Is feces floating an alarming condition or can it be overlooked? The following article answers this question and elaborates more on reasons behind floating poop.
After bowel movement, if one notices that fecal matter is floating and not sinking, then there is nothing to worry about. Many people argue that as stools are solid waste, they should sink and even term feces floating as an abnormal change in stool. However, one should understand that passing poop that floats is normal and an indication of healthy stools.
A floating feces is a reflection of healthy bowel movement. Many ask, “Why do stools float when it is considered as solid waste?” Healthy stools are primarily made up of around 70% water. This is a fact that has been deduced after extensive research. A number of samples have been studied and the experts have to come to a conclusion that amount of water contained in healthy stools is approximately 70% and the remaining content of fecal matter is in solid state. Now, how can one expect stools to sink, when their water content is so high?
Stools floating is perfectly normal, thanks to its high water content. Stools that float typically have brownish-yellow color. They are soft, but that doesn’t mean they are watery. Most importantly, they are not hard, hence one does not experience any pain during bowel movement. Normal stools that float have a diameter of around 3-3.5 cm and they do not produce any foul smell. Also, the floating poop is not large in size and every bowel movement throws 3-4 medium-sized stools.
Watery Stools – Is it Normal?
Even watery stools are seen floating on the surface of the water, so is it appropriate to conclude that there is nothing wrong in it. Watery stool have higher water content than the specified normal range and that is why sometimes, they are referred to as unhealthy feces. The water content typically found in these stools is more than 90%. Apart from containing abnormally high amount of water, the odor is simply unbearable. This abnormal change in the texture of stools is the result of digestive disorders like diarrhea that force the patient to visit the toilet frequently.
Medical problems associated with gastrointestinal tract can also lead to floating and foul-smelling stool. However, in this case, feces floating is commonly accompanied by discoloration of stools. Also the water content and the texture in these stools deviates from normal expectations. It is explained below:
Bacterial infections of the gastrointestinal tract, that triggers inflammation of the intestine can also cause floating stools. For instance, people affected with irritable bowel syndrome, pass stools that tend to float. Also, in this condition, too much of mucus is observed in the stools. Also, during bowel movement the person experiences abdominal cramps. Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis that cause inflammation and development of ulcers in the intestine can also lead to feces floating. Besides, blood in the stools can also be detected and is followed by abdominal cramping. In this condition, the stool also appear black and tarry.
On the whole, keep in mind that floating poop is not an abnormal thing. It is a sign of digestive system being in good shape. However, when floating stool is accompanied by other ‘unwelcome’ changes in its color and appearance, it is definitely a cause of worry and requires a visit to the doctor to diagnose the underlying cause.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.