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MedlinePlus is a service of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world's largest medical library, which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It was built as an online health information resource for patients and their families and friends.

MedlinePlus presents high-quality, easy to understand, relevant health and wellness information that is trusted.

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MedlinePlus at a Glance

  • Offers information on health topics, human genetics, medical tests, medications, dietary supplements, and healthy recipes.
  • Sourced from more than 1,600 selected organizations.
  • Provides 40,000 links to authoritative health information in English and 18,000 links to information in Spanish.
  • In 2018, 277 million users viewed MedlinePlus more than 700 million times.

Bowel Movement

A bowel movement is the last stop in the movement of food through your digestive tract. Your stool passes out of your body through the rectum and anus. Another name for stool is feces. It is made of what is left after your digestive system (stomach, small intestine, and colon) absorbs nutrients and fluids from what you eat and drink.

Sometimes a bowel movement isn't normal. Diarrhea happens when stool passes through the large intestine too quickly. Constipation occurs when stool passes through the large intestine too slowly. Bowel incontinence is a problem controlling your bowel movements. Other abnormalities with bowel movements may be a sign of a digestive problem.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases