Niagra dribbles but does not fall.
November 2, 2011 10:48 AM   Subscribe

How can I poop less frequently?

Anonymous because: ewww, poo!

I currently have a low-stress job: I can show up whenever I want in the morning. But I'm starting a new job soon, and it'll require me to be at work, on time, at 8 am every morning.

Why is this a problem? Well, I usually spend about an hour on the toilet every morning. Without fail, I poop at least twice every morning. Sometimes three times, sometimes four, and yes, sometimes five. And all that paperwork is making my outbox a little rough around the edges.

I'm as regular as a clock. I'm a healthy caucasian male in his mid-40s. I don't eat a lot of meat, don't use caffeine, and do a pretty good job eating roughage and fiber.

How can I get it all to come out in one sitting?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Actually, reducing the roughage and fiber (and carbs, actually) may do the trick. At least it did for me (well, I do use caffeine - and people are different, right...). I'm having yoghurt and nuts in the morning instead of all the home-made bread and muesli I used to. Not a problem any more.
Another thought is that, if you have to be at your job, also regular as a clock, your routines likely will adjust.
posted by Namlit at 10:54 AM on November 2, 2011

This sounds like way too much time pooping. I know everyone is different, but an hour? Five times? Too much.

I think there are many things that could be causing this, and although you may get some good suggestions in this thread, you're probably best off seeing a doctor or dietician. I don't know if you'd consider going to a naturopath, but that would be the first step I would take. This seems like something that needs to be looked at from a holistic standpoint, not a doctor who will rule out anything sinister and send you on your way.

Try leaving some diaper wipes by the toilet to help with the rough edges. I wipe first with toilet paper, then finish up with a soothing wipe. Do not flush them.
posted by Specklet at 11:13 AM on November 2, 2011

More dairy in your diet might firm things up a little. Also don't underestimate the benefits of pooping at work - you save on paper and you're getting paid!
posted by essexjan at 11:14 AM on November 2, 2011 [8 favorites]

Sorry, I meant to add: in the meantime, try eating more brown rice, pasta, and yeah, dairy. Less raw veg and fruit.
posted by Specklet at 11:17 AM on November 2, 2011

just a thought...maybe you should sit on the toilet longer. maybe you are not really done in the first go round, and if you wait you can get it all done in one sitting? at least that would cut down on the multiple trips...
posted by virginia_clemm at 11:17 AM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

A long shot: do you chew a lot of gum? Gum sweetened with sorbitol can cause diarrhea/excessive pooping.

And maybe wait till later in the day to poop... When you really have to go, instead of, uh, little bits at a time...? And start changing you schedule now, what ever you do, so you'll be adjusted by the time you start the new job.
posted by catatethebird at 1:13 PM on November 2, 2011

So . . . based on the title, it might be relevant. What is the consistency like? See The Bristol Stool Scale if you don't want to go into detail. If the consistency is off, maybe there is a easy diet fix to get is back to 4.
posted by Garm at 1:18 PM on November 2, 2011

Drink less water; eat more dairy products
posted by cwarmy at 1:42 PM on November 2, 2011

Squatting is supposed to help with more complete evacuation. You can put a small footstool in front of the toilet for a modified squat.

Not sure how I feel about this comment being forever linked to my name.
posted by purpletangerine at 1:48 PM on November 2, 2011 [4 favorites]

OMG! I just started a new job 2 weeks ago, after working from home for 2 years and had I been an AskMe member 2 weeks ago, I'd have asked this EXACT question, no lie. My routine when I worked from home was 1) get up 2) make coffee 3) drink all the coffee 4) poop 5-6 times during and after the coffee.

Since working in an office, I have cut down on my coffee-intake (and my everything intake, since I don't want to look like I'm shirking work by getting up all the time), and I try to do one Big One at home before I go to work. For week one, I tried just getting on the toilet first thing, pre-shower, but then I felt like I was leaving some behind. So this week I've been getting right into the shower, and during those 15 minutes the urge is even stronger and then I'm READY to go when I get out. But then I have a dirty butt. But your butt is never exactly the cleanest place on the planet, so I just wipe well and don't worry about it.

I have had to poop at work a few times now, and it's not terrible. I think your body will regulate itself to the time/place you have available, so don't fret. If it ends up being a problem after a couple weeks, then I'd see what the doctor has to say. (okay, *I* wouldn't, but most of these people would)
posted by masquesoporfavor at 5:05 PM on November 2, 2011

OH and on preview--Purpletangerine has an excellent point. The toilets at my new job are REALLY FRICKIN HIGH off the ground, and leverage is a bit of an issue. When I wear heels I'm okay though, so ymmv!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 5:06 PM on November 2, 2011

So is this pooping you're doing all super-urgent pooping? Or is it more like, "Gee, I guess maybe I could go again, better do it just to make sure"?

Because I could take umpteen little dumps a day if I decided that was what I wanted to do and I started running to the loo every time it seemed like a possibility. But once a day also turns out to work just fine.

(On the other hand, if you feel like "Jesus Christ I'm gonna crap my pants if I don't go soon" two or three or five times in one morning, then yeah, that sounds like a very good reason to see a doctor.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:43 PM on November 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Onto the more, ahem, pressing issue. If you are getting 'rough around the edges', a marginally (I see what you did there!) better solution is to take your multipoo all at once, then hop in the shower. At the very least, consider a wetnap or baby wipe!

It's good enough for Will Smith, shouldn't it be good enough for you?

Says Will: "I'm the type of person that it's important for me to share. When I experience something that's special and incredible, I like to share it with people. Anyone who's using dry toilet paper, you're really not doing yourself the true service"

(He has lots of opinions on such things)
posted by gregglind at 11:26 PM on November 2, 2011

might as well pop another poop thread and say: psyllium husk. Get it at the grocery store. 2 times a day.

Also, for the rough around the edges part:
install a bidet

However, if you use the psyllium husk, the bidet is just a luxury.
posted by kookywon at 9:25 AM on November 3, 2011

This is not a post I though I'd write, and I am no poo expert, but I feel for you.

Definitely more fibre, not less. More, more, more.
Or figure out what it is in your diet you shouldn't be having.

It should only take you a few seconds to go each time, not... an hour. Going after each meal is acceptable, as long as you're only taking a few minutes each time.

1. Don't go until you need to.
2. When you do go, do *NOT* push. You are attempting a manual override of the many muscles that are designed to smoothly move it all along, and instead, just trying to squeeze all the muscles at once, which obviously gums up the works.
Just allow it to flow out, relax, no tensing, you're a river and those logs inside you just want to flow out to the sea (I'm so, so sorry for that analogy).
3. a) Raise your arms in the air when going. I know it sounds stupid, but I read that it straightens out part of your colon, making things easier.
b) Or, this is a bit more complicated, but given you're at home - put some block on each side of the toilet, and stand on them such that you are pretty much squatting over the toilet. This is way the human body pretty much instinctively wants to be to evacuate it's bowels, and will make the process much easier. Seriously, an hour? Make this happen.

Also, yeah. Flushable baby wipes temporarily if you are really having a problem. Again, this indicates you are either not getting enough fibre, or are eating/drinking something not good for you. A good movement barely touches the sides.

Finally, in order to get things moving earlier, put a big glass of water next to your bed, and drink it first thing when you wake up - yes, even before hitting the snooze button if that's what you do. This signals to your body it's morning, and your insides start waking up, churning away, and doing that thing you do, which means you'll be ready to go soon.
And yeah, if you don't have an urgent need, go toilet last thing before you leave. Sounds like you're not quite really to go, and the train cars are not lined up to leave the station.
Don't hold on either, if you feel the call? Go.
posted by Elysum at 6:29 PM on November 3, 2011

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