It is normal to have white mucus in stool as it is essentially present in the digestive tract. Basically, it plays a pivotal role in defending against bacteria. Even though small amounts of mucus are expected, a significantly more considerable amount can be detrimental.
The most common reason behind the considerably larger amount of mucus in the stool might be irritable bowel disease (IBD). Sometimes this can occur due to other stringent medical conditions as well. No wonder mucus works as a natural lubricant that helps stool pass seamlessly.
Sometimes, issues with the mucus barrier might possibly result in intestinal inflammation. Besides, it can significantly contribute to the development of IBD, thereby resulting in mucus in stool.
Today, this article will give you valuable insights regarding whether it is normal for white mucus in stool to appear. Further, you will get to learn about the possible causes of the same. Let’s get rolling.
Mucus in Stool – Is it Normal?
The large intestine consists of a mucous membrane that efficiently helps in passing the stool. Studies suggest that it is normal to have small amounts of mucus in the stool. Remember that a typical bowel movement will never produce excessive mucus.
Since mucus has a tawny or clear texture, it is evident that you will not notice it. But when mucus is clearly visible, it is a clear sign of other significant health conditions. Some of them include Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or Crohn’s disease.
Other visible signs you need to look out for are:
- A considerable amount of pus or blood in the stool
- A significantly increased amount of mucus present in stool
- Frequent changes in stool consistency, frequency and colour
- Severe cramping, stomach pain, or even bloating
If you ever notice abnormally large amounts of mucus in stool, seek medical attention at the earliest.
What Causes Mucus in Stool
Here is a comprehensive listing of all the possible causes of mucus in stool:
Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
This condition usually occurs because of an overactive reaction of the immune system. It can be either active, flare up or become inactive at times.
And while it is flared up, the mucous membrane within the large intestine becomes inflamed. Thus it effectively results in developing ulcers which can cause bleeding and produce mucus and pus.
Some other symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:
- Blood spotting in stool
- Loose, frequent, and urgent bowel movements
- Persistent diarrhoea
- Severe abdominal pain and cramps
This is a long-term condition which causes inflammation in your digestive tract. Patients diagnosed with Crohn’s disease are likely to have a thicker mucus within their digestive tract. So while passing stool, their body is expected to secrete excessive mucus.
On the other hand, during extensive flare-ups, their body is likely to produce less mucus. Thus it results in significantly lesser mucus in stool.
Some of the other symptoms of Crohn’s disease are:
- Rectal bleeding
- Persistent diarrhoea
- Frequent bowel movement
Sometimes the lining of the rectum might experience inflammation for a short period. And this results in a frequent and urgent need for a bowel movement. Patients might also notice discharge of pus or mucus from the rectum. Since this is a severe issue, you must immediately report it to your healthcare provider.
Some symptoms of proctitis are:
- Rectal pain
- Abdominal cramping
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Patients diagnosed with IBS are likely to notice white mucus in stool. Other common symptoms of IBS include significant changes in bowel movement, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and constipation.
Compared to patients with constipation-predominant IBS, diarrhoea-predominant IBS patients are more likely to have mucus in their stool. Sometimes, they might also experience bloating and have a sensation of incomplete bowel movement.
This condition refers to cancer of the rectum or colon. Colon cancer effectively begins within the mucosa, which contains mucus-producing cells known as goblet cells. Patients diagnosed with colon cancer will likely notice mucus streaked with blood in their stool.
Some other possible symptoms are:
- Right red blood in the stool
- Excessive and unnatural weight loss
- Significant changes in bowel movement, etc.
The gastrointestinal tract might be infected, resulting in mucus in stool. Infections can occur because of stringent viruses, bacteria, or parasites. Sometimes parasitic infections might also result in bloody diarrhoea with mucus.
Other symptoms include:
- Severe cramping
You must know that having small amounts of mucus in stool is normal. But if you notice excessive mucus and other significant bowel movement changes, you should seek medical attention. Get in touch with the experts of Apollo Hospitals today and step into better and healthy living.