By Dr. Ritu Krishnatreye, BHMS
Bowel movement definition
Bowel health is an important aspect of health. Any changes in bowel health can be a sign of some major internal problem.
Below is a comprehensive definition of the term “bowel movement”.
Understanding the consistency and type of bowel movements is helpful in identifying when there is something abnormal with the body. Bowel health gives an indication of gastrointestinal health.
Abnormal stools can be the result of:
The Bristol Stool Chart categorizes bowel movements into seven types, ranging from normal or healthy stools to those that may be indicative of some underlying disorder. Let’s have a look at them.
Type 1 The stools are hard lumps, something like nuts, and are difficult to pass
Type 2 These stools are shaped like sausages and are lumpy
Type 3 These stools are characterized by sausage shape with cracks on the surface
Type 4 In this category, stool is are sausage-shaped, but is smooth and soft
Type 5 These stools are soft lumps with very clear edges
Type 6 In this category, the stools are soft and fluffy with ragged edges
Type 7 Here, the stools become watery with no solid pieces
There is no clinically defined definition of a normal bowel movement. As long as stools have normal form and consistency (type 3 or 4), it is considered as normal bowel movement.
In this way it really doesn't matter whether you are passing stool daily or only three times a week.
If your stools fits type 1 or type 2 above and you are experiencing difficulty passing them, then it is time to take some necessary steps to resolve the issue.
Although not so serious in itself, constipation can cause complications if it is not dealt with.
The best place to start is with diet and lifestyle modifications.
If you find that these just aren’t doing the job, you might try taking a daily magnesium supplement.
Magnesium has the ability to draw water into the colon, which helps to moisten dry stools, making them soft easy to pass.
Bowel movements are an essential function of the body, and reflects what is going on within our body, especially our digestive system.
Irregular bowel movements can become an irritating problem, whereas healthy bowel function helps to keep one active and energetic throughout the day.