What Does Mucus in Stool Mean - All Possible Reasons
Few people actually take notice of mucus in stool, although this is more common than you may think. In spite of the above, it is not advisable to dismiss the presence of mucus as this symptom can be an important indicator of problems related to the digestive system. If you want to know more about what mucus in stool means, then do not hesitate and keep on reading this oneHOWTO article where we will tell you what all the possible reasons and what to do if you detect it.
Function of mucus in the digestive system
To understand why we can actually find mucus in our stool, we should first know its origin and its function. The digestive tract is covered by several layers of membranes that secrete mucus; This mucous substance fulfills a very important function, which is to lubricate the intestines, thus making the passage of food easier and protecting the membranes that cover the stomach and the intestines from digestive acids. You should know that mucus accompanies stool in a transparent layer, which is why you may not notice it usually.
If mucus changes to a yellow or green color or is more abundant than usual, then you should ask yourself the reason for this sudden change. You may typically notice a change in your bowel movements too no matter the reason behind the appearance of mucus.
Why is there mucus in my stool?
As we mentioned before, it is normal to find a slight amount of mucus in stool, and it may appear as a transparent viscosity, white, yellow or even a green tone.
This mucous substance in your stool can be present in many ways: covering the fecal matter completely or as streaks with the tones mentioned above, and it can also appear as streaks with blood.
Increased mucus in the stool is usually more noticeable when you have diarrhea or if you are constipated. It is recommended to visit a specialist doctors recommend if you notice an abnormal presence of mucus in your stool for more than a week, or in cases where mucus is accompanied by blood, abdominal pain or uncontrollable bowel movements.
Diseases that cause mucus in stool
There are a wide range of diseases that can trigger the presence of mucus in stool in a higher quantity, and may be accompanied by several symptoms that, when detected, can give you an exact diagnosis and tell you what it is and how to treat it.
The most common diseases that alter the presence of mucus in the stool can be:
Ulcers may develop when the mucous membrane of the large intestine epithelium becomes inflamed. Along with the ulcers irritations occur in the lining of the intestine, thus increasing the normal production of mucus, which can be detected in your stool.
This disease is one of the most common causes of mucus in the stool, mainly due to the effort involved in each bowel movement. If this is the case, you will also notice other symptoms such as itching and irritation in the anus, difficulty sitting and blood in your stool. Take a look at our article on how to treat hemorrhoids for more information on the subject.
Diverticulitis is a disease that causes a formation that affects the wall of the intestine in the area near the colon, forming bladders or pouches that are called diverticula. The main symptoms of this condition are, apart from the presence of mucus in stool; fever, feeling bloated, diarrhea, nausea, excessive bowel movement and loss of apetite. If this is the case, take a look at what not to eat with diverticulitis so you can improve your condition as soon as possible.
This disease can be caused by the formation of a cyst in this region or as a consequence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). One of the most common symptoms of this condition is the presence of mucus in stool, though you'll also notice an overall change in the color of your stool, nausea, anemia and vomiting too. Take a look at the complete list of symptoms of colon polyps for further information.
This is a chronic disease that has an unknown origin, in which the immune system of the sufferer attacks its own intestine, causing inflammation, one of the symptoms of this disease is the increased presence of mucus in stool. Other signs that will warn you are fever, fatigue, mouth sores, weight loss, abdominal cramps.
This is the most regular reason for the presence of mucus in stool. This situation is a result of several possible factors, one of them may be lack of water consumption, gastric hormone imbalance or constipation. These causes can trigger an increase of mucus that causes its presence in high doses in fecal matter.
Bacteria are naturally found in the intestines to assist digestive processes. But if an imbalance occurs in the quantity of bacteria, an infection can occur, which will result in increased mucus in stool. The most common infections that can be the cause of mucus are Slamonella, Shigella, Campytobacter and Yersinia.
Another cause of mucus in your stool may not have an intestinal reason. An anal fistula is a small wound in the anus area that hasn't healed properly and creates a cavity that is known as anal fistula. Among the most common symptoms, we can find pain when defecating, a hard lump in the anus area, appearance of secretions in underwear, pain when sitting, itching sensation. Take a look at how to treat an anal fistula if this is your case.
Other possible causes of this situation may be intolerance to some foods or malabsorption of some compounds such as fructose or lactose. You will also notice flatulence, diarrhea and abdominal pain too if this is the case.
This is one of the least likely causes of mucus in stool, although it can be possible. In this case, mucus will be accompanied by blood, great weight loss, pain in the rectum, dizziness, fatigue, fast heartbeat, small stools. If you notice these symptoms we advise you to go to a doctor as soon as you can.
Treatments for mucus in the stool
The treatments assigned to ease this symptom will depend largely on the diagnosis and will be recommended by your trusted doctor.
In the presence of mucus in your stool, your doctor may ask for certain tests to determine the exact cause. Your physician will ask for a stool culture, blood test, urine sample, colonoscopy, MRI scan and an electrolytes test.
Depending on the cause, the use of antibiotics, probiotics, dietary changes and nutritional supplements will be prescribed. For some cases and diseases it is necessary to resort to surgery to reduce the presence of mucus in stools. It is always advisable to consult with your doctor as a first preventive measure of treatment.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
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- Make sure you take plenty of fiber, probiotic food such as yogurt or kefir and
- Make sure you take plenty of fiber, probiotic food such as yogurt or kefir and anti-inflammatory foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, fatty fish and red fruit.
- Avoid spicy foods, pre-packed food that is high in sugars and fats to get better in a shorter period of time.