What causes floating poop?

Via:  badfish-hd-h-u  •  last year  •  11 comments

What causes floating poop?

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T

Whatever you call it — poop, bowel movements, stool, or feces — it can reveal a lot about a person's health. Floating poop is common and not usually a sign that anything is wrong.

Gas, changes in the diet, and minor infections may cause poop to float. Some underlying medical conditions can also cause persistent floating stool.

In this article, learn about what causes floating poop. We also cover which signs and symptoms warrant a visit to the doctor.


Floating poop is rarely a cause for concern. In many cases, a person might not be able to identify a cause for their floating poop.

As long as there are no other symptoms and their stool returns to normal over time, it is not usually necessary to see a doctor.

Some possible causes of floating poop include:

1. Fiber consumption


Poop that floats is rarely an indication that anything is wrong.

A stool is less likely to float when it is dense. Foods rich in fiber, especially insoluble fiber, make poop less dense.

Fiber-rich foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, form a vital part of a healthful diet, so floating stool due to fiber consumption may actually signal good health.

As many as 95%  of adults and children in the United States do not consume enough fiber. Recommendations for fiber intake vary by age and sex.

Women aged 19 to 50 should consume at least   25 grams (g)   of fiber per day, while men in the same age group need at least 38 g of daily fiber.

2. Gas

Gas lowers the density of poop, causing it to float. Many high-fiber foods, such as beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower, can cause gas.

Some people also develop gas when they change their diet. If poop floats after eating a new food or when switching to a new diet, gas could be the culprit.

3. Stomach infection

An infection in the gastrointestinal tract, such as from   E. coli ,   Salmonella , or   norovirus , may cause the poop to float.

Sometimes, these infections also cause gas, which lowers the density of poop. In other cases, they change the body's ability to absorb nutrients, leading to malabsorption or a fatty stool.

Most stomach infections are temporary and go away without treatment. A person should drink plenty of fluids and rest while they are recovering from a stomach infection. If the symptoms get worse or do not improve with time, see a doctor.

4. Gastrointestinal disorders

original Gastrointestinal disorders can cause pain and bloating.

Some gastrointestinal disorders can cause poop to float.   A 2015 study   found that 26% of people with functional bowel disorders — conditions such as   irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and functional   dyspepsia   — had floating stools.

Additionally, 3% of those with functional gastrointestinal disorders — a group of disorders that affect movement in the digestive tract — had floating stools.

For some people, floating poop may be the first warning sign of a gastrointestinal or bowel problem. When floating stool occurs alongside other symptoms, such as pain,   diarrhea , bloating, or   constipation , it may signal an underlying gastrointestinal issue.

Lactose intolerance: What you need to know

Learn more about lactose intolerance, one possible cause of floating stool.


5. Malabsorption

When the stool is very fatty, it may float. The medical term for this is steatorrhea. A fatty stool that floats may mean that a person is not adequately absorbing nutrients from food.

Some conditions that can cause malabsorption include:

  • Lactose intolerance : Lactose intolerance   is an allergy to a protein in milk and other dairy products . It is also the most common cause of malabsorption. People with   lactose intolerance may experience bloating and diarrhea when they consume milk, cheese, or other dairy products.
  • Small intestine disorders : Disorders that affect the small intestine can cause malabsorption. People who have had a portion of their small intestine surgically removed, such as to treat   Crohn's disease , may also experience malabsorption.
  • Liver and biliary disease : The liver produces bile, which helps the body digest food. When little or no bile reaches the intestines, it may result in a fatty stool. A person may also lose weight or develop diarrhea. Liver disease, blocked bile ducts, and   gallstones   may cause a fatty stool.

6. Problems with the pancreas

Diseases of the pancreas can cause a fatty stool due to malabsorption. Malabsorption can occur when the pancreatic enzymes or bile do not travel in sufficient quantities to the small intestine.

The result is a fatty stool that may float or be difficult to flush. The stool may also be white or very pale. A person may also notice that they have very dark urine.

The most serious pancreas disorder is   pancreatic cancer . Other conditions of the pancreas, such as   pancreatitis , may also cause a floating stool.

It is not possible to diagnose diseases of the pancreas based on a person's symptoms alone. Pancreatic disorders are serious, so it is essential to get treatment as soon as possible.

When to see a doctor

original A person who experiences floating poop and unexplained weight loss should speak to a doctor.

There is no reason to panic because of floating stool. If the symptom persists, however, a doctor can offer reassurance and diagnose any underlying problems.

See a doctor if:

  • a floating stool also looks very fatty or greasy, and the symptom persists for more than a few days
  • a person experiences chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • the stool is very light or pale
  • a person begins losing weight without trying
  • a person with an underlying medical condition develops changes in their bowel habits
  • a person has very dark urine

Go to the emergency room or see a doctor immediately if:

  • an infant has severe diarrhea and signs of   dehydration , such as sunken eyes or chapped lips
  • a person develops a high   fever   along with a floating stool
  • a person has intense pain in the upper abdomen, especially on the right side, along with signs of liver or pancreatic issues, such as dark urine or pale stool


Poop is the body's way of eliminating waste, and it typically reflects a person's diet. Floating poop, changes in poop color, and other temporary changes in bowel habits are usually not a sign of a serious medical condition.


jrDiscussion - desc
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The People's Fish, Still "Hand Of The Queen"
1  seeder  The People's Fish, Still "Hand Of The Queen"    last year

Answering questions you've never had answers to.

1.1  Tessylo  replied to  The People's Fish, Still "Hand Of The Queen" @1    last year

Answering questions we've never asked. 

1.2  r.t..b...  replied to  The People's Fish, Still "Hand Of The Queen" @1    last year
Answering questions you've never had answers to.

Letterman never asked 'does it float?'...

2  JohnRussell    last year

What? No smell -o- vision?   You are letting your tiny but devoted fan base down. 

The People's Fish, Still "Hand Of The Queen"
2.1  seeder  The People's Fish, Still "Hand Of The Queen"  replied to  JohnRussell @2    last year

Aww, I see my number one fan can't help but author a little insult. Cute.

Eat The Press Do Not Read It
3  Eat The Press Do Not Read It    last year

Our research, here, at the Bird Droppings Institute, indicates that "Poop" is dropped by indignant Trump Supporters confronted with the "truth"!  Do not judge!

3.1  KDMichigan  replied to  Eat The Press Do Not Read It @3    last year



4  Nerm_L    last year

Floating poop is caused by crapping in water.  If everyone would take a dump on the lawn and bag it, we wouldn't have this problem.

pat wilson
5  pat wilson    last year

Too much fat in the last meal you ate.

6  luther28    last year

What causes floating poop?

A light breakfast perhaps?

The People's Fish, Still "Hand Of The Queen"
6.1  seeder  The People's Fish, Still "Hand Of The Queen"  replied to  luther28 @6    last year

Woodchip cereal?


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