What Is Mucus?
Mucus is referred to as a thick liquid or jellylike substance that is produced in some parts of the human body like the throat, mouth, and nose. The presence of mucus in the stool will definitely surface and it’s usually very clear/thin or yellow/white in a healthy individual. The large intestine needs a mucous membrane to lubricate the free passage of stool from your body and not much mucus would be produced in the case of a healthy bowel movement.
Also, mucus in the body is significant as it helps in lubricating and protecting sensitive tissues and organs effectively. The presence of mucus in your body averts against stomach acid and all other harmful substances.
Consequently, health problems that are usually associated with fungi, bacteria, or viruses can be reduced with the aid of mucus. Most at times, an increase in mucus could arise as a result of diet taken, illness, or environmental factors. Irrespective of your neither age nor gender, you can still have a clear view that something is wrong with the mucus in stool.
The symptoms of the following health problems occur when there is an increase of mucus in stool like:
- Ulcerative colitis
- The infection mostly found in the intestines
- Problems involving malabsorption
- Anal fistulas
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Anal fissures
- Parasitic infection
- Colon/rectal cancer (colorectal cancer)
- Cystic fibrosis
How To Know Mucus In The Stool Isn’t Normal
When the mucus in stool is in large amounts then an indication that a problem is at the corner or not necessarily a problem but rather take a close look at the symptoms. Also, an excessive amount of mucus in the stool might be accompanied by other symptoms which may be a sign of severe health problems. Its symptoms are:
- Changes in habits or bowel movements
- Presence of pus or blood in most stools
- Pains around the abdomen, swelling/cramping
- If the above symptom becomes very clear and persists continuously, you have to quickly visit your medical doctor for advice/treatment.
Read Also: Is It Normal To See Mucus In Your Poop?
Causes Of Abnormal Mucus In The Stool
A large amount of mucus in the stool might be a clear indication that you have a gastrointestinal problem in which the intestinal mucus layer is to act as protection of your intestines from harmful microorganisms and other parts of your body from food residue.
A publication by the World Journal of Gastroenterology shows that inflammation makes the mucosal layer to break down leading to the rapid excretion of mucus in stool. This enables disease-causing organisms inside your colon easy route to your entire body which makes you fall ill easily.
Also, an increase of mucus in the stool could be associated with constipation and dehydration. Its symptoms might disappear naturally or with the aid of medication. Common cold can also lead to increased mucus in stool and it mainly affects your respiratory system immensely.
Several other medical conditions lead to increase mucus in stool and they include the following:
Cystic fibrosis: This is a hereditary disorder that is common amongst children which makes digestion of foods and breathing difficulties due to the accumulation of mucus in its airways. Its mucus usually accumulates in your liver, lungs, pancreas, or intestines.
Irritable bowel syndrome: It’s a chronic disorder of the colon that is mainly associated with diarrhea or constipation, cramping pains in the abdomen, and the release of mucus in stool. Note this doesn’t cause inflammation.
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Anal fissures: They are small tears and wears around your anus. It can also be similar to ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease which are all an inflammatory bowel disease.
Parasitic infection: These parasitic infections arise from malaria (caused by mosquitoes bite) and trichomoniasis which is gotten from (STI) sexually transmitted infection.
Colorectal cancer (colon or rectal cancer): This cancer usually begins in your colon or rectum resulting in symptoms like bleeding around the rectum, blood in your stool, and rapid weight loss.
Read Also: Why Is There Blood or Mucus In Baby’s Stool?
Crohn’s disease: It’s mainly an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that attacks your gastrointestinal tract with symptoms like fatigue and excessive diarrhea.
Intestinal infection: Most bacteria like shigellosis and salmonella cause intestinal infection especially when you consume contaminated foods. This can also bring about mucus in the stool when taken for granted.
Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis is a severe medical condition that causes inflammation of your rectum or large intestine. It is one of those inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease you shouldn’t take for granted so as to avert excessive mucus in your stool and enable you to stay healthy.
Malabsorption issues: This occurs when your bowel can’t absorb some important nutrients. Celiac disease and lactose intolerance are the major medical conditions that are similar to malabsorption.
Anal fistulas: This arises when the inflamed tissue that is filled with pus is not treated properly or left untreated. It is a various serious medical condition that brings about mucus in stool and should be handled with great care by your medical doctor.
How Is Mucus In Stool Diagnosed?
Although, diagnosis differs in persons as some may experience rapid diagnosis while others might require continuous tests and examination before a proper diagnosis can be achieved. Effective diagnosis of mucus in the stool should be performed by your medical doctor and a blood test/physical examination will be checked to enable your doctor to have a precise knowledge of the causes of mucus in your stool.
It is also stated that about 30 to 70 percent of people that travel out of the U.S. do contract a form of gut infection according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In a case where the signs are not fully known, your doctor will ask you to do the following tests:
Urinalysis: This simply involves looking at the physical appearance and color of your urine to see if it has too much protein or sugar in it.
Endoscopy test: Endoscopy test involves the examination of the interior hollow organs or cavity of the body with the help of an endoscope. It is suitable for the diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), cancer/tumors, esophageal varices/stricture, and ulcers.
Sweat electrolytes test: This test is mainly used in people with cystic fibrosis (CF) symptoms to determine the amount of sodium and chloride in their sweat.
Stool microscopy, culture and sensitivity tests (MCS): Stool MCS helps detect bacteria that cause infection of the lower digestive tract. It involves the following procedures:
Collect about 2 or 5 grams of feces using a sterile spoon into a sterile universal container. The color and consistency of the feces are checked to know if they are fluid or semi-solid and if they contained mucus, blood, and pus.
You can also view the feces under an electron microscope using normal saline for its microscopy. Feces might be cultured to detect the bacteria that cause the presence of mucus in blood and sensitivity tests will be carried out to know the precise drugs that can help cure the infection.
Use of imaging tests like CT scanning, pelvic MRI scan, and X-ray
Blood test: Blood test involves taking the blood sample of the patients and check for potential pathogens.
Colonoscopy: It is an endoscopic examination of bowels using a CCD camera or fiber optic camera on a flexible tube that is being passed into the anus. This can lead to the death of an individual if not properly being treated.
Treatment Of This Medical Disorder
After your doctor must have carried out an effective diagnosis, optimal treatment will be administered to make you feel whole. Here is the commonest treatment for mucus in stool:
- Adequate consumption of foods with probiotics or supplements like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium.
- Making your diets rich in fat, fiber, and carbohydrates
- Increase your intake of fluids
- Always consume non-spicy foods and low-acid foods to avoid inflammation in your body
- Use of medications and undergoing daily treatments for patients with severe medical health conditions like cystic fibrosis (CF), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
- Observing a healthy lifestyle and desists from smoking/excessive intake of alcohol
- You will be asked to consult an oncologist if your conditions lead to cancer for optimal treatment.
Complications Of Patients With Mucus In Stool
Complications of patients with mucus in stool depend on the main things that cause it.
When To See A Doctor
You can see your doctor where there is a large amount of mucus in your stool as that is one of its major signs. Also, it’s common for a person to excrete a certain amount of mucus in stool.
Even after taking some antibiotics and the mucus in your stool didn’t return back to normal within a month, you have to quickly visit the medical doctor to help you out.
It is also advisable for you to keep records of how long the symptoms have been surfacing when you start experiencing a large amount of mucus in stool, and other gastrointestinal health problems. This will definitely help your doctor to have a clear view of what might be leading to the changes in your body and prescribed the best treatment for you.
What Is The Outlook For Mucus In The Stool?
The ability for you to maintain a normal mucus production and a healthy mucosal lining in your body depends on the disease-causing organisms in your intestine. Apparently, the mucus in stool can change from time to time but keeping a close tab to it and report any persisting symptoms to your medical doctor for an effective treatment.
You can also improve your colon health by consuming foods that are rich in probiotics/prebiotics, vegetables, eating good fruits, and drinking water to stay hydrated.
We have looked at the various signs and causes of mucus in stool and care should be taken to curb it. Also, food allergies like lactose and nuts can cause mucus in stool immensely and you might discover symptoms like rashes, bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. When these symptoms persist, you can go for a medical check-up to enable stay healthy.