How Often Should You Poop?

April 8,2017

It might sound like a third grade question but it is one that is often asked. Generally speaking, every "body" is different and there is no normal when it comes to elimination habits. Most medical providers would say the range is three times a day to once every three days. However, if trips to the bathroom are infrequent, too long or painful, you should discuss any discomfort with your doctor to determine the cause. If you eat healthier foods and live a more active lifestyle, you will likely notice a difference in regularity.

Does Going Often Mean I Have a Faster Metabolism?

The answer is yes, no and maybe. Digestion and metabolism are not as closely correlated as many people think. Someone can have a fast metabolism and not go every day. Although the two are linked, the relationship isn't absolute. Listed are things that can influence how often you go:

  • Amount of Water Consumed
  • Amount of Rest and Sleep at Night
  • Hormonal Balance and Imbalances
  • Health Issues and Medications
  • Eating High-Fiber Foods
  • Avoiding Low-Fiber Foods
  • Amount of Daily Physical Activity

Just because food moves through your body quickly does not mean you have a fast metabolism. A healthy metabolism is all about the efficient utilization of the food you eat. As you change what you eat and become more active, you can expect changes in your bowel movement. Many people who take psyllium husk (a natural source of seed fiber) for regularity may no longer need supplementation once they've added more fiber to their diet.

Don't Take Chances -- Ask Your Doctor!

As you add certain foods to your diet, like beets or dark green leafy vegetables, it is normal to notice a temporary color change. However, color does matter. Red streaks can indicate lower GI bleeding, traces of black can be linked to upper GI bleeding whereas traces of white or yellow can be indicative of liver disease, trouble with your gallbladder or pancreas. It is prudent to see your doctor if you continue to notice any of these signs. For most people, eating healthier, getting more sleep and being more active will result in a better bathroom schedule.