Departmental Bulletin Paper Dietary intake, mental status, physical activity, and lifestyle affecting bowel movement frequency and stool texture in young Japanese women

Omagari, Katsuhisa  ,  Torii, Haruna  ,  Goto, Shiho  ,  Sakamoto, Ai  ,  Hattori, Miki  ,  Murayama-Kinjo, Toshie  ,  Ichimura, Mayuko  ,  Tanabe, Kenichi  ,  Matsumoto, Sachiko

60 ( 3 )  , pp.85 - 95 , 2016-04 , Nagasaki University School of Medicine
Constipation is a symptom-based disorder, and its definition is mainly subjective. Patients are more concerned with ease of passage and consistency rather than frequency of bowel movement. Studies on bowel movement frequency and stool texture in the general population are sparse, especially in young women. In this cross-sectional study, data obtained from self-administered questionnaires, including age, height, body weight, lifestyle, food habits, anxiety, depressive status, frequency of bowel movements, stool texture, and defecation-related symptoms were analyzed in 245 female Japanese university students. An established semiquantitative questionnaire available for clinical investigation (FFQg) was used to obtain a detailed assessment of food intake and physical activity levels. Of the participants, 21.4% had bowel movements ≤3 times per week and 33.3% had hard or lumpy stools ≥25% and loose (mushy) or watery stools <25% of bowel movements. There was a positive association between infrequent bowel movements and hard or lumpy stools. These two situations both caused similar symptoms such as a sensation of incomplete evacuation and straining. There was no association of bowel movement frequency and stool texture with any specific nutrients and foods, dietary intake, mental status, or physical activity. Several lifestyle factors such as regular bowel movements and hesitation with evacuation were associated with bowel movement frequency and stool texture. Several lifestyle factors, but not mental, physical, or dietary intake factors, were associated with bowel movement frequency and stool texture in young Japanese women.

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