1. Myth: I should have a bowel movement at least once a day.
Truth: Not necessarily says Ted Xenodemetropoulos, MD, assistant professor in the division of gastroenterology at McMaster University. “There’s this idea that one well-formed, easy to pass, rather soft bowel motion is what we’d define as a normal bowel habit but the reality is there’s quite a bit of variation,” says Dr. Xenodemetropoulos. Healthy movements aren’t just about quantity, but er, the quality of them as well. “That means whether you’re straining to evacuate your bowel, whether the stools are lumpy or hard to pass, whether you’re feeling completely empty after your bowel movement and then the idea or sensation about whether you have a blockage in your bottom and more,” he says. But if you are having less than three bowel movements a week, that indicates something else might be going on (such as chronic constipation) and it’s something to discuss with your doctor or even local pharmacist.