What Causes Floating Stools?
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August 18, 2018


By Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist







With the passing of music legend Aretha Franklin from
pancreatic cancer, many people have become aware of an
unusual sign of pancreatic cancer ---floating stools.  But why
does pancreatic  cancer cause stools to float? And are there
other conditions that produce floating stools that are not as
serious?

What Exactly Causes Floating Stools?

Floating stools generally are caused by a malabsorption of
nutrients. Because your body does not absorb enough
nutrients, there is a over proportion of fat present in your stool.

It's the extra fat that makes the stools float. Fat is lighter than
water, while most other nutrients are heavier than water. Thus,
if you have too much fat in your stools, they will float.

Usually, no more than 7 grams of fat are excreted in your stool.

Here are the common conditions that cause malabsorption of
fat and the amount of fat excreted, according to the
Medical
University of South Carolina :


  • bacterial overgrowth (up to 30 grams per day)

  • pancreatic insufficiency (80 to 100 grams of fat per day)

  • Bowel resection (80 to 100 grams of fat per day)


  • insufficient bile acid (up to 30 grams per day)

Pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer are terrible diseases and
pancreatic cancer, in particular, has a high mortality rate. Celiac
disease, marked by the inability to digest gluten, is also a cause
of floating stools.

But these are rarer than a more common cause of floating
stools, bacterial overgrowth in your small intestines.

Let's take a closer look at bacterial overgrowth.

Bacterial Overgrowth and Floating Stools

































Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth disease is a condition in
which harmful bacteria multiply, becoming dominant. Your
intestines contain up to 1000 species of bacteria, some of
which support your health --- these are called probiotic
bacteria --- and others which harm your health.  When harmful
bacteria get too large, they can interfere with many body
processes, including absorption of nutrients.

In a healthy person, the small intestine contains about 1000
organisms/mL and these are Gram-positive. With bacterial
overgrowth, between 100,000 and 1 million organisms take
over the small intestines.

The presence  of too much bacteria, especially the type that
reduce the amount of bile, contributes to excess fat in your
stool. When the type of bacteria that eat bile salts predominate,
the result is malabsorption of nutrients. One of the functions of
bile is to break down fat in your body into fatty acids and
glycerol. Without enough bile, the fat stays undigested and is
excreted in your stools.

As a result, people with small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
suffer from these symptoms, according to a review of the
disease by Dr. Andrew Dukowicz of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock
Medical Center:


  • chronic diarrhea

  • malabsorption

  • unintentional weight loss

  • nutritional deficiencies and

  • osteoporosis



The Dartmouth-Hitchcock study estimates that between 13.5%
and 14.6% of older adults suffer from small intestine bacterial
overgrowth.

In a healthy person, gastric acid in the stomach kill
s bacteria
before they get to your small intestine.  But as you age, the
levels of stomach acid decreases and your risk for small
intestine bacterial overgrowth increases.
[Read more about
foods that enhance the ability of probiotic foods to survive
stomach acid
.]

One of the things you can do to increase the amount of gastric
acid is to drink an ounce or two of apple cider vinegar
regularly, especially as you approach 50 years old.



Pancreatic Cancer Linked to Barbecuing

Many people are not aware that pancreatic cancer has a strong
link with barbecuing food. Scientists have learned that, when
you grill meat over an open fire, the meat droppings oxidize,
creating carnenogenic compounds which then slosh back
upwards onto the meat from the flames. Delicious, yes, but
deadly.

Here is how the
American Cancer Society puts the problem:

"Heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons (PAHs) are chemicals formed when muscle meat,
including beef, pork, fish, or poultry, is cooked using high-
temperature methods, such as pan frying or grilling directly
over an open flame."


In the US, sections of teh country, such as the Southeast and
Midwest, are famed for barbecuing meat and frying fish.
Neither of these types of preparations is good for your body.
Both type of cooking produce HCAs and PAHs that are some of
the worst carcinogens on the planet.


What can you do if you want to reduce your cancer risk and
keep on eating barbecue. The American Cancer Society
recommends that you do the following:

  • reduce the grilling time of meat and fish by microwaving
    the food first

  • continuously turn over the meat/fish

  • remove the charred portions of the meat. No more
    blackened sea bass for you.

  • In general, cut down on the grilling/barbecuing time


Eating grilled meat and fish is not the only risk factor for
pancreatic cancer. Others include smoking and being
overweight.





































































































Related Links:

Why Americans Read In Bathrooms-The Hidden Epidemic of
Constipation

The Color of Your Bowels-- What It Means

Bowels -3 Keys to Normal Bowels

Exercises That Increase Bowel Movements

Diarrhea -10 Essesntial Tips


DIETS AND FITNESS

BOWEL MOVEMENTS

INTESTINES-KEEP THEM
HEALTHY

HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH
SALT

HOW MUCH SALT IS IN MY
FOOD

SALT CONTENT OF COMMON
FOODS

150,000 DIE FROM EXCESS
SALT

I HAVE HIGH BLOOD
PRESSURE!

FOODS THAT LOWER YOUR
BLOOD PRESSURE

INFLAMMATION INSIDE THE
BODY

FAT--IT'S ALIVE!

WHY WE GO SOFT IN THE
MIDDLE

WHY EUROPEANS ARE
THINNER

>VEGETARIAN RECIPES


MY HEART ATTACK

CANCER SURVIVORS
BRAIN HEALTH

>CROSSWORD
PUZZLES
>LEARNING
>MEMORY LOSS


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Reducing the amount of barbecued or
grilled meat you eat reduces risk of
floating stools.