NewsDo coffee bars and bookstores make you poop? You’re not alone, experts...

Do coffee bars and bookstores make you poop? You’re not alone, experts say — here’s what’s going on

Target run — to the restroom.

If a typical shopping trip leaves you unloading more than your purchases, you’re not the only one, experts assure.

Dr. Saurabh Sethi, a Harvard-trained gastroenterologist, had social media rumbling after taking to TikTok to talk about how visiting bookstores, your favorite big box store, or a coffee shop can signal to your bowels that it’s time to go.

Waiter in black apron holding and stretching out a cup of coffee with cream

If your favorite coffee shop leaves you running for your favorite coffee shop’s bathroom, you aren’t the only one. Nomad_Soul – stock.adobe.com

“Let me explain. This phenomenon is known as the Mariko Aoki phenomenon, which was first described in Japan in 1985,” the California-based expert told his 350,000 followers.

“A lot of my patients have shared with me that they have also experienced the same thing.”

According to the Daily Mail, the strange occurrence is named after a woman who wrote an article in Japan, detailing how ever time she visited a bookstore, she was gripped by a sudden urge to leap toward the Ladies.

While others confessed to experiencing the same thing, it appears nobody was able to pinpoint the precise cause at the time.

Dr. Sethi thinks it could be due to certain smells — coffee and books, for example.

Young woman in white sweater searching for a book in a bookstore

The smell of books is thought to be a trigger for a trip to the toilet, some experts say. Drobot Dean – stock.adobe.com

Even if you don’t drink coffee, he said, being around it can have the effect of speeding things up down below, so to speak.

Hence, visiting a Target, many of which have Starbucks branches right at the entrance, or a Barnes & Noble with its requisite cafe, could leave you looking for the nearest loo.

There’s another theory floating around that the combined scents of paper and ink could act as a natural laxative, but further study has yet to be done.

Also, the way we shop for books — often bending over to reach lower shelves — could have the effect of hastening a trip to the toilet.

Then, Dr. Sethi said, there’s also the way shopping makes people feel — being too relaxed or too anxious can both bring on that sudden feeling.

Man wearing glasses and a black shirt, identified as Doctor Sethi

California-based TikTok doc Dr. Sethi explored the phenomenon in a recent video. TikTok/@doctorsethimd

For some who suffer from constipation, the doc recounted, the phenomenon is something of a godsend — he’s known of people who “visit specific stores daily to make their bowels move.”

“Yes! Barnes & Noble, and also my favorite supermarket,” one commenter exclaimed.

“Greeting card shopping — every single time,” someone else chimed in.

“Library in college always did it to me,” recounted one.

“Happens with me every time I am shopping,” another confessed.

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