Monday, July 21, 2014


Hey!  If Oprah can do a show with Dr. Oz about poop ... surely this Awkward Widow can do a little blog post.  Regardless of the ICK factor, what we deposit in our toilet is pretty important to understanding our health...and any changes.

While Kate was in hospital for an obstructed bowel, the Doctor prescribed daily MiraLax for a few weeks to keep things running through smoothly.  It is a laxative which I didn't think I needed, but I decided to try a high fiber product.  I chose Benefiber.

It can be stirred into hot drinks or cold drinks.  No thickening or chunks.  I remember my parents using Metamucil and ICK on that stuff.  Metamucil uses psyllium which is a non soluble viscous-causing additive and is a laxative.  Benefiber is wheat dextrin (gluten free) which is a type of soluble fiber.  It is grit free, sugar free, taste free and dissolves completely.  Unlike Metamucil or Miralax, it is NOT a laxative. 

Miralax, on the other hand, is polyethylene glycol which draws water into the bowel.  After reading about all three of these ... I'm going to caution Kate to switch to either Metamucil or Benefiber.  Miralax does not sound like a good thing to be on forever.  Once she is more "regular" Benefiber seems the safest!

Hooray for the internet and Google for helping me with some information to share!  What you see and smell in your toilet can provide important information regarding your health.

Look, Listen and Smell Before You Flush

What's normal and what's not when you look into the toilet? The following table will help you narrow down what to look for, so that you aren't needlessly alarmed. Of course, there are a few signs that ARE cause for concern, and those are listed too. If you have a change in stools accompanied by abdominal pain, please report this to your physician.4
Healthy StoolUnhealthy Stool
Medium to light brownStool that is hard to pass, painful, or requires straining
Smooth and soft, formed into one long shape and not a bunch of piecesHard lumps and pieces, or mushy and watery, or even pasty and difficult to clean off
About one to two inches in diameter and up to 18 inches longNarrow, pencil-like or ribbon-like stools: can indicate a bowel obstruction or tumor – or worst case, colon cancer; narrow stools on an infrequent basis are not so concerning, but if they persist, definitely warrant a call to your physician5
S-shaped, which comes from the shape of your lower intestine6Black, tarry stools or bright red stools may indicate bleeding in the GI tract; black stools can also come from certain medications, supplements or consuming black licorice; if you have black, tarry stools, it's best to be evaluated by your healthcare provider
Quiet and gentle dive into the should fall into the bowl with the slightest little "whoosh" sound – not a loud, wet cannonball splash that leaves your toosh in need of a showerWhite, pale or gray stools may indicate a lack of bile, which may suggest a serious problem (hepatitis, cirrhosis, pancreatic disorders, or possibly a blocked bile duct), so this warrants a call to your physician; antacids may also produce white stool
Natural smell, not repulsive (I'm not saying it will smell good)Yellow stools may indicate giardiainfection, a gallbladder problem, or a condition known as Gilbert's syndrome – if you see this, call your doctor
Uniform texturePresence of undigested food (more of a concern if accompanied by diarrhea, weight loss, or other changes in bowel habits)
Sinks slowlyFloaters or splashers
Increased mucus in stool: This can be associated with inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn's disease, or ulcerative colitis, or even colon cancer, especially if accompanied by blood or abdominal pain


So rest assured dear readers.  Things are working quite well in my life.  The shape, consistency, odor and color all meet Dr. Oz's guidelines. Check your deposits as well!

Positively perfect!


  1. Replies
    1. I know ... and it's good to know! Now ... on to the "aroma"

  2. Whew! Wake up and smell the...poo?

    1. Oh Ms. Nafus! You crack me up!! Can't wait until you read today's!!!!!