How Often Should You Go Number Two?

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Published on March 22, 2021

How Often Should You Go Number Two?

Photo of a human digestive system modeled out of blue puttyWe normally don’t give our colon health much attention unless we start to experience symptoms like constipation or diarrhea. It’s time to take the pledge to care for your colon by staying up-to-date with screenings and understanding any signs that may be telling you something is out of the norm.

“A good way to keep track of your colon health is to pay attention to your bowel movements. Contrary to what some may believe, there isn’t a set number of times you should pass stools as each person develops their own healthy bowel movement cycle. A good rule of thumb is to notice when you typically go number two and if your routine is disrupted for a few days or weeks, there may be something wrong,” says Renee Palta DO, PIH Health Gastroenterology.

The average person poops anywhere from three times a day to three times a week. Since most people develop a routine over time, you will notice that you typically go number two the same number of times each day and at a similar time of day.

According to a survey from Healthline, participants reported the following statistics based on their typical bowel movement cycle:

  • Nearly 50% of people poop at least once a day. Another 28% said they go two times a day. While only 5.6% said they go once or twice a week.
  • 61.3% of participants said they typically go in the morning. Another 22% said they go in the afternoon. While only 2.6% reported going very late at night.

In addition to steady bowel movement, the consistency of your stool also plays a major role in determining your gastrointestinal (GI) health. Your stool should be soft and relatively easy to pass. Loose or watery stool can be a sign of digestive irritation, making it pass through your intestines rapidly.

On the contrary, stool that is hard can be difficult to pass. Over time, this issue can cause hemorrhoids or your stool may get backed up in your intestines.

If you are experiencing these types of concerns, they should be discussed with a gastroenterologist. Visit PIHHealth.org/Find-a-Doctor and select “Gastroenterology” in the specialty section to make an appointment today.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.