What's the Normal Number of Times to Poop in a Day?
By: Liz Newman
Everyone Poops isn’t just an excellent children’s book; it’s a fact. No matter how much some people try to deny it, you can’t outsmart biology. And you don’t necessarily want to try — didn’t you ever see Jurassic Park?
The ideal frequency of bowel movements, however, has been a constant source of debate, and for some unfortunates, dismay. No one likes it when the Captain’s Log is off.
But what’s really normal? We asked a gastroenterologist, Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, to dump a little knowledge on us.
(You thought we wouldn’t be making poop puns in this story? That’s cute.)
More: Couples That Are Comfortable Talking About Poop Are the Happiest Couples
Everyone poops… differently
It should hopefully come as no surprise that just because everyone poops, doesn’t mean they poop with the same regularity. Whatsoever.
“There really isn’t a normal amount or an abnormal amount, per se,” explains Dr. Ganjhu. “Everyone’s ‘normal’ is different. There are some people who have a strong gastrocolic reflex, like a baby — the minute you feed them, they have a bowel movement, and it’s a normal response from them. Others may be every other day or so… it varies.”
In other words, you are the only person who knows when your pooping is off. But don’t freak out if things are temporarily out of whack — you could have just eaten something that clogged you up, or just not had Chipotle that day.
“The problem occurs when there’s a change in your normal,” Dr. Ganjhu adds. “If things change for just a day or two, that can happen. But if there’s acute constipation or blood, it’s a good idea to get checked out. Think about any changes in stress, diet, water, or if you’ve taken any supplements or probiotics.”
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