Altered bowel habit

An altered bowel habit may refer to either an increase or decrease in bowel frequency or a change in consistency. What is normal may vary dramatically from one person to the next. While for one person normal may be 4 times a day, for another it may be once a week. A change in bowel habit will most often be nothing to worry about and be due to a bug, food poisoning, change in medication or diet etc. however a consistent change in bowel habit, particularly to looser motions in those over 60 may indicate a potentially serious bowel problem and should be investigated. Where an altered bowel habit is accompanied by blood from the back passage or mixed with the stools this needs to be taken particularly seriously.