Pooping is a critical biological process that removes fiber, bacteria, water, cells, and indigestible matter from the body. Everyone needs to do it, but the frequency differs from person to person. Some people poop every morning while others don’t have a predictable schedule.
So, how often should you be pooping? Read this article and you’ll find the answers you are looking for. There is far more to pooping than most people think.
What Is Considered Normal?
There’s no one schedule that fits all when it comes to bowel movement. This is because everyone’s body is different and works at its own pace. However, everything between pooping every day and three times a week is considered normal frequency.
That being said, regular bowel movement is absolutely critical for your overall health. The frequency is important, but the consistency of the stool can often be a more significant indicator of your bowel health.
What is considered normal bowel movement for some people could be completely abnormal for others. A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology in 2010 concluded that 98 out of 100 people interviewed pooped between three times a day and three times a week. Most people had a routine and they went to the bathroom pretty much at the same time every day.
If your pooping schedule is not so regular, that doesn’t mean that you’re unhealthy, but it could be a sign of some bowel problems. Even then, if you poop around three times a week, there is no reason to be worried. Are you still wondering how often should you be pooping? Here are some factors you should consider.
What Are the Factors?
Your pooping habits depend on many different factors. Your age, diet, hormone levels, and other factors all contribute to your pooping habits. If you suspect that you might have a problem, consider changing some unhealthy habits and routines, and you should see an improvement in a few weeks.
You probably already know that the level of hydration significantly affects your stool. The large intestine absorbs water from your system, so if you don’t drink enough fluids your poop will become harder than normal.
That will make going to the bathroom painful and unpleasant and prolonged dehydration can even lead to constipation. Keep yourself hydrated and it will help you normalize your poop schedule.
The more physical activity you have, the better your colon tends to works. The poop will move through the intestines easier and faster than when you are inactive. One of the best ways to help with constipation is taking a walk or going for a run. A bit of activity will activate your bowel and help you poop regularly.
Older people tend to have more problems with constipation than younger people. The aging process slows down most bodily functions, including bowel movement. Also, older people often take drugs for various health issues, and that can also impede the digestion process and impact pooping habits.
The food you eat plays a huge role in your pooping habits. People who eat plenty of fibers tend to have the best pooping habits. Human intestines can’t digest fibers all that well, so they will move quickly through your digestive system, forcing you to go to the bathroom regularly. If you suffer from constipation or have irregular pooping habits, eating more fibers will definitely help you sort things out.
If you suffer from certain medical conditions or take certain types of medication, your bowel movements might become irregular. Many different viruses and auto-immune diseases like Chron’s disease can contribute to an unpredictable or irregular poop schedule.
You probably experienced having problems pooping in a public bathroom or at the office. The psychological element often creates constipation and prevents you from going to the bathroom, no matter how hard you try.
Some people just choose to wait until they get home to empty their bowels, and that’s not a very healthy practice. If you keep doing that, you will form a habit and your body will prevent you from pooping until you feel completely relaxed and safe.
Progesterone and estrogen levels can affect the pooping habits in women. Many women poop more frequently just before and during the period due to increased hormone levels in their body.
What Is Normal and What Is Not?
Normal bowel movements mean that you go to the bathroom regularly and you don’t have a hard time pooping. You shouldn’t feel pain or discomfort and your poop should be consistent. On the other hand, abnormal bowel movements are something entirely different. There are many types of abnormal poop.
For example, if your poop is watery or too soft, that means that it passed through your digestive system too quickly. There are many potential reasons, including inflammation, infection, or irritation. Chronic diarrhea is often a sign of a serious bowel problem. It can result in dehydration, lack of nutrients, and various other health problems.
Disproportionately small poop is also not considered normal and it’s usually a sign of constipation. It is hard to pass and can cause all kinds of problems, including stool impaction and hemorrhoids.
Can You Poop Too Much?
Pooping three times a day is normal as long as your poop is consistent and easy to pass. That means that you’re doing ok and you have nothing to worry about. But if the poop is too watery or soft, you are probably lacking fluids in your system.
When Should You Visit a Doctor?
Sometimes, it’s normal to experience minor changes in bowel movement. If they don’t last more than a few days, there’s no reason to go to the doctor.
However, if the issue persists for more than a week or two, and if you have symptoms like black poop, weight loss, abdominal pain, or bloody stool, you should visit the doctor’s office as soon as possible.
Listen to Your Body
Normal bowel movement patterns are different for every person. There’s no universal answer to the question how often should you be pooping. It all depends on how you feel, your lifestyle, and habits.
So, no matter if you poop three times a day or three times a week, as long as you don’t have problems with passing the poop, you are fine. You should be worried only if the pooping schedule varies too much and if you have a hard time pooping.