Floating And Sinking Poop

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j 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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Della asks:

What happens if your poop floats? Does that mean something?



Dear Della,

Judging by the number of times it is asked, this question is a source of great concern to the masses. The Floaters versus Sinkers controversy (hey, wouldn't those be great names for PoopReport basketball teams?) has been raging since time began... OK, since the Internet began... OK, since this morning.


WHAT MAKES POOP FLOAT?

Surprisingly, not what you might think.

Conventional medical wisdom attributes Floaters to the amount of fat in your poop. While this IS true for certain diseases (cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, biliary atresia, abetalipoprotenimia and a few other weird sounding illnesses), it is NOT true for your run-of-the-mill healthy person.

Vegetarians would have you believe that the "perfect" stool (that is, one uncontaminated by the consumption of animal parts) is the Floater. Many vegetarians have spent their entire lives in the quest to produce perfection -- when in fact no particular diet can reliably produce Floaters. The vast majority of us bring forth Sinkers.

Sinkers really need a good P.R. person -- they have gotten a bad rap over the ages. Sure, Floaters are cute and all, but a good solid Sinker will never let you down.


BACK TO WHAT MAKES POOP FLOAT...

Actually, it is gas that does it. Increased levels of air and gas in the poop make it less dense, and cause it to float. Simple as that. Dietary changes can lead to an increase in the amount of gas produced by the bacteria that live in the gut, which is probably what the vegetarians are basing their whole "perfect stool" theory on. I don't know -- the whole time I was vegan I never consistently produced Floaters.

Then, after a couple of years, I grew disenchanted and yearned for a hamburger. And that was the end of Poonurse the Vegetarian.


WHY DOES IT MATTER?

Well, I'm a little unclear on that. It must matter greatly to a lot of people, or else they wouldn't take so much time to write to me about it. I guess it could matter if you are worried that you are sick or something.

If you have diarrheal-esque Floaters for more than two weeks, you may have a malabsorption problem -- a dysfunction of the GI tract that affects the body's ability to digest and absorb fat. Acute gastrointestinal infections can also result in increased gas content in the intestines, due to rapid movement of stool through the GI tract.


SO WHAT?

So I am forced to assume that Floaters are NOT the most desirable of all stools. Sinkers are by far more common. Don't spend your life chowing down on tofu burgers just because you think you are being cheated out of a Floater. Neither tofu burgers nor Floaters are worth the trouble. Sinkers are our destiny.

Thanks for asking Poonurse!

Poonurse is an RN with 25 years experience in labor and delivery. Her qualifications
include seeing a lot of poop, and owning a computer. Also, she works in Michigan, which she calls the asshole
of the universe, so that's another bit of credibility.
Got a question for her?

392 Comments on "Floating And Sinking Poop"

Big floater normally's picture

Hi i just went to the toilet now normally i can do a beaut of a turd however the last few mnths i have had loads of small floating objects in the pan hence me looking for amswers today mind you i just ate a huge chinese meal i wonder if that has anythng to do with it

Anonymous Coward's picture

I have a serious question. Is there any significance to a normal brown, VERY STICKY stool.-

Gasless's picture

I had floaters until I was treated for H Pylori. No more heart burn, gas, or floaters.

ChiefThunderbutt's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatorf 5000+ points

Mine neither float nor sink, they climb over the rim of the bowl and chase me out of the bathroom.

_______
Eat chilies and feel the burn!!

How long a minute is depends on what side of the bathroom door you're on!

poopmaster 3000's picture

I lov the smell of poop is that wierd ?

Little Brown's picture

Hi,I shit the other day and it was neon purple, what should I do? A hamster popped out, holy hell!!!!!

poop factory's picture

When I really follow Atkins and my body is burning fat--they float. When I cheat for 2-3 days they begin the sinking phase. Hence I think it has to do with the fat processing and your body not absorbing fat. Ditto with the gas--If on the program, none--if not, well...I know each person is different, Spinach and too much of other greens constipates me terribly. When this happens, I eat fresh, boiled shrimp or crablegs and the problem is solved

scuubie's picture

I recently started a colon clensing program and noticed now I have sinkers. Never did before. I think the fiber has caused the change in conjunction with the "old,nasty" stuff coming out.

Postman's picture
k 500+ points

If the load you just dropped sinks to the bottom of the bowl, then you know you dropped something of significance. A floater probably does'nt have any substance to it.

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

A.C. 4/18, if your change to sinking poop is accompanied by pain, bleeding, or other unfavorable symptoms, you should be concerned. Otherwise, let yourself go. Perhaps your gas is escaping via farting rather than being bound up in your turds, thus making the poop denser. As for me, I fart a lot and have sinking poop.

first time floater.'s picture

i don't know about healthy. i've never had floaters until just now (which is how i found this site) and my diet tonight has consisted of bbq chips, monster (an energy drink), mnt.dew, a fruit parfait (maybe its the fruit?) and grilled cheese sandwiches.

Rev. Bunhugger's picture

A constant string(no pun intended) of floaters can be an indication of trouble with the Pancreas, in that it is not digesting fat, which of course floats.

The Shit Volcano's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Be careful, or your floating poo might get caught in your drive shaft, collect some oleander, and fly in your face. Then it'll go into you appendix and you'll catch San Francisco AIDS.

Oh, wait. Wrong thread... Sorry.

_______
Born right the first time.

I found Jesus! He was behind the sofa the whole time!

floater turn stinker sinker's picture

I have always had poo the floated and thought that it meant that I was healthy. On the odd occasions I have had sinkers (which were stinkers) which usually called for a more urgent visit to the toilet. However in the past 2 weeks, while I have not made any change that I am aware of to my diet,I have had consistent sinkers. Should I be concerned with this change in bowl habit? I certainly feel that I have been more flatulent than normal also and as with past sinkers they are stinkers!

Anonymous Coward's picture

My theory ( regarding cholestral ); Two months ago, at 40, I was told I have high cholesterol. The doctor said I need to lower it from my 242. I refuse to be on medication & make the pharmaceutical companies rich, therefore chose to go the natural route. I started taking the supplement “ red yeast rice”, which is supposed to lower it by 40 points with no change in diet. ( I already have a good diet & exercise every week) I have been taking it 2 months & now have these so called floaters for the first time in my life. I think it is a good sign, and has something to do with how your body processes fat.

Anonymous Coward's picture

Thanks for this page! I was doing some research because I overheard a conversation at work regarding someone congratulating her 4 year old daughter on a "healthy poop" because it floated. Since mine tend to be all over the place (but I would guess more on the sinking side of things) I thought I'd better do some research!

Turd Burgular's picture

I mostly float some monsters but today I let a few turds loose and one sank and two floated. I don't know how this happens.

MSG's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

I literally can't remember the last time I had a floater. My diet has varied to some extent, and my digestion is sometimes gassy, sometimes not; but my poop always sinks. Before my operations, I didn't drink much water, so my poops were big and hard; they sank. Now I drink a lot of water (64 oz/day or more), so the poop is softer, though still well formed; it sinks. Today I had one of my harder ones recently, about a 3 on the Bristol Stool Scale; it sank. I'm content with sinkers.

Someone's picture

I wonder who went through all this poop to find that out?

Afraid to Fart's picture

Floaters? Sinkers? How mundane! Mine do the backstroke and sing show tunes. Should I maybe reduce the dosage a little?

prarie doggin's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorg 4000+ points

MIne are neither floaters or sinkers. They are mixers.

Digestin' Westin's picture

It's also a question of water absorption. You can eat all the fiber you want, but if your electrolytes are shot, you'll get hard sinkers every time. I when I gave up meat and ate lots of fiber, I ended up with very solid hay-like sinking turds that looked and smelled like some kind of animal doo. I swear you wouldn't recognize the smell as "poop-like" at all, very weird.

Every time I feel a little constipated, I drink gatorade, eat bananas, and probiotic yogurt and it clears up right away. A small plain water enema does the trick, too: it stimulates peristalsis without irritating anything, and quickly re-hydrates you.

My normal stools these days are 2-inch roundish semi-floaters that don't smell bad. Go figure.

The Teacher's picture

I always thought you should strive for the floater, but,Hhuh...learn something new everyday. I just like having 'em everyday, whether they sink or float...they're coming out.

Anonymous  22222222's picture

my poop floats like little balls, but the bigger ones sink

poo checker nurse's picture

my friend has a lousy diet, lots of medications, fats and meats...she is thinking she is doing well since her poo sinks! whats up with that?

Curious Black Sisters's picture

My older sister came up to me and my twin and asked us y some poop sink and and float we cant believe we found a answer we r so excited!!!

the poopinator!'s picture

thank you so much for this informative info! i totes thought there was something wrong everytime i came back from the bathroom and realized my poop was sinking! i'm used to seeing those babies float, so i got nervous that i was eating too much fatty foods and it was causing them to sink. instead i probs have that stomach thing in your gi tract that you talked about.. SWEET LIFE! peace & love

plopplop's picture

I had a weight watcher leader tell us that floaters mean you are eating too much fat. The fat makes the poo float. If your diet is rich in fiber, low in fat, the poo will sink.

Lately I've started gaining weight at an alarming speed, my poo which used to often float is now sinking. I have it in my head that my body must be retaining all the fat instead of sluffing it off in my poop.

crap, is it just my eating habits and not a medical reason?

Anonymous Coward's picture

what on earth have i just been reading!!

Anonymous Coward's picture

Okay - the issue with floaters is they don't flush. Simple.

Mr. Me's picture

My p__p always floats. My diet of balsa and styrofoam may be the reason

POOPPLUMBER =]'s picture

i produce floaters and sinkers..
you see when i poop, i get pellets that sink and a small log that floats..
does that mean something??
that's what made me google it..

Toilet Expert's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

I always hope i have floaters, because they're fun to flush. Usually though, I just have these massive logs that sink slowly. I can't make any connections with my diet and poop's buoyancy. It's pretty random.

bbbbarbarella's picture

I think I have IBS and have produced sinkers as far back as I can remember and i'm very gassy. And my poops occasionaly come out like a play-doh factory, long and winding, looks like a snake coiled up in the toilet. I did produce a floater the other day, can't say why, no change in diet though I have been taking a multivitamin for the past month. I stopped because it was turning my poops black.

rokenrose's picture

poop always floats in salt water so just jump into ocean and watch it nothing worse when you jump into ocean to poop and it floats around you ha,ha. smiling faces to all poopers

Dry-Wipe's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

oook cher... to each his own, if coppin a literal squat helps u then go for it. personally ill keep sittin, its the best way to catch up on some reading or just enjoy a smoke...


_______
oh man, i feel soo much better. i think i lost a few pounds... dont even think about going in there for at least 20-30 minutes. dont worry, i left the fan on.

oh man, i feel soo much better. i think i lost a few pounds... dont even think about going in there for at least 20-30 minutes. dont worry, i left the fan on.

Cher's picture

Thank you for this site. Lots of good information. I have been conscious of my stool for a very long time and I have a mix of sinkers and floaters depending on my diet and probiotic condition of my bowels. I have been taking Hemp oil for the last year and have never had such beautiful movements. They are soft and come out in an instant, even very large movements come out in a second with no effort. I also use a "stool Stool" something I built to assist in my movements. The natural way to eliminate is to crouch like you were going in the woods. This is the natural position for elimination. I am not going to crouch on the toilet (too dangerous)so I built a 8" high foot stool and when I sit on the toilet I put my feet on the stool which curves my lower back and creates the perfect position for elimination. I have been doing this for years and I have never been happier with my elimination. Everyone should try it, I am sure you will find it benificial. Happy elimination to all!!!

Dry-Wipe's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

wow, i cant beleive that whole richard gere/gerbil thing is still around after like 15-20 years...


_______
oh man, i feel soo much better. i think i lost a few pounds... dont even think about going in there for at least 20-30 minutes. dont worry, i left the fan on.

oh man, i feel soo much better. i think i lost a few pounds... dont even think about going in there for at least 20-30 minutes. dont worry, i left the fan on.

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

Bilgepump (534) -- 08.01.2007 -- wrote: "
...I wonder what Richard Gere would say to that???
"

"You flushed Uncle Henry!!!" ???

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Oddly enough, mine are all sinkers, and eerily look like hamsters wearing cement shoes...I wonder what Richard Gere would say to that???

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

Hamster's picture
k 500+ points

ac - mine very rarely do either, and though i eat quite healthily now, I used to be terrible - but whatever the diet, they've usually sunk. I think it is size that counts here, for once - if you do big thick ones of at least 6 x 2 inches - they will sink!! Little ones may not!

Anonymous Coward's picture

My poops have never floated, that I remember and I eat lots of fresh veggies, nuts, whole grains, etc. My husband, however, always has floaters and has the worst diet (and gas) ever! So what's the reasoning here? I say, "If a man poops in the woods and there's no water there to see if it sinks or floats, does anybody really care?"

Ms Poopsalot's picture

This is without a doubt one of the funniest and most informative sites I've ever seen. Absolutely hysterical!!
I will definately be back for further poop updates :-)

Dry-Wipe's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

u kno, i never really even noticed the difference. but now that i have thought about it, im a fairly consistant sink bomb producer. the only time ive ever noticed the brown stuff floating is after a night of taco bell... the next day im good for at least 3 trips to the thundermug* and even tho its not liquid, it damn sure isnt solid either, just floaty lumpy clumpy runny stuff. damn imitation food...


_______
oh man, i feel soo much better. i think i lost a few pounds... dont even think about going in there for at least 20-30 minutes. dont worry, i left the fan on.

* the word thundermug courtesy of Alterscheiss

oh man, i feel soo much better. i think i lost a few pounds... dont even think about going in there for at least 20-30 minutes. dont worry, i left the fan on.

irmgard's picture

I have been doing floaters now for months, i lost weight from size 16 to a 6.. now a 10.. i have serious IBS which is gas and my dr thinks my food isnt absorbing properly, im allergic 2 soya lactose dairy, but still have some 2 keep the weight on. . it has to be gas although i dont drink fizzy stuff?? i am also taking lots medicines and fybogel

bob jordan's picture

Before 4 months of severe antibiotics I was a floater - now (8 months later) still a sinker and cannot say that I feel as energetic as before.

Anonymous Coward's picture

I am surprised to be on this site, but feel compelled to ask...I have ALWAYS had sinkers.
Recently, in the past 2 weeks, nothing but floaters. No change in diet, water, etc. What could cause this sudden change. I never thought it really mattered to me because I thought once a sinker always a sinker...but why the change now??? This floater has started my worry motor!!!

Di Verticula's picture

Great poop content folks. So informative. Having recently switched from a high fat, high calorie diet to a high fiber, low fat diet, I'm discovering many changes in my poop patterns. I'm mostly birthing floaters. Thanks for setting me straight and giving me the poop on poop.

Fiber Rich Scientist's picture

If you check with Medical trained physicians, especially your Gastrointerologist (everyone should have one checking their colon out!) they will tell you that it is indeed fiber which makes poop float.. This seemed to be written towards slanting medical views to fit the original posters own opinion and experiences based upon the fact that they have irregularly achieved floaters therefor it must be normal not to have floaters.. But it's not.. your diet.. even as a vegan may not be rich enough in fiber in order to achieve healthful floaters.. your goal should be about 10 grams of fiber per meal.. and at least 35 grams of fiber per day.. Try adding more seeds to your diet like flax or psyllium, or sprinkling bran over your food at each meal.. and this will make a big difference in cleaning you out completely and giving you those longed for healthy bowel movements.. If you are pooping properly from getting enought fiber.. you shouldn't have to strain.. and the final result should produce waste that is generally lighter in color (unless foods like beets or spinach were consumed), floating and less foul smelling. Happy, fibre, fibre, fibre to everyone..

Fartini's picture

Thank you for your myth-busting revelations!

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