Dr. Mutlu explains the difference between stools that float and stools that sink.
That’s kind of hard to say, sometimes whether, depending on what the person has eaten, the way the stool floats may be different. If a person has too many floating stools where you see oil around it or droplets of oil around it, and they are eating a not very high fat diet, that sometimes could be a sign of malabsorption, but this is a very non-specific sign, so we don’t pay too much importance to whether the stool floats or not. I think it is more important that the stool does not contain any blood, that it has a form or a shape, that it doesn’t look black.
When it looks black, it could be a sign of bleeding from the upper parts of the intestine, and those would be the main things that we would consider in the medical profession, abnormal stool.
About Dr. Mutlu, M.D.:
Dr. Ece A. Mutlu, M.D., is Associate Professor of Medicine at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. She specializes in gastroenterology and nutrition, and her research interests include diet therapy in inflammatory bowel disease, role of microbiological flora on gastrointestinal illness, role of nutrition in gastrointestinal disease, complementary and alternative medicine for gastrointestinal disease, and antioxidant treatment of radiation proctitis.