Frequent Bowel Movements

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Definition

What are frequent bowel movements?

There’s not a generally accepted clinical definition for frequent bowel movements. Most people consider several bowel movements a day to at least be unusual, particularly if this pattern is a change from what’s normal. If the only change from your usual bowel pattern is the frequency of your bowel movements, an illness is unlikely to be the cause. In the absence of loose, watery stools, abdominal cramping or bloody stool, frequent bowel movements are usually related to your lifestyle.

How common are frequent bowel movements?

Frequent bowel movements are common. This can occur in patients in any gender at any age and can be managed by reducing your risk factors. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.

Which signs and symptoms can frequent bowel movements usually be associated with?

Related signs and symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Foul-smelling or bloody stools
  • Gas
  • Anemia
  • Bloating
  • Weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Acid reflux
  • Loss of appetite

Causes

What causes frequent bowel movements?

If you’re having bowel movements more often than usual, chances are you’ve made some change in your lifestyle. You may, for example, be eating more whole grains, which increases fiber intake.

More-frequent bowel movements could also be related to a mild, self-limiting illness that will take care of itself. If there are no other signs or symptoms, you’re probably in good health.

Diseases and other conditions that may cause such signs and symptoms include:

  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Medication side effects
  • Ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease)

The conditions mentioned above are some common causes of frequent bowel movements. Consult with your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

Risk factors

What increases my risk for frequent bowel movements?

You are more likely to experience frequent bowel movements if you have any of the conditions mentioned above.

Please consult with your doctor for further information.

When to see your doctor

When should I see my doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you or your loved one has any of the following:

  • Changes in the consistency, volume or appearance of bowel movements, such as repeatedly passing narrow, ribbon-like stools or loose, watery stools
  • Abdominal pain
  • Blood, mucus or pus in feces

On noticing one of these symptoms or having any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor to get the best solutions for your situation.

Lifestyle changes & home remedies

What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage frequent bowel movements?

These following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with frequent bowel movements:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet high in fiber and water and low in processed foods and sugars can maintain bowel regularity.
  • If you notice that you poop after drinking coffee or other sources of caffeine, you should limit the number of cups you drink each day.
  • If you have a food allergy or intolerance, be mindful of your diet.
  • Keep a food journal to help track your diet and your reactions to new foods.

If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor for the best solutions.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: January 7, 2019 | Last Modified: January 7, 2019

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