If you're having bowel movements more often than usual, chances are you've made some change in your lifestyle. You may, for example, be eating more whole grains, which increases fiber intake.
More-frequent bowel movements could also be related to a mild, self-limiting illness that will take care of itself. If there are no other signs or symptoms, you're probably in good health.
Diseases and other conditions that may cause frequent bowel movements and other signs and symptoms include:
- Salmonella infection (or other infections that may occur from bacteria)
- Giardia infection (giardiasis) (or other infections causes by parasites)
- Celiac disease
- Crohn's disease
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid)
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Antibiotic-associated diarrhea (or other medication side effects)
- Ulcerative colitis (a type of inflammatory bowel disease)
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
Nov. 14, 2020
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- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 9, 2017.
- Fiber. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/fiber. Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
- Evaluation of the gatrointestinal patient. Merck Manual Professional Version. https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/approach-to-the-gastrointestinal-patient/evaluation-of-the-gastrointestinal-patient?query=Evaluation of the GI patient. Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
- Celiac disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Understanding celiac disease. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/celiac-disease. Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
- What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/ibd/what-is-IBD.htm. Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
- Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/hyperthyroidism. Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome. Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
- Diarrhea. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/diarrhea/all-content. Accessed Oct. 22, 2020.
- What is IBS? American Gastroenterological Association. https://gastro.org/practice-guidance/gi-patient-center/topic/irritable-bowel-syndrome-ibs/?hilite=%27stool%27%2C%27frequency%27. Accessed Oct. 23, 2020.