Frequency Defecation - When it is normal and when not
Many people wonder about the normal frequency of defecation, worried that the number of evacuations produced is insufficient or excessive. Although it is legitimate to question the "famous" concept of intestinal regularity, or how many times it is normal to "go to the bathroom", the answer is too often influenced by prejudices and false convictions.
All this, in some subjects, even generates phenomena of abuse against laxative drugs and supplements: after obtaining the long-awaited evacuation, it is expected to produce a new one the following day, ignoring that after the energetic defecation induced by the laxative it is necessary an interval of a few days before the necessary waste accumulates in the intestinal tract. This condition of false constipation should by no means be understood as an abnormal phenomenon and in no way justifies the new intake of purgatives.
- The normal frequency of defecation varies widely among healthy people: some individuals may produce three evacuations a week, while others may have three a day. Within this range the function of elimination of faecal waste can be considered normal
- Generally, a frequency of faecal evacuations of less than three weekly episodes is not sufficient to speak of constipation; in fact, a person suffering from constipation also complains of other symptoms and signs - such as the feeling of incomplete bowel emptying, anorectal obstruction, difficulties and efforts to evacuate, the evacuation of hard stools and the need for digital evacuation maneuvers - in at least one defecation out of 4.
- The frequency of evacuation may vary over time, depending on dietary habits and the environmental and psychological situation. It is common, for example, to perceive a reduction in defecation when going to tourist resorts for holidays
- In other words, if the stools have a normal appearance and consistency, even an excessive or insufficient evacuation frequency can be considered physiological. On the other hand, if the faeces show chromatic variations (for example if they are particularly light or dark), of consistency (for example watery or too hard) or of shape (faeces made of tape or goats), it is good to undergo a medical check for identify the causes of what is most likely a sign of gastro-intestinal problems.
|FREQUENT DEFECATION (> 3 / day)||RARE DEFECATION (<3 / week)|
|Common pathological causes||Common pathological causes|
|Common non-pathological causes||Common non-pathological causes|