I didn't poop this morning, therefore I shall OM NOM NOM all day long
July 22, 2008 3:41 AM   Subscribe

Why do I crave sugar on days when I've had a lackluster/no bowel movement?

Normally I take a dump within a half hour of waking up, and my day is all sunshine and flowers afterwards.

On days where I don't poop in the morning (either from constipation [rarely], or because I don't have enough time/privacy to poop in peace) or if I don't completely expel all the poop that needs to come out (time restraints. sigh.), I notice an increased craving for sweets and an increased appetite in general (but mainly in the area of super sweet junk food and drinks). The cravings stop once my bowel movements go back to normal.

While this doesn't horribly cripple my life in anyway, I am quite curious as to why my bowel movements change my eating behavior as it seems to do. Any ideas?
posted by woebot to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
Dehydration affects both hunger and constipation. I'm not sure if that is your issue though.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:36 AM on July 22, 2008

Confirmation bias.
posted by OmieWise at 6:05 AM on July 22, 2008

Back before they had baby formula, they made it out of condensed milk, water, and Karo syrup. They controlled the kid's regularity by adjusting the amount of syrup. It may only work on babies, it's just a data point.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 7:14 AM on July 22, 2008

Is it too obvious to suggest that you may not be having a bowel movement because you didn't eat as much the day before, which causes you to have low blood sugar and be hungry as a result?
posted by sunshinesky at 7:26 AM on July 22, 2008

Water is a byproduct of the breakdown of sugars by mitochondria in the cells (as in this diagram), and this is one of the explanatory factors behind saying things like "when you feel hungry, you're probably [also] thirsty." As the intestines need water to funnel things along, your cravings may indicate mild dehydration...
posted by zachxman at 8:01 AM on July 22, 2008

I looked at this this morning and was thinking about the connection between sugar and bowels in the other direction. A high amount of sugar can cause diarrhea. So there's at least some connection. Maybe at lesser concentrations it still has a milder accelerating effect. Maybe your body knows what it needs to get the job done and is sending you signals. I tried to back it up googling this morning but didn't find anything good. But the Karo syrup datapoint made me think I ought to mention it. Speculation, but something.
posted by Askr at 10:10 AM on July 22, 2008

Response by poster: Hm. Well, I make sure to stay hydrated so that is probably not the case (though I have experienced the "hunger pangs" of being dehydrated).

The Karo syrup idea is actually pretty interesting, though I don't have much to elaborate on that.
posted by woebot at 6:12 PM on July 22, 2008

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