Float or sink? Not really a question I’ve pondered with friends, but apparently it was a point of discussion for some students in the 70s. Youcan check out the original article written by Dr. Spencer Turner in the Lantern Archives. Interestingly, as I was reading through this column, it did remind me of a presentation I sat through back in the late 80s. A guest speaker came to a division luncheon and spoke on – yes floaters versus sinkers. Not really the lunch time conversation I was expecting, but entertaining none the less. The basic premise of his presentation was that you could measure your health by whether you had 6 inch sinkers or 8 inch floaters.
I would have expected the 8 inch floater to be an indication of health – thinking that the more water and veggies you were eating the less dense the result, but that is not the case. It’s the 6 inch sinker that’s an indicator of health.
Floaters can be caused by a number of reasons, but the most common are:
- Poor digestion – the body has to work harder at breaking down food which creates more gas and as a result gas-filled stools.
- Gastrointestinal infections – cause the digestive system to flush out harmful bacteria and viruses, making food move through the colon too quickly and as a result gas-filled stools
- Change of diet – eating more veggies and the like is tougher for the body to break down and as a result gas-filled stools
Hmm – did you see a theme?
Just in the case the floater versus sinker conversation doesn’t provide enough fodder, here’s some more tidbits from WebMd:
- Healthy stool comes in all shapes and sizes, curvy, sausage, snake-like, and more. You need to seek out a doc if it looks thin and narrow like a pencil for several weeks.
- Healthy stools come in a variety of colors, yellow, tan, green and more. Usually the change in color is a result of medication or food.
- Tarry, sticky, black poop can be sign of bleeding or injury in the stomach or parts of the intestine. Always get this checked out by a doctor.
- It’s OK if you don’t poop every day. Your body knows what it’s doing. If, however, you have 3 or less BMS in a week, then you may be experiencing constipation.
Tina Comston, M.Ed.