Home Conditions Causes of Floating Stool or Floating Poop, Meaning, Is it Good or Bad?

Causes of Floating Stool or Floating Poop, Meaning, Is it Good or Bad?

by Dr. Joe Morales

What does floating poop mean?

What is floating poop or stool? Insoluble fibers, such as bran, or foods that can lead to gas, like the artificial sweeteners or even the starch, are very tough for digestion by the body and are able to affect the quality of the poop. These foods can lead to the poop to have excess gas, and it’s that extra air that makes it lighter, making it to float.

Lactose intolerance is also fairly normal cause of poop that floats. If a person is prone to these, there’s likely no any reason that should make you to worry.Floating poop

That’s due to the fact that the majority of time in these particular cases, floating poop is brought about by an innocuous diet choice that won’t negatively affect the health. If you understand that you have gluten sensitivity, once you go back to taking of the foods that you know will not bother you, the poop should return to being normal very quickly.

Is floating stool good or bad?

Floating poop is bad. But there could be a more serious cause behind the floating phenomenon. It could actually be brought about by an increase of fat in the poop, which is a sign that the body isn’t processing nutrients very well.

If this is the case, then the floating issue is due to what doctors call malabsorption, or the body’s inability to process some nutrients.

The increase in the intestinal gas which causes floating bowel movement is likely to come from the colonic bacteria. Some air that might be swallowed during eating or breathing can reach the bowels also the gas in the carbonated beverages.

The process of the chemical digestion where the gas is released as a byproduct and also the gas diffusion from the bowel might contribute to the intestinal gas. But, disturbances that are to do with the colonic bacterial is likely to lead to floating stool.

There are several reasons why an amount of the colonic bacteria might increase, or why the bacteria should produce gas.

Normally the population of this bowel bacteria is kept in check by several factors.  But if the bacterial population increases or if the food is not well absorbed, then the population and also the food source of bacteria increase as required. As a result more gas is then produced.

Some foods are indicated to increase the intestinal gas production.  These foods are;

  • Apples
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Gassy foods that are high in fiber

But, not every person will have a large increase in intestinal gas to lead to the floating stools.

Floating poop causes

1. Celiac disease

Some doctors say that floating poop could be an indication of celiac disease. Gluten usually leaves the gut much inflamed and very unable to digest food as required. Stools might float and be grey in color, and have a foul smell. A particular concern is if you experience a floating, soft stool frequently or for a long period of time. If this occurs, consider being tested for celiac disease, or simply decide to do away with gluten from diet.

2. Pancreatic cancer

The pancreas usually releases the digestive enzymes into the small intestine. Pancreas diseases also affect the function, which implies that insufficient digestive enzymes are then released so as to breakdown foods. Thus, nutrients will accumulate in the bowels. These particular nutrients then multiply bacterial that produce the intestinal gas.

3. Lack of fiber in diet

While most sources appear to indicate that sinking of the poops is much preferred, others say that floaters are an indication that the diet has a good amount of fiber.

This is due to the fact that those who eat a lot of fiber, also called the prebiotics, experience greater colonies of bacteria in lower gut. This causes poop that have more gases that is produced by the bacteria. The gases make waste to be less dense and lead to poop to float.

Regardless of having floaters or sinkers, make sure that the diet has lots of vegetables, nuts and also the legumes so as to ensure that enough amount of fiber is being eaten. The aim is to get at least 40 grams each given day.

If fiber is new in diet, start taking it slowly. Otherwise the number of bacteria that are feasting on all that fiber might increase quickly and lead to a digestive discomfort.

4. Dietary Changes

The food intake is normally responsible for floating stool. Dietary changes may lead to an increase in the gas. Foods that might increase the content of gas in stool include those that have;

  • Lactose
  • Fiber
  • Sugars

Examples are apples, soft drinks, sprouts and also sugar-free candies.

5. Some Conditions and Diseases


The floating stool will develop a very foul smell if you are suffering from a malabsorption. It occurs when the body is much unable to process and also absorb the nutrients or when a person is suffering from diarrhea.

In such given cases, the stool passes through the intestines quickly. Gastrointestinal tract infection is a common causes of malabsorption. This infection is due to bacterial or even the viral infection. Such infections normally do not last long and can disappear without any treatment if not very severe.

Lactose Intolerant

If you are lactose intolerant, then you may have the floating stool when you consume any dairy products. Lactose is present in dairy products and the people who are not able to digest it suffer from lactose intolerance. If you are lactose intolerant, consume the dairy products can cause the following;

  • Diarrhea
  • gas in stool
  • malabsorption

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is normally characterized by production of excess mucus which is of a thick color and is very sticky in the digestive tract and the lungs. It is an inherited disease in which the excess mucus stops the pancreas from absorbing the nutrients completely, making them to form floating poop.

The only treatment applied is to take some medications that are able minimize the happening of the floating stool and can reduce any other symptoms.

Short Bowel Syndrome

Short bowel syndrome is a disease where the intestines are very unable to absorb the nutrients in a good manner. An intestinal disease or absence of the small intestine because of the surgical removal or even a genetic defect can lead to the problem.

6. Constipation

Floating poops can be an indication of chronic constipation. Constipation can happen when a person doesn’t have enough amount of digestive motility. There are several causes of constipation ie;

  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise
  • Not drinking enough amount of water

Common solutions are to drink enough water to assist hydrate the bowel and also the stool, take magnesium supplements so as to ensure that you relax the intestine, and use of the herbal remedies like aloe vera juice and also the cayenne pepper, which are indicated to improve elimination.

Diet tips for floating stools

  • Begin each given day with warm water having ½ lemon squeezed in it.  Lemon juice contains an affinity to bowels and switches on the digestive processes for a day, which includes the liver and gall bladder function and also the bile production
  • A fresh juice of carrot, and beetroot will be very well for the digestive system and tastes great also
  • Increasing intake of bitter foods that are in the diet like the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sorrel and also the radicchio. Bitter foods normally produce saliva and also the digestive enzymes that enhances the digestive processes
  • Eat less amount of saturated fats and fatty foods that are in the diet as these can place a strain on the overburdened digestive system
  • Increase fresh fruits (organic where possible) e.g. apples, pineapple, paw paw. Paw paw has papain a natural enzyme that assists the digestion of the tough meat fibre
  • Eat fruits separately from other foods so as to avoid any sugar fermentation occurring in the gut
  • Enjoy herbal teas so as to improve digestion like the Peppermint, Chamomile, Lemon and Dandelion
  • Stimulants such as alcohol and cigarettes is able to adversely affect the digestive system
  • Yoghurt that has live probiotics like the acidophilus and bifidus is a valuable addition to the diet
  • Increase fresh vegetables (organic) e.g. green leafy vegies
  • Choose lean protein sources legumes, unsalted raw nuts and also the seeds and fish

Floating poop weight loss

Bowel movements are due to the body using the nutrients it requires from the food that you eat and doing away with what’s left. Bowel movements are vital for health since they are the body’s natural way of doing away with waste.

There are several stool colors, textures and also forms that are considered to be “normal,” and there are things that, if experienced, they warrant medical attention.

Your stool should be about 80% water, with the rest being a combination of fiber, live and also the dead bacteria and mucus. The characteristics of the stool says much about how healthy the digestive tract is. These characteristics include;

  • The color
  • Odor
  • Size
  • Sound when it hits the water and whether it sinks or not

These are all relevant information.

Stools sink in the toilet. But the diet and other factors can lead to the stools to change in the structure. This may lead to floating. Floating stools are normally nothing to be concerned about. They’re not a symptom of a disease. The stools will likely return to normal without treatment.

The increase in the intestinal gas which causes floating bowel movement is likely to emanate from the colonic bacteria. Some air that might be swallowed during eating, or breathing may also reach the bowels as well as the gas in the carbonated beverages.

The process that involves chemical digestion where a gas is released and even gas diffusion from the bowel might also lead to intestinal gas. But the disturbances that has to do with the colonic bacterial is likely to lead to floating stool.

There are several reasons why an amount of colonic bacteria might increase, or why the bacteria can produce a lot of gas. Normally the population of this normal intestinal flora is kept in check by several factors.

But if the bacteria increases or the food is not completely absorbed, then the population and also the food source of bacteria can increase properly. Thus more gas is produced.

All this experiences leads to the weight loss.

Remedies for floating stool

  • Slippery elm powder in a small glass of water at least 15 minutes before eating.  Slippery elm coats the digestive tract, gives a barrier to the acids and assists the digestive inflammation to heal
  • Digestive enzymes have lipase and also the pancreatic enzymes so as to encourage proper secretion of the digestive enzymes and gives the symptomatic relief to the digestive upsets while also ensuring that you have a proper break down of fats and oils from the diet
  • Herbs that assists in digestion and thus stimulate bile flow are: Dandelion, Globe artichoke, and Turmeric.
  • Probiotics assists to ensure that a person has a healthy environment in the bowel
  • Natural fibers like the Slippery elm, Apple pectin, and oat bran

Treatments for floating stool

For the less severe cases, patients find a change in diet helpful. A diet that needs restricting dietary carbohydrates and increasing fats. In order to maximize the potential health benefits of a high fat diet, a dietitian needs to be consulted.

The doctor will ask questions about;

  • how long that you have had the floating stools
  • Your diet
  • medical history
  • Other symptoms.

In very rare cases, the doctor might order blood or even the stool tests so as to try to diagnose the cause of the floating poop.

Treatment, depends much on the cause of the floating poop. The doctor can prescribe antibiotics for the bacterial infections, or even the antidiarrheal medications for any kind of diarrhea. They might also recommend the dietary changes.

As the body fully heals, the intestine might experience difficulty in digesting of the sugars, making the
replenishment of minerals and vitamins very essential. Also, some health care providers
normally recommend some B12 injections and also the iron supplementation.

Several antibiotics are also prescribed in the treatment:

  • Augmentin (Amoxicillin)
  • Bactrim
  • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
  • Keflex
  • Levofloxacin (Levaquin)
  • Metronidazole
  • Neomycin
  • Tetracycline

Most of the health care providers usually recommend standard doses of the antibiotics for about two

But there are some drawbacks to the use of antibiotic. While treatment is normally very effective, it doesn’t address the underlying disease leading to the condition. Symptoms normally recur once a course of treatment has been fully completed, which necessitates a prolonged or repeated treatment.

Though it occurs very rarely dangerous, there are sometimes the side effects like;

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • vomiting

Fungal infections of digestive tract, mouth, as well as the vagina are very much common due to the antibiotics
destroying the good bacteria and also the bad. Another disadvantage is that the antibiotic-resistant
bacteria can start to emerge.

For these given reasons, a treatment option is to give a short course of antibiotics
so as to begin the treatment, which is then followed by probiotic use over a long term.
Probiotics are live bacteria, the most common being the lactobacilli and also bifid bacteria.

A good treatment option for some of the bacterial overgrowth cases, probiotics normally are used to replenish the gut’s good bacteria. Some of the organic yogurts have a several healthy living bacterial species as well.

Even after the bacterial overgrowth has been fully treated, damaged tissue might take a period of about months or even more so as to heal. Known for the healing properties, probiotics can be vital throughout treatment. Be very sure to make use of the probiotics in moderation as high dosages might trigger the diarrhea.Floating poop

Probiotics are normally used alone, in combination with the antibiotics, or for long-term maintenance.

Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth syndrome (SIBO) is also said to be an underlying
root cause of or is linked to several frustrating illnesses.
A good theory since bacterial overgrowth is also able to wreak a good deal of havoc on a person’s

So if you suffer from the abdominal pain, gas, and also the diarrhea, it makes very good sense so as to schedule an HBT and also test so as to check for SIBO. Though testing is not very exact science at a particular point in time, antibiotic as well as the probiotic treatment is much inexpensive, relatively simple, and often extremely successful.

If you experience floating stools, with no other symptoms, then you may want to try a home remedy. There’s a very good chance that your floating poop are caused by your diet.

Try to keep a record of the foods that you eat and the bowel movements. Take note also that when you have floating poop. When you see them, check what foods you ate very recently. This can assist in identification of the foods are causing your floating poop.

Further references;

  1. How to Deal with Floating Stool: https://www.verywell.com/floating-stool-89206
  2. What It Means if Your Poop Floats: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/what-does-it-mean-if-your-poop-floats
  3. Floating Poop: http://www.md-health.com/Floating-Poop.html
  4. Is Floating Poop A Problem: https://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2008/11/03/is-floating-poo/
  5. WHAT YOUR POOP SAYS ABOUT YOU: http://thescienceofeating.com/food-combining-how-it-works/tips-tricks/what-your-poop-says-about-you/
  6. Floating Stools: http://healthtools.aarp.org/health/stools-floating
  7. Floating Bowel Movement (Stool, Feces) Causes: http://www.healthhype.com/floating-bowel-movement-stool-feces-causes.html
  8. Treatment For Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth Syndrome (SIBO), And Its Link To Other Diseases: http://www.puristat.com/bloating/sibo.aspx

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