Mucus in the stool

Mucus in the stool often indicates inflammation of the intestine (inflammation of the colon).
In addition, the following may occur:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea

The mucus is one:

  • Transparent
  • white or whitish,
  • yellow or yellowish substance.

It does not have a brown or brownish appearance like the normal stool.
The consistency is gelatinous and is produced by the mucous membrane of the large intestine.

Mucus is also produced by other organs of the body (for example, the lungs), where it helps trap previously inhaled particles.
In the intestine:

  • the mucus protects the inner walls,
  • promotes the passage of stool.

The loss of mucus in the stool is not a cause for concern, but it could be the sign of illness.

The mucus:

  • lubricates the inner walls of the organ,
  • allows the stool material to pass through the intestine without problems.

A small amount of mucus in the stool is normal.
However, a large amount of mucus may indicate intestinal disease if in addition:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach ache
  • Blood in the stool.

In case of unusual mucus in the stool, a thorough medical examination should be done to determine the underlying causes.
Some types of colon cancer cause more mucus than average. However, finding mucus in the stool does not automatically mean that a person has a special type of cancer, such as a tumor on the colon or rectum.


What are the causes of mucus in the stool?

An abnormal amount of mucus in the stool can be caused by various conditions, such as:

  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • intestinal obstruction,
  • malignant tumor.

Mucus in the stool can be provoked by diseases of the digestive tract, which include:

Intestinal infection
A bacterial gastrointestinal infection can mean:

  • food poisoning caused by salmonella,
  • infection caused by Campylobacter,
  • Traveler’s diarrhea.

Usually, in such cases, the doctor prescribes antibiotics and lactic acid bacteria, even if the patient is still a child.

Bacterial dysentery Dysentery (dysentery
) is a bacterial infection that leads to mucus production.
Possible symptoms include:

  • pus in the stool,
  • red-colored stool (blood in the stool),
  • severe abdominal pain,
  • unintentional weight loss.

These are serious symptoms of an infection that can be fatal if not treated promptly.

Viral gastroenteritis
A viral infection of the gastrointestinal tract can provoke:

  • Nausea
  • Vomit
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Abdominal cramps

Infections caused by intestinal parasites Infections
caused by intestinal parasites such as Giardia lamblia:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Malabsorption
  • Intestinal obstruction (in the more severe cases)

Worms Some types of worms in the intestine, for example, oxyuren, cause severe itching, especially at night.

Ulcerative colitis
In ulcerative colitis:

  • the mucous membrane of the large intestine (colon) becomes inflamed,
  • develop small lesions, so-called ulcers

These ulcers bleed and can prevent the formation of:

  • Pus
  • provoke mucus.

The mucus can be very voluminous and you can see it coming out together with the stool.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
In irritable bowel syndrome, the production of mucus in the intestine may increase, which is then excreted along with the stool.
The mucus can occur with:

  • diarrhea-predominant IBS (diarrhoea),
  • less often if the patient suffers from constipation-predominant IBS (constipation) or IBS with changing bowel habits.

Mucus discharge in the stool of adults is possible, but occurs rarely in people suffering from Crohn’s disease.
If thread-like mucus is found in the stool of a person suffering from Crohn’s disease, this could also be related to the formation of rhagades.

Rectal abscess
A perianal abscess causes various symptoms such as:

  • Fever
  • Reddening
  • Complaints
  • Pain in the area.

Sometimes a pus-like liquid can also come from the abscess opening or occur when cleaning after bowel movements.
This is different from the thread-like mucus in the stool, because in fact, pus and other fluids accumulate in the abscess due to an infection. If the abscess becomes chronic, an fistula (abnormal opening or connecting channel between the canal and the skin around the anus) may form.

External hemorrhoids
When hemorrhoids leak out of the anus, they can form mucus that can be found on the chair and toilet paper.

Other causes

  1. rhagades (skin lesions)
  2. Tumor of the digestive system
  3. Allergies and food intolerances
    • Celiac disease (intolerance to gluten, which is found in wheat and other grains and causes intestinal damage)
    • Food allergy (allergic reaction to certain foods)
    • Lactose intolerance (inability to digest the lactose (milk sugar) found in dairy products)
  4. Diverticulitis (inflammation of an abnormal protrusion in the colon)
  5. Rectal ulcer
  6. Some drugs, for example antibiotics for the eradication therapy of Helicobacter pylori
  7. Endometriosis, especially during menstrual bleeding

Mucus in the stool of infants
As a rule, mucus in the stool of infants indicates infection. The most common is gastroenteritis, in which the infant also suffers from diarrhea.

When to worry? Severe or fatal causes of mucus in the stool

In some cases, mucus in the stool may be the symptom of a serious or dangerous condition that needs to be clarified immediately.
These include:

An intestinal obstruction, in addition to the excretion of mucus, causes constipation, severe abdominal cramps and vomiting.
An intestinal obstruction can be caused by one of the many diseases that lead to hard stools:

  1. Adhesions (scar tissue)
  2. Inguinal hernia or abdominal hernia
  3. Gall stones
  4. Tumour
  5. Swallowing an indigestible object

A closure is usually treated in hospital. Sometimes surgical intervention is required to remove stool material.

Intussusception (intussusception)
of the intestine is a disease in which one section of the intestine is invagiated into another.
Intussusception is more common in children up to the first year of life.
Symptoms of intussusception include:

  • Abdominal cramps
  • Blood and pus in the stool
  • Vomit
  • Abdominal swelling

If the intussusception is not treated, it can be the cause of:

  • decreased blood supply to the intestine
  • Intestinal necrosis
  • peritonitis
  • hypovolemic shock

Volvulus (twisting of the intestine)
Volvolus means the rotation of the intestine around itself, which can reduce blood flow and lead to occlusion and necrosis of the tissue.

Possible accompanying symptoms of mucus in the stool

The other symptoms vary depending on the underlying condition or disorder.
Symptoms that often affect the digestive system can also involve other organs of the body.

Symptoms of the digestive tract, which can occur together with mucus in the stool:

  • Abdominal pain or abdominal cramps, for example in dysentery (dysentery), irritable bowel, diverticulitis, endometriosis and intestinal obstruction.
  • Abdominal swelling or air in the abdomen, in the case of celiac disease or irritable bowel.
  • Especially bad stool odor, especially with infections.
  • Blood in the stool (the blood may be red, black or tar-colored).
  • Changed color or consistency of the stool.
  • Loose stools, especially in case of intestinal infections.
  • Fecal incontinence (inability to control bowel movements).
  • Meteorism and flatulence, for example irritable bowel.
  • Nausea with and without vomiting.
  • Pain during bowel movements, hemorrhoids or rhagades.
  • Sudden urge to defecate, possible causes are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Other symptoms that may be observed include:

  • Fever
  • General malaise
  • Hives (urticaria)

Color of the chair
In addition to the mucus, one can also observe an abnormal color of the stool. For example, if it is orange, the cause may be the consumption of foods that contain a lot of beta-carotene:

  • Carrots
  • Yams
  • Apricots
  • Pumpkin
  • Melon
  • Mango.

Treatment for mucus in the stool

Therapy depends on the disease that leads to mucus formation. The following may be required:

  • Medication
  • an operation,
  • often a healthy diet is sufficient for healing.

Before taking medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding, you should talk to your doctor.

Natural remedies for mucus in the stool

Natural treatment options for mucus in the stool include:

Psyllium seeds work:

  • probiotic: they help to rebalance the intestinal flora;
  • antiinflammatory;
  • laxative in constipation, because they soften the stool and increase the volume of fecal mass, which stimulates peristalsis;
  • against diarrhea because they absorb the fluid in the intestine.

They are particularly helpful for:

  • Colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome

It is recommended to incorporate 5-7 g of psyllium into the daily diet. After eating the seeds, it is necessary to drink at least one glass of water.

In addition, stress reduction can be helpful.

Diet and nutrition for mucus in the stool

A healthy, high-fiber diet can positively support the functioning of the digestive system.
Too much coffee, caffeine and tea should be avoided; in this way, one can reduce the mucus in the stool, as caffeine can cause digestive discomfort.

Can a change in diet prevent mucus in the stool?
In order to prevent mucus in the stool and prevent relapses, a healthy diet is recommended.
To improve gut health, it is necessary to add high-fiber foods to the diet, such as:

  • fruit and vegetables,
  • Bran
  • Beans
  • Raspberries.

Avoid spicy and transformed foods.
In this way, the overall health of digestion is improved.

A fasting cure of 2-3 days is extremely effective for the following reasons:

  1. The body can focus on fighting infection and inflammation because it doesn’t have to expend energy on digestion.
  2. It promotes the healing of wounds and ulcers.
  3. It has a detoxifying effect because the liver can now process the toxins of the body and does not have to metabolize the nutrients from the intestine.

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