The Luv Doc: Your Poop Is the Shit!
It's not the end of the world
Dear Luv Doc,
I dropped a sinker and a floater this morning. Does that mean I have a balanced diet?
– Baby Ruth
Being a responsible advice columnist, I Googled this, and it looks like there's a chance you either have pancreatic cancer or pancreatitis, which is a long-term, progressive inflammatory disease that causes breakdown of the function and structure of the pancreas. Looks like it can be fairly painful as well. Thanks, Jesus.
You probably already know this, but the pancreas creates enzymes that help you break down and digest foods. It also produces insulin, which moderates levels of sugar in the blood. The primary cause of pancreatitis is long-term alcohol abuse, so if you are a hardcore booze weasel, you might want to back off the sauce.
If your floating poop is especially greasy and foul-smelling, that's not good – and I don't mean just in a purely aesthetic sense. Extra-fatty poo means your pancreas may not be secreting the enzymes necessary to break down that dinner of baby back ribs, Awesome Blossoms, and Jack & Cokes you inhaled at Chili's last night.
Now, keep in mind, I might have jumped the gun a bit with the whole "pancreatic doomsday" scenario. You could also have liver disease, blocked bile ducts, gallstones, Crohn's disease, or be lactose intolerant. If the latter is true, that floating poop is like hitting the jackpot, healthwise. Lots of people are lactose intolerant. Like herpes, it's not the end of the world.
There is also a chance you have a stomach infection like E. coli, salmonella, or norovirus, in which case this helpful information will probably arrive too late to be of any use. If you're still in the throes when this rag hits the stands, try to stay in sprinting distance of the shitter, because that floater might be the most solid thing you produce for a few days.
If you're feeling extra gassy, that might also be a good sign. Maybe you overdid it on craft beer, Brussels sprouts, and refried beans yesterday. Guess what? Gassy poop floats! Well done! You're not diseased, you're just extra flatulent! Stay away from open flames and me in particular.
Lastly, because I was once told it's good to end all advice with a positive note, I should tell you that your poo's buoyancy could also be indicative of a healthy amount of dietary fiber. Coupled with your sinker, it may, in fact, be a sign of a well-balanced diet. If you've been eating a lot of celery recently, give yourself a pat on the back! Your poop is the shit!