What Does It Mean When Your Poop Floats?
Floating poop is not usually a cause for concern. And floating poop is something very common and usually not a sign of anything wrong. Gas, dietary changes and some minor infections may cause your poop to float. Though some underlying health conditions can also cause persistent floating stool.
Your poop can reveal a lot about your health and here are some possible reasons behind floating stools:
Consumption of dietary fibre
Your poop is less likely to float when it is dense. When you consume foods that are rich in fibre, especially insoluble fibre it can make the poop less dense, making it a little light causing it to float.
Fibre-rich foods including fruits, vegetables and whole grains form an important part of a healthy meal. So, floating poop can be a result of fibre consumption, which is actually a sign of good health.
Women between the age bracket (19 – 50) years should consume at least 25g of fibre per day, while men of the same age bracket need at least 38g of fibre per day.
Gas also makes your poop less dense, causing it to float. Many high-fibre foods can cause gas. Many people also develop gas when they change their diet. So, if your poop floats after you eat something different from the usual, it’s completely normal.
Infection in the gastrointestinal tract caused by E. coli can also cause the poop to float. The infection can cause gas and thus lower the density of poop.
Some stomach infections are temporary and go away without any treatment, usually after drinking plenty of fluids. However, if the symptoms persists you should see your doctor.
In some people, floating poop may be the first warning sign of gastrointestinal or bowel problem. When you have a floating stool along with other symptoms such as pain, diarrhoea, bloating or constipation, it can be a sign of an underlying gastrointestinal issue.
When the stool is fatty, it floats. The medical term for this condition is steatorrhea. It means your body is not adequately absorbing nutrients from foods you consume.
Some common conditions that may cause malabsorption include:
1. Lactose intolerance: It is a type of allergy to sugar that is found in milk and other dairy products.People who are lactose intolerant can experience diarrhoea and bloating when they consume dairy foods.
2. Small intestine disorders: As the name strongly indicates, it is a disorder that affects the small intestine and can lead to malabsorption. People who have had a small portion of their small intestine removed surgically to treat Crohn’s disease can also experience malabsorption ergo floating stool.
3. Liver and biliary disease: Our liver produces bile that helps the body digest food. When enough bile is not produced or it doesn’t reach the intestines, it may result in fatty stool. Liver disease such as blocked bile ducts and gallstones can also cause fatty and floating stool.
When you should see the doctor
1. If floating stool also looks greasy and the symptom persists for more than 3 days.
2. If you experience chronic constipation or diarrhoea.
3. When you start losing weight without a conscious effort.
4.Dark urine alongside floating poop.
Note: This article should not be considered as a substitute for a physician's take. Please consult your doctor if you're expeiencing any of the above stated.