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The Truth About Pooping: What’s Normal and What Can I Do to Fix It?

The Truth About Pooping: What’s Normal and What Can I Do to Fix It?

Everybody poops, which is why it is important to understand what it might be trying to tell us. It is an important process which should be occurring on a daily basis. Let’s go over the basics to recognize what is normal and then explore ways that can help us be as normal as possible.

Quick Look At Regular Bowel Movements


The average person will poop 1-2 times a day. If you go a little more or a little less, it’s not the end of the world. Very high fiber diets with a healthy lifestyle can expect 12-24 hours per bowel movement, while others, such as the Western culture, average 48 to 72 hours per bowel movement.

If you were to leave food in a 98.6 degree setting for multiple days, it would be toxic. Do yourself a favor, practice healthy habits to help yourself get rid of the waste at least once a day.


Typically your excrement will be brown, but can vary based on diet.

  • Mild hints of yellow, green, or red can be normal, especially if you’ve had a lot of those colors in your diet over the previous couple days. However, any significant concentration or drastic changes in color could spell trouble.
  • Black stools, especially if they smell bad and are sticky, can indicate internal bleeding and may need further attention.
  • Light colors, such as hues of grey or yellow, may indicate other issues such as a lack of bile in your stool, and would merit further attention as well.


Sorry folks, but if your poop smells bad, it’s supposed to, it’s poop. The smell is a good indicator that the various bacteria in your intestines are doing their job and also a reflection of your diet. However, if you do notice a change from your normal odor, or have outrageously house destroying bowel movements for more than a week, then it shouldn’t be ignored.

Tips to Make Your Bathroom Experience More Enjoyable


Hydration: Drinking ½ oz of water for each pound you weigh is recommended (i.e. if you weigh 100 lbs, you should be drinking at least 50 ounces of water a day)






Fiber: A good guideline for dietary fiber intake is between 25- 30 grams per day or 14 grams of dietary fiber per 1000 calories that you eat. That’ll take a little more time looking at the nutritional facts. High fiber foods include; avocados, peas,  beans, berries, pears, and of course bran and prunes





Exercise: Regular exercise, which is recommended at least 30 minutes a day, can help to boost metabolism and improve the digestive process.

How Physical Therapy Can Help

Visceral mobility, the way your organs and insides are able to move, can have a large impact on the way that we void our system, and even in the way that we move. A physical therapist trained in visceral mobilizations can be helpful if you have limitations in your visceral mobility.  By getting any restrictions in your digestive organs and surrounding structures, moving better can positively impact your ability to void, and even your ability to move more efficiently. There are also some helpful home exercises that can be utilized to help to improve your fecal flow such as the “I” “L” “U” massage. Just another one of the many benefits of physical therapy to promote a healthier and happier you.

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Scott Locken, PT, DPT
Scott enjoys participating in nearly all sports but has a passion for soccer and continues to play competitively. He enjoys spending time with his wife and playing games with family and friends. He also participates in service in the community and for his church.