With over a billion active users, TikTok has become a major source of new trends. But the latest TikTok trend has caught the attention of doctors — who are urging people to not participate.
“No Poop July” — a meme and trend created mostly by male users, according to NBC NEWS — involves not having a bowel movement for the entire month of July. In some videos, users witness trend goers sweating and struggling to fight the urge to defecate.
While “No Poop July” started as a joke — Google Trends shows it emerging in 2020 — it has since gained traction, worrying doctors.
“It’s a potentially serious thing to do,” said Dr. Steven Miller, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center to NBC News.
Non-defecation can result in a dangerously distended and impacted colon, a condition called the megacolon, according to Live Science. Eventually, the bowel can rupture.
If someone holds on to their poop, it can lead to rapid heart rate, dehydration, hyperventilation, fever and confusion. Other symptoms, according to experts, include vomiting, headaches and unexplained weight loss.
While most can recognize a trend trend like this as a joke, others take it seriously. For example, the infamous “Blackout Challenge” has led to the deaths of seven children.
While TikTok is fun and connects people from across the world, doctors warn against the rise in health and mental health discussions on the popular app that can lead to false and dangerous self diagnoses.
“If you spend 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes viewing people talk about these disorders over and over again, that can make it seem like these conditions are a lot more prevalent than they actually are in the world,” said psychologist Ethan Kross to GMA.