Why You Shouldn't Worry If You Are Experiencing Floating Poop

You might never look at your stools in the toilet, but they can be an excellent way to keep an eye on your health. Normal poop sinks to the bottom of the toilet bowl. Every once in a while, though, you might have a stool that floats on the top. While it can be startling to notice the change, it's not typically a cause for concern.

Floating poop happens because too much air and gas are trapped in it. Like a tube you blow up, it floats due to the air keeping it out of the bottom of the bowl. This air is usually due to something you ate that day or a few days before. This is especially true if what you ate made you feel a little gassy or bloated. 

There are also a few common medical conditions that can cause your poop to float that you need to watch for, but let's discuss some more about why dietary changes can make your poop float.

Adding fiber to your diet makes your poop float

It can be slightly concerning when you see stool floating on top of the water. It is not time to call your healthcare specialist just yet, though. There is a common reason why poop floats that you don't have to worry about because your diet is to blame.

Consuming foods high in fiber can increase gas and bloating, according to a 2020 Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology study. When you have too much gas in your system, it can make its way into your feces, causing it to float. High-fiber foods that are typically the culprits include beans, cabbage, broccoli, pears, strawberries, and oats. So, switching your diet to a new healthier lifestyle with a lot of fiber might be the cause for your floating poop, and that's completely normal.

If your fiber intake is causing you to bloat up, however, that doesn't mean you should stop consuming so much. A 2017 study in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine found that 95% of the American population isn't getting enough fiber; so, adding more fiber to your diet is definitely a good thing. You just need to be aware that it could initially cause more gas production. 

Changing your diet is by far one of the most common causes of changes in your stool. Just like anything else, it will float to the top when it's full of air. However, several known medical conditions can also cause floating poop.

Medical conditions that can cause floating poop

A common medical condition that causes floating poop is a gastrointestinal infection, possibly due to a virus or bacteria. According to Healthline, these infections can go away without any healthcare intervention, although they may require treatment.

Another cause of floating stool is a food allergy or intolerance. If your body cannot process substances like lactose or wheat, it can create gas and malabsorption of nutrients, leading to those floaters. 

However, this issue can also come from a few more severe conditions like intestinal, pancreatic, or liver disease. Call your healthcare specialist if you notice a smell, greasy look, blood, or weight loss associated with the floating stools. You'll also want to contact your healthcare provider if you've had this issue for over a few weeks.

Floating poop can be a bit startling when it pops up. But it's important to know that it has several common causes and you can simply keep an eye on it for awhile before you let worrying start. And, if dietary changes are the cause, eventually your body will acclimate to the addition of much-needed fiber to your diet.