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Old 12-19-2003, 06:42 AM   #1
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floating stool

Is floating stools a serious thing? I have that off and on (seems more on lately though) and I just wondered if that constituted a "change in bowel habits" as they often say to call your physician when that happens.

 
Old 12-19-2003, 08:06 AM   #2
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Re: floating stool

If it was a sudden change I would go to a doctor. I have had floating stools all my life and I think some people are more prone to getting them than others. It does not have to a serious thing.

 
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Old 12-19-2003, 08:31 AM   #3
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Re: floating stool

I"v been doing that for the past three months..due to a past bacteria which went away..but my stools are very soft and, float and, sometimes diarreha aswell...the good thing is I go once a day..lets hope for the best..

Happy Holidays.

 
Old 12-19-2003, 08:37 PM   #4
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Re: floating stool

Floating stool means you are eating too much fat in your diet. Fat floats on water.

 
Old 12-20-2003, 01:49 PM   #5
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Re: floating stool

Hmmm, Odd because I heard that it's good to have your stool float, means your eating fiber or something. I don't know. but just make sure you don't have any blood in your stool.

 
Old 12-21-2003, 08:55 AM   #6
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Re: floating stool

Quote:
Originally Posted by orion
Floating stool means you are eating too much fat in your diet. Fat floats on water.
I heard just the opposite. If there is to much fat in your diet it will sink to the bottom. If your getting enough fiber it will float.

 
Old 12-21-2003, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: floating stool

No Rick, floating stool is indicative of too much fat. Too much fat in the stool is called steatorrhea and can be caused by NUMEROUS different reasons. It is generally accompanied by a particularly foul smell and floating stool. One of the more common causes is pancreatic insufficiency (basically, you're not making the enzyme lipase, which breaks down fat).

As pointed out, stool can float for other reasons, especially if not accompanied by the foul smell. Increased fiber will also cause stool to float.

Last edited by fudd; 12-21-2003 at 11:02 AM.

 
Old 12-21-2003, 03:11 PM   #8
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Re: floating stool

Well,I had a ton of fat in my diet and my stool never floated, I asked my doctor and he said i was having too much fat in my diet. However I would sometimes have....yes this is gross....green stool as well. yuck.

 
Old 12-21-2003, 08:51 PM   #9
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Re: floating stool

Sure Jen, that's entirely possible too. (get ready for some poop talk). Everyone's stool is comprised of different things depending on our diet and nutritional needs. If you take in a ton of fat and not much fiber, it's possible you won't have floating stool. If you have a ton of fat AND fiber, it will probably float. Usually, floating stool is perfectly normal. However, if you have, say, floating stool, pain in your abdomen and back, and are an alcoholic or have a history of gallstones, a doctor would immediately recognize that set of symptoms as pancreatitis. As I mentioned earlier, if you have really foul smelling, greasy, floating stool alone, I would guess that you had a fat absorption problem (i.e. you can't absorb almost ANY fat from the food you eat, so it all goes out in your stool). In fact, just a single night of heavy drinking may have the same effect - alcohol changes the way your body absorbs fat, so the next day you experience floating, foul smelling, usually very loose bowel movements the next day (if you drank enough).

The mild, everyday form of all of this is when you simply absorb less fat than you need to because you took in too much - this often results in floating stool, albeit less so than any of the conditions I just described.

Summary: If you eat lots of fat and fiber, your poop might float...but it might not, depending on what else you eat.

By the way, your green stool is what gives away that you had a diet high in fat. The green is from bile, which was probably being produced in excess to deal with all the fat. Your body can only recycle so much bile and all the excess goes out in the stool.

 
Old 12-22-2003, 06:15 AM   #10
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Re: floating stool

Green stools can be caused by certain foods. I know for a fact if I eat to many pistachios I will have green stools the next day. It happens every time. I have read but not experienced that if you eat to many green vegetables at one time the same thing can happen.

 
Old 12-22-2003, 07:47 AM   #11
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Re: floating stool

I know my green stool was from fat, the night before I had something supper fatty. I freaked out neeless to say until I went to the doctor and then changed my diet.

A year ago, my boyfriend started to have really bad stomach cramps, he was admitted into the hospital with guess what? pancreatitis! He is not a drinker at all, and his stool was normal. However, on and off for years he would get really bad stomach aches, they would not go away unless he went to the bathroom, which could be hours later. To this day he still gets stomach aches. The doctor said that they really did not know what was the cause of the pancreatitis, except mayb it could have been two things. 1. too much fat in his diet, and 2. a gall stone that was lodged and then passed.


Okay, this may be a bit off the subject but, that diet where you eat a lot of meat, I foget the name of it. Would that not cause problems because it has such a high fat content? my boyfriend was on that for awhile and I wonder.................

 
Old 12-22-2003, 02:24 PM   #12
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Re: floating stool

I just don't know how I ever lived without this information.

LOL
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Old 12-24-2003, 01:25 PM   #13
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Re: floating stool

Considerations

Floating stools is seen is a variety of different situations. Most are diet-related or caused by episodes of diarrhea that accompany an acute gastrointestinal infection. A change in dietary habits can lead to an increase in the amount of gas produced by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.

Similarly, acute gastrointestinal infections can result in increased gas content in the intestines due to rapid movement of food through the GI tract. One misconception is that floating stools are caused by an increase in the fat content of the stool. In fact, it is increased gas levels in the stool that make it less dense and allow it to float.

Another cause of floating stools is malabsorption. More than two weeks of diarrhea with floating stools is often seen in people suffering from malabsorption, a dysfunction in the GI tract that affects the body's ability to digest and absorb fat and other types of foods.

Increased levels of nutrients in the stool (which have not been absorbed by the GI tract) are supplied to the normal bacteria that live in the gut, which in turn produce more gas. This results in more gas-rich stool that floats.

Note: I found this info on a site after doing a search on "floating stools".

 
Old 12-24-2003, 10:07 PM   #14
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Re: floating stool

Hey there....that site is absolutely right that the gas content of stools is one of the factors that makes stool float, but a couple of things. It doesn't have to be from an infection...there is a TON of normal bacteria that live in our gut, and they are constantly working to break down the food that we eat. The gas can come from that as well, and the stool doesn't have to undergo a rapid transit through the GI tract.

The other thing I want to mention is, floating stool which contains lipid in it is one of the malabsorption syndromes that goes along with malabsorptive diarrhea. It is called steatorrhea and can be a result of gall bladder or pancreatic problems. Steatorrhea is a high lipid content in the stool which is a result of the person's inability to absorb lipids properly. This is especially true in people with cystic fibrosis. Steatorrhea is VERY foul smelling, loose stool which contains partially broken down lipid, is greasy, coats the bowl, is very difficult to flush and often contains visible oil droplets.

If you eat food with a very high fat content, you may also notice this the next day.

However, I do agree that the most COMMON reason for floating stool is the gas content from normal bacterial action.

 
Old 12-25-2003, 07:28 PM   #15
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Re: floating stool

Quote:
Originally Posted by butterflytrans
Hey there....that site is absolutely right that the gas content of stools is one of the factors that makes stool float, but a couple of things. It doesn't have to be from an infection...there is a TON of normal bacteria that live in our gut, and they are constantly working to break down the food that we eat. The gas can come from that as well, and the stool doesn't have to undergo a rapid transit through the GI tract.

The other thing I want to mention is, floating stool which contains lipid in it is one of the malabsorption syndromes that goes along with malabsorptive diarrhea. It is called steatorrhea and can be a result of gall bladder or pancreatic problems. Steatorrhea is a high lipid content in the stool which is a result of the person's inability to absorb lipids properly. This is especially true in people with cystic fibrosis. Steatorrhea is VERY foul smelling, loose stool which contains partially broken down lipid, is greasy, coats the bowl, is very difficult to flush and often contains visible oil droplets.

If you eat food with a very high fat content, you may also notice this the next day.

However, I do agree that the most COMMON reason for floating stool is the gas content from normal bacterial action.
VERY Informative....Thank-You!

 
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