Bowel Movement Problems

Loose Bowel Movements (Diarrhea)

Occasional loose bowel movements may be normal, but having over three loose stools per day is a symptom of diarrhea.

Check characteristics of normal and excessive bowel movements. Read how to find the cause of loose bowel movements from medical symptoms.

Constipation

Constipation means having less than three bowel movements in a week.

Check the causes of chronic constipation and severe constipation.

IBS

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common diagnosis given in an unexplained diarrhea or constipation.

Foods to avoid in IBS.

Fructose Malabsorption

Ability of the human intestine to absorb fructose is limited, especially in individuals with fructose malabsorption. Main symptoms are diarrhea and bloating, prevention is by a low-fructose diet.

Abnormal Color of Bowel Movement

The color of normal bowel movement in most people is brown. Check for other colors of a normal bowel movement. Check the causes of white, yellow, orangeblack, green bowel movement, and mucus in the bowel movement.

Blood in the Stool

Check the causes of blood in the stool, and what is melena.

Read about bowel anatomy, motility, digestion, and intestinal flora.

Bloating and Gas (Flatulence)

Bloating is distension of the belly wall because of gas accumulation within the intestine. Check causes of bloating and gas.

About Jan Modric (249 Articles)
Health writer
  • Anne Hatfield

    For the last three weeks, my stool floats in the toilet rather than sink to the bottom. The color is medium brown and comes, without straining, daily. I am 67 years old, take no medication, exercise regularly, and eat a balanced diet.
    Is this alarming?

  • Dr. Chris

    Hi Anne

    It may be a sign of steatorrhea – fats in the stool. This can arise for various reasons, some of which are very serious while others are more benign. At three weeks, it seems like the condition may have the potential to be a chronic ailment and this does raise some concerns. Certain conditions are more likely to occur in your age group so in that respect, yes, it may be alarming. You should see your doctor who will then take a stool sample and send it for further analysis. Based on the findings, other investigations may be conducted to help conclusively identify or exclude certain conditions.