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The Medical Reason You Might Have To Put Sugar On Your Butthole

It's sometimes referred to as a "sour patch kid" or "sugaring the rim".

James Felton

James Felton

Senior Staff Writer

clockJul 11 2022, 15:17 UTC
A donut covered in sugar
Ordinary sugar is used for the procedure. Image credit: Erhan Inga/shutterstock.com

Right, so here's a weird one: there's more than a zero percent chance of doctors sprinkling sugar on your butthole someday. A video from an ICU nurse named Chenedy on Instagram went viral recently, claiming that medical professionals sometimes prescribe anus sugar (that is, regular sugar to be put on the anus, rather than butt-flavored sugar) in the case of prolapsed anuses.

"Sugar pulls out the excess fluid from the prolapsed anus, causing it to shrink (think salting a slug)," Chenedy explains in the caption of the Instagram video. "Once the swelling is down it usually pops right back in or just needs a little push!"

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She adds that the technique is sometimes referred to as a "sour patch kid" by medical professionals, presumably out of earshot of the patient whose rectum is protruding from their anus. 

So, is this true? Amazingly, yes, and it's sometimes known as "sugaring the rim", with one article describing a doctor scouring the hospital cafeteria for packets of sugar for “the funniest therapy that actually works.”

As Chenedy explains on TikTok, sugar acts via osmosis and "pulls the fluid out," with the fluid being absorbed by the sugar, and thus, the prolapse "deflates".

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In a series of case reports, one team of doctors write that "the sprinkling of the edematous irreducible prolapsed bowel with table sugar, sucrose, results in a dramatic decrease in bowel edema and the incarcerated segment easily reduces," and that the technique can work where "manual reduction techniques" – essentially pushing it back in with your fingers – had failed.

The team notes in the paper that "Veterinary textbooks describe the technique for reduction of prolapse in dogs, cats, and horses."

The technique – achieved using normal table sugar, not sweetener – also works with prolapses from a stoma, and is seen as preferable as the first port of call to more drastic interventions such as surgery. 

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The success rate of putting sugar on your butthole is around 50 percent, with few downsides. At worst, all you've done is make your prolapsed butthole slightly less tart.


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