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Help me change my poop cycle!
October 9, 2008 5:39 PM   Subscribe

How do I change my poop cycle? I used to poop every day when I woke up (6am ish) and I would usually be good until the next morning. Then I went out of the country, changed time zones, all that stuff, and now I'm back. I've been back for about 2 months but for some reason now I poop every day at about 5pm. How do I alter my cycle to poop when I want to?!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (30 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Hold it.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 5:41 PM on October 9, 2008


You have to do it incrementally. Move it up an hour or so every few days. You may find, though, that pooping during the early afternoon at work is by far the superior option. It's a nice little break when 5 o'clock seems too far away, it gives you an opportunity to tuck in your shirt again and fix your general appearance, and you in effect get paid to poop.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 5:47 PM on October 9, 2008 [5 favorites]


Coffee at 5am.
posted by gyusan at 5:48 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Are you eating at the same times? Getting the same amount of sleep?

For every hour past about 8 that I eat carbs, it pushes my morning poop back an hour.
posted by Loto at 5:49 PM on October 9, 2008


You only poop once a day? That's...disturbing.
Have a high fiber dinner and drink plenty of water before bed. When you wake up, swallow air, drink water and eat an apple.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:09 PM on October 9, 2008


I'll second the coffee suggestion.
posted by texas_blissful at 6:24 PM on October 9, 2008


Seconding the "hold it" plan. Would probably help to eat lightly the day before.

Cat Pie Hurts: "You only poop once a day? That's...disturbing."

Why? Isn't that about normal?
posted by Rhaomi at 6:31 PM on October 9, 2008


Really? I guess I'm a 3-a-day freak, then.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:39 PM on October 9, 2008


Once a day seems to be the norm for all whom I've discussed this with
posted by randomstriker at 6:55 PM on October 9, 2008


Once a day at 6 am so I totally relate. When I get off cycle, to the extent I can I hold it. Then before bed I eat some thig fiberous like Cheerios and viola in the morning I am giving birth to a Texan.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:55 PM on October 9, 2008


Caffeine.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:59 PM on October 9, 2008


Really? I guess I'm a 3-a-day freak, then.

No, you're fine. From the BMJ's gastroenterology and hepatology journal: Because the range of bowel habits and stool types in the community is unknown we questioned 838 men and 1059 women, comprising 72.2% of a random stratified sample of the East Bristol population. Most of them kept records of three consecutive defecations, including stool form on a validated six point scale ranging from hard, round lumps to mushy [...] Although the most common bowel habit was once daily this was a minority practice in both sexes; a regular 24 hour cycle was apparent in only 40% of men and 33% of women.

posted by game warden to the events rhino at 7:00 PM on October 9, 2008


phew! Thanks :)
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 7:10 PM on October 9, 2008


One double espresso, one swarthy cigarette. Instant log flume.
posted by Darth Fedor at 7:17 PM on October 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Slight derail: Why does caffeine work? What's the medical reason?
posted by metastability at 7:25 PM on October 9, 2008


get your body moving in the morning, get the blood flowing. Some light aerobics, or some yoga positions really wake up those organs and get the stuff flowing. and more fiber and water.
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 7:26 PM on October 9, 2008


that pooping during the early afternoon at work is by far the superior option.

oh hells, no.
pooping around 11am in the office loo is superior. it's before the guys from all around the office have come back from lunch, when the mass recycling really gets started. I have been to some seriously filthy office crapstations in the afternoon and am thankful for those weeks during which I can cry timber before the stampede begins.

seriously, anyone wearing khakis needs their own porter potty.
posted by krautland at 7:30 PM on October 9, 2008


ooh, don't hold it. that can just get...uncomfortable.

whenever i get off kilter from travel or whatever, i have a very high-fiber dinner and pop a laxative before bed. a couple of days of this usually do the trick.

if you suffer from rebound constipation, take a stool softener with the laxative and with lunch the next day.
posted by thinkingwoman at 7:36 PM on October 9, 2008


Slight derail: Why does caffeine work? What's the medical reason?
posted by metastability at 10:25 PM on October 9 [+] [!]

Previously answered.

posted by knave at 7:39 PM on October 9, 2008


You should have a look at your diet and make sure that you're getting enough fiber. As you were an early morning person you should make sure that you have a high fiber dinner.
posted by ob at 7:51 PM on October 9, 2008


just do it the same way you'd train a 2-year-old: sit on the pot every morning at 6 am and *try*. get into a routine, and reward yourself with an m&m when you succeed!
posted by kidsleepy at 8:06 PM on October 9, 2008


Two days out from Poop Recalibration Day, eat whatever spicy/fibrous evening meal turns you on. One day out, ditto, and also drink a suitable quantity of Guiness or rough red wine to wash it down. Top up with copious water before bed. Strong coffee or other caffeinated beverage immediately on waking, AND breakfast. Poop will follow.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 8:29 PM on October 9, 2008


this works if you stick to it:
Drink a liter of water right before desired New Poop Time. The water may not affect the body immediately, but it will have affected the brain.
Then, train yourself to do the same thing every day at the same time, but slowly reduce the amount of water. By the end of a week, you should only need a big glass of water, which you could then replace with juice or coffee or tea.
(but do start on a non-work day: a liter is a lot of water!)
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee at 8:47 PM on October 9, 2008


Slightly off topic, but am I the only poop-shy person that will do anything to avoid pooping at work because the bathroom is NEVER empty? People actually like pooping at work?

But to try to be somewhat helpful, those FiberOne granola bars that they sell at grocery stores WILL make you have to poop within 8 hours, usually sooner. Don't eat more than one unless you really like sitting on the toilet. Not that I've ever done that. Those things are tasty, though.
posted by fructose at 8:48 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


p.s., I find eating a large meal makes me need to go within an hour. I guess my body decides it needs to make space, YMMV. This may not be best for the morning, though.
posted by fructose at 8:50 PM on October 9, 2008


fructose speaks the truth about the FiberOne granola bars. Tasty, and uh, productive.

Have a high-fiber meal before bed, every night. Wake up, drink a bunch of water and/or your favorite caffeinated beverage. Poop.

My ex-boyfriend couldn't eat breakfast before taking the train to work because he would poop within an hour of eating breakfast, like clockwork, and his train ride was over an hour. He'd eat when he got to work and then poop there. And then again after lunch, and then again after dinner (we worked together, in the sort of mostly-dude office where you'd tell your coworkers not to go in the bathroom for a while, which is why I knew his daily poop cycles).

Me, I just poop once a day or so, more often if I have several fiber-rich meals. Coffee goes right through me, which is why I don't drink it anymore. It's a little too effective.

Metafilter: We're all beautiful, unique poop-snowflakes.
posted by bedhead at 9:19 PM on October 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not too many years ago there was a study that found healthy people pooping anywhere from three times a day to once every three days. So no, once a day isn't mandatory for good health.
posted by exphysicist345 at 9:41 PM on October 9, 2008


Eat some fiber bars in the morning or an hour before bed. They changed my habits, but I am usually not one to poop in the morning.

Caveat: You may poop more than you need to, so take it easy with them until you get acclimated. After a while you I do not think you should need to rely upon them to keep your "cycle".
posted by thetenthstory at 7:45 AM on October 10, 2008


I came here to say the same thing as exphysicist345.

Also, I love getting paid to poop.
posted by owtytrof at 9:29 AM on October 10, 2008


Good suggestions above. Regulate your eating and sleep cycle. Also, drink a ton of water and exercise a bit an hour or so before you hope to do the deed. And for some reason, a dill pickle first thing in the morning can also help.
posted by ifjuly at 10:06 AM on October 10, 2008


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