How often should you really be pooping?
Everybody poops . But the real question is: How frequently should you do it?
Experts note that a wide range of pooping frequencies is considered totally normal .
• Some adults may have a bowel movement three times a day , while others may have one just three times a week, says a gastroenterologist at Brigham and Women’ s Hospital in Boston , Dr . Jennifer Inra .
• Your genetics and diet will affect how often you poop .
• Regular exercise can make you poop more regularly , because it increases muscle contractions in your colon , says Inra .
• Stressing out that you ’ re pooping too much or too little could actually make things worse , because your brain and your gut are tightly linked by a network of nerves and neurotransmitters . When you ’ re anxious, the body directs blood to vital organs like the heart and lungs , and away from your digestive system— which can leave your gut in turmoil , according to the chief of gastroenterology and hepatology and director of the Digestive Health Centre , Augusta University , Dr . Satish Rao. That can lead to either constipation or more frequent bowel movements.
• The only time you should worry about how often you poop is if your habits suddenly change , in either direction . For example , if you have a bowel movement every other day and you suddenly start having three a day , you may want to talk to your doctor , says Inra . Ditto if you ’ re having the opposite problem and are abruptly constipated .
• Other reasons to see a doctor , even if your poops stick to their regular schedule: If you see blood , if your stools become narrow and ribbon -like , or you have pain or cramping when you try to poop .
• These symptoms may be due to many causes , including irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease , inflammatory bowel disease or even colorectal cancer , says Inra .