Floating Poop

Floating poop takes place when your body is not able to absorb the nutrients from foods. Learning more about the causes, treatments can avoid floating stool from repeating.

Stool generally has a solid structure and does not stick to the toilet. However, dietary changes can result in an alteration of your stool’s structure and give it a floating look. Floating poop is usually sticky, pale, soft, or foul-smelling and is hard to flush down the toilet also. Such stool is normally a sign of steatorrhea, meaning a high content of fat in your poop. Most of the time, such stool does not cause you too much difficulty and may go back to typical without needing any treatment. Nevertheless, it can be a symptom of some other illness.

Causes of Floating Poop

So, why does your poop float?

1. Dietary Changes

Causes of Floating PoopYour food consumption is typically responsible for your floating stool. Dietary changes can lead to an increase in gas. Foods that can increase the content of gas in your stool include those that are rich in lactose, starch, fiber or sugars, such as apples, milk, beans, soft drinks, cabbage, sprouts and sugar-free sweets.

2. Some Conditions and Diseases


Your floating stool will use up a greasy appearance and establish a very foul smell if you are experiencing severe malabsorption. It happens when your body is not able to procedure and absorb the nutrients or when you are suffering from diarrhea. In such cases, your stool goes through the intestinal tracts rather quickly. Gastrointestinal (GI) tract infection is among the most typical causes of malabsorption. This infection is a result of bacterial or viral infection. Such infections normally do not last long and can go away with no treatment if not severe.


Lactose Intolerant

If you are lactose intolerant, you might have floating stool when you consume any sort of dairy products. Lactose is a sugar that exists in dairy products and people who are not able to digest it suffer from lactose intolerance. If you are lactose intolerant, consuming dairy products can cause diarrhea and gas in your stool, and even cause malabsorption.

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is characterized by inflammation of the small intestine’s lining when an individual takes in gluten. Gluten is a protein composite discovered in wheat and associated grains. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease which indicates that your own body immune system becomes your opponent and erroneously starts attacking the healthy tissues. Floating poop is one symptoms of celiac disease, along with bloating, abdominal pain, weight loss, tiredness, iron shortage anemia, etc. It is an inherited and incurable disease, and the symptoms can only be managed by preventing gluten usage.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is identified by production of excess mucus which is of a thick color and is extremely sticky in the digestive tract and the lungs. It is an acquired disease where the excess mucus stops the pancreas from soaking up the nutrients completely, triggering them to form floating poop, states iytmed.com. The only treatment is to take medications that can decrease the occurrence of the floating stool and might reduce the other symptoms.

Short Bowel Syndrome

Short bowel syndrome is a disease where the intestinal tracts end up being unable to take in the nutrients in a proper manner. A digestive disease or absence of a part of the small intestine due to surgical elimination or a genetic flaw can cause this problem.

Other Diseases

Floating stool can likewise be caused by some very uncommon diseases that include:

  • Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome (the intestinal tracts stop soaking up fat).
  • Biliary atresia (bile ducts that have not formed totally, making the intestinal tracts impossible to absorb fat).
  • Disaccharidase deficiency (absence of enzymes like isomaltase and sucrase that break down starches and sugars).
  • Chronic pancreatitis (due to gallstones, alcohol addiction or an issue with the immune system).

Diagnosis and Treatments of Floating Poop

Your doctor is more than likely going to ask you how much time you have been having floating stool, any other symptoms, your case history and diet. In many cases, your doctor might also request stool or blood tests to determine the reason that you are having floating poop.

The cause of floating stool is going to identify the treatment that the doctor will advise to you. If a bacterial infection is the reason, antibiotics will be prescribed to you. If you have diarrhea, your doctor will prescribe antidiarrheal medications. Dietary changes may be likewise recommended by your doctor.

If the floating stool is not accompanied with any other symptoms, your diet is probably to be the reason. Keeping an eye on your food intake and the number of bowel movements you have can give you an insight relating to the foods that may cause floating stool. Looking for out what the food is and avoiding this food can help you get rid of floating poop and avoid this issue in the future.

When to See a Doctor

See your doctor immediately if:

  • The issue of floating poop has actually not stopped after a few days.
  • The floating stool is bloody and accompanied by other symptoms such as weight loss, fever or dizziness. Such symptoms may indicate severe malabsorption or other diseases.



Updated: September 27, 2016 — 12:21 am

The Author

Reyus Mammadli

Healthy lifestyle advisor. Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.
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