How Long Can You Go Without A Bowel Movement (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up to 3 days

Everyone can go without a bowel movement for around 3 days. There are many things that would affect how long the person can stay without a bowel movement. The bowel movement of all the people would vary according to the habits of the people.

Some people have habits of emptying the waste from the bowel every day. The amount of food eaten by the person would also affect the bowel movement length. Everyone should not try to stop the bowel movement as after 24 hours, the stool would start getting harder.

If someone is not able to pass stool for more than 3 days, then the person needs to check with the doctor. People facing issues of diarrhea would see frequent stool passage. Sometimes, there will be many other issues why people can pass stool for a long time.

People who are facing the issues of constipation would not be able to pass stool for a few days. Passing stool or bowel movement is quite natural to clean the body internally. Therefore, people should check with the doctor if they have any type of health problem.

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How Long Can You Go Without A Bowel Movement?

Bowel MovementTime
In days3 days
In hours72 hours

There are many factors such as the eating habits and gastrointestinal health of the person that would affect how long the person can stay without a bowel movement.
People who eat a lot of food may not be able to hold the bowel movement for a long time. There are some people who may get the issues of gas or stomach pain if they don’t pass stool for more than one day.

If a person is eating normal diet food but is not able to pass stool for more than 3 days. Then it may be a sign of some hidden health issues. Not pooping for a long time would bring many repercussions as stool contains acid content.
The bacteria present inside the stool, and the acid content would cause chronic constipation. Chronic constipation is a huge health problem that can cause various other life-threatening diseases. Sometimes, the bowel movement may not happen if the intestinal obstruction is not allowing the stool to pass.

Many people try to avoid a bowel movement, as they are not comfortable in the bathroom. People start getting anxious in the bathroom, and this can be a problem why people may avoid passing stools.

If a person is not able to pass stool, after trying many ways, then the person needs medical help. Nausea can be a big issue why people may experience disturbed bowel movements. Fecal impaction can be faced by people if they are not having a bowel movement for more than 3 days.

Sometimes, the intestines may get torn due to excess pressure given by the stocked stools. Bowel perforation is a big problem that may lead to intestinal damage.

Why Can You Go Without A Bowel Movement For This Long?

A person who is completely healthy would have a proper bowel movement every day. People should always try to follow a good lifestyle and food habits to not encourage the issues of bowel movement. People who have chronic constipation may see improper bowel movements for a long time.

The person can try to drink a good amount of water to prevent the issues of improper bowel movement. Everyone can do proper exercise to not face the issues of improper bowel movement. People who eat a very less amount of fiber would not see the issues of improper bowel movement.

People should try to exclude dairy products from their diet to avoid improper bowel movements. The bowel movement would be on time when people would add a good amount of water and fiber to their diet. Eating too much junk or spicy food would affect bowel movement.

Stress can be a huge problem why people start to see improper bowel movements. If anybody stays stressed for a long time, then the person may not be able to pass stool for a few days.

Conclusion

The stool passing time in every one would be different depending on various factors. There are few hours that you can stay without a bowel movement. If the person doesn’t pass stool for more than 3 days, then it is not at all healthy for the body.

If the person won’t be able to pass stool for around one week which can be a sign of chronic constipation and this can cause heart attacks. People should check with an expert or professional for getting clarity about the reason for not passing stool for more than 3 days.

References

  1. https://academic.oup.com/aje/article-abstract/174/5/546/117341
  2. https://movementdisorders.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/mds.21560
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