What Causes Mucus in Your Stool?
Mucus in stools is normal, but usually, you cannot see it. When you have a buildup that there is enough that it becomes visible, this may be the sign of a more serious issue.
Mucus in poop may be considered a common symptom of some digestive conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
It is important to understand the reasons why you are seeing mucus in stool.
What Causes Mucus in Your Stools?
What causes mucus in stool?
There are a variety of reasons that you may be experiencing visible mucus in poop. Mucus is produced by the mucus membrane of the large intestine.
Inside of your intestines, mucus protects the inner lining and helps ease the passage of stool. If the mucus layer is shedding too much it could make the colon more susceptible to bacteria.
Below is a list of possible causes for mucus in stool.
1. Ulcerative Colitis
With ulcerative colitis the mucus membrane of the large intestine becomes inflamed. It also develops small sores that are called ulcers.
These ulcers bleed and may also produce mucus. If the mucus becomes too much, it will be passed along with stool.
2. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This cause of mucus in stool is not fully understood yet as it has not been studied very often. Men who have IBS tend to have mucus in stool more commonly than women with IBS.
Mucus is often associated with diarrhea-predominant IBS than with constipation-predominant IBS or alternating type IBS. Currently, it is thought that mucus in stools with IBS is not a serious issue.
3. Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s is far less likely to produce increased amounts of mucus in stool. Increased mucus could be due to another issue like an anal fissure that may require a medical consultation.
4. Anal Abscess or Fistula
An abscess is an infection that creates an area filled with pus inside the body. It’s a problem that tends to occur more often in people with Crohn’s disease, and particularly in the perianal area.
An abscess will get large enough to form a tunnel between two organs or between the skin and organ, which is a fistula. The abscess or fistula may drain mucus in stool.
Some people who have had ostomy surgery may find that they pass mucus in stool.
Even though the stool is leaving the body through the stoma, and not through the rectum and the anus. There could be mucus, which will need to be passed by sitting on the toilet.
6. Bacterial Infection
Infections due to viruses, bacterial infections, and parasites can cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, as well as excess mucus production.
Viral causes can be the astrovirus, norovirus, and rotaviruses. In the case of bacterial infection, these can include Helicobacter pylori, E. coli, and salmonella.
7. Bowel Obstruction
A bowel obstruction is associated with symptoms of constipation, cramps, and vomiting.
This can be caused by many different reasons. Obstructions are typically a more severe issue and require medical attention.
8. Cystic Fibrosis
This is a genetic disorder that can cause an overproduction of mucus in the body.
This life-threatening condition most often affects the lungs, but also the digestive tract. It can cause you to experience pooping mucus.
9. Other Causes
For some people, mucus in stool may be something that happens once.
Usually, you should not be very concerned about this, but occasionally it can be the sign of a more serious condition. Mucus can be associated with constipation and dehydration.
Symptoms Associated with Mucus in Stool Problem
Depending on the severity of your condition, there are many different symptoms that you can experience. There are some that almost everyone will experience pooping mucus.
The mucousy stool is not something that should cause serious concern. The symptoms may cause you some discomfort in your daily life.
- Abdominal pain or cramping
- Abdominal swelling
- Abnormally foul-smelling stools
- Bloody stool
- Changes in stool color or consistency
- Fecal incontinence
Possible Complications of Mucus in Stool
Knowing what causes mucus in stool is the first part of knowing what can happen next. White mucus in stool can be the sign of a more serious condition.
So, if your underlying problem is not diagnosed, a number of complications can occur. Below is a list of different complications with mucus in stool.
- Bowel obstruction
- Spread of cancer
- Spread of infection
- Surgery to remove parts of the digestive tract
Mucus in Stool Treatment Options
Having increased amounts of mucus in stool is a very broad symptom. Speaking with a medical professional will provide you with the most accurate diagnosis.
After doing this you will be able to better seek out mucus in stool treatment options. Some things you can do to begin this process at home are available. the first thing is increasing your fluid intake.
Becoming more hydrated will allow your body to pass stool more smoothly without the use of mucus.
Eat foods rich in probiotics or supplements that contain probiotics, such as Bifidobacterium or Lactobacillus. Things like Greek yogurt will have these in them.
This will help produce a healthier gut and allow for the digestive tract to work more efficiently. Consume anti-inflammatory foods, such as low-acid and nonspicy foods. These will help with ulcers and high-acid foods irritate them and cause more problems.
Get a healthy balance of fiber, carbohydrates, and fat in your diet. This will allow your digestive tract to function stronger and process the food you eat at a normal pace. You can also begin an anti-mucus diet. This means avoiding foods that you are allergic to.
Foods which contain or produce histamines like fish, eggplant, tomatoes, pineapple, and fermented foods.
Foods that will help decrease mucus by eating are nuts, seeds, celery, watercress, and vegetables. Combining all of these will help you reduce the amount of white mucus in stool. Your doctor can also provide you with good mucus in stool treatments.
When to See a Doctor
Mucousy stool is generally something that you shouldn’t need to worry about too much. But, occasionally it can be the sign of a more serious issue.
If there is an increase in mucus in stool, accompanied by symptoms of dehydration, fever or blood in the stool, you should seek a doctor.
If ignored this can cause more serious issues down the road. With proper medical treatment, the inflammation can be reduced. It will also cause a decrease in mucus production.