Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

We may be well-dressed and appear smart but constipation can make us look all dull and lifeless. While some truly suffer from constipation, some are bothered by the ineffective passage of stool. Bowel movement varies from person to person and is affected by many factors. Hence, there is a need for proper understanding about the ideal bowel movement in a day.

Ideal Bowel Movement In A Day

Ideal Bowel Movement In A Day

Bowel movement is absolutely necessary for all of us as they help us in moving the waste part of our diet through the intestines. Frequency and texture of bowel varies from person to person. There is no hard and fast rule regarding the number of times you should visit the toilet for passing out stools.

Various studies have been conducted on the frequency of bowels in the past and these studies indicate that anything ranging between thrice a day to seven times a week is deemed normal. So, an ideal bowel movement in a day can range between one to three times. Sometimes it is alright to have bowel movement with a gap for one or two days, as long as it does not cause any discomfort. Usually people follow a regulated bowel pattern which causes them to poop at almost the same time each day.

It is considered as constipation if there is no bowel movement for more than 3 days. In case you suffer from constipation with many days without bowel outflow or loose stools then it is indicative of severe health defects. It is better to consult your physician if you happen to suffer from irregular bowel movement.

Factors Affecting Bowel Movement In a Day

When discussing ideal bowel movement in a day, it is also important to consider the factors that affect bowel movement. The quantity and frequency of bowel outflow is usually determined by a mix of factors.

Here are some of the factors affecting bowel movement in a day.

  • Age - The likeliness of changes in ideal bowel movement in a day, increases with age. Several factors such as reduced mobility, reduced gastric movement and increased intake of medications can cause constipation or reduced bowel movement in some. For some, the bowel movement in a day may be the same but the amount of stool excreted may not be satisfactory.
  • Diet - Insoluble and soluble fiber consumed in the form of vegetables, whole grains and fruits can bring upon bowel movements by adding bulk to your stool. In case your diet constitutes of any of these then you may have one or more bowel movement in day. If your diet is deficient in fiber and does not provide enough roughage, your bowel movement in a day may be affected. It is recommended to increase fluid intake and include fiber rich foods to ward off constipation and improve bowel movement, as they tend to make stool easier to pass and softer in texture.
  • Illness - Chronic forms of illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory, which includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can cause changes in your bowel movement in day. Some may experience more while some may have less bowel movement and can also cause discomfort. Other conditions like stomach flu, during which the consumption of painkillers increases, the bowel movement in a day vary.
  • Activity level – Digestion and absorption of food involves the use of abdominal muscles, which help propel the food through the digestive tract. Engaging in regular exercises such as jogging, brisk walking, yoga and other exercises of the core or abdominal muscles can help accentuate this movement. This can bring you close to your ideal bowel movement in a day and aids in better digestion.

Ideal Bowel Movement In a Day – Stool Consistency

Apart from ideal bowel movement in a day, the consistency of your stool also plays a major role in deciding the condition of your tummy. Soft stools which are comparatively easy to pass are the most desired. Mostly resembling a sausage or a snake, these stools take up the shape of our intestine. Fostered by properly broken down red blood cells of our body, stools should ideally be brown in color.

Watery or loose stools indicate digestive tract irritation and super-fast passage through stomach, which prevents it from gaining a bulky nature. In such a scenario our body fails to absorb the requisite nutrients from the stool and we also tend to visit the toilet much more frequently. Hard stools can turn excretion into a painful drill, which can increase the risk of hemorrhoids or storage of stool in our intestines and hence reducing the bowel movement.

Bowel Movement – When to See a Doctor?

Nothing can make us happier than an ideal bowel movement in day. But changes in diet, physical activities, health conditions and even certain medications can influence bowel movement. Such changes don’t take long before going back to its usual route but in case if it lasts for more than week, you need to visit the doctor immediately.

Here are some warning signs regarding your bowel movement, which may need medical attention

  • No bowel movement for more than 3 days with bloating and discomfort
  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Coffee ground like emesis and vomiting blood
  • Stool of black or red color accompanied with blood
  • Fever and other symptoms associated with constipation

Thus, an ideal bowel movement in a day vary from person to person and are influenced by various factors. Having a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help in most cases, while some may need medical assistance.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 23, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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