Mucus In Stool

Finding a small amount of mucus in stool is not necessarily abnormal; a certain amount of mucus substances is normally formed in intestines. Abnormal is occurrence of large amount of mucus, especially if accompanied by diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, or blood in stool.

Causes

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

This functional bowel disease has many manifestations like abdominal cramps, diarrhea and flatulence. Intestinal mucosa may produce more mucus that is then found in stool. There should be, however, no other warning signs such as blood in stool, weight loss, fever, etc.

Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids may bleed; irritation of their tissue also causes mucus overproduction. Mucus in stool is therefore quite typical symptom of hemorrhoids. Similar problem may occur with anal fissure that often accompanies hemorrhoid presence.

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

These inflammatory bowel diseases cause irritation of intestinal mucous membranes, mucus often appears in stool and so does blood. Abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss and many other complications occur as well. The diseases are incurable (to be precise, ulcerative colitis may be cured by complete colectomy), the aim is to calm them down and prevent recurrence of their attacks.

Infectious intestinal diseases

Many infections affecting intestinal mucosa may lead to discovery of mucus in stool; usually it is true by bacterial infections like dysentery, Campylobacter and Salmonella infection.

Colon cancer

Colorectal tumor may also be associated with an increased secretion of mucus into intestinal cavity. It is particularly warning sing when there in addition blood in stool, diarrhea alternating with constipation and unintentional weight loss.

Diagnostic approach

Medical history and physical examination concentrated on abdomen shall be the first. It is necessary to inquire the exact nature of the difficulties and presence of warning signs that could distinguish irritable bowel syndrome from serious diseases (see above). Stool examination is important, including ruling out bacterial presence. Without clear outcome and persisting problem, it is advisable to perform a colonoscopy.