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Teach me about bowel movements


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Excuse the ignorance, but I don't know better and have a bunch of questions. I now know (didn't know this few months back) that the average range of bowel movements is between 3 bowel movements per day TO 3 bowel movements per week depending upon the individual. I also know that people can fall outside these ranges and that can be perfectly normal as well. From what I have read in bowel movement surveys, most people have 1 or 2 BM's daily (Again I understand this is not a universal rule or standard or frequency which applies to everyone),

My questions are these:

We eat things at different times and things move through our digestive systems at different speeds. So, food(feces) will be present in our large intestine/colon in different regions (am I right or not?) i.e. There may be some food in the descending colon and then there may be a gap and more food further up say in the transverse colon and then may be some gap and more food in the ascending colon. Correct? Suppose the food from the descending colon arrives at the sigmoid colon. Will the sigmoid colon move this food into the rectum immediately or will it wait for more food/feces to arrive to create enough pressure to move this into the rectum? Will even a small amount of stool in rectum create urge to defecate in normal bowel function or does enough stool needs to arrive in the rectum for the urge to happen?

I would like the answers to the above questions, but my primary question is this. Suppose you are a 1-2 bowel movements per day person. Suppose you have a BM in the morning and suppose your bowel movements work as nature intended (wishful thinking but it is for learning purpose). Will you only empty the rectum? OR will the food farther up in the sigmoid colon also move down once the process of defecation starts? What about food that is farther up say in the transverse or ascending colon and is separated by a gap from the rest of the stool which has collected in the sigmoid colon. Will a normal BM also empty out the food in the transverse or ascending colon? Will the defecation process move this food into the rectum as well or just move it along the colon or do nothing? You see, my point of confusion is that suppose you have food/stool in rectum and sigmoid colon AND you have food farther up the colon separated from this stool. Then, will a normal healthy bowel movement clean out the colon or only the rectum or only the rectum + sigmoid? You see what I am getting at. Is one only supposed to try and excrete stool that is lower down the colon and not bother about stool farther up? If only the stool in rectum, then when one eats a meal or exercises or whatever, the stool farther up the colon is going to move down towards the sigmoid/rectum area. So, then how can one only have 1-2 BM's per day? Wouldn't you get repeated desire to defecate?

Also, a few aside questions. I said earlier: "We eat things at different times and things move through our digestive systems at different speeds." Suppose we eat something which digests slowly and then much later we eat something which digests quickly. What happens in the colon? Suppose the slowly digested food has already entered the large intestine and then later the quickly digested food follows with a gap. Will the two catch up? Overtake? --- Leaving aside the colon, what about earlier in the digestive tract? If in a single meal we are eating things that digest at different speeds, how does that work? Can something 'fast' get stuck behind something 'slow'?

Thank you for the patience to read all that. Accept my thanks in advance for any help that you can give in regards to these queries.


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