What is ‘ghost poop’ and why is it exploding on TikTok?

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Now you see it — now you don’t.

Something is brewing on TikTok — and it could be the result of your morning cup of coffee.

“A ‘ghost poop’ is a term used to describe when one’s stool sinks to the bottom of the toilet and seemingly vanishes without a trace,” gut health expert and registered dietician Julie Balsamo told The Post in an email on Tuesday.

In other words, if you’ve ever gone to the bathroom and then looked into the toilet, only to see your feces disappear, it means that you’ve experienced the elusive “ghost poop” — and the same thing goes if you’ve wiped and there’s nothing on the toilet paper.

As the subject of a hashtag with more than 15 million views on the social media platform, ghost poop is something that should be celebrated, as it’s the result of a healthy bowel movement — most of the time, at least.

One Canadian-based naturopathic doctor, Dr. Janine Bowring, even claimed in a video with more than 7.3 million views this week that if you experience this kind of bowel movement, it could mean that you’re one of the “healthiest people on the planet.”

@j9naturally

What Does THIS Poop Mean? 💩 Dr. Janine provides valuable insight into the significance of the ghost poop. This type of poop, where you feel like you’ve passed something but nothing is visible in the toilet or when wiping, may suggest that you are one of the healthiest individuals out there. It is a sign that your body is receiving adequate amounts of fiber and fatty acids while maintaining proper circadian rhythms aligned with nature. Understanding the nuances of your bodily functions can be an important indicator of overall health and well-being. #poop #guthealth #circadianrhythms #pooptok #wellness

♬ original sound – doctorjanine Bowring, ND


Dr. Bowring revealed that a "ghost poop" — a bowel movement that disappears into the toilet,  is the sign of a healthy gut.
Bowring revealed that a “ghost poop” — a bowel movement that disappears into the toilet — is the sign of a healthy gut.
TikTok/j9naturally

It can mean that you're getting enough fiber and enough sleep, she claimed.
It can mean that you’re getting enough fiber and enough sleep, she claimed.
TikTok/j9naturally

Bowring alleged that your poop has gone into the abyss of the toilet bowl due to the result of a healthy diet and sleep cycle.

“It’s because you’ve got that fiber, you’ve got enough of those essential fatty acids, your circadian rhythms are in tune with nature with the light and dark cycle of the day, and you’ve got that ghost poop,” she explained in the clip.

And, according to California-based registered dietician nutritionist Amanda Sauceda, it can also mean that your body is properly hydrated.

“If you’re wiping and there’s no residue on the paper, that can mean your diet has a good amount of fiber in it and you’re adequately hydrated,” Sauceda explained in an email to The Post on Tuesday.

Sauceda also added that you shouldn’t stress if you’re not having a ghost poop every day, as diets fluctuate — which means that our stools will, too.

Another TikToker named Steven Wright, founder of the supplement company the Healthy Gut, seconded Sauceda’s thoughts in a May 2022 video, revealing that these kinds of bowel movements are “ideal” — but you shouldn’t expect to have them all the time.


The poop should be long and snakelike, according to another TikToker.
The poop should be long and snakelike, according to another TikToker.
TikTok/j9naturally

Those who want to achieve a "ghost poop" should up their fiber and eat more plants, according to Registered Dietician Amanda Sauceda.
Those who want to achieve a “ghost poop” should up their fiber and eat more plants, according to registered dietician Amanda Sauceda.
TikTok/j9naturally

“When I say ideal, it’s because it’s what we’re shooting for on a regular basis, but it’s probably not going to happen every day,” he said in the clip, which has since amassed more than 50,000 views.

Wright also claimed that a “ghost poop” is considered a “four” on the Bristol Stool Chart — a research tool that “classifies feces” into seven different categories in order to tell you about the health of your bowel movements, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

A “four” on the BSC indicates a thin and “snakelike” poop that is also smooth and soft in texture.

Sauceda advised that “hard, pellet-like poop” and poop with “a lot of cracks on the surface” are both not “healthy” — ranking as a 1 or a 3 on the BSC.

To achieve a smooth and “snakelike” ghost poop, people should try to eat more plants and consume foods that have fiber in them.

Even more crucial is making sure that you’re staying hydrated, as fiber has a harder time moving through the gut without water.


The Bristol Stool Chart can also be a helpful tool in learning about your poop.
The Bristol Stool Chart can be a helpful tool for learning about your poop.
University of Bristol

A "ghost poop" can look like a four on the BSC, according to Wright.
A “ghost poop” can look like a 4 on the BSC, according to Wright.
TikTok/j9naturally

“Plants are your best fiber foods, and fiber helps you poop easier and keeps you pooping on the regular,” Sauceda told The Post. “Some stand-out fiber foods are avocado, berries, beans and whole grains.”

However, in some cases, the ghost poop could also be a sign of malabsorption, according to Balsamo.

“While this can be indicative of healthy digestion, it should not be solely relied upon as a definitive measure of one’s digestive health,” Balsamo explained.

“On one hand, floating stool may suggest the presence of steatorrhea (excess fat in the stool) or malabsorption. However, it can also be attributed to a high fiber diet, which can lead to increased gas production.”

If you don’t find yourself having many — or any — ghost poops, you shouldn’t be alarmed, either.

In fact, having a ghost poop every day isn’t always ideal, Sauceda noted, as you are unable to see the changes in your feces if it just disappears all the time.


A "ghost poop" can be described as a poop that seemingly "disappears."
A “ghost poop” can be described as excrement that seemingly “disappears.”
TikTok/j9naturally

"If you’re wiping and there’s no residue on the paper that can mean your diet has a good amount of fiber in it and you’re adequately hydrated," Sauceda explained in an email to The Post on Thursday.
“If you’re wiping and there’s no residue on the paper that can mean your diet has a good amount of fiber in it and you’re adequately hydrated,” Sauceda explained to The Post.
TikTok/j9naturally

“It isn’t ideal 100% of the time because you can’t observe any changes in your poop,” she wrote. “If the poop disappears in the toilet bowel right after you go, then you won’t be able to see if there are color or consistency changes.”

And having a floating stool does not necessarily mean that you have some kind of underlying health condition, according to Balsamo.

“It is crucial to assess the overall context and consider other factors before drawing conclusions,” Balsamo advised.

She described that it’s important to seek the advice of a medical expert if you have a “specific concern” regarding what’s been left in the toilet after you go to the bathroom, or if you’ve had changes to your digestive health.

Sauceda also pointed out that if you’re not going to the bathroom very often, that should be another sign to talk to your doctor.

“Pooping is like taking out the trash and you want to be doing it often,” she told The Post. “If you’re going more than three days without pooping, that could be a sign to talk with your doctor.”

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