Frequent bowel movements

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Definition

There’s not a generally accepted clinical definition for frequent bowel movements. Most people consider several bowel movements a day to at least be unusual, particularly if this pattern is a change from what’s normal.

However, if nothing else about your bowel movements is different no loose, watery stools, abdominal cramping or bloody stool the change is probably not a sign of any illness.

Causes

If you’re having bowel movements more often than usual, chances are you’ve made some change in your lifestyle. You may, for example, be:

  • Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which increases fiber intake
  • Getting regular exercise or increasing your exercise
  • Drinking more water

More-frequent bowel movements could also be related to a mild, self-limiting illness that will take care of itself. If there are no other signs or symptoms, you’re probably in good health.

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