Understanding Mucus in Stool

Mucus in stool is small proportions is perfectly normal. However excessive mucus in the stool can be indicative of an underlying problem. Read on to understand causes for mucus in stool.
| Thursday, October 23, 2008
Mucus is a substance that is clear and white or yellow in color having a jelly like consistency. This substance is produced within the large intestine’s mucous membrane. People are usually aware of the production of mucous taking place in the lungs and nasal cavities. Mucus produced in the lungs is important to capture any inhaled foreign particles and thereby serves in protecting the lungs. Mucus in the intestines serves the function of lubricating the lining and thereby helps to pass over the stool. Usually a small amount of mucus can be found in the stool and such a situation is no cause for concern or worry. However large and visible amounts of mucus in the stool can be indicative of some problems.

Excessive mucus in stool can be indicative of a possible inflammation in the intestine or can also be seen in the case of diarrhea and also constipation problems. In this case such mucus is whitish in color. A large amount of other causes can also be responsible for the possibility of mucus in stool.

Causes of Mucus in Stool Include:
  • Bacterial Infections: Usually this mucus in stool can be attributed to bacterial growth and allergies of food and other sensitivities. These problems can ordinarily be corrected with appropriate changes in diet and incorporating certain supplements that are important for the body in the food choices.Bacterial infection caused because of campylobacter, shigella, yersinia and salmonella can also be responsible for the presence of mucus in stool. Other problems associated with a bacterial infection ordinarily also include fever, abdominal cramps and even diarrhea. While some infections get resolved with time some need medical intervention in the form of specific antibiotics.
  • Bowel Obstruction: Bowel obstruction usually can accompany a variety of signs such as abdominal distention, cramps, constipation and vomiting along with passage of mucus. The reasons for obstruction of bowel can be numerous and in some extreme cases surgery may also be needed.
  • Ulcerative Colitis: This problem affects the mucus membrane within the intestine and inflammation of the membrane occurs or then ulcer development is seen in the membrane. Bleeding of these ulcers can take place along with production of mucus and pus. This becomes visible when it passes in the stool.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome: In irritable bowel syndrome the lining within the intestine may produce excess mucus and this can be seen in the stool.
Other causes of mucus in stool may include:
  • Enteritis
  • Dysentery
  • Crohn’s colitis
  • Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease. These diseases often accompany diarrhea.
  • Rectal bleeding can also occur with Crohn’s disease.
  • Diverticulitis
  • Irritable colon syndrome
  • Malignant colon disease
  • Benign papillomatous colon tumor
  • Polyposis coli
  • Benign papillomatous rectal tumor
  • Cystic fibrosis
In case no underlying cause for the presence of mucus in stool is detected then this problem can be resolved by increasing the intake of water and also some relief can be obtained by taking herbal demulcents. Such items soothe the lining within the intestine. Avoid eating dairy products or food items that are greasy. It is best to seek immediate medical attention when such a problem is noticed so that the underlying cause can be identified and prompt medical attention can be provided.
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