Ok, so it's not the most popular subject to talk about, but being constipated is more common than we think. It affects up to 27 percent of the North American population, says Marisa Battistella, a clinical pharmacist at the University of Health Network in Toronto, Ontario. Statistics reveal it is twice as common in women than in men - albeit, this could be because women are more open about it.
Almost everyone is familiar with the signs: abdominal bloating; straining; lumpy, hard stools. But how frequently should we be going? Well, according to experts, we shouldn't be worried if say, our sister goes only every other day, while you go twice a day; both patterns are fine. "Anything from three times a week to three times a day is normal," says Dr. John Marshall, an associate professor of medicine at McMaster University and a staff gastro-enterologist at Hamilont Health Sciences - Hamilton, Ontario. What does matter, according to the good doctor, is that movements are soft enough to prevent you from straining.
He goes on to say, "People should have realistic expectations. There is a lot of folklore about bowel movement and since few people discuss it publicly, a lot of people don't know what is normal."
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