The Ghostbusters were out to vanquish green goop; but if you have ghost poop (we're not kidding), it takes more than an ectoplasmic slime-buster to get your bowels moving smoothly. Ghost poop happens because you - and the rest of us - live a stuck-in-a-meeting, riding-in-the-car, nowhere-near-a-bathroom life. And when your body sends you the message that you gotta go, you can't always take the time or find a place to make a pit stop.
That makes your guts unhappy, because your fecal matter lingers too long and loses moisture, getting hard and pellet-like. That clogs up the area above a trap door that opens so your waste can move into your rectum for a fast exit. Then when you feel like you have to go and you finally make it to the bathroom, there's nothing there. Ghost poop.
This isn't good for your digestion or the delicate lining of your rectum (when those hard, little pellets finally do emerge, they can rough up the tissue, causing fissures). And chronic bowel troubles may be linked to immune system problems, weight gain, and hemorrhoids.
To be a ghost-poop-buster, you have to respect your urges. Your body knows what you need to do and when you need to do it. But we also know that isn't always possible. So if you find that you are having to hold it in, make sure you drink plenty of fluid all day long to help keep the poop soft enough to make a graceful exit when the time comes. Busted!
© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.