(HealthDay News) -- It's not true that to be considered regular, you have to produce a bowel movement at least once daily, the American Academy of Family Physicians says.
The "normal" range varies widely -- between three times a day and three times a week, the academy says.
Here are its recommendations to help prevent constipation:
- When you need to have a bowel movement, try not to ignore it.
- Make time to have a regular bowel movement, such as after a meal.
- Get plenty of fiber in your diet, drink plenty of fluids every day, and get regular exercise.
- Avoid foods that are high in sugar and fat.
- Don't take laxatives too frequently. Overuse can actually damage your bowels and aggravate constipation.
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