Stools that float are generally associated with some degree of malabsorption of foods or excessive flatus/gas. Floating stool is seen is a variety of different situations, the majority being diet-related or in association with episodes of diarrhea caused by an acute gastrointestinal infection. A change in dietary habits can lead to an increase in the amount of gas produced by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Similarly, acute gastrointestinal infections can result in increased air/gas content from rapid movement of food through the GI tract. One misconception is that floating stools are caused by an increase in the fat content of the stool. In fact, increased air/gas levels in the stool make it less dense and allow it to float. Another cause of floating stools is malabsorption. More than two weeks of diarrhea with floating stools is often seen in people suffering from malabsorption, a dysfunction in the GI tract that affects the body's ability to digest and absorb fat and other food. Increased levels of nutrients in the stool (those not absorbed by the GI tract) are supplied to the normal bacteria that live in the gut, which in turn produce more gas. This results in more air/gas- rich stool that floats. Dietary changes, diarrhea, and malabsorption can cause floating stools. Most causes are benign and will resolve when the infection ends or the bacteria in the GI tract become accustomed to the changes in your diet.