Normal Bowel Movements
Have you ever found yourself wondering what normal bowel movements are like? Perhaps you’re afraid you don’t go to the bathroom often enough or go too much. Maybe you’ve heard of disorders such as Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or chronic constipation and you’re wondering if you might be suffering from one of them. Since discussions about normal bowel movements are not a part of most people’s regular conversations, you may find yourself wondering in silence.
Defining Bowel Movements
Defining normal bowel movements is a pretty difficult task because we’re all different. Not only do our bodies work differently, we eat different foods and exercise at different levels. Our genetic heritage, diets, and individual behaviors all affect what’s “normal” for each of us.
Take the frequency of bowel movements, for example. It’s perfectly normal to have bowel movements three times a day. At the same time, it’s statistically “normal” to have only two or three bowel movements per week. If you are having bowel movements more often than three times a day, you are likely suffering from diarrhea. This is particularly true if your bowel movements are loose or watery.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may be suffering from chronic constipation if you achieve fewer than three bowel movements per week. If it’s difficult to eliminate waste, if your stool is dry or hard, or you experience pain with bowel movements, you may be suffering from constipation.
Differences also exist in the way your bowel movements look and feel. Normal bowel movements should be soft and easy to pass out of the body. If waste is slightly harder or softer, it still falls within the normal range. Ideally, your bowel movement should have a texture roughly equivalent to smooth peanut butter. The color should be brown or golden brown, and the size and shape should resemble a sausage link.
Keep in mind bowel movements can be a bit larger or smaller sometimes depending upon what you eat. Moreover, they may range anywhere from a pale yellow color to a green color. White, gray, or tarry bowel movements, however, are not considered normal. Especially, blood in your stool should cause concern.
The foods you eat and how well they are digested affect the overall color and texture of your bowel movements. So, don’t get upset if your bowel movements alter in appearance somewhat after eating certain foods.
Monitoring Your Bowel Movements
For most people, their normal bowel movements are not a problem just as long as they are regular. You usually need to watch for changes in your bowel movements to become aware if something goes wrong. In other words, if you routinely have two or three bowel movements each day, this is normal for you. If you suddenly start going for a day or two without any bowel movement, this can foretell you are becoming constipated, even though having a bowel movement every few days may be statistically normal.
The same rule applies if you generally go only once every couple of days. Suddenly having a bowel movement every day or more than once per day can point to diarrhea. If you go for a period of time with infrequent bowel movements, then suddenly start having them quite often, only to then return to infrequent bowel movements, you may be suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. For some individuals, IBS presents itself as chronic diarrhea or constipation, while it may cycle between the two extremes in other people.
Producing Normal Bowel Movements
The best way to keep your digestive health on track and promote normal bowel movements is to maintain a healthful diet with plenty of fiber. Fiber makes it easier for waste to move through the body. It is also important to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day, as your digestive system needs water process waste properly.
Exercise provides outstanding benefits. Just walking for 30 minutes a day can encourage regularity and prevent constipation.
You should also routinely cleanse your colon to help remove blockages and any residual waste. A product such as Oxy-Powder® is an excellent choice for colon cleansing, as it liquefies waste and does not bestow the harmful side effects and addictive properties of chemical laxatives. By taking excellent care of your body and engaging in routine colon cleansing, you should be able to achieve normal bowel movements, no matter what is considered “normal” for you.