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Internist
Internist, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4761
Experience:  Int. Med., Gastroenterology. Fellow American College of Physicians. Trained, located in the U.S.
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Ive had chronic small-size floating stools, and occasional

Resolved Question:

I've had chronic small-size floating stools, and occasional gas pains, for many months, but no other related symptoms that I can think of (no fever, vomiting, blood in stool, abdominal cramps, etc.). Dietary changes don't seem to have any effect, and I'm wondering if this could be caused by any of my various maintenance meds: Byetta, Avandamet, Amaryl, Simvastatin, Synthroid, Lisinopril, Hydrochlorothiazide - ?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Internist replied 4 years ago.
Do the stools appear greasy or oily? Do you take in adequate amount of fiber and roughage?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Not always, but on rare occasion they may appear somewhat oily. I don't believe I have any problem with getting enough fiber/roughage, and have even wondered at times if I could be getting too much. Since this has gone on for many months, I'd tend to think that might rule out any viral or bacterial gastroenteritis issues - or could those take many months to resolve?
Expert:  Internist replied 4 years ago.
Basically stool floats because there is air present from fiber or bulk or there is excess fat from malabsorption. If your stools appear greasy you need to ask your doctor to do a 72 hour stool collection to rule out excess fat in the stool. On the other hand it is desirable for the stools to float if there is adequate fiber and bulk present. You may want to increase the amount of fiber in your diet so they are of larger size. It is unlikely that the medications that you had mentioned would cause your stools to float.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Then just for my peace of mind, the fact that I consistently have very small, loose, floating stools is not any particular cause for alarm - e.g. not a sign that I could be fighting chronic infection in my body, as this is a relatively recent development (only in the last couple of years)? FYI, I am 57, menopausal, with A1C of 6.5 and stabilized BP and cholesterol levels within acceptable range - but I've experienced sudden dental deterioration in the last few years (loss of teeth and crowns).
Expert:  Internist replied 4 years ago.
If you have very small loose floating bowel movements it is not necessarily a cause for alarm but you should have your stools tested for fat malabsorption. This would not be caused by infection in your body or diabetes however any disease that causes malabsorption such as gluten intolerance could cause loose floating bowel movements. You should also get a blood test for gluten intolerance.

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Internist, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 4761
Experience: Int. Med., Gastroenterology. Fellow American College of Physicians. Trained, located in the U.S.
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