How many bowel movements do you have a day? Did you know that is it common to have one bowel movement every other day? That is the most common frequency that I see in my practice. Did you also know that it is not normal to have less than 2 bowel movements per day?

To keep your body healthy, your goal should be to have 2 “normal” bowel movements per day. This includes long, formed stool that is easy to pass, and does not contain any blood or mucous.

What can make constipation worse?

~ Stress: anxiety, depression, and general stress can decrease your bowel movements, or even cause diarrhea ~ Exercise: being sedentary ~ Diet: low fibre and protein, along with high fat and sugar ~ Food sensitivities: gluten intolerance, dairy food ~ Dehydration: drinking less than 8 cups of water per day ~ Coffee, Tea or Alcohol: for every one cup you drink, you need to replenish your body with 2 cups of water ~ Ignoring the urge ~ Pharmaceutical drugs: pain killers, laxative over-use, anti-depressants, antacids, anti-histamines ~ Medical conditions: hypothyroidism, depression, IBS, IBD, ulcerative colitis,

What effects on the body does constipation have?

~ Heat: it can make you feel warmer

~ Weight Gain: it can hamper your ability to lose fat ~ Mood: it can make you feel more irritable ~ Pain: it can cause cramping and pain in your lower abdomen, or during a bowel movement ~ Fatigue: it can contribute to having low energy ~ Headaches: it can make headaches more frequent and intense ~ Bloating: it can cause uncomfortable bloating and gas ~ Dermatitis: it can make skin problems, especially eczema and acne worse

What can you do to improve your bowel movements? See a Licensed Naturopathic Doctor!

By: Andrea Hornyak, ND