why do some stools float and others sink
Stools normally sink in the toilet. But your diet and other factors can cause your stools to change in structure. This may result in floating. Floating stools are usually nothing to be concerned about. Theyвre not always a symptom of an illness or. Stools normally sink in the toilet. But your diet and other factors can cause your stools to change in structure. This may result in floating. Floating stools are usually nothing to be concerned about. Theyвre not always a symptom of an illness or disease. Your stools will most likely return to normal without any treatment. The two most common causes of floating stools are excess gas and malabsorption, or poor absorption, of nutrients. Certain foods can cause gas in your stools. Foods that commonly cause gas contain large amounts of sugar, lactose, starch, or fiber, such as:
Malabsorption can occur when your stools pass through your intestines too quickly, such as when you have diarrhea. It can also occur when your body does not process and absorb nutrients correctly. If you have severe malabsorption, your floating stools may also have a strong odor and appear greasy. A common cause of malabsorption is gastrointestinal (GI) tract infections. GI tract infections can be caused by viral or bacterial infections. These infections usually go away without any treatment. Floating stools commonly occur in people who have lactose intolerance when they drink or eat dairy products. Lactose intolerance is the inability to digest lactose, which is a sugar found in dairy products. Ingesting dairy products when you are lactose intolerant can cause gas in your stools and diarrhea. This can lead to malabsorption. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that causes damage to the lining of the small intestine when gluten is eaten. Gluten is a protein found mainly in wheat products. Currently, there is no cure for celiac disease. The symptoms go away when gluten is avoided. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited and often fatal disease that causes an excess production of thick and sticky mucus in the lungs and digestive tract.
The excess mucus in the pancreas prevents the proper absorption of nutrients, which can cause floating stools. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis. Treatments, including medications, may reduce floating stools, as well as other symptoms of the disease. Short bowel syndrome occurs when the intestines do not absorb nutrients properly. This syndrome can be caused by an intestinal disease. It can also be caused when part of the small intestine is missing from either a genetic defect or surgical removal. biliary atresia: underdeveloped bile ducts, which make the intestines less able to absorb fats disaccharidase deficiency: a deficiency or absence of certain enzymes, which are needed to break down some sugars and starches Call your doctor if you have floating stools for more than two weeks. Get immediate medical help if your floating stools are accompanied by blood in your stools, dizziness, fever, or weight loss. These symptoms may be signs of severe disease or malabsorption. Your doctor will ask questions about how long you have had floating stools, your diet, your medical history, and other symptoms. In rare cases, your doctor may order blood or stool tests to try to diagnose the specific cause of your floating stools. Treatment, if needed, depends on the cause of your floating stools. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics for bacterial infections, or antidiarrheal medications for diarrhea. They may also recommend dietary changes. If you have floating stools, but no other symptoms, you may want to try a home treatment. Thereвs a good chance that your floating stools are caused by your diet. Try keeping a record of the foods you eat and your bowel movements. Take note when you have floating stools. When you notice them, check what foods you ate recently. This can help you identify which foods are causing your floating stools.
Once you identify the foods, you can avoid them in the future. Anaconda action. Backing the big brown motorhome out of the garage. Curling one out. Dropping the kids off at the pool. Exorcising the demon. Feeding the toilet. Giving back the corn. Heaving ho. Prairie dogging. Laying a brick. Making butt coffee. Putting your thoughts on paper. Releasing the hounds. Scatter bombing. Turtle necking. Waking Winnie the Pooh. If you have no idea what I m talking about yet, it s poo. Poo comes in many shapes, sizes, colours and densities but one thing that has never been consistent when I ve looked down at my mud babies are the floaters and the sinkers. Which in turn got me thinking, why does some poo sink and some poo float? I don t have the answer. And when I asked my friends they didn t really know either. So, one of those extremely weird afternoons on Google happened. But now I do know and I plan on sharing that with you now. A man taking a picture of a few poos, likely sinkers. Credit: The first thing to know is that how your poo behaves once it has settled in the toilet bowl can actually say quite a lot about your health and general well-being. Poo, despite what you might think, is actually around 75% water - the rest is just fibre, dead and live bacteria and mucus. Some foods are easily broken down during digestion and turn into poo while other foods, like carrots, are harder to digest and that s why sometimes when you dare look in the bowl at what you ve just done you can still see what you had for dinner. The perfect poop is actually an S-shape according to Mehmet Oz, MD, (who you might recognise from The Dr. Oz Show). To get that perfect log-style poop shape, you have to eat loads of fibre. If you don t, it s more likely to come out pebbly or in bits. And if it comes out pencil thin, you might want to go and get yourself checked because that s one sign of possible rectal cancer. , shitting to a routine is more important than shitting regularly - whether it s every morning or every two days, so long as the routine is regular, you re all good.
Poop expert and owner of DrStool. com, Anish Sheth MD. Credit: Princeton University But the crux of my search was to find out why some poo floats and some poo sinks? As you can probably imagine, a lot is down to diet. Poo should sink. A healthy poo will fall out of you and drop to the bottom of the bowl awaiting the flush that will take it to its final resting place. A floating poo shouldn t cause you concern but in some cases might need to be checked out. Floating shits are caused by either gas or your body not absorbing nutrients as it should. Sometimes your floater will simply be because you ve had too many beans, cabbage or apples or drank too much milk and soft drinks. That ll be the gas. Sometimes your floater will simply be because whatever you ve eaten has shot through you too quickly coming out a bit greasy and definitely smellier than usual. That ll be the body not absorbing the nutrients. Apparently this is caused by infections in your gut that go away in time and don t need treatment. A train leaving a tunnel, much like a poo leaving you. Credit: However, and there s a big however, some diseases cause floating shit and you should at least be wary of them. Celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, short bowel syndrome and rare genetic diseases like Bassen-Kornzweig syndrome and biliary atresia all cause floaters. But you only really need to go and see your doctor if it persists for around two weeks. In order to prevent floating stools, you just need to check your diet. Next time you release a floater, think about what you ve eaten recently and then if you give birth to another one next time you have that type of food, just avoid those foods in future. Simple as that, really. And that, lads and ladies, is why some poo floats and some poo sinks. I ve been enlightened. I hope you have, too. Words by
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