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Can You Eat Toilet Paper? – What Will Happen to You?

Toilet paper is perhaps the best invention after sliced bread. However, aside from being a lifesaver in the bathroom, some people do peculiar things with it. Among them, is the inexplicable act of consuming toilet paper. Yes, you read that right! While the mere thought might induce a cringe or an eyebrow raise, it sparks an undeniable curiosity. Why would anyone choose to munch on something designed for wiping, rather than satiating their taste buds?

So, can you eat toilet paper? Join us as we embark on unraveling the underlying reasons behind this captivating yet bewildering phenomenon. 

Is Toilet Paper Hazardous to Eat?

Eating toilet paper can be hazardous to one’s health, and it’s important to understand the potential risks involved. Now, you may want to keep in mind that toilet paper is not necessarily harmful especially if it is not ingested in large amounts over long periods.

However, it does pose some risks. For instance, it can affect your digestive system by causing blockage, bloating, and discomfort. Some toilet paper brands also contain dyes and fragrances that are obviously more harmful to the body than beneficial.

How Toxic is Toilet Paper?

As we have previously mentioned, toilet paper itself is not inherently toxic when used for its intended purpose, which is for personal hygiene and wiping after using the restroom. However, when consumed in excessive amounts or on a regular basis, it can pose potential health risks.

While toilet paper is generally made from biodegradable materials like wood pulp, it may undergo various manufacturing processes that involve chemicals, bleaching agents, and additives. These substances, although considered safe for external use, may not be intended for ingestion. 

Regularly consuming toilet paper could expose the body to these potentially harmful substances in larger quantities, which can have adverse effects on health.

Can you Replace Food with Toilet Paper?

Well, if you want to eat toilet paper instead of real food, no one is going to stop you. But, here is the thing – toilet paper cannot be a replacement for food. Why? Simply because it does not contain the minerals and nutrients that your body requires to operate seamlessly.

As such, replacing your food with toilet paper is certainly going to lead to a weak immune system, nutritional deficiencies, and a myriad of other health issues.

Can I Incorporate Toilet Paper in my Weight Loss Journey?

Unfortunately – or fortunately, toilet paper will not play any beneficial role if you are trying to shed weight. You see, weight loss is a process that involves several factors including physical activity, a balanced diet, and a general lifestyle change.

Remember that toilet paper does not contain the nutrients that your body needs, so instead of aiding in weight loss, it may end up causing issues with your digestive system and overall health.

Is There an Explanation Behind Toilet Paper Eating?

As you can imagine, eating toilet paper is bound to raise eyebrows and understandably so, because it is a peculiar habit. Nevertheless, there are several reasons why some people feel inclined to do it.

The first and most common reason is a condition known as Pica. It is defined as the persistent need to ingest items that are not considered as food. This may include but is not limited to chalk, clay, wood, and of course, toilet paper.

Another reason may be texture or sensory preference. You see, some individuals may have unique sensory preferences or sensitivities that lead them to seek out unconventional textures or tactile sensations. Eating toilet paper may provide a particular sensation or satisfaction that is appealing to them.

In other cases, some people may resort to eating toilet paper as a coping mechanism for stress, anxiety, or other emotional difficulties. Engaging in this behavior may provide a temporary sense of comfort or distraction from negative emotions.

What Is Xylophagia?

Xylophagia is a disorder just like pica, whereby an individual feels the need to eat wooden objects or wood itself.

What Does Toilet Paper Ingestion Mean for the Body?

Granted, toilet paper is not entirely harmful, but it does come with some potential negative effects when ingested.

Digestive Problems: Toilet paper contains paper fibers that may fail to be broken down in the body. Ultimately, this may cause bloating, discomfort, and intestinal blockage.

Nutritional Deficiency: There are no nutrients in toilet paper. As such, replacing food with toilet paper or consuming it in large amounts can result in inadequate intake of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals necessary for proper bodily functions. Over time, this can lead to nutritional deficiencies and related health problems.

Chemical Exposure: During toilet paper manufacture, chemicals are used. As you can imagine, this exposes your body to the same when you ingest toilet paper. Of course, this can be detrimental to your health.

Gastrointestinal Irritation: Toilet paper has a rough texture that is not good for the human digestive system. Therefore, when you ingest it, you may experience inflammation, discomfort, and in the worst-case scenario, damage to your system.

How to Stop Eating Toilet Paper

Now that you know that eating toilet paper can adversely affect your health, you probably want to know how to kick the habit. These tips may be of help.

Seek Professional Help: Reach out to a healthcare professional, who can provide guidance and support. They can help identify any underlying causes or conditions contributing to the behavior and develop a personalized plan for overcoming it.

Understand Triggers and Coping Strategies: Reflect on the situations or emotions that trigger the desire to eat toilet paper. Develop alternative coping strategies to deal with stress, anxiety, or other emotions that may be driving the behavior. This could include engaging in stress-relieving activities, practicing mindfulness or deep breathing exercises, or finding healthy distractions.

Replace the Behavior: Find healthier alternatives or activities to replace the habit of eating toilet paper. This could involve chewing sugar-free gum, snacking on nutritious foods like fruits or vegetables, or finding other ways to occupy your mouth and hands, such as knitting or playing a musical instrument.

Address Underlying Issues: If there are underlying psychological or emotional issues contributing to the habit, consider seeking therapy or counseling to address and work through those issues. A professional can provide guidance and help develop strategies for managing and overcoming the behavior.