What Does Mucus Stool Mean?
Mucus stool is a condition wherein significant amounts of mucus are present in the stool. There is actually mucus present in the stool but these are in very small amounts. In this condition, you can readily see mucus which is clear, whitish or yellow in color. There are several reasons for this condition and mostly this is because of conditions that irritate and inflame the bowels or the large intestine.
Mucus that is present in stool is actually produced in the intestine; this jelly-like substance is what lines the intestines to help pass stools easily. Over production of this mucus could mean that there is a medical condition present in the gut which requires immediate medical treatment. The most common conditions wherein mucus is present in the stool are the following:
Ulcerative colitis – this is an inflammatory condition that affects the large intestine. The colon is inflamed and sores or ulcers develop along the walls of the intestine. The ulcers produce mucus, pus and may even bleed. People who suffer from this condition need medical treatment right away.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – this is another gastrointestinal condition wherein there is increased mucus production along the lining of the large intestine. This could be accompanied by diarrhea in the case of diarrhea-predominant IBS as well as alternating type of IBS (meaning alternating diarrhea and constipation). People with irritable bowel syndrome needs diet changes and lifestyle changes along with taking medication to control diarrhea.
Bacterial infections of the gastrointestinal system – there are a variety of bacteria that may cause infection and irritation of the lining of the intestines. Infections caused by Campylobacter, Salmonella, Yersina and Shigella may significantly increase mucus production in the intestines. Patients also develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Mild bacterial infections usually resolve even without taking any medical treatment however, severe infections may need antibiotic treatment.
Obstruction in the bowels – obstruction as a result of impacted stool, scar tissues in the intestines, gallstones, hernia, tumors and other physical obstruction will often lead to the development of constipation, cramping, abdominal distention and the development of mucus. This is actually a normal response of the body towards irritation and impaction. Patients who suffer from obstruction in the bowels need immediate medical attention and in severe cases may need immediate surgery to get rid of the impaction and return the intestine to its natural function.
In all of these cases, mucus production will never cease unless the underlying causes are completely treated. Patients are thus encouraged to seek medical consult at once when mucus stool is seen.
Your doctor will first assess your condition through a complete physical examination as well as the use of different diagnostic examinations. A health history is also taken to be able to gauge the severity of your condition especially when you have been expelling mucus in stool for days or weeks. Aside from taking medications, a patient will usually undergo diet modification and make changes in his lifestyle along with taking medications for his condition.
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