What causes frequent bowel movements?

Answer

Side effects of medications and irritable bowel syndrome are two causes of frequent bowel movements, but in some cases, lifestyle changes may be the culprit, according to the Mayo Clinic. Eating fiber-rich foods and increasing water intake and exercise can also lead to more frequent bowel movements.

According to Rush University Medical Center, it is normal to have up to three bowel movements a day. Normalcy varies based on the individual. However, if someone experiences a sudden change that lasts longer than a week, a physician should be consulted.

Frequent watery bowel movements can be diarrhea, according to WebMD. Many things cause diarrhea. In most cases, organisms such as viruses, bacteria or parasites cause diarrhea. Unfortunately, diarrhea can spontaneously occur. The good news is that it often goes away on its own and without treatment. However, if diarrhea lasts longer than two weeks or is accompanied with a fever over 101 degrees, medical attention may be necessary.

Irritable bowel syndrome also plays a role in frequent bowel movements. This disorder is characterized by gas, cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea and constipation, according to the Mayo Clinic. There are many triggers for irritable bowel syndrome, including food, stress and hormones. This disorder affects mostly women under 35 and those who have a family member with irritable bowel syndrome.

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