Frequent Bowel Movements 

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Overview

Frequent bowel movements refer to the condition in which a person defecates (excretes feces) more often than normal. Healthcare experts recommend that bowel movements can occur between 3 times per day and 3 times per week to maintain optimal health. However, the average pattern may vary from person to person. Both males and females of any age can be affected by the occurrence of frequent bowel movements. Every person has his or her own unique pooping habits. It is impossible to generalize. Two main conditions related to bowel movement include diarrhea and constipation.

The frequency and regularity of bowel movements may be an indication of your overall health. Many individuals believe that frequent bowel movements imply that they have diarrhea, a condition marked by loose or watery stools. This, however, is not the case. However, a number of circumstances may contribute to regular solid bowel motions. A number of variables, including dietary choices and physical activity, influences the bowel movement frequency. A significant increase in the number of bowel movements per day is usually not alarming unless it occurs in combination with other concerning signs and symptoms.

Causes

Frequent bowel movements may result due to food intolerances.

Increased physical activity, some medications like antibiotics or metformin, and dietary modifications are all potential reasons for frequent bowel movements (more fiber, fats, sugars or water). It is possible that after a person adjusts to the changes or makes dietary changes, their bowel movements will return to normal.

A number of factors are associated with frequent bowel movements. Some of them are listed below:

Diet: Consistent bowel motions suggest that your digestive system is working optimally. If you have recently altered your eating habits to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains, you may have noticed an increase in the frequency of bowel movements. This is because some meals include certain kinds of dietary fiber that are associated with improved colon health.

Coffee: If you drink coffee on a daily basis, you may have noticed that you need to poop a lot after drinking it. This is very normal. Caffeine exerts this action by stimulating the muscles of the intestine. Caffeine has laxative effects and helps in the transit of stools through the digestive system when consumed in large amounts.

Stress: Stress and worry may cause irregular bowel motions and disturb the bowel pattern. When you are stressed, your body’s functions get out of balance, which may affect the speed and efficiency with which you digest meals. This may lead to increased pooping. On the other hand, in certain people, anxiety and stress have been linked to constipation and delayed bowel movements.

Menstruation: The start of menstruation may induce an increase in bowel motions in women. During menstruation, decreased ovarian hormone levels are related to higher uterine prostaglandin levels, which cause uterine cramping. When you have cramps in your large intestine, you are more likely to have a bowel movement every two to three hours.

Medication: If you start treatment with a new drug or antibiotic for the first time, your bowel motions may become irregular. Antibiotics have the potential to disrupt the gastrointestinal tract’s natural bacteria balance. Furthermore, some medicines may have an impact on gastrointestinal motility. Consequently, you may find yourself pooping or defecate more often or experiencing stomach issues. It is possible to develop gastrointestinal irregularity while using antibiotics or certain medicines for a long period. Frequent bowel movements, which are not diarrhea, are caused by antibiotics and are typically cured within a few days after finishing the treatment.

Celiac disease: You may defecate more often if you have a dietary allergy or intolerance as in the case of celiac disease. Gluten sensitivity is an autoimmune condition in which your body reacts negatively to gluten. Gluten may be found in large quantities in wheat, rye, and barley goods. If you have Celiac disease and are gluten sensitive, eating gluten-containing foods will cause an autoimmune response. A long-term injury to the small intestine lining may result in nutritional malabsorption as the affected individual has frequent bowel movements shortly after eating.

Similarly, gastrocolic reflex also leads to pooping after every meal.

Other conditions like infection, irritable bowel syndrome, and lactose intolerance are also associated with frequent bowel movements and gas.

When to see a doctor

Consult your doctor if you are experiencing more frequent bowel motions or any of the signs or symptoms mentioned below:

·         Changes in the content, appearance, or volume of bowel movements

·         Frequent passage of thin, ribbon-like feces

·         Frequent passage of loose, watery stools

·         Discomfort in the abdomen

·         Feces include blood or mucous


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