in the areas where the nerves run. This is exactly like what happens if you accidentally fall asleep on your arm and wake up with pins and needles in the fingers. Also, just like with that problem, changing position will relieve the symptoms and no harm is done. You should of course report to your doctor any concerning symptoms, such as numbness or tingling in your lengths in other positions, weakness of the muscles in your legs, or any pain or strange symptoms while walking or performing other activities. However, it doesn't sound like you have any of those symptoms. As to why you are experiencing this now but did not previously when you were younger, I am not sure. It is possible that the extra weight you have put on over the years is the culprit. Regardless I would not be overly concerned about the problem.
Need more info?See a doctor today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.