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What influences the timing of human bowel movements in the morning?

What influences the timing of human bowel movements in the morning?


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I'm trying to understand if the timing of human bowel movements in the morning is associated with the circadian rhythm, and can thus be used to make predictions about the circadian rhythm.

What influences the timing of bowel movements? Is it the timing of meals, caffeine intake or is it a biologically programmed time?

Thank you!


The bowel movements are influenced by a lot of factors. For example, when you eat a meal it induces a movement in your large intestines, to defecate and clear up space for new food.

Also, there is MMC, migrating motor complex, which is responsible for the bowel movements when you are fasting. It causes a flushing effect, which prevents bacteria to overproduce in intestines.

So, the daily bowel movements are mainly influenced by the timing and content of the food that you eat. But as I said there are many other factors. The gastrointestinal system has a very complex nervous system. Even psychological factors can effect the bowel movements greatly, for example extreme physical pain may induce the symphatetic system and cause constipation.

Also caffeine may affect it, like many drugs do.


Defecation

Defecation (or defaecation) is the final act of digestion, by which organisms eliminate solid, semisolid, or liquid waste material from the digestive tract via the anus.

Humans expel feces with a frequency varying from a few times daily to a few times weekly. [1] Waves of muscular contraction (known as peristalsis) in the walls of the colon move fecal matter through the digestive tract towards the rectum. Undigested food may also be expelled this way, in a process called egestion.

Open defecation, the practice of defecating outside without using a toilet of any kind, is still widespread in some developing countries. [2]


What causes frequent bowel movements

Frequent bowel movements not caused by an infection or any sort of abnormal pathology are dependent on several factors, including food intake, liquid intake, and fiber intake.

Normal digestion

When food is consumed, it is your digestive systems job to break it down and extract all of the essential nutrients from it. Afterward, waste is left to be exerted out at your next bathroom visit. This process requires the control of several muscles of the GI system to allow feces to pass through the rectum, with the stretching and contraction of bowel walls also having an influence on the nervous system for sphincter release.

A person&rsquos food, fluid, and fiber intake all have an effect on the digestive system, and any changes in these factors will likely affect bowel habits. Aspects of stool like color, consistency, and even smell can change depending on the quantity and type of food consumed. Fecal matter is composed of approximately 75 percent water, with large quantities of water possibly helping regulate the frequency of bowel movements in those with insufficient fluid intake. Insoluble fiber, as obtained from fruits and vegetables, help add bulk to stool by absorbing water and increasing its size. This helps promote gastrointestinal motility and efficiently eliminate waste from the body.


Very Weird-Looking Bowel Movements

Hey everyone. I've been have chronic constipation for some time now. I rely solely on laxatives to help me poop. I've been taking natural ones, so they're generally not very effective. I've had weird bowel movements for quite some time. and they've always looked a little funky. However, lately I've been passing weird ones more frequently, and it has me a bit worried.

Basically, my bowel movements are incredibly bizarre looking. It honestly looks like I've pooped out a small portion of my intestine with the way it is shaped. I will poop out roughly 2-4 small pieces of what seems like rubbery layered fibers. They are layered in a way that if I attempt to poke at it with a Q-tip (I was worried it was some type of worm), the layers would separate, and would leave a small hole in it. This all seems incredibly gross, and believe me it was. My feces do not look like digested food, they look like a formed organism. There will be small segments on it as well. Looking at my poop reminds me of a biology dissection when I dissected a fetal pig. My poop is made up of fetal pig livers (the small segments I was referring to). Obviously not being literal, but hopefully that gives you an idea as to how structured my feces are. What could this be?

I don't feel like this is digested food at all. Or could it be old digested food that did not pass for a long time?

I have a doctors appointment on Wednesday to help figure out what is causing my severe brain fog (I'm unable to think, solve problems, and as a result have been deferred from all of my exams). I am under the impression that my constipation is related to this brain fog, however I am not a doctor, so I have no idea.


How often should you poop each day?

A person’s bowel habits say a lot about their health and how well their body is functioning.

Even though it can be embarrassing to talk about bowel movements, they can offer valuable clues to what is going on in the body. Many people have concerns that they are pooping too many times a day, or not enough.

Here are the answers to some common poop questions that may be too embarrassing to ask.

Share on Pinterest A person’s bowel movement routine is unique to them, and is determined by a number of factors such as diet.

What is normal for one person may be abnormal for another. A 2010 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology found that 98 percent of its participants pooped between 3 times per week to 3 times daily.

Most people have their own routine and go to the bathroom the same number of times per day and at around the same time.

Deviating significantly from the regular pattern may still be considered healthy, but it can also indicate the development of a stomach or bowel problem.

How often a person goes to the bathroom can vary a lot and depends on a range of factors including:

Fluid intake

Because the large intestine absorbs excess water, not drinking enough fluids can harden poop and make it more difficult to go. Someone who is experiencing constipation should increase their fluid intake to help keep poop soft.

Constipation is often associated with getting older. Aging causes the gut to slow down, so poop does not pass through as quickly. Also, an older person is more likely to be taking medication that may interfere with their usual pooping habits.

Activity

Staying active helps the colon work better and move poop through the intestines more efficiently. When someone is experiencing constipation or slow digestion, going for a walk or run can help get things moving more regularly.

What a person eats plays a significant role in how often they go to the bathroom. Fiber is an essential substance for healthy bowel movements.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the small intestine cannot break down into smaller molecules. As a result, it passes to the colon as a mass of undigested food that eventually becomes poop, also known as stool. A diet that is adequate in fiber can promote regularity and prevent constipation.

Medical history

Some medical conditions and medications can affect bowel health and cause a person to poop more or less often than usual. Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, and even a basic stomach flu virus, can change how often a person has to poop.

Hormones

Some hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen, can affect how often a woman goes to the bathroom. For example, some women report pooping much more frequently in the days leading up to and at the start of their period.

Social factors

Some people have difficulty pooping in a public bathroom, at work, or when other people are nearby. This can cause someone to “hold it in” longer than necessary.

Over time, the body is not able to respond as quickly to signs that it needs to poop, which can cause someone to feel constipated or uncomfortable.


Causes of Bowel Movement After Eating

Here are some causes of bowel movement after eating:

Stimulation and irritation due to certain substances.

There are a number of substances that can stimulate bowel movements. For example, caffeine in coffee and tea. Some people’s bodies may directly react with a bit of caffeine, but some are not.

They all depend on the sensitivity level of each individual. The same thing applies to nicotine in tobacco cigarettes.

In addition, there are also some foods that can irritate the intestinal lining and trigger defecation. For example, spicy food and alco**hol.

Similar to caffeine and nicotine, bowel movements can be triggered by a wide range of substances including spicy and alho**hol foods. Some preservatives and food additives can also cause irritation.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

This IBS is a functional intestinal disorder where most of the causes are unknown. In some studies found the linkage between stress and other psychic factors with IBS. The symptoms of IBS are:

  • Flatulence
  • Slimy feces
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea, especially after breakfast
  • A sense of wanting to defecate despite having done it repeatedly
  • Pain or cramps in the stomach

Need a direct examination by a physician to enforce IBS diagnosis. Doctors should ensure such complaints are not caused by other diseases such as gastrointestinal infections, inflammations, tumors, etc.

IBS’s best treatment is to always consume nutritious foods, including vegetables and fruits. Avoid foods and drinks that make you feel uncomfortable, like fat and caffeine (depending on each person). There are some foods to avoid with IBS. Good stress management is also assessed to reduce existing complaints.

There is no specific medication for IBS. Some medications such as diarrhea medications, constipation, etc. may be required when there is an indication of a physician.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

IBD’s disease consists of two types, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, both of which refer to inflammation occurring in the intestines. This inflammation will cause frequent bowel movements, abdominal pain, stomach pain after eating, and the presence of blood in the dirt.

Ulcerative colitis usually affects only the colon while Crohn’s disease effect will occur in the overall gastrointestinal tract. This disease also usually makes the sufferer can not resist the sense of bowel movements, so it should be removed even after eating.

Bile Acids Diarrhea

Too frequent bowel movements after eating can be a result of bile acid diarrhea. Research shows that people with bile acid diarrhea are often misdiagnosed as having IBS.

Bile acid diarrhea occurs when bile acids that are needed by the intestine to digest fat digest fat are not absorbed in the digestive process in the small intestine so these acids will be carried away into the colon. In such conditions the colon will undergo contractions that cause diarrhea. This condition also causes one to be more frequent to the toilet.

8 Other causes

  • Gastroenteritis and enterocolitis.
  • Food intolerance and malabsorption.
  • Gallbladder disease.
  • Dumping syndrome
  • Celiac Disease.
  • Colon Cancer.
  • Microscopic colitis
  • Bowel movement after eating can also be caused by other factors such as restlessness, physical activity after eating, and taking certain medications.

Problems that may benefit from bowel retraining include:

    , which is the loss of bowel control, causing you to pass stool unexpectedly. This can range from sometimes leaking a small amount of stool and passing gas, to not being able to control bowel movements.
  • Severe constipation.

These problems may be caused by:

  • Brain and nerve problems (such as from multiple sclerosis)
  • Emotional problems
  • Spinal cord damage
  • Previous surgery
  • Childbirth
  • Overuse of laxatives

The bowel program includes several steps to help you have regular bowel movements. Most people are able to have regular bowel movements within a few weeks. Some people will need to use laxatives along with bowel retraining. Your health care provider can tell you if you need to take these medicines and which ones are safe for you.

You will need a physical exam before you start a bowel training program. This will allow your provider to find the cause of the fecal incontinence. Disorders that can be corrected such as fecal impaction or infectious diarrhea can be treated at that time. The provider will use your history of bowel habits and lifestyle as a guide for setting new bowel movement patterns.

Making the following changes to your diet will help you have regular, soft, bulky stools:

  • Eat high-fiber foods such as whole-wheat grains, fresh vegetables, and beans.
  • Use products containing psyllium, such as Metamucil, to add bulk to the stools.
  • Try to drink 2 to 3 liters of fluid a day (unless you have a medical condition that requires you to restrict your fluid intake).

You can use digital stimulation to trigger a bowel movement:

  • Insert a lubricated finger into the anus. Move it in a circle until the sphincter muscle relaxes. This may take a few minutes.
  • After you have done the stimulation, sit in a normal position for a bowel movement. If you are able to walk, sit on the toilet or bedside commode. If you are confined to the bed, use a bedpan. Get into as close to a sitting position as possible. If you are unable to sit, lie on your left side.
  • Try to get as much privacy as you can. Some people find that reading while sitting on the toilet helps them relax.
  • If you do not have a bowel movement within 20 minutes, repeat the process.
  • Try to contract the muscles of the abdomen and bear down while releasing the stool. You may find it helpful to bend forward while bearing down. This increases the pressure within the abdomen and helps empty the bowel.
  • Perform stimulation with your finger every day until you start to have a regular pattern of bowel movements.
  • You can also stimulate bowel movements by using a suppository (glycerin or bisacodyl) or a small enema. Some people find it helpful to drink warm prune juice or fruit nectar.

Keeping to a regular pattern is very important for a bowel retraining program to succeed. Set a regular time for daily bowel movements. Choose a time that is convenient for you. Keep in mind your daily schedule. The best time for a bowel movement is 20 to 40 minutes after a meal, because eating stimulates bowel activity.

Most people are able to establish a regular routine of bowel movements within a few weeks.

Exercises to strengthen the rectal muscles may help with bowel control in people who have an incompetent rectal sphincter. Kegel exercises that strengthen pelvic and rectal muscle tone can be used for this. These exercises were first developed to control incontinence in women after childbirth.

To be successful with Kegel exercises, use the proper technique and stick to a regular exercise program. Talk with your provider for instructions about how to do these exercises.

Biofeedback gives you sound or visual feedback about a bodily function. In people with fecal incontinence, biofeedback is used to strengthen the rectal sphincter.

A rectal plug is used to detect the strength of the rectal muscles. A monitoring electrode is placed on the abdomen. The rectal plug is then attached to a computer monitor. A graph displaying rectal muscle contractions and abdominal contractions will show up on the screen.

To use this method, you will be taught how to squeeze the rectal muscle around the rectal plug. The computer display guides you to make sure you are doing it correctly. Your symptoms should begin to improve after 3 sessions.


If you are in need of constipation relief, you may consider one or more of the following to encourage your gut to get back to normal (though we acknowledge prune juice may not be to everyone’s taste).

    1. Lemon juice – take a glass of water mixed with the juice of half lemon both before bed and when you wake up. You may want to drink with a straw as you could find your teeth becoming sensitive after a regular course of lemon water.
    2. Olive oil – consuming a teaspoon of olive oil in the morning on an empty stomach can encourage stool to flow through the gut. The oil acts as a lubricant in the digestive system meaning it’s easier for solids to slide through. It also softens up the stool, making it easier to pass.
    3. Prune juice/dried prunes – one of the more traditional remedies for constipation. Prune juice lacks the fibre of the dried fruit but both are high in sorbitol content, which acts as a laxative.
    4. Stewed apricots – de-stone and chop a punnet of apricots in half. Put in a saucepan with 2-3 tablespoons of brown sugar, add two tablespoons of water and turn to a low-medium heat. Stew until they begin to soften then take off the heat and leave with a lid on to cool. These are delicious for breakfast and go fantastically with yoghurt and granola.
    5. Fluids – There are a million and one reasons why it’s great to drink water. Aiming for 2.5 litres/12 glasses a day will ensure you’re refreshing your system and helping to break down any food in the gut. A mug of hot water is great for settling the stomach and encouraging the peristaltic process.
    6. Hot beverages – whilst we all tend to enjoy a tea or coffee as a refreshment or pick-me-up, they do have a diuretic effect. Diuretics increase the production of urine, meaning we have to visit the loo more than usual. Bear this in mind when drinking coffee to help encourage a movement. Tea and Coffee work in a similar way to hot water in that the heat helps to break down solids.
    7. Avoid foods with a high-fat content – The body has a hard time processing fat. Especially with Western diets, the bile producing gallbladder (the material that helps break down fat) is stretched to its limit. It’ll do the entire body some good to cut down on the burger and chips.
    8. Positioning – If you have felt the urgent need to relieve yourself but arrived at the toilet only to find you can’t go, you may find adjusting your toilet positioning helpful. It’s imperative you stay patient, don’t force it as this could cause damage. Have your knees higher than hips, and keep a straight back. You may find it handy to keep a toilet stool in the loo. When the time comes, tense the stomach to encourage movement, rather than the rectum

    As a rule, eating more high-fibre foods can prevent constipation. Be aware though, that if constipation is a result of Colitis or Crohns disease, increasing fibre intake could have a detrimental effect – if in doubt, speak to your GP before making any changes to your diet.

    There are two different types of fibre soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibre dissolves in the intestines to form a gel-like substance which helps food move along the digestive tract. Insoluble fibre is not dissolvable and moves through the intestines without being absorbed, and adds bulk to bowel movements and helps to reduce constipation.


    Defecation

    Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.

    Defecation, also called bowel movement, the act of eliminating solid or semisolid waste materials ( feces) from the digestive tract. In human beings, wastes are usually removed once or twice daily, but the frequency can vary from several times daily to three times weekly and remain within normal limits. Muscular contractions (peristaltic waves) in the walls of the colon move fecal material through the digestive tract to the rectum.

    The rectum is a distensible muscular tube that acts as a temporary reservoir for the waste material. As the rectal walls expand with filling, stretch receptors from the nervous system, located in the rectal walls, stimulate the desire to defecate. The urge passes within one to two minutes if not relieved, and the material in the rectum is then often returned to the colon where more water is absorbed. If defecation is continuously delayed, constipation and hardened feces result.

    When the rectum is filled, pressure within it is increased. This increased intrarectal pressure initially forces the walls of the anal canal apart and allows the fecal material to enter the canal as material is entering, muscles attached to the pelvic floor help further to pull the anal canal walls apart. The rectum shortens as it expels material into the anal canal, and peristaltic waves propel the feces out of the rectum. In the anus there are two muscular constrictors, the internal and external sphincters, that allow the feces to be passed or retained. As feces exit, the anus is drawn up over the passing mass by muscles of the pelvic diaphragm to prevent prolapse (pushing out of the body) of the anal canal.

    While defecation is occurring, the excretion of urine is usually stimulated. The chest muscles, diaphragm, abdominal-wall muscles, and pelvic diaphragm all exert pressure on the digestive tract. Respiration temporarily ceases as the filled lungs push the diaphragm down to exert pressure. Blood pressure rises in the body, and the amount of blood pumped by the heart decreases.

    Defecation can be totally involuntary, or it may be under voluntary control. Incontinence—the loss of control over the evacuative process—can develop with age it may also result from surgical, obstetric, spinal, or other bodily injuries or with neurological impairment resulting from diabetes, stroke, or multiple sclerosis. Defecation may also be influenced by pain, fear, temperature elevation, and psychological or neurological complications. Diarrhea, or abnormally frequent defecation, is a characteristic symptom of many diseases and disorders—most strikingly in such diseases as cholera and dysentery.


    What Does Your Gut&rsquos Brain Control?

    Unlike the big brain in your skull, the ENS can&rsquot balance your checkbook or compose a love note. &ldquoIts main role is controlling digestion, from swallowing to the release of enzymes that break down food to the control of blood flow that helps with nutrient absorption to elimination,&rdquo explains Jay Pasricha, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Neurogastroenterology, whose research on the enteric nervous system has garnered international attention. &ldquoThe enteric nervous system doesn&rsquot seem capable of thought as we know it, but it communicates back and forth with our big brain&mdashwith profound results.&rdquo

    The ENS may trigger big emotional shifts experienced by people coping with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional bowel problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, pain and stomach upset. &ldquoFor decades, researchers and doctors thought that anxiety and depression contributed to these problems. But our studies and others show that it may also be the other way around,&rdquo Pasricha says. Researchers are finding evidence that irritation in the gastrointestinal system may send signals to the central nervous system (CNS) that trigger mood changes.

    &ldquoThese new findings may explain why a higher-than-normal percentage of people with IBS and functional bowel problems develop depression and anxiety,&rdquo Pasricha says. &ldquoThat&rsquos important, because up to 30 to 40 percent of the population has functional bowel problems at some point.&rdquo


    The Bigger Your Bowel Movement The Healthier You May Be

    Poop. It’s either a subject of embarrassment or one to laugh at, and chances are you’ve spared it little thought other than when you’ve had a bout of the runs or the nones. What we don’t realize, however, is that our poop is one of the easiest and most definitive ways to assess our health.

    To name but a few benefits, the nature of your poo can give you an indicator of what’s taking place inside your digestive tract — like whether the liver or gallbladder is under any kind of stress, whether you are suffering from infection, if you are under the influence of a hormonal imbalance or hormonal shift, and even whether you are afflicted by any mental or emotional disorders. As a result, simply turning around and looking into the toilet bowl after doing your business can provide at least as much information regarding your health as a visit to the doctor.

    What your poop says about your health

    In 1997, the poo-gurus (henceforth referred to as “purus”) at the University of Bristol published a study in the Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology , gifting the world the wonder that is the Bristol Stool Chart . This chart ranks your stools on a scale of 1 to 7, providing an indication of the health of your digestive system based on key factors such as size, shape and consistency.

    According to the purus at the University of Bristol, a healthy stool is one that is long, smooth and soft. Poop with small, hard lumps or cracks are signs of constipation and a slow digestive transit time, while a watery poo with undigested chunks of food (delicious!) or small shapeless blobs is classified as diarrhea, indicating a very fast transit time through the digestive tract.

    Either way, both of these scenarios are less than ideal and can say a lot about your health. For example, constipation when combined with feelings of abdominal pain, fullness after pooping or cold flesh below the belly button is a strong indicator of hypothyroidism, when the thyroid gland is underactive and the body’s metabolism is compromised. On the other hand, diarrhea along with pains while pooing, mucus or blood in your stools, or burning sensations while pooing can indicate that you may have parasites, food poisoning or Crohn’s disease.

    When it comes to poop, size matters

    Now that you’re hopefully in full appreciation of the usefulness a good gawp at your poo can provide, it’s time to focus in on one of the most important aspects of poop examination — size. A study that gathered poop data from 23 populations in 12 countries found that as average stool size decreased, risk of colon cancer increased dramatically.

    It was postulated that this strong relationship between poop size and colon cancer was related to transit time through your body, from mouth to toilet. With smaller poo, transit time is longer, meaning your intestines have to work harder to move waste through your system and out the other side. Another study, which compared the average stool sizes from eight countries in different parts of the world, found that the countries of Tonga, India and Japan had the largest (and therefore the healthiest) poo. The Western countries of Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa, the UK and the USA fell well short of the minimum fecal output target of 200 grams per day. And who came last in the race for the healthiest poo? Americans.

    These findings suggest that eating a typical Western diet may not be the best way of achieving good health. Small, hard stools are a common occurrence in Western countries and are a surefire indicator that you’re suffering from constipation and the worrying array of health risks that comes with it — including irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis and, you guessed it, colon cancer.

    It was thought that countries such as Tonga, India and Japan enjoyed larger poop due to their high consumption of plant-based foods , which provide the fiber and nutrients necessary to promote healthy digestion and fast transit time.

    Next time you make a trip to the toilet for number two, turn around and take a good long look before flushing. What you see could help you determine whether there is anything missing from your diet. If you’re interested, here are more ways to tell the difference between good and bad poop.

    Liivi is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and is training to become a doula. She inspires women to find peace and personal power by taking control of health and fertility naturally. Liivi‘s passion is ancestral nutrition and primal lifestyle design. She and her partner Will live between Toronto, Canada and Queenstown, New Zealand.


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