From the frequency to the consistency, bowel movements vary from person to person. Although, if you’ve noticed that your bowel movements have changed slightly, it may simply be a result of a lifestyle change, such as:

  • Change in diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Medication

That said, there are some conditions that may cause a change to your bowel movements, these include [1]:

  • Celiac disease
  • Chron’s disease
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Bowel cancer

See also: What Affects Bowel Function?


What can cause a change in bowel habits?


A change in bowel movements is commonly a result in a change of your everyday habits, though there are some disease and conditions that may cause a change in your movements.


Celiac disease


Celiac disease is an immune reaction to gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. If you have celiac disease, you will experience a range of symptoms when you eat gluten - these include [2]:

  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Indigestion

Chron’s disease


Chron’s disease is a serious long-term condition that causes inflammation in your digestive tract - this can lead to [3]:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Severe diarrhea

Irritable Bowel Syndrome


Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a common long-term condition that can affect the large intestine; many people with IBS can control it by making simple lifestyle changes. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation

Bowel cancer


Although the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer can vary from person to person, some common signs include:

  • Persistent change in bowel habits
  • Persistent abdominal discomfort

It’s important to note that these symptoms don’t occur in everyone with bowel cancer and it’s likely that they are a result of another condition, disease or simply a lifestyle change.

See also: What are the risk factors associated with bowel cancer?


A change in bowel habits is completely normal and not something you should worry about. With that said, if you notice that it’s a persistent change, it’s important to get in touch with your doctor to rule out any causes.


LetsGetChecked’s at-home Bowel Cancer Screening Test can help identify the presence of cancerous or precancerous growths in the bowel by detecting blood that is invisible to the naked eye.

You should consider getting screened if:

  • You are experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms
  • You have a history of adenomas (benign tumors)
  • You have inflammatory bowel disease* (which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
  • You have an inherited syndrome (e.g. Lynch syndrome/HNPCC or FAP)
  • You have type 2 diabetes
  • You have undergone radiation therapy

See also: How Can You Screen For Bowel Cancer From Home?



References

  1. Mayo Clinic. Frequent Bowel Movements. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2018
  2. NHS. Celiac Disease. Online: NHS.uk, 2019
  3. Mayo Clinic. Chron’s Disease. Online: Mayoclinic.org, 2019