How often should you poop?
Do you know how often you should be passing a number 2? Learn more about healthy toilet habits and how to regulate your digestion.
I talk a lot about bowel movements in clinic. Yes, it is a bit of a giggle topic, but once you get over the ick factor and understand how important healthy toilet habits you’ll be talking about it as well. Or at least paying more attention to your daily toilet time.
Many of you out there have changeable bowel habits. Sometimes a lot, sometimes a little, sometimes not at all.
So, how often should you poop:
Well, at least once a day, maybe 2 times. That is the ideal amount for healthy digestion and a proper function gastrointestinal tract. Check out the Bristol Stool Chart to gauge where you sit – ideally we want a Type 4 for your Number 2’s.
Lets Talk Constipation:
The official medical definition of constipation is:
“The passage of infrequent or hard stools with straining – bowel frequency < 3 times/wk”
That means if you pass less than 3 stools a week you are considered constipated. As a naturopath I would consider anyone who is missing every other day constipated as well. If this is you then you’ll be experiencing bloating, pain, feelings of heaviness, perhaps some nausea. You’ll most likely also have sensitivities to certain foods, perhaps skin breakouts and rashes and generally feel kinda MEH.
Constipation can be caused by many different things:
- Poor dietary habits – low fibre, poor hydration
- Medication side effects
- Thyroid issues
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (or SIBO)
- Parasitic infections
- Stress, anxiety, depression and other neurological concerns
- Lack of physical movement
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Intestinal obstructions
If there is blood, mucous or a complete lack of an bowel movement please see a doctor – it could be the sign of something more serious that needs investigating.
How to get your bowels moving:
The most important thing you can do is get your bowels moving naturally. Relying on laxatives long term creates a lazy bowel, and can increase your dependance on them. Healthy food choices, drinking plenty of water and discovering and addressing the underlying issue will help. Make an appointment with a naturopath to help discover what can be done.
Some helpful hints to get you moving daily:
- Drink at least 2 litres of fresh water daily
- Drink green tea, dandelion tea, prune juice and fresh vegetables juices.
- Include insoluble fibre in your diet: whole grains, brown rice, nuts and seeds.
- Add ground flax seeds or chia seeds to your meals – 1-2 tbs daily
- Grated carrot with apple cider vinegar (S&P, olive oil) – eating away from other foods
- Leafy green veg: 2-3 cups daily, beetroot as well
- Broths, miso and other soups
- Try cutting out dairy or gluten or both for a while to see what improvements you may experience.
So, in answer to your question: How Often Should You Poop – every day. If not – do something about it!
(I’ll save the conversation about diarrhoea for another day!)
In my clinics in Marrickville and Broadway, near Ultimo I assist in the treatment of all sorts of digestive complaints. Get in touch if you have questions or concerns about your own gastrointestinal habits and discover what clinical nutrition and western herbal medicine can do to help you.
Check out this YouTube video on physical activity and bowels