Floater questions - and answers
Tue, 28 Jan 1997 22:19:14 GMT
>Does it matter if stools float? Is that a good or bad sign?
>Does it mean anything about the diet.
Usually the topic of floaters means the kind in your eye...!! Surprise!!
We can get into competitive pooping here. In health circles, floating stools
usually mean good...this means there is enough water and fiber and looseness
in them and they pass through easily. If they sink, it means they have been
compacted and perhaps there is not enough fiber (too much meat and sugar).
They will probably be darker depending on how LONG you have been with them.
Another indication of color is what your bile function is like, but I forgot
what color means what. I think my naturopath asks, "Are your stools dark,
light brown, or greenish?" The health food folks say that your stools should
almost fall apart when they are flushed...The REAL health food people say
one should defecate 3x per day, right after each meal...just like we did
when we were babies (or so I'm told). And the REAL REAL REAL health food
folks say your poop should almost be the color of the FRUIT that you
eat...and will eventually smell like fruit...(or so I'm told, not having
been there). Of course this does not take into consideration those who have
diarrhea or back and forth between constipation and diarrhea. Perhaps Sheila
the colontherapist can illuminate us on this delicate topic. :+)
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Fri, 31 Jan 1997 5:25:20 GMT
Once again, Carol, you have done a very good round-up of info on stools
floating. I don't have very much to add. I come from a background of eating
disorders and constipation so I had to learn to eliminate. Now that I am
eliminating on my own, I find my stools vary from floating to sinking. I'm
just happy that I'm eliminating. At this point, I don't care if they float
However, many cultures of the world use looking at and reading their
eliminations as part of their health feedback mechanism. I recall eating so
many mangoes a few times when I lived in Miami FL that my stools were the
color of the mango pulp! I havn't met anyone yet that eats only fruit.
As I said before, I feel stool examination is good feedback on any changes
that are going on in the intestines whether bloody, floating,
particle-izing, strange colors or smells or shapes, pourous, hard.
Kind Regards, Sheila
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Tue, 28 Jan 1997 22:22:23 GMT
That means there is gas evenly mixed in with the stools. I don't know if
that's good or bad. But I personally "feel" less toxic than when I have
large pockets of gas.
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 0:32:07 GMT
Roberta, Floating, yellowy coloured stools with a foul smell can indicated
celiac disease (gluten intolerance) About one third of IBSers are
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 13:31:02 GMT
As far as I know (but I'm pretty sure that this is right, maybe a doc
can shed some light here), floating stools mean that you have
steatorrhea - the word literally meaning 'loss of fat' in Greek. This
means that somehow fat doesn't get absorbed from your digestive system
and ends up excreted in your stool.Or maybe that your fat intake is way
too high above normal for your body to absorb it or that the bile
secretion is low.
Hope I've been of help
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Wed, 29 Jan 1997 18:10:37 GMT
You should check with your Doctor, if you have
Floating stools, it can be a sign of some type of malabsorption.
This is sometimes caused by celiac disease (gluten intolerance).
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 23:11:22 GMT
Since my SCD problem is parasites, particularly pinworms (which have
returned, it's four months now of trying to get rid of them), I'd just like
to mention that sterrorhea (sp?) or yellow smelly floaters can be caused by
worms and the occasional nature of them could be related to the worm
hatching cycle. Just thought you'd like to consider that possibility :-)!
Ann in Maryland
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 13:54:56 GMT
I have a book that tells the different types of stools and how frequent and
how to test how frequent the movements are. I will be quoting from the
book hope this helps any questions.
COLOR: Your feces' normal color is brown because colonic bacteria make
brown pigments out of bile that your liver secrets into your small
intestine to help you absorb fats. Although feces do change in appearance
from day to day, only dramatic, lasting shifts in color are potentially
important. For example, you feces may be red or black for a day because
you consumed a generous portion of beets, meat, chocolate, hydrox cookies,
licorice, cheries or even over the counter remedies like pepto bismol or
iron pills. But if your stool remains consistently black, you may have
bleeding in your upper gastrointestinal tract. Occasionally bloody streaks
on the outside of your stool may come from hemorrhoids or temporary anal
irritation. If blood appears persistently, and appears to be mixed into
your stool, your lower gastrointestinal tract may be bleeding. In either
case you need to see your doctor.
Unless you have been eating foods high in chlorophyll, a yellow or greenish
stool is usually a sign of diarrhea and transit time that is to rapid. If you take antibiotics, this color may mean that your bowel has been
sterilized. A tan or clay color may indicate that you eaten too much fat,
or that your bile duct is blocked and is not producing enough digestive
enzymes. If your stool turns almost white, the culprit may be antacids or
excess calcium supplements.
A small, dry stool that sinks to the bottom of your toilet bowl indicates a
diet that is too high in meat. But a floating stool is not a sign of sign
of a diet high in fiber, rapid transit time, and general digestive health.
A stool that floats but is too loose is sign of diarrhea and, consequently,
malabsorption-perhaps due to irritable bowel syndrome. Narrow, ribbonlike
stools are a common clue to irritable bowel syndrome, or even a partial
obstruction in your intestinal tract. Stools that float but are
voluminous, pasty, and greasy, leaving an oil slick on the surface of the
water in your toilet, may mean that your eating to much fat, or that you
are having trouble absorbing fat normally because enzyme production has
declined. This type of stool also be a sign of celiac sprue or
You should be able to see only a very few undigested food particles or
fibers in your stool. If you spot a substantial number, you may not be
chewing your food thoroughly enough. Or you may lack crucial digestive
You should also not see any mucous or pus in your stool. The presence of
mucous may indicate that you have IBD syndrome, food allergies, or an
inflammation of your intestinal wall, probably thanks to Candida infection.
Pus may be a warning sign of diverticulitus or parasites. If you have
diarrhea with both mucous or pus, your trouble may be UC or a parasitic
infection. Bloody diarrhea accompanied by mucous can mean colitis or
SMELL A FALSE CLUE: A popular myth among advocates of colonics and colon
health is that a healthy stool has no odor. In fact, there is no such
thing as an odorless stool. Meat eaters do tend to have more odoriferous
stool, because protein may yield residues of nitrogen and sulfur, but it is
neither possible nor desirable to eliminate odor from stool.
Well I know its long but I think this will answers some questions regarding
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 22:15:30 GMT
Thanks for the news on floaters. They only happen once or twice a month so
my guess is that it's related to a particular food rather than a general
I think floaters occur when I eat Yoghurt. I'm okay when I have the dry
curd cottage cheese though. Am I right to assume that I don't have a milk
protein problem(as somebody suggested before) if I can tolerate the dry curd
(mostly in bread) very well, but just have a problem with the yoghurt?.
Could I not be absorbing the fat in the yoghurt(which creates floaters)?
Is there such a thing as allergy to acidophilus?
Thank you for any input.
Mon, 3 Feb 1997 18:09:22 GMT
QUESTION: Does it matter if stools float? Is that a good or bad
sign? Does it mean anything about the diet.
ANSWER:I am an integral health educator (with UC) specializing in
whole foods nutrition. From my experience personally and with clients,
stools GENERALLY float when a more alkalizing diet has been consumed.
Alkalizing foods include vegetables, fruit and some dairy. Maintaining
a slightly alkalizing diet is important to intestinal health. People
also report floating stools after using acidophilus implants
repeatedly and when using intestinal bulking agents (eg.psyllium
husks). I think floating stools are a good thing and I take it as a
sign that the intestinal environment is becoming more friendly.
This is just my personal experience.