It’s not a topic many folks tend to cover with their nearest and dearest, but bathroom habits are an important part of your health. Because of its uncomfortable nature, however, and the fact that a lot us like to pretend as though poop is not a, well… regular part of our lives, misinformation can circulate quite quickly.
The number of times you’re expected to hit the toilet each day for a number two is a prime example of that.
How often do you think you’re supposed to poop? According to a post from Metro.co.uk, there is a common misconception that you should be pooping at least once a day. We do call people with healthy bowel movements “regular,” if we call them anything at all. But, in fact, pooping every day is a luxury few folks experience:
One study of 4,775 people with ‘normal’ bowel patterns found that 95% of people move their bowels between three and 21 times per week. Gastroenterologist Christopher Hair said, “What is normal is well defined yet broad. In many studies into normal ‘healthy’ defecation, normal pooing ranges from three times per day to three times per week”. Metamucil agrees with that range, by the way.
Three times a day! Who has that kind of time? Apparently, less than 40 per cent of people who would be defined as ‘healthy’ poop every single day. Constipation or its fluid counterpart can indicate you’re ill with an infection or metabolic condition. Pooping blood means you should go to the doctor immediately, as it may be a sign of something more serious.
If you’re not feeling otherwise ill and are on the fence about whether you’re experiencing a medical emergency, a gastroenterologist told Metro.co.uk that people should remember the rule of three and three:
“You’re within normal bowel frequency if you’re between three times a day and once every three days.”
They called it “the Goldilocks zone for pooing”. And now that children’s story has been ruined for me forever.
This article had been updated since its original publish date.