It is common for a normal healthy person to have some amount of mucus in the stool. In this regard, Mucus in the stool is not a problem that you need to be worried in general cases. However, when the quantity of mucus in stool is more, it is not normal and this indicates the presence of some serious health condition. You need to be even more worried if you have bloody mucus in stool and this usually indicates some form of infection of the digestive tract. Several diagnostic tests will be done in this situation to find out the root cause for this condition and proper treatment will be determined after this process. In extreme cases, this can also be the symptom of cancer and you need to visit your doctor to get the tests done as soon as you notice some symptoms in your stool sample.
To begin with, you need to understand that mucus is naturally produced in our body to keep the lining of the intestine and other organs in good working condition. It keeps them lubricated and helps food waste and other substances to pass easily through them. It is even produced in the stomach lining and it is very useful in the everyday functioning of the different organs of the body. However, when they are produced in excess quantity especially in the intestine or the digestive tract, it can indicate some underlying health issue.
Symptoms of Mucus in Stool:
– The most obvious symptom of this condition will be the clear visibility of mucus in the stool sample. In usual cases, it will not be clearly visible. If you can see mucus in stool means that it is in large quantity and needs medical attention.
– You may also experience severe pain in the abdomen when you are suffering from this condition. This usually happens when some parasitic or bacterial infection in the stomach is causing such symptoms in your body.
– It is also common to have drastic changes in bowel movements during this stage. If you notice other symptoms along with this one, you should try to be watchful about them in the future and immediately seek medical assistance to cure the problem.
– You may also notice blood or pus in the stool when the intestinal tract is infected and this also needs immediate treatment.
– Some people also complain about muscle cramping especially in the abdomen region and they may also have bloating sensation in the stomach.
Causes of Mucus in Stool:
– There are many causes for this condition and you need to be aware of the different symptoms that can arise out of underlying conditions.
– You are likely to show symptoms of mucus in stool when you are suffering from respiratory disorders like the common cold or a runny nose. While this will go away within a few days, the symptoms are likely to persist for a longer duration when it is due to bronchitis, asthma or influenza.
– Even gastrointestinal disorders like ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, viral and parasitic infections can cause such symptoms in many individuals. You should also be watchful about symptoms of diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome as they can lead to mucus in stool in many cases.
– People suffering from haemorrhoid are likely to show symptoms of mucus in stool and it will usually be bloody due to bleeding in the anal region. You may even need surgical treatment in this situation to get relief from symptoms.
– If you are having yellow mucus in the stool, it is likely due to intestinal disorders and pancreatic disorders. This reduces the ability of the body to digest fat and it leads to this condition. It can also be due to pancreatic cancer in extreme cases.
– Mucus in the stool can also be due to parasitic or bacterial infection and this damages the inner lining of the intestine and causes bleeding in this area.
– It is also common in infants who are breastfed and this is nothing to worry in most cases as it is usually due to some infection. Even pregnant women also have some symptoms of mucus in stool and this is usually due to bacterial infection.
– In rare cases, even colon cancer can have such symptoms and you need to be watchful about drastic changes in your bowel habits. This needs immediate treatment as it can lead to other complications in the long run.
Diagnosis of Mucus in Stool:
– The first stage of diagnosis begins with the physical examination of the abdomen area. This is done to check for any symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and it may usually have a lump formation in the stomach region.
– You should also provide proper information about the symptoms and note down any drastic changes in your bowel habits in recent days. This information can be crucial in diagnosing the problem.
– Apart from that, your body needs to be checked for different infections and this becomes easy with a simple blood test. The blood will have a large number of amoeba antibodies when there is an infection in the body and this gives a clear indication of the cause of these symptoms in the body.
– Your doctor may even suggest imaging tests as this will help them to identify the inflammation in the digestive tract and other regions of the body. Endoscopy and colonoscopy are usually preferred in this situation.
– The stool sample will be examined in the lab to find the presence of parasites or any bacteria that may be causing these symptoms. This test can give a clear idea about any sort of infection in the intestine and doctors can begin treatment after getting the results of these tests.
Prevention of Mucus in Stool:
– It can be very difficult to prevent this condition when it is arising due to cancer or other chronic diseases. In that case, you need to take measures to prevent the underlying conditions that are triggering the symptoms of mucus in stool in your body.
– However, when the problem is due to any inflammation of the digestive tract or other medication, you can take suitable measures to prevent them. Make sure that you are aware of the side effects of some medication as they can temporarily trigger such symptoms in your body.
– On a regular basis, you can drink enough fluids so that your body will have enough lubrication and it produces mucus in the suitable quantity. This will reduce the chances of inflammation and keep your health in good order.
– You should also eat foods that are easy to digest and you can consult a dietician to know about foods that you can avoid in the future. Some acidic and spicy foods are known to trigger such reactions in many people and you should be careful about eating them in excess quantity.
Treatment for Mucus in Stool:
– The method of treatment used will depend on what is causing these symptoms in your body. If the problem is due to Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, they need regular treatment as they are chronic conditions and this can ease the symptoms to some extent.
– In the same manner, problems with irritable bowel syndrome need to be managed with suitable medication along with making some changes to your lifestyle and eating habits.
– Many people suffering from fissures and piles may also experience such symptoms and you need to get suitable treatment for controlling them in the long run. If medication is not providing good results in this situation, you may have to undergo surgery to treat the condition and this can reduce the mucus in stool problem by a huge margin.
– When the problem is due to cancer, it requires complicated treatment and only then will you see some reduction in symptoms. The problem may continue for a long duration in this situation as there are many other emergency things that need priority treatment in this situation and some side effects of the medication may also cause such symptoms.
– You may also be suggested to make suitable changes to your eating habits and lifestyle as this can give you some relief from such symptoms. You need to avoid foods that are acidic and spicy as they can cause inflammation of the intestine and this can trigger mucus in stool symptoms.
– It is also important to eat foods that are rich in fibre along with the right dose of carbohydrates and fat so that your body can easily digest the food in quick time without putting too much pressure on the digestive tract. You should also make it a point to consume more liquids as this will aid in digestion and ease some symptoms.
– When you neglect the symptoms in the initial stages, it can lead to various complications in the future. Remember that when you start seeing mucus in stool, you should assume that it is in large quantity as normally it is not very obvious. You should also watch out for other symptoms like pain in the abdomen region as this indicates some infection or other major problem.
– The most common complication of this condition is dehydration and this can reduce the amount of water in the body. This often leads to general weakness and you will not be able to work properly when you are affected by this condition. Most people suffering from this condition get tired easily due to dehydration.
– In the same manner, it can lead to electrolyte imbalance due to severe loss of fluids from the body. This usually happens when the condition lasts for a long duration and leads to diarrhoea.
– This condition can usually be the result of some respiratory problems and when proper treatment is not provided at the right time, it can lead to failure of respiratory organs.
– It can even reduce the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream and cause hypoxia condition in the long run. You need to be careful about such complications as they can affect other organs and even cause permanent damage to them in many cases.
Myth #1: It is normal
This condition is not normal when you see them regularly. You should understand that mucus in stool is normally not invisible levels and when you start seeing them clearly, you should know that something is wrong with your body. This can be due to a minor infection that can easily be treated in a few weeks or it can also be the indication of some serious underlying condition. In many cases, even pneumonia and other serious conditions have such symptoms and you should always approach your doctor when you notice such symptoms.
Myth #2: It is not a serious problem
While this is true in a majority of cases, you should never neglect them and always approach your doctor when you see mucus in stool. It can also be the indication of some serious disorder and even some forms of cancer can also have such symptoms. You can only get to know the complete details about the cause after a series of diagnostic tests.
Myth #3: Medication can easily treat this condition
Even though medication can help you in some cases, in a majority of cases, you should also need to make a few changes to your lifestyle and eating habits. If the symptoms are due to excessive consumption of alcohol or smoking, you need to quit them as this can easily cause inflammation in the body. You should also eat fibre-rich food and drink plenty of fluids to keep your body hydrated.
You should never neglect such symptoms and always seek medical help when you see mucus in stool in any colour. In some cases, bloody mucus in the stool can be the result of some serious problems with the intestinal tract and in other cases, even colon cancer can lead to mucus in stool. For this reason, it makes sense to get suitable treatment at the earliest when you have such symptoms for a very long duration. You can wait for a few days to notice any improvement in the condition before you visit your doctor. Getting suitable treatment and eating the right kind of foods can help you to avoid such problems in the future.