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How to Regulate Frequency of Bowel Movements

By Tammy Dray ; Updated August 14, 2017

Normal bowel habits vary. Some people will have a bowel movement every day; for others it happens every two or three days. As long as you maintain the same schedule, it means you're regular. If you suddenly miss days or are having trouble with your bowel movements, look at your habits and try to figure out what changed so you can fix the problem. If you are concerned, consult your doctor.

  1. Eat more fiber. Fiber helps with digestion and will loosen up your stools, making it easier to evacuate regularly. Fiber-rich foods include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts and seeds. Try over-the-counter fiber supplements if your doctor approves.

  2. Drink more water. Dehydration can make you constipated. Make sure you get at least eight glasses of caffeine-free liquid every day. Fruit juices will also help because of the fiber content.

  3. Talk to your doctor if you're taking prescriptions, supplements or over-the-counter medications. Some of these --- including iron supplements and some pain relievers --- can cause constipation. If you used to be regular but are having trouble since starting a new drug, your doctor might be able to suggest an alternative.

  4. Exercise regularly --- daily if possible. Exercise helps with digestion and can help you stay regular. Any type of physical activity will do, whether that means running, swimming or biking. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day.

  5. Use the toilet when you feel the need to have a bowel movement. Don't hold it in or ignore it. The urge might go away and lead to constipation if you get into the habit of not listening to your body.

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