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Frequent Bowel Movements

If you are experiencing the necessity frequent bowel movements, typically three or more bowel movements per day, several potential causes may be at play. Some of the factors are not considered serious, yet others require medical attention to prevent complications from occurring.

Conditions Causing Frequent Bowel Movements:

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s Disease is one possible cause of frequent bowel movements. The disorder, which is also sometimes referred to as Ileitis or Regional Enteritis, causes the small intestine to become inflamed.  Although Crohn’s Disease usually affects the lower portion of the small intestine, or the ileum, it can affect any part of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease usually causes abdominal pain as well.

There is no cure for Crohn’s Disease, but making changes to your diet can often reduce the symptoms.  Since Crohn’s Disease affects all people differently, you will need to monitor your food intake  to determine which foods trigger bowel movements and other symptoms associated with the disorder.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, can cause frequent bowel movements, constipation, or a combination of the two.  Other symptoms may include bloating, abdominal pain, and gassiness.  The disorder is fairly common, with approximately 20% of adults suffering from it.  As with Crohn’s Disease, there is no cure for Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Adopting a healthful diet that is high in fiber and water intake while exercising often can help alleviate IBS symptoms.

Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance is one of the most common forms of food sensitivity in the world that is not related to allergies. In the United States, an amazing 95% of Asians suffer from the disorder, as do 75% of African-Americans, 60% of Native Americans, and anywhere from 2 to 24% of Caucasians. Individuals suffering from lactose intolerance are unable to digest the lactose sugar in milk. Therefore, the lactose gets broken down by bacteria within the lower intestine instead. Excessive trips to the restroom may occur, as well as cramps, gas, and watery bowel movements. Lactose intolerance cannot be cured either. If you suffer from the condition, you need to limit your intake of milk to prevent irritation.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis is a disease originating in the rectum or the sigmoid colon and is characterized by lesions forming within the colonic mucosa. From there, U. C. progresses through the colon until it affects the entire organ. Ulcerative Colitis can cause arthritis, liver disease, eye inflammation, anemia, skin rashes, and kidney stones.

The reason for these seemingly unrelated conditions occurring is not fully understood, though researchers believe these symptoms may be caused by associative weakening of the immune system. Ulcerative Colitis can often be cured through surgery.

Gastritis

Gastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining leading to frequent bowel movements.  The condition is generally associated with low levels of stomach acid. While Gastritis can be a naturally occurring condition, it usually happens because of an illness, stress, or abuse of alcohol or medications damaging the stomach lining. Gastritis can often be cured through surgery as well.

Hyperthyroidism

Hyperthyroidism, also referred to as an overactive thyroid, is typically caused by a condition known as Grave’s Disease. Frequent bowel movements are a common side effect of hyperthyroidism, and the bowel movements are generally watery or loose.  Other symptoms include bulging eyes, a racing heart, general irritability, and inner trembling. Hyperthyroidism cannot be cured, but its symptoms can be alleviated to a degree.

Food Allergies

Food allergies cause frequent bowel movements as well. Allergies can also create an increase in bowel movements due to irritation on the digestive system. Whether or not frequent bowel movements occur depends upon the person and their unique level of sensitivity.

It is important to note food allergies may develop gradually as you get older. Approximately 80% of food allergies are cyclic and avoiding them for lengthy period can help you regain some tolerance. Your system may be able to tolerate the food every once in a while but most likely not on a frequent basis.

Since bowel movements occur for many reasons, it’s a good idea to seek professional advice and be examined by a qualified physician. Through the process of elimination, your doctor can determine if your frequent bowel movements are a serious concern or just an inconvenient annoyance. Similarly, the doctor will be able to give strategies for reducing your bowel movements perhaps through closely analyzing your normal diet routine and making appropriate adjustments. In the meantime, start implementing your own positive lifestyle changes by eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, exercising often, and getting plenty of sleep at night.

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