Get E-Book on COVID-19

Q. Can excess gas be a reason for floating stools?

Answered by
Dr. Sadaf Mustafa
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 28, 2016 and last reviewed on: Sep 03, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am a 47 year old male. I have noticed floating stools for about two months. This may have been going on longer, but I just noticed two months ago and historically, this is not normal for me. Consistency is solid with somewhat limited quantity and more like you would expect with constipation about 70% of the time. It is soft, but not loose at all. Color is normal brown. The only other symptom I have noticed is that my stomach is quite noisy right after eating or drinking. I have no weight loss or pain. I eat low-carb most of the time, but not all the time. I recently had a checkup including basic blood work. My doctor said this is usually caused by excess gas and did not give it a second thought. Should I ask for more tests? My father died at the age of 52 from pancreatic cancer. So, I have some worries about this. I have attached all my reports for your reference.



Welcome to

  • Your symptoms are consistent with malabsorption of fat and lactose intolerance.
  • There are various causes of malabsorption and indeed lactose intolerance, pancreatic insufficiency and gallbladder dysfunction are some of the well known causes. Bloating and soft stool may also occur in dyspepsia.
  • First we have to prove that you have indeed malabsorption. Usually the investigation of choice is stool fat content and getting hydrogen breath test for lactose intolerance may also be helpful. There are various other blood tests as well which could be obtained including lipase and amylase.
  • I would suggest reviewing your diet, travel history, dairy intake, eliminating lactose from diet (use lactose free products) and maintaining a food diary to watch out for symptoms. If you are still having issue after a month then consider doing the above mentioned investigations.
  • Your concern about pancreatic cancer is valid. Since you do not have weight loss, appetite changes or jaundice, the question would be would you use CT scan to screen for pancreatic cancer. The answer would depend upon weighing the risk of radiation exposure.
  • This is an area of dispute in literature and I would suggest having a discussion with your primary care physician.

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online -->

Was this answer helpful?


Related Questions:
Can excess gas be a reason for floating stools?

Your symptoms are consistent with malabsorption of fat and lactose intolerance ... There are various causes of malabsorption and indeed lactose intolerance, pancreatic insufficiency and gal...   Read full

Suffering from floating stool and stomach pain. How can I help myself to get better?

Stomach ache and gas are suggestive of indigestion due to lack of intestinal digestive enzyme supplementation ... Continue treatment for diabetes, pancreatic digestive...   Read full

What diet can I take to increase my weight? I am lactose intolerant. Please help.

These are some queries in which I need your help: Which diet should I take to gain weight ... Do not take whey protein or any other products as they only concentrate on a balanced diet ...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

Related Questions & Answers

What can cause the stool to float and change color?

Query: Hello doctor, About 18 months ago, my stomach distended, and my stool turned from brown to light brown and eventually yellow. After that, I started to lose weight at a rapid rate, 40 lbs in 15 months. I was given multiple blood tests, an upper endoscopy, and abdominal ultrasounds. The only thing of...  Read Full »

Also Read

Sinusitis - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Sinusitis is the infection of the air cavities within the nasal passages. Normally, the healthy sinuses are filled with ...  Read more»
Asthma and Its Rising Incidence
This article explains about asthma and its causes. It also focuses on the benefits of starting early treatment to lead a...  Read more»
Parkinson's Disease: Historical Aspects and Current Treatment Approaches
This article discusses the historical aspects of Parkinsonism and, the evidence based approaches currently available for...  Read more»

Ask your health query to a doctor online?

Ask an Internal Medicine Physician Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: All health Q&As published on this website are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek the advice from your physician or other qualified health-care providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website.