What does it mean to have mucus in your stool? Most people wonder if this is something they should be concerned about or if it is a normal bodily function.
Mucus is a clear, white, or yellow substance with a jelly consistency. It is produced by the mucous membrane of the large intestine to protect the inner lining, and helps ease along the passage of stool.
A small amount of mucus in your stool is usually nothing to be concerned about. It is typically present in a healthy stool, and is normally only in very small amounts that mostly go unseen with the naked eye.
Most stools naturally contain a small amount of mucus, because it is present in your intestines to keep the lining of your colon moist and lubricated. Mucus in your stool can occur with a variety of intestinal infections that can cause severe diarrhea. A bacterial infection may also cause symptoms of diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The infection may go away on its own, or you may need a prescription of antibiotics.
If you do notice an increased amount of mucus in your stool, you may want to speak to your doctor who can rule out more serious conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcers, and cancer.
In Crohn’s disease, a stool with mucus could indicate that an anal fissure may be developing. In Ulcerative Colitus, the mucous membrane of the large intestine becomes inflamed and develops ulcers or small sores. These ulcers may bleed, and produce pus and mucus.
You may want to seek professional advice if you see the mucus happening on a regular basis or if bleeding accompanies the mucus. Some other things, to watch for, are a change in bowel habits, and if the mucus joins with other digestive symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea.
A bowel obstruction results from many conditions such as impacted stool, a hernia, gallstones, a tumor, or swallowing a foreign object. Obstructions can be serious enough that they must be treated in the hospital, and in some cases, surgery is performed to remove the blockage.
Passing mucus in the stool is not harmful in and of itself, but it could be a sign of a disease or condition that may require treatment. It is always best to consult your doctor if you have any issues concerning mucus production in your body.