Jaime Herndon is a freelance health/medical writer with over a decade of experience writing for the public.

Learn about our editorial processPublished on February 04, 2022Medically reviewedVerywell Health articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more.byRobert Burakoff, MD, MPH Medically reviewed byRobert Burakoff, MD, MPH

Robert Burakoff, MD, MPH, is board-certified in gastroentrology. He is the vice chair for ambulatory services for the department of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, where he is also a professor. He was the founding editor and co-editor in chief of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

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Your bowel habits are influenced by a variety of different things, some of which you may not even realize. The number of times you poop each day can vary, and everyone has different bowel habits. Normal bowel movements can range anywhere from three times a day to four times a week.

It's important to be aware of any changes in your regular bowel habits. Most people have a "rhythm" or general bowel schedule. If you find yourself running to the bathroom more than usual, that’s something to take note of.

In this article, we’ll review the possible causes of frequent pooping, and when you should call your healthcare provider.

Common Causes

Changes in bowel habits can be caused by a variety of things, and it may not always be clear what the cause is. Reviewing any changes in behavior can help you figure out the issue.

Changes in your diet can affect your pooping habits. Too much fiber can cause more bowel movements, as well as very high-fat meals.

When you exercise, your colon responds to movement. Your bowel muscles contract, helping to move bowel movements along.

Aerobic exercise like walking has also been found to increase healthy gut bacteria, contributing to regular bowel movements.

If you’ve been pretty sedentary and then start an exercise routine, it’s common to start to see changes in your bowel habits.

Drinking alcohol speeds up the digestive process and increases colon contractions. This causes more frequent bowel movements. This also means your body also can’t absorb fluid, making your stool looser and more watery.

Coping and Living Well With IBS

Stress can cause constipation, frequent bowel movements, or diarrhea.

It can also change the physiology of the intestine. There are neurons in the bowel that communicate with the brain. Stress affects the neurons in the bowel, which is why so many people have stomach aches, diarrhea, or the urge to poop when stressed.

Stress is also linked to changes in gut bacteria, which can impact bowel habits.

Hormones affect gastrointestinal (GI) function, and monthly fluctuations can cause different GI symptoms, including diarrhea and frequent bowel movements.

Why Am I Pooping So Much?

Diarrhea is defined as loose and watery stools being passed at least three times a day. It can be acute or chronic, and acute diarrhea is a common occurrence.

Acute diarrhea lasts for one or two days, and gets better on its own, whereas chronic diarrhea lasts between two and four weeks.

Diarrhea can be caused by infections, medications, food allergies or intolerances, surgery, or digestive tract issues, including:

Sometimes medications can cause frequent bowel movements and even diarrhea. These medications include:

If you suspect your frequent poops are the result of taking medication, call the healthcare provider that prescribed it to you. The dosage may need to be adjusted or a different drug may need to be used. If the medication is over-the-counter, ask your healthcare provider if you should continue taking it.

Coping With Celiac Disease

Diseases and Disorders Associated with Frequent Bowel Movements

Various diseases and disorders are associated with frequent bowel movements. If you’re pooping more than usual and not sure why, your healthcare provider might run some tests to check for any underlying causes.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a cluster of symptoms that occur at the same time. It's a functional GI disorder, which means it’s related to issues with how your brain and gut work together.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, changes in bowel habits, diarrhea, constipation, or a mix of all three.

IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States.

Celiac disease is a chronic digestive and immune disorder. It’s triggered by eating gluten, and damages the small intestine, along with other organs. It can cause diarrhea, constipation, loose stool, and foul-smelling stool.

Along with an exam and taking your medical and family history, a healthcare provider can diagnose celiac disease through blood tests and a biopsy of the small intestine during an endoscopy.

Celiac disease affects at least 3 million Americans.

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory GI disorder. It's a common disorder, and can significantly impact quality of life.

Although it can affect any part of your digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, it most often affects the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine.

Along with fatigue, fever, joint pain, and nausea, a symptom of Crohn’s disease is diarrhea.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that in 2015, 1.3 % of adults in the United States (about 3 million) were diagnosed with either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis (UC).

Practical Tips for Living Well With Crohn's Disease


If you've been diagnosed with a disease that affects your bowel frequency or habits, follow the treatment plan that your healthcare provider has developed with you.

Dietary management is often part of the treatment for the above diseases.

If the cause of your frequent pooping is a result of lifestyle choices and not due to an underlying illness, there are several things you can do to curtail symptoms, including:

Stress can cause frequent bowel movements and exacerbate existing GI disorders. Learning tools for stress management can help you reduce the impact stress has on your body and mind. This may include yoga, meditation, relaxation techniques, and more.

Best Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Frequent bowel movements aren't always preventable. But knowing what triggers your body can help you make choices that reduce the likelihood of pooping too much.

Eating a healthy diet rich in fiber and minimizing processed foods, as well as staying hydrated, can help regulate your bowels. Staying active with physical activity can also help to regulate bowel habits.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

If you’ve noticed changes in your bowel habits and aren’t sure why to talk with your healthcare provider. It may help to keep a journal of your bowel habits and diet to share with them so they have more information about what might be going on. If you find yourself in the bathroom more than not, or it’s interfering with your daily life, see your healthcare provider as soon as possible.

If you’ve tried multiple things to help reduce your bowel frequency to no avail, call your healthcare provider for an appointment.

Find Food Sensitivities With the Elimination Diet


Everyone’s pooping habits are different. It's important to notice any changes in your bowel habits and talk with your healthcare provider about them. There are a variety of things that can cause you to poop more, so don’t panic if you realize you’re spending a little more time in the bathroom than usual. Taking stock of any lifestyle or dietary changes can help you figure out what’s going on. If you’re still concerned about these changes, call your healthcare provider.

Best Diet for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

A Word From VeryWell

Frequent bowel movements or changes in bowel habits can impact your life and in some cases, impair the quality of your life. It’s important to see your healthcare provider if you aren’t aware of a cause for these changes. Finding out the reason behind the frequent pooping can help you get the appropriate treatment.

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