Frequent Bowel Movements

What Causes Frequent Stools?

Frequent stools can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'troubling' to 'critical'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

Diagnose your symptoms now!
  • check your overall health status
  • let The Analyst™ find what's wrong
  • learn what you should be doing right now

Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose frequent stools, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "frequent stools" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Lactose Intolerance
  • Vitamin D Need
  • Crohn's Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Gastritis
  • Food Allergies

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
regular unexplained vomiting
elevated ESR
moderate left iliac pain after meals
inner trembling
regular aspirin use
major unexplained weight loss
low lymphocyte count
chronic productive cough
irritated eyes
ovarian cysts
recent onset vomiting
resolved atypical recent headaches
... and more than 150 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of frequent stools:
Cause Probability Status
Crohn's Disease 95% Confirm
Ulcerative Colitis 28% Unlikely
Hyperthyroidism 28% Unlikely
Vitamin D Need 4% Ruled out
Gastritis 1% Ruled out
Lactose Intolerance 1% Ruled out
Food Allergies 1% Ruled out
HIV/AIDS 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate irregular stools, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you have a tendency toward frequent bowel movements / stools?
Possible responses:
→ No / not applicable / don't know
→ Somewhat, have 2-3 stools per day
→ Yes, have 4-5 stools per day
→ Yes, have 6-7 stools per day
→ Yes, 8 or more stools per day
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either frequent stools or very frequent stools, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

IBS-D (Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Diarrhea) leads to increased stool water content, softer/looser stools, and more frequent urges to defecate.

Lactose Intolerance

Loose, watery stools are signs of lactose malabsorption / lactase deficiency.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis may result in an increased urgency to defecate, up to 10 or 20 times per day.

... and also rule out issues such as:
Concerned or curious about your health?  Try The Analyst™
Symptom Entry
Symptom Entry
Full Explanations
Optional Doctor Review
Review (optional)
We use cookies for traffic analysis, advertising, and to provide the best user experience