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Doctor insights on: Bowel Movement

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Bowel Movement (Overview)

Expulsion of fecal material, food residue and bactrial residue, per rectum from anus.


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Why can't I have a bowel movement daily?

Why can't I have a bowel movement daily?

5 things: Gut need 5 things - water, salt, oil, bulk and fiber. ...Read more

Bowel Movement (Overview)

Expulsion of fecal material, food residue and bactrial residue, per rectum from anus.


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Haven't had bowel movement in 3 days, what do I do?

Haven't had  bowel movement in 3 days, what do I do?

Constipation: The population does tend to-be fixated on bowel movements. Up to every three days is considered normal as long as not painful. The differential diagnosis for constipation is extensive including dehydration, inadequate fiber, medications including agents such as codeine. ...Read more

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Living with Bowel Incontinence (Checklist)

Do not be embarrassed to discuss your issues with your healthcare professional
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Avoid trigger foods and activities
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Use over-the-counter bulking agents like fiber
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Use over-the-counter antidiarrheals
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'i haven''t had a bowel movement 5 days. What do I do?'

'i haven''t had a bowel movement 5 days. What do I do?'

Enemas next: By 5 days, there is a high likelihood of a fecal impact ion. Without trying to loosen that up first, taking anything orally may not work. Try an enema 1st followed by some oral stimulant laxative like senekot or dulcolax. Magnesium citrate as a last resort before seeing your doctor. Good luck. ...Read more

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Haven't had a bowel movement in over 25 days what's wrong?

Haven't had a bowel movement in over 25 days what's wrong?

Long time: I am surprised you are not complaining of nausea and vomiting. You seem to be experiencing constipation. A bowel obstruction is a less likely expanation as your symptoms would be more urgent. Regardless of the cause, you should absolutely see a doctor about this. If you are not vomiting or in severe pain, your primary care doctor can probably take care of this. ...Read more

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Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (Checklist)

Try to notice and avoid precipitating factors
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Start a trial of increased dietary fiber
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See your primary care physician or gastroenterologist if symptoms persist
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What can I do if I haven't had a bowel movement in 2 days?

What can I do if I haven't had a bowel movement in 2 days?

Increase fiber/fluid: Take more fiber and increase your fluid intake. Raisins can help, fruits/veggies have higher fiber content which helps absorb fluids and promote better bm's. Increasing water is important as well so there is enough fluid for the fiber to absorb. Probiotics are wonderful sources to promote gut health and provide better consistency of bm's too. Yogurt, etc. ...Read more

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Haven't had bowel movement in about 7 days. What should I do?

Try an enema: By 7 days, there is a lot of stool in the colon. Taking oral laxatives just packs in more stool towards the rectum. You need to break that up with an enema or two. Please go see a doctor for this. ...Read more

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I haven't had a bowel movement in nearly 7 days - what can I do?

I haven't had a bowel movement in nearly 7 days - what can I do?

OTC laxatives: There could be a number of things going and you need to be evaluated by a gastroenterologist. If you have no abdominal pain, fever, bleeding from rectum and symptoms are chronic, you should start with fiber supplement and stool softners along with daily exercise and increase fluid intake. If you have any of the above, seek immediate medical attention. ...Read more

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After how many days is it bad if you haven't had a bowel movement?

It depends: There is tremendous variation between the number of bowel movements normal people have each week. The important thing is for you to know yourself - if you usually have a bm every day and now you haven't in 3 days that is significant. On the other hand if you usually only have 1 bm a week then missing a day or two is not a big deal. If it is abnormal for you and you are uncomfortable see a doc. ...Read more

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Why is it i can't have a bowel movement for up two weeks at a time?

Why is it i can't have a bowel movement for up two weeks at a time?

Mega colon: You need to retrain your colon to move stool. Your family doctor or a good gastroenterologist can help. ...Read more

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Haven't had a decent bowel movement in over a week. What can I take?

Laxative.: Stay well hydrated (at least 8 - 8 oz glasses of water per day). Eat 5 vegetable & 4 fruit servings per day – get that fiber in. Avoid junk carbohydrates. Stay physically active. You can also purchase an over the counter laxative. ...Read more

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Can't have bowel movement without manual stimulation. What should I do?

Develop good : Bowel habit. Increase fluid intake, 6 to 8 glasses of water, increase fibers, fruits and take laxatives, stool softeners. Your doctor may have you do vigorous bowel cleansing to help out initially. And you have to take charge from there. At least three bowels per day. ...Read more

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What to do if i haven't had a bowel movement in three days. What should I do?

See below: Eat more fiber, walk daily, drink 6-8 glasses of water a day, avoid processed foods. For now try MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol) 17 g daily for the next few days, may also need a dulcolax suppository. If chronic constipation persists, get a GI evaluation. ...Read more

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I haven't a normal bowel movement in a few months. What could be the cause of this?

I haven't a normal bowel movement in a few months. What could be the cause of this?

GI and Diet eval: I recommend you get a thorough evaluation by a GI doctor (r/o ibs = irritable bowel syndrome, gluten intollerance, etc), then consider seeing someone to determine if you are having other food reactions. Be honest about all eating behaviors. ...Read more

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In the evening I have the urge to have a bowel movement but i don't have to go. Why is that?

? examination: You should get an examination of your lower intestinal tract if you haven't. The sensation of having to go without having a bowel movement might mean that there is a polyp or other colon lesion and over the age of fifty it's a good idea to get a colon exam even without symptoms for general screening. ...Read more

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Don't eat lots but haven't had a bowel movement for almost 3 days now. Is this an issue? Can't be normal?

Don't eat lots but haven't had a bowel movement for almost 3 days now. Is this an issue? Can't be normal?

Constipation : While there can be a lot of variability on how frequent someone poops, at the 3 day mark, it sounds like you're constipated. You should focus on staying hydrated, increasing your fiber intake, keep active and consider an over the counter laxative like Senna. If you start developing abdominal pain and nausea/vomiting seek an urgent evaluation to make sure there is no obstruction going on. ...Read more

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Whenever I have a bowel movement i feel like i haven t completely emptied my bowels, and continually feel like i need to go?

Whenever I have a bowel movement i feel like i haven t completely emptied my bowels, and continually feel like i need to go?

Need some tests: Normal bowel frequency in america fits a bell-curve distribution--once daily stooling is the middle of the curve, but the normal range extends from 3 bowel movements daily to 1 bowel movement every 3-4 days. Testing will define if your incomplete emptying is due to inflammation, rectal/anal dysfunction, partial obstruction due to mass, stenosis, obstipation, extrinsic, or is a functional issue. ...Read more

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I'm having bad pains in back nut it seams that they come and go when I don't pass a bowel movement. What could I do or should do?

I'm having  bad pains in back nut it seams that they come and go when I don't pass a bowel movement. What could I do  or should do?

Constipated?: Colonics & purges are popular but should be avoided & can not be recommended (see earlier healthtap answers). Use of irritant laxatives are safe for the short-term only. Fiber supplements, stool softeners, & lavage agents like MiraLAX (polyethylene glycol) are safe. Rx drugs are available based on work-up of your cause of constipation. However, patients define "constipation" differently than doctors--what's your issue? ...Read more

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16 month hasn't had a bowel movement since Saturday it's now Thursday. Very cranky and wants to nurse a lot. Should I be concerned?

16 month hasn't had a bowel movement since Saturday it's now Thursday. Very cranky and wants to nurse a lot. Should I be concerned?

Poop every 3 days: A toddler should have a stool at least every 3 days. Try some prune juice, a suppository, or some rectal stimulation (I.e., with a thermometer in the rectum). If this doesn't work, please contact your Pediatrician to make sure there is no mechanical obstruction. Good luck. ...Read more

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I normally have a bowel movement once a week but I have not been for nearly 3 weeks, i don't have the urge to go either. What should I do?

Go to your Doctor: You very well may need to retrain your colon to empty it of the waste. This situation you describe is abnormal and in no way representative of good health.

Your doctor may put you on a treatment or get you in to the gastroenterologist. ...Read more

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Haven't been able to keep anything down. Food or medications either comes right back up or in terrible at bowel movement. What can it be?

Haven't been able to keep anything down. Food or medications either comes right back up or in terrible at bowel movement.  What can it be?

Stomach flu: Sounds like stomach flu (vomiting + diarrhea). Trying sips of water instead of drinking much fluids at a time may be helpful. Avoid solids for now. If you medication to help nausea (phenergan), take that. If you have loose frequent stools, over-the-counter rehydration solution is the way to go. ...Read more

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My bowel movement aren't often, its usually once a week, it has been once in two weeks a few times. Recently it's been about once every 5 days?

Your question?: Is this ok? If so, yes, some people go weekly, although it is usually encouraged to supplement diet with more fiber / osmotic agent (like miralax), to increase frequency of bm, as may reduce risk of future problems (diverticular disease / cancer / etc.). Discuss this with your primary at next visit. ...Read more

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I haven't had a bowel movement in 3 days and i had one today but it was very small. & i keep feeling like I have to go but nothing comes. Could something be wrong with my intestines.

Constipation,: Many reasons for bowel irregularity.
Eating high fiber food ( fresh veges and fruits daily) drinking plenty of water and regular exercise helps regularize the bm
may take stool softener like senna, colase, or laxative like exlax or mom;now if you are unable to pass stool.
You can add psylium husk or fiber tablet daily if cannot eat high fiber food.
Miralax (polyethylene glycol) is another option if this is chronic. ...Read more

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Can you have a headache if you haven't had a bowel movement?

Headache : Yes reasons for not having a bowel movement include not eating which can cause a headache, constipation due to not having enough hydration which can cause headache. Regardless you should be regularly going to the bathroom. If your system suddenly changes you should be seeing a physician to figure out why it has changed. Bowel movements are needed in order to get rid of toxins and waste from us. ...Read more

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Urge to have a bowel movement but can't and odd feeling around my anus?

Urge to have a bowel movement but can't and odd feeling around my anus?

Laxative: Its OK to take a mild laxative. As far as the odd feeling around the anus it might be hemorrhoids. Best to let you doctor check it out. ...Read more

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After a colonoscopy i can't seem to have a bowel movement. What should I do?

After a colonoscopy i can't seem to have a bowel movement. What should I do?

When was it: Remember that you emptied you entire colon in preparatio for the colonoscopy. You should have a bowel movement 24-48 hours after procedure. Check with the physician who performed the study. ...Read more

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I haven't had a solid bowel movement in almost two months. Should I be concerned?

I haven't had a solid bowel movement in almost two months. Should I be concerned?

Chronic diarrhea: What you are describing sounds like chronic diarrhea. You should see your doc to be evaluated so you can find and treat the cause. Left untreated, this can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances, which can become quite dangerous in some circumstances. Start with your family doc and go from there. ...Read more

Intestine (Definition)

The gastrointestinal tract starts at the mouth, travel down the tunnel (esophagus), which connects to the stomach, which then empties into the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum---the three parts of the small intestine (@25 feet). This empties into the colon or large intestine (about 5 feet), which then becomes the sigmoid colon, rectum and out the anus. So, every morsel eaten ...Read more


Bowel (Definition)

The bowel is the intestinal tract in the body. The small intestine ...Read more