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.”
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”