Ghost Poop: Everything You Need to Know About It

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Have you ever been “ghosted” by your poop? If so, you are probably wondering, what is a "ghost poop" and what does it even mean if you have one? In this post, we will explain everything you need to know about ghost poop and debunk some of the myths surrounding it.

What is Ghost Poop?

To provide a definitive explanation of the ever elusive ghost poop, we borrowed information from Dr. Sameer Islam, who is a gastroenterologist and a columnist for Men’s Health.

He did a great job of defining what ghost poop is. Here are the three definitions of what a ghost poop is:

  1. The urge to poop that ends up only being gas.
  2. A poop so smooth that it went down the drain before you could see it.
  3. A visible poop in the toilet, but zero poop marks on your toilet paper after wiping.

While the first type of ghost poop is not a good sign, the second and third type of ghost poop are nothing to worry about. Let’s break down and dissect each type of ghost poop, including what causes each one.

1. Gas Only

Feeling the urge to poop but nothing comes out is not a good sign.

The first type of ghost poop is when you feel the massive urge to do number two so bad, but nothing comes out instead of farts. It may feel like you need to take a big dump but once you sit down on the toilet, nothing comes out. That’s basically it.

The first type of ghost poop (gas only) happens because there is too much air in the colon and rectum. That air inside the colon and rectum gives you the urge to poop.

Not only does the air take up space, but it also innervates or activates the nerves inside the colon and rectum, giving you the urge to have a bowel movement.

This type of ghost poop is the most common and is caused by eating too many foods that have a lot of gas, being constipated, or even swallowing air that goes all the way to the bottom. 

The best way to prevent this ghastly gas is to avoid eating gassy foods that cause a lot of air. Also, do not do aerophagia (swallowing air), typically by drinking straws, and lastly, keep your bowel movements regular.

2. Cannot See It

If the poop is not visible, it means you had a great bowel movement.

The second type of ghost poop is when you cannot see the poop itself. Even if you feel the poop coming out, you see nothing in the toilet. Literally, nothing is there!

There is a very simple explanation for this type of magical poop. You may have had a long, smooth poop that created little to no splash, and it went straight into the drain.

If this is the case, you should celebrate because you just had a very good bowel movement. In fact, you should aim to have this type of ghost poop more often.

3. Clean Toilet Paper

Leaving no residue on the toilet paper is also a good sign!

The third type of ghost poop is when you go to the toilet, something comes out and you can see it in the toilet, but the toilet paper is perfectly clean. There is literally nothing in the toilet paper.

It is like a ghost that leaves no trace.

There are two main reasons why this type of ghost poop can happen.

The first reason is that you may have had a really good poop. Sure, it may feel bizarre, but it is absolutely nothing to worry about. Not every single bowel movement needs to leave a residue.

Secondly, it could be that you just have had a very small bowel movement. Sometimes small bowel movements do not leave any trace behind and they go down quickly. This type of ghost poop is not a big deal.

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Is Ghost Poop Bad?

While the second and third type of ghost poop (smooth and no residue) is a sign of good bowel movement, the first type of ghost poop (gas only) is not good for you. It means that there is too much air in your stomach or you are constipated.

Sometimes, you can't always take the time or find a place to make a go to the toilet when the urge arises. This causes your fecal matter to linger too long and loses moisture, getting hard and pellet-like. Then, when you feel like you have to go and you finally make it to the bathroom, there's nothing there.

This type of ghost poop (gas only) is not good for you, especially your digestion and the delicate lining of your rectum. When those hard, little pellets finally do come out, they can rough up the tissue, causing fissures.

If this continues on a consistent basis, you may develop chronic bowel troubles that may be linked to immune system problems, weight gain and hemorrhoids.

Simple Tips For Better Bowel Movement

Eating prebiotics, like kimchi, helps!

Contrary to popular belief, getting some of the best poops of your life is easier than you can imagine. Here are some of the simplest tips for you to try in order to have better bowel movement consistently:

  1. Eat more prebiotic food and fiber - Prebiotics are fibers that are not digestible by your body but can help good bacteria grow in your gut. Since your body doesn't digest these plant fibers, they travel to your lower digestive tract to be a food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut. Some of the easiest to find prebiotics are garlic, banana, barley, oats, and apples.
  2. Establish a good bowel habit - The simplest thing you can do to establish a good bowel habit is to not sit on the toilet for too long. Spend as little time as you can, do your business, and get out. Maintaining a routine also helps.
  3. Add a bidet to your bowel regimen - Yes, bidets have been around for a long time. In fact, most people in Europe have started using bidets. Incorporating a bidet in your bowel habit will keep you clean and leave you feeling good.
  4. Add magnesium to your diet - Whether it is over-the-counter magnesium or foods containing magnesium, it helps to increase the amount of water in the intestines and stimulates bowel motion.
  5. Invest in a Squatty Potty - This simple, yet effective item works wonders by keeping your legs elevated and lets you have a better angle to have a bowel movement. You can buy the original Squatty Potty right here on Amazon.

In addition to the five tips above, remember to always respect your urges. When you need to go to the bathroom, don’t hesitate and poop immediately.

However, we also understand that it isn't always possible.

So if for some reason you need to hold it in, make sure to drink plenty of fluid all day long to help keep the poop soft enough to make a smooth exit when the time comes.

Bottom Line

Now you know what ghost poop is, including simple tips to maintain a healthy bowel movement.

You should celebrate if your poop made a graceful exit out of your bottom because not all ghost poops are bad. Remember, when you gotta go, you gotta go!