Tuesday, October 07, 2008 Gary Vetter, Community Member, asks

Q: for 2 months all of my poop floats. A doctor on TV says it should NEVER do that. Do I have a problem

Is it Ok for your poop to float? A doctor on TV said it should NEVER float. ? What is the reason and what is the problem called. I have not a  normal bowl movement in 2 months. For 2 months, everytime I go, it floats. Why? do I have a problem?

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Answers (1)
10/ 7/08 11:14pm

Gary, are you having any GI problems (other than your concern about your stools)? Any pain, bleeding, frequency etc.?  If not, I wouldn't worry. "Floating" signifies healthy stool.


Normal stools are about 75% water, and dietary fiber retains water, making the stool soft and rather buoyant. 


It looks like you're getting enough fiber in your diet.




ann, Community Member
10/29/09 7:11pm

i also read in a book that poop that floats can be a sign of pancreatic cancer. 

10/29/09 8:54pm

In an otherwise healthy person, "floaters" are nothing to be worried about. Really.

But, if the floating stool is foul smelling, greasy or oily looking, or accompanied by abdominal pain and/or weight loss, consult a health provider. These are often signs and symptoms of malabsorbtion, or rarely pancreatic disorder.

For a quick lesson in the possible reason for changes in stool color, shape, consistancy, odor, etc., as taught to physicans, see:



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By Gary Vetter, Community Member— Last Modified: 10/26/11, First Published: 10/07/08