Although it might not be anyone's favorite subject, your pooping habits can say a lot about your overall well-being. In fact, there are some surprising things that the time of your bowel movements can mean for your health overall. For the most part, there are a few bowel movement times that may be a cause for concern.
First, though, it's important to understand that there's no set, specific time for humans to poop. "The rule with pooping is there's no such thing as normal—just normal from one person's perspective," said Dr. Schnoll-Sussman in Prevention. In reality, a person could poop three times a day or three times a week and still fall within the healthy parameters, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It just depends on what is normal for that individual. In general, though, but most people tend to poop around the same time and frequency each day, according to Healthline. (Mornings tend to be very popular). So if your bowel habits suddenly change, or they cause you concern for some reason, then don't hesitate to contact your doctor to learn about treatment options. As it turns out, something as simple as the times of your poops may say quite a bit about your health.
1. Going Every Morning
If you need to hit the toilet soon after waking up, then it likely means your body is just working normally. "In the morning, when we first wake up, an internal alarm clock goes off in our colon and the colon starts contracting more vigorously," said gastroenterologist Dr. Sarina Pasricha in Fatherly. “In fact, the colon contracts and squeezes 3 times as hard in the first hour we are awake compared to when we are sleeping." It's no wonder many people have to start the day with a BM.
2. Going Right After Work
Some people's pooping habits are heavily influenced by their schedule. In fact, the second most common time to go is right after work. "It's simply because there's time to relax and have a bowel movement," said clinical associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center Lisa Ganjhu in Prevention. So if you feel the need to go as soon as you get the house door unlocked in the evenings, rest assured that this is another normal response.
3. Going After Every Meal
If you have to go right after every meal like clockwork, then this may mean something specific about your digestive tract. In some cases, conditions such as anxiety, Crohn’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can make food speed up through the colon after eating, according to Healthline. Consider speaking with your doctor about this possibility if you seem to need a BM right after every single meal.
4. Going More Often During Your Period
If it seems like your bowel movements are more frequent during a menstrual cycle, well, you aren't imagining anything. Prostaglandins, the compounds that tell your uterus to contract, can also work the same way in your bowel as well, according to Women's Health. And when your bowel contracts, things move along in there. It's simply a normal thing to happen during period week.
5. Going In The Middle Of The Night
If you're waking up in the middle of the night to poop, then this may point to some potential GI issues. For instance, people with irritable bowel syndrome may wake in the night with a need to poop, followed by stomach pains, according to Tuck. If you're experiencing similar issues, then speak with your doctor about treatment options. Although there's a wide range of normal when it comes to pooping habits, there are a few cases in which your bowel movement's timing can say a lot about your health.