If the rate at which you use the toilet for defecate has increased beyond what is considered normal, then you may have to see your doctor. There’s not a generally accepted clinical definition for frequent bowel movements. If the only change from your usual bowel pattern is the frequency of your bowel movements, then there may be an underlying illness. In the absence of loose, watery stools, abdominal cramping or bloody stool (diarrhea), frequent bowel movements are usually related to your lifestyle.
Causes of Frequent Bowel Movement
If you’re having bowel movements more often than usual, chances are you’ve made some change in your lifestyle such as eating more whole grains, which increases fiber intake.
More-frequent bowel movements could also be related to a mild illness that may resolve on its own. If there are no other signs or symptoms, you’re probably in good health.
Regular bowel movements are a positive sign that your digestive system is functioning properly. If you’ve recently changed your eating habits and eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, you may have seen an increase in the rate at which you visit the restroom. This is because these foods contain certain types of dietary fiber which is a vital element in your diet because it helps to prevent heart disease, maintain blood sugar levels, and improve colon.
Regular exercise can regulate bowel movements because exercise improves your digestive processes and increases muscle contractions in your colon which helps to move your stools more regularly. If you are constipated, exercising can help to ease symptoms and make you pass out stools more regularly.
Too much coffee
Keen coffee drinkers usually use the toilet immediately after their first cup. This is because caffeine stimulates the large intestine’s muscle activity. Caffeine causes a laxative effect and helps to move stools through the colon.
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When you’re under a significant amount of stress, the function of your body becomes unbalanced and can change your digestive process and speeds. This can cause an increase in bowel movements with diarrhea. Though in some cases, stress and anxiety can cause slowed bowel movements with constipation.
The monthly menstrual flow of a woman can trigger more bowel movements. According to researchers, lower ovarian hormone (estrogen and progesterone) levels around menstrual period may be linked to the uterine prostaglandins that cause your uterus to cramp, which could be related to symptoms in the large intestine. When your large bowel cramps, you are likely to have more bowel movements.
READ ALSO: Painful Menstruation: Causes And Treatment
If you’ve recently begun taking new medication or antibiotic treatment, it could change frequency of your bowel movement. Antibiotics can upset the normal balance of the bacteria that live in your digestive tract. Other medications may stimulate gastrointestinal movement.
Antibiotics or certain medications could change the regularity of your bowel movement for the duration of time you are taking them. The loose stools linked with antibiotic use resolve within a few days after finishing the treatment. Visit your doctor immediately if your stool schedule does not return to normal or is associated with vomiting, abdominal pain, nausea, bloody stools, or fever.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes your body to harmfully respond to gluten. Gluten is found mainly in rye, wheat, and barley products.
If you have a gluten intolerance due to Celiac disease, you will have an autoimmune response when you ingest gluten-containing foods. This can cause damage to the small intestinal lining over time, leading to malabsorption of nutrients.
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Celiac disease can cause or occur alongside other uncomfortable symptoms such as diarrhea, anemia, bloating, headaches, weight loss, diarrhea, and gas.
Diseases and other conditions that may cause such signs and symptoms include:
- Side effects of drugs or medication
- Crohn’s disease(inflammatory bowel disease)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Ulcerative colitis(inflammatory bowel disease)
- Hyperthyroidism(overactive thyroid)
When to see a doctor
You should consult your doctor if more-frequent bowel movements are associated with any of the following signs or symptoms:
- Abdominal pain
- Changes in the consistency, volume or appearance of your bowel movements, such as repeatedly passing narrow, ribbon-like stools or loose, watery stools
- Blood, mucus or pus in your feces
Treating excessive bowel movements
The cause of the increased stooling would have to be taken into consideration before treatment can be administered. In some cases, frequent bowel movement is healthy, unless you’re experiencing additional symptoms such as severe abdominal pain, bloody stools, or fever, there’s no cause for alarm.
If you’re experiencing diarrhea symptoms, your doctor may recommend taking an antidiarrheal medication. If these symptoms persist, you may have a more serious problem, like an infection, and should see your doctor.