ZocdocAnswersShould you have a bowel movement everyday?

Question

Should you have a bowel movement everyday?

Some days, I just don't have a bowel movement. I'm 29 and female and I do follow a pretty strict diet that limits my calories. Is it healthy not to have a bowel movement everyday?

Answer

There is actually a very wide range of bowel movement frequencies that is considered normal. It is considered normal for someone to have as many as 3 bowel movements in a day and as few as 1 bowel movement every 3 days. Thus, it may be normal for you to not have a bowel movement everyday. Unfortunately, there is no way for me or anyone else to know for sure what is normal for you. Therefore, you need to make sure that you eat foods that can help you have the healthiest bowel movements possible. This includes eating foods that have adequate amounts of fiber in them. If you increase your fiber intake and you are still not having bowel movements every day, then that is probably what is normal for you. The best type of physician for you to see about this is your primary care physician. He or she can review your diet and bowel movement pattern and determine if changes need to be made to your diet. If you are straining or having trouble with your bowels, you doctor will want to institute changes to prevent that from happening. If need be, your doctor may refer you to a nutritionist if he or she feels that you would benefit from more intense counseling.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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