Did you know that your bowel movements are one of the easiest ways to gauge your wellness and predict any oncoming or current health issues? The characteristics of your poop can indicate everything from bacterial infections, to letting you know if you need more of a particular food group in your diet.
A recent survey of thousands of people showed that 50 percent report pooping once a day, on average. About 28 percent report pooping twice a day, and slightly more than 5 percent report only pooping once or twice a week. How often you poop can be impacted by a number of variables, including your fluid intake, diet, exercise, hormones, and stress.
In some cases, the frequency of your bowel movements may indicate that you have a health issue, or that you may be developing one. Before you get your colon in a knot, you should know that pooping more than once a day doesn't mean that you should be dashing to see a doctor. Alcohol, sugary drinks, and eating your food too fast can make you poop more regularly. However, if you’re making several trips to the bathroom in a day, and your stool is mushy, loose, or watery... there may be some need for concern.
Often times, the amount of fiber intake is a cause of more frequent bowel movements, but depending on the consistency of your poop, it may indicate that you have an underlying digestive health issue that needs to be addressed. Be sure to check out the Bristol Stool Chart.
Also, experts say that pooping more than once a day may mean that you're feeling more stressed or anxious than usual. In fact, research has shown that your digestive health is directly linked your mental health. And, according to the Centers for Disease Control, diarrhea is also a universal symptom of many common illnesses, such as food poisoning and a stomach virus.
Medical experts agree that chronic health conditions may also impact the amount you poop -- these issues involving the intestines, pancreas, or gallbladder because these organs are essential for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, and removing waste. Also, people with food allergies, food intolerances, and pancreatic insufficiency may have more frequent bowel movements.
Knowing and understanding your own body and what frequency of bowel movement is 'normal' for you is essential to determining whether or not the frequency should be cause for concern. As noted from the survey results, pooping once a day is a solid average. Just be aware of how much you poop on average, and if it fluctuates it will be an indication into the state of your health.
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