What does it mean when your poop floats?


You may be surprised to see your float. But normally there is nothing to worry about. Most of the time, this is due to the fact that he needed to eat.

In other cases, floating stools can be a sign of an underlying medical condition. If you also experience other symptoms, consider talking to your doctor.

These are the main reasons for this type of stool , how to prevent it and when you should see your doctor.

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Excess gas in the stool.

Your intestines, or intestines, are part of your digestive system . They help your body break down and digest food.

Most of the time, floating stools are the result of what you have eaten. If you eat large amounts of food or anything that emits gas, gas from your intestines mixes with your stool.

The extra air from the gas makes the stool less dense or compact. This makes it float when it hits the toilet.

Gas Producing Products

Have you noticed that you feel gas after eating certain foods ? This is because some types of food can produce gas. Here are some examples:

  • Apples, pears, peaches and prunes.
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and onions
  • Beans
  • Fruit juice
  • Apples, pears, peaches and prunes.
  • Honey
  • Carbonated and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Sugar-free candies and gum

Many of these foods contain sugars that can produce excess gas, such as sorbitol or fructose . For example, prunes, apples, peaches, and sugar-free foods contain sorbitol. Carbonated drinks, honey, and fruit juices are high in fructose.

If your floating stools are the result of gas-producing foods, there is good news. Your food should return to normal after eating fewer foods that bother you .

Lactose intolerance

People with lactose intolerance may have floating stools when they eat dairy products. This is because they have low levels of the enzyme lactase , which the body needs to digest lactose (the sugar in milk).

Lactose is found not only in milk, but also in many other dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, and some cheeses.

This is why a person with lactose intolerance may develop bloating or gas after consuming dairy products , which can lead to floating stools.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Along with gas, people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may have floating stools.

A 2015 study published in the European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology examined people with IBS. The researchers concluded that floating stools were a characteristic feature of IBS. In fact, 26% of the adults in the study reported floating stools.


Too much gas in your stool can cause it to float. Eating foods that contain sugar, such as sorbitol or fructose, can cause excess gas. People with lactose intolerance and IBS may have a similar experience.

Other reasons

Here are some conditions that can lead to floating stools.

Conditions that cause malabsorption.

Certain medical conditions can cause malabsorption or the inability to absorb nutrients from the food you eat. Unsurprisingly, malabsorption can lead to floating stools.

Conditions that alter the lining of the digestive tract. can have an effect like this:

Chronic pancreatitis

Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas. The condition is usually the result of gallstones or long-term alcohol abuse. It often occurs after acute or sudden pancreatitis. It is also associated with diabetes .

Although floating stools are common with pancreatitis, you may experience other symptoms as well. Stomach pain, back pain, bloating, and weight loss are common occurrences.

Sclerosing cholangitis

Sclerosing cholangitis affects the bile ducts in and around the liver. It is closely related to ulcerative colitis . The condition is characterized by inflammation, scarring, and destruction of these bile ducts.

Along with floating stools, symptoms include:


Choledocholithiasis occurs when you have one or more gallstones in the common bile duct.

The condition does not cause any symptoms unless the stone blocks the bile duct. In addition to floating stools, you may experience pain in the upper or middle upper right part of your stomach. The pain usually lasts at least 30 minutes.

Fever, jaundice, nausea, and vomiting may also appear. You may lose your appetite.

pancreatic cancer

While pancreatic cancer is rare, it is another possible cause of floating stools.

One of the first symptoms of pancreatic cancer is jaundice or yellowing of the eyes and skin. But that is not all. Jaundice can also be characterized by certain changes in the stool. It can cause pale or gray stools, as well as greasy, floating stools.

When to contact a healthcare provider

A chair that floats sometimes shouldn't bother you. However, some types of stool changes can be symptoms of a condition that requires treatment. Steatorrhea or fatty stools are often caused by an underlying medical condition.

Check with your doctor if you notice changes in your gut that persist for more than two weeks. Tell your doctor if you have additional symptoms, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weightloss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Hot


Talk to your doctor if changes in your bowel behavior last longer than two weeks and if you have other symptoms such as stomach pain, weight loss, or fever.

Watch out

Lifestyle treatment options

Floating stools due to excess gas are often harmless and disappear without treatment. By now, you know that diet can play a role in the development of floating stools. Therefore, it is possible that a change in diet can help address this problem.

For example, some nutritionists and health professionals recommend eliminating one or two foods from your diet at a time. In this way, you can check whether food contributes to stool floating.

Your healthcare provider may also recommend that you keep a record of the foods you eat and your bowel movements . The record can help your healthcare provider see if there is a pattern or connection between the food you eat and your stool.

Treatment of the underlying condition

If you can't metabolize fat properly, you may have a condition called steatorrhea, which can cause your stool to float. Treatment of steatorrhea depends on the underlying disorder.

For example, steatorrhea can be caused by a condition called cystic fibrosis . Digestive enzyme supplements similar to those normally secreted by the pancreas are often used to treat cystic fibrosis.


If certain foods produce more gas, you may not need to avoid them. You can find enzyme supplements without a prescription. These supplements can help you digest certain foods, such as beans and milk. Eating smaller portions can also help.

Many gas-inducing products also have positive qualities. For example, beans contain about 10 grams of fiber per cup and are high in antioxidants .

Instead of avoiding these foods, try:

  • Eat smaller portions
  • Distribute your consumption throughout the day
  • Take over-the-counter enzyme supplements (which help your body digest foods like beans)
  • Avoid large meals (which put extra pressure on the digestive system)


In most cases, excessive gas production is the reason why stool floats. Certain foods you eat can cause gas formation. The main culprits are lactose in dairy products, soluble fiber, or sugar in foods. This can be raffinose in beans, fructose in fruits, or sorbitol in prunes.

But certain conditions can also cause excessive gas absorption or malabsorption, causing stool to float. Check with your doctor if you have other symptoms or if the problem persists.

Get the word of drug information

Floating stools are common from time to time and are often associated with food. Often the problem is excess gas.

If the problem seems to be regular (or you notice other symptoms), talk to your doctor. You may think this is inconvenient, but your healthcare provider hears about these kinds of problems all the time. They can help identify any underlying conditions that may be causing changes in your stool.

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