Are my bowel movements normal?

Dr. Oz: Now, I talk about S-shaped all the time, but they don't have to be S-shaped. They can be exclamation point-shaped. It can be C-shaped. It doesn't matter. What does matter is that you are not straining as you go to the bathroom. How do we make sure that happens?

I've got a checklist for you:

  • Fiber—we know about that. At least 21 grams a day. Most people get half of that or less. Fruit. Oatmeal. There are lots of foods that have fiber. All the natural foods, the foods that come out of the ground. Look at the way they look when you eat them—they pretty much have fiber in them.
  • Number two, you want to make sure you get enough caffeine in your diet, which is the one time I'll say caffeine is good for bowel movements.
  • Magnesium helps too. (That's my little secret.) You want to always take magnesium with calcium, ideally. And the reason you bond them together is because calcium will constipate you. So, go for a roughly 2-to-1 ratio: If you're taking 1,200 milligrams of calcium, which is what most of us recommend, with vitamin D, add at least 600 milligrams of magnesium. You can go as high as 800 or even 1,000 milligrams of magnesium. If you take much more than that, you will be going to the bathroom all day long.
  • Try some physical activity. Yoga has got whole poses designed to [help] you go to the bathroom.
  • Water—enough so your urine is clear.
  • And finally, you've got to toilet train yourself. I know it sounds crazy, but you've got to get on a routine. It works. It works for kids. It works for adults. You've got to go to the bathroom the same time everyday. You've got to train yourself. If you are not ready to go, push yourself a little bit, work at it a little bit. When you are regular, it's heaven.

Next: Are you a germaphobe?
As a reminder, always consult your doctor for medical advice and treatment before starting any program.