How Often Should You Poop: Improving Your Bowel Habit

How often should you poop
18 min reading time

We all know that you should go to the toilet when you need to, but how often should you poop? It is good to keep on top of regular visits to the seat. However, we only do it about half as often as we should. 

So, how often should you be taking a trip to your toilet? Well, it all depends on your unique lifestyle and diet. 

In this guide, we’ll look at good days versus bad days. We will examine how diet can affect your bowel habit, what your stool means, benefits, health challenges and much more.

How Often Should You Poop

You might not realize just how healthy a regular bowel movement is. In fact, pooping, when done right, could be the reason you have so much to smile about today. 

Most of us consider it an inconvenience and occasionally hope for a less than usual amount of bathroom visits and water consumption. However, eating the right foods is crucial to sustaining our health.

Determining how often you are going to the bathroom is pretty personal. First of all, you have to ask yourself, “how often do I poop?” The answers for women range from once per day to three times a week. But if we’re going by numbers, most 16-24-year-old females will poop two to four times per week on an average.

As adults age, this frequency tends to slow down and adults aged 55+ who are still healthy will go on average 1-2 times per week.

A healthy bowel movement should happen at least once a day. In fact, you start to feel like something is wrong if it goes longer than that.

Symptoms of frequent laxative usage, such as abdominal cramping, diarrhea or dehydration, can be a sign of bowel dysfunction.

In some cases, constipation and irregular bowel movements could be a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease.

Benefits Of Pooping Every Day

Pooping every day is an essential factor for good health. When we ignore this aspect of our life, it can make us suffer from unpleasant conditions. For instance, you might be suffering from a lot of constipation issues if you are not taking a walk to the bathroom regularly.

There are a lot of health risks associated with not being able to move your bowels regularly. Hence, people should be concerned about this more often.

People with constipation or irregular bowel movements may have a higher chance of developing colon and rectal cancer.

Overall, I have outlined some of the benefits.

  1. Proper Bowel Movements
  2. Helps With Weight Loss
  3. Does Not Slow Down Metabolism
  4. Prevents Toxins In The Colon
  5. Treats A Lot Of Diseases and Disorders
  6. Improves Nutrient Absorption
  7. Reduces The Risk Of Gallstones And Colon Cancer
  8. Increases The Amount Of Happy Hormones Your Body Produces
  9. Reduce Depression And Anxiety Disorders

Factors That Affect How Often People Poop

In this article, I’m going to give you some factors that affect how often people poop. As you already know, a person goes to the bathroom several times every day. It’s simply a part of our lives. 

The frequency at which a person poop is called his or her bowel movement schedule. Furthermore, everybody has their own unique bowel movement schedule. There’s a lot of variables that go into how often an individual takes a dump. It majorly includes diet and required BM frequency.

People poop the amount of fibre they consume in their diet.

This is based on the hypothesis that high-fibre diets are associated with reduced body mass index (BMI). So that caloric consumption is lower. It’s difficult to get a daily 1 g of fibre intake. This may explain why people who consume more fibre per day weigh less. They also tend to have healthier BMIs.

What Does Your Poop Color Say?

Solid waste products are a direct result of our bodies’ natural functioning. Understanding our poop will, in turn, lead you to understand how our bodies function and process our food. 

Pooping provides us with information in regards to what we’re eating. It also tells us what type of shape our overall health is in.

Foods That Make You Poop Immediately 

Everybody poops, but not everyone knows what makes us poop. Many things might make you poop. That’s why it’s important to know a few foods that will make you poop immediately.

  1. Bananas
  2. Grapes
  3. Kiwi
  4. Water
  5. Coffee
  6. Pineapple
  7. Tea
  8. Oatmeal
  9. Spinach
  10. Cauliflower

What Is Irritable Bowel syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic disorder characterized by abdominal pain, irregular patterns of bowel movements, and bloating. It affects as many as one in five people at some point during their lifetime–more women than men. While IBS has long been thought to be due to abnormalities in the nerves and muscles of the digestive tract, abnormal processing of gastrointestinal bacteria has recently emerged as a new and plausible explanation for IBS.

It causes stomach muscle cramping, bloating and gas, diarrhea, constipation and sometimes nausea. IBS is a common ailment for which no diagnostic tests exist, so sufferers are often dismissed as neurotic.

IBS often gets worse during a person’s period, after eating foods high in sugar, during stressful situations or when coming into contact with certain foods. When you have IBS, your large intestine contracts frequently. Likewise, the muscles in the wall of the large intestine push waste through more quickly than normal. This can upset the normal balance between liquids and solids in your stool.

Symptoms Of Irritable Bowel Syndrome

1. Bloating

This is due to an accumulation of fluid in the intestines. It is one of the most common symptoms of IBS. When fluids accumulate in the intestines, it makes them feel bigger, causing bloating and increased abdominal pressure. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) bloating not only leads to great discomfort but can interfere with the quality of life.

2. Diarrhea

It is a frequent and sudden emptying of the bowels. This can be caused by many factors such as food intolerance, change in diet, bacterial or parasitic infection, or by the dysfunction of the gastrointestinal tract. Irritable bowel syndrome has an unpredictable pattern of diarrhea, constipation or a combination of both.

3. Cramping

This is a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) that affects your intestines. It can be felt in different parts of your body, including your abdomen, thighs, and even shoulders. Intense cramping can cause pain that lasts for several minutes to several hours.

4. Constipation

It is a common disorder where a person suffers from infrequent and difficult bowel movements. Essentially, it means difficulty with the excretion of the bowels. The term constipation refers to the passage of hard dry stools.

5. Abdominal pain

Another typical symptom of Irritable bowel syndrome is abdominal pain. This pain is usually located in the left lower abdomen, and it often changes its place. It becomes sharp in character or alternates from dull to sharp.

6. Nausea & vomiting

These are common symptoms of Irritable bowel syndrome(IBS). A few people can have a real issue swallowing anything as it gets caught in their throat. In these situations, IBS sufferers must be mindful that the signs of IBS may be caused by something other than your digestive system. For many people with IBS, nausea is an indication that a bowel movement is imminent. 

Change In Bowel Habits: At What Point Should You See A Doctor?

Most people think that bowel movement is not a serious matter. They do not call the doctor even if their bowel movements are not normal. They consider it something that is completely normal. Furthermore, they do not even bother to see the doctor. Do you go to the doctor each time, or you only do it when the problem is severe?

It is crucial to know the necessary precautions and be able to realize when you have a problem with your bowel movement. 

If you have noticed changes in your bowel actions or an uneasy feeling that something is wrong with your digestive system, see a doctor immediately. 

Bowel actions may become urgent and uncontrollable without warning, and this can be uncomfortable for the sufferer. 

A gastrointestinal specialist, like most colorectal surgeons, will be able to diagnose the problem. They would do it more effectively than you could on your own. Furthermore, they would also proffer a solution to the problem.

Bristol Stool Scale

Bristol stool scale is the most common type of scale. It helps us assess the type and consistency of the fecal content passed and can be used for various purposes. It is commonly used by many health care specialists to gauge the effects of food, drugs or diet on bowel movements. This scale contains seven types of stools. 

Types Of Stool 

There are different types of stool

1. Separate hard lumps, like nuts 

If your stools are hard, round, and the size of a tennis ball – you may have what doctors call a ”nutmeg stool”. This usually occurs in people who have chronic constipation or irregular bowel movements. It is also called ”lump like stool”, as the texture resembles that of a large nut.

2. Sausage-shaped but lumpy

Sausage-shaped but lumpy type of stool is a common type of stool formed usually in people suffering from diseases of the large intestine. The stool is unable to form a smooth and clean and cylindrical shape. This is due to various disorders that normally affect the rectum or colon. It can result in a peculiar lumpy and sausage-shaped appearance.

3. Like a sausage but with cracks on the surface

This can be due to how much fibre or fluid in your diet. Stool in this category will appear hard after left for more than several minutes. This stool is also known as pencil stool because its consistency resembles that of pencil lead. They are either yellow-brown or dark brown in colour. Similar to a sausage-like stool, cracks may also be present. However, they could just be a natural physical characteristic.

4. Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft

The stool, which is smooth, firm and sausage-shaped, is usually a sign that the colon is functioning well. This type of stool is common in people eating a refined or high-fibre diet.

5. Fluffy pieces with ragged edges, a mushy stool

Some of the people with this type of stool have loose muscle tone and low fibre in their diets.

6. Watery, no solid pieces

You may have heard watery stool described as diarrhea or loose stool. Loose stool doesn’t always mean diarrhea. These are usually other signs of inflammation like abdominal pain, bloating, blood in the stool or changes in bowel habits. 

However, a watery, no solid piece stool can also be the hallmark of some severe conditions. So it’s essential to know when to see your physician.

7. Watery with mucus

The type of stool that is watery with mucus is usually due to food poisoning or other infections. If you have experienced the above symptoms, consider visiting your local hospital or clinic to check up.

What Is Explosive Diarrhea 

Explosive diarrhea is a catch-all phrase to describe very loose, watery stools. A bacterial infection or other problem causes them. It makes your intestines lose their ability to control the amount of water in poop. 

When your poop loses control over its water content, you’ll notice some significant differences when you poop. 

You might be shocked at how much liquid you pass instead of solid waste material. Your foul farts will knock the wind out of you because they’re so wet. 

Sometimes explosive diarrhea hits with no warning. Other times severe cases have a warning, like cramping or abdominal pain before the runny output starts.

It is common for those who have irritable bowel syndrome to have these types of bowel movements. Furthermore, they could also have other health issues like gastric ulcers or inflammatory bowel disease.

What Is Constipation 

Constipation is a condition in which bowel movements become difficult or uncomfortable due to hard stool. However, it is not considered to be a serious condition, and no long-term negative effects have been linked to it.

Furthermore, constipation may lead to abdominal pain and discomfort. It can also lead to bloating or fullness in the abdomen, straining during bowel movements, sometimes fatigue and weakness. 

Patients who are suffering from constipation are often prescribed laxatives. This helps stimulate the digestive tract and promote bowel movements by softening stool and increasing the flow of stool.

Constipation is a common problem the majority of people will experience at least once in their lifetime. 

The issue affects men as well as women of several different age groups. Recent studies have also shown that constipation increases with age. Also, those who do suffer from constipation can usually attribute the problem to several different reasons.

Causes Of Constipation 

1. Lack Of Fiber

Fibre helps to soften stool and move it through the body faster. It also keeps you feeling full longer. 

Many people are deficient in dietary fibre because they don’t eat enough vegetables and whole grains each day.

2. Low Water Intake

Not drinking enough water causes constipation. Many people don’t drink enough water. This can cause a cycle of dehydration and constipation. 

When you drink adequate quantities of water more often, it helps trigger peristalsis. This is the involuntary series of muscle contractions that move food through your digestive tract.

3. Lack Of Exercise

Insufficient exercise is one of the main causes of constipation. Suppose a patient says that they are suffering from constipation. They need to be asked about their lifestyle and if there has been any change in eating or physical activity levels. Once these questions are asked and answered, treatment can be started. It may involve dietary changes or the introduction of some exercise.

4. Not urinating frequently

This causes constipation and is one of the primary reasons why your bladder has not been emptied. As you have not urinated frequently, your colon area becomes compacted as waste products are retained in the body for long periods. As a result of their compacted nature, these waste products take time to become soft and more fluid for them to be eliminated from the body. This leads to the build-up of blockages in your gut which slows down the passage of food.

5. Genetic Factors

Constipation may be the result of a number of factors. However, a study reveals that genetics is a major factor in causing patients to get this. It includes underlying health conditions which sometimes trigger,, it. 

Constipation is most often caused by diet and poor eating habits. However, it might not completely be your fault if you get constipated. Genetic factors can contribute to making you more susceptible to developing this condition. This can happen with or without any bad habits being involved.

6. Medication side effects

When treating illnesses, it’s not uncommon for patients to experience an almost endless number of treatment side effects. A common side effect that many people suffer from is constipation. Medications that cause constipation include antidepressants, antacids, blood pressure medications and diuretics.

7. Lack of Laxatives

Laxatives are important for managing chronic constipation. However, the lack of laxatives can cause constipation as well. Laxatives are also referred to as a type of stool softener or stool bulking agent. Stool softeners and bulking agents help people pass stools more easily. This is why these products are often used for treating constipation.

8. Bad diet habits

Bad diet habits may cause constipation. Some foods that can cause constipation include dairy products, whole wheat, artificial sweeteners. It also includes; nitrates, red meat, carbonated drinks, nuts and popcorn. Some helpful diet tips to avoid constipation include drinking lots of water and eating high-fibre foods. Examples are; fruits, vegetables and whole grains and exercising regularly.

9. Inadequate nutrition and diet formulation

An inadequate nutrition and diet formulation cause constipation. Diet formulation is key to good health, so the diet should be formulated in such a way that it provides adequate nutrition to the body.

10. Malfunctioning colon

Intestinal and colon health is important for many reasons, from preventing constipation to helping in the digestion process. Malfunctioning colon causes constipation or diarrhea. It can be treated by using a colon cleansing program. Furthermore, it can also be treated by drinking plenty of water and eating certain foods.

11. Hypothyroidism

This is the term used to describe an underactive thyroid gland. Many people will find themselves suffering from this condition at some point in their life. In these cases, the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include unexplained fatigue, hair loss and a pale complexion. However, many people can also suffer from constipation as a result of this condition.

12. Inflammatory bowel disease

IBD is a chronic disease that causes inflammation in the colon or rectum as well as in the immune system. It is not a single disease itself but a collective name for all types of conditions that cause inflammation. Inflammatory bowel disease includes Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD). Both conditions cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. However, UC tends to affect only the large intestine while CD can affect any of your gut. Furthermore, most commonly it affects the small intestine.

IBD causes constipation because Inflamed tissues in the colon can narrow the walls of the bowel. This makes it difficult to pass stool.

How To Prevent Constipation 

Constipation occurs when your digestive system fails to move food and waste from your stomach to your colon. It’s a condition that can be uncomfortable and inconvenient for a lot of people. 

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to keep the stool soft, thereby preventing constipation altogether.

Constipation is a common problem that can be frequently caused by not drinking enough fluids or eating too much meat. Furthermore, it can also be caused by taking certain medications, being nervous or not sleeping well.

Summarily, you can prevent constipation by watching some foods you eat, exercising more and seeking medical advice before medication.


Medications for Constipation include medications commonly prescribed to relieve constipation. Furthermore, for Constipation include Stool Softener, Bulking Agent or Fiber Supplement, Laxative, and Enzyme Supplement. Medications for Constipation also list the generic as well as a brand name.

While there are some OTC drugs, it is best to consult with your doctor before taking any medication.

FAQs About How Often Should You Poop

Is it normal to poop once a week?

Pooping once a week isn’t normal or healthy. 

What is a normal bowel movement frequency? While your poop patterns will vary depending on your lifestyle and diet, you should be having at least two bowel movements per week. 

Bowel movements are a sign of good digestive health, which is crucial to overall health. 

However, if you are not pooping normally, there are some possible causes of this. Constipation and impacted stool are the likely culprits for infrequent bowel movements.

How many times a day should you poop to lose weight?

We’ve all heard that losing weight is 80% what you eat and 20% exercise. But what most of us have never consciously considered is that eating right also has to do with what you don’t (or should) consume. One of the significant pieces being your poop. As it turns out, the frequency and amount of times you poop each day can affect the number of extra calories you consume. In fact, a lot of us are pooping at the wrong times. This may be slowing down our weight-loss efforts.

What does it mean if you poop a lot?

If you go to the bathroom more than 5 or 6 times a day, this is a sign of constipation. This means you should start an urgent treatment. 

Most people ask the question,’ how often should you poop.’

Usually, healthy people can poop between 1 or 2 times a day at most. 

If you’re having trouble passing stool after you eat, you need to consult with your doctor.

How many times should a woman poop a day?

Numerous factors contribute to the frequency of bowel movements in a woman. Bowel movement could also be referred to as intestinal transit or defecation. This is the process by which digested food is expelled from the body through the lower gastrointestinal tract. The frequency of bowel movements depends on your individual daily health habits.

The Bottom Line 

A healthy life includes regular elimination. You should poop at least once every day to stay away from constipation. It is necessary to be regular in your bowel movement that keeps your stool soft and easy to pass. A healthy diet, exercise, and lots of water are some of the tips for healthier bowel movements.


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