While discovering mucus in your stool can be disconcerting, some mucus in the stool is normal. Mucus has a jelly-like quality and can be either white or yellowish in color. Its function is to coat and protect our intestinal tract, lungs, sinuses, and throat. This viscous compound coats the lining of the intestines and colon, serving as lubrication against bowel inflammation and stomach acids.
Why Is There White Stuff in My Poop?
The function of mucus in the digestion system is to help food go through our esophagus, and over our mucus membranes. Despite the fact that mucus is something that the human body naturally produces, when an excess of mucus is discovered in the stool, it can show an underlying health condition or disease. Disease causes inflammation, which then causes the body to produce excess mucus as a method to recover itself.
So, what is a normal versus an unusual amount of mucus? An abnormal amount of mucus, is when a large quantity of mucus exists, or there is a modification in color, consisting of blood or pus in the poop. This excess white mucus might likewise be accompanied by other discomforts, such as fever, bloating, abdominal cramping, rectal bleeding, and an increase or reduce in defecation. These symptoms might be indicative of a more particular condition, as noted below.
1) Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (more frequently referred to as IBS) is a relatively common condition – present in 25 to 55 million Americans from the teenage years to early 40s, predominantly in females – that affects the big intestine, or colon, and can cause excess mucus. The causes are not totally understood, but symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, and alternate in between constipation and diarrhea. While there is no cure for IBS, symptoms can be treated with medications for each particular symptom.
2) Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
This is a more severe condition than irritable bowel syndrome, though it has many of the exact same symptoms, consisting of triggering an excess of white or pale mucus in the gastrointestinal tract. There are several types of inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. A weakened body immune system and chronic inflammation are present in both of these conditions. Crohn’s Disease causes the body’s immune functions to enter into overdrive, thinking it is continuously under attack, triggering excess inflammation. Ulcerative Colitis is a condition of the lower intestine and anus, where open sores, called ulcers, are present. Surgery might be needed for these conditions to heal, but medication to treat symptoms may suffice.
3) Bowel Obstructions
There might be something blocking the bowels from functioning effectively, causing excess inflammation and mucus. This can be brought on by constipation from food allergies, dehydration, or a kink in the bowels. Treatment most often needs improving hydration, enabling the bowels to work correctly, resolving the food allergy, or, in the case of an anatomical obstruction, surgery might be needed.
Infections due to viruses, bacterial infections, and parasites can cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, along with excess mucus production. Viral causes can be the astrovirus, norovirus and rotaviruses. In the case of bacterial infection, these can consist of helicobacter pylori, E. coli and salmonella. These are caused by being exposed to contamination in raw meat or produce. Shigellosis is triggered by bacteria that establishes in the intestinal lining due to food and water contamination and overcrowded home. It causes diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, and can cause dehydration. It can disappear by itself within a couple of days, but antibiotics might be administered to supply relief.
Proctitis is an inflammation of the lining of the rectum. The rectum lies at the end of the colon, and is the point where the stool is lost consciousness of the body. This inflammation can be caused by sexual transmitted illness, radiation therapy, inflammatory bowel disease, and infections transmitted through food borne pathogens. It causes rectal bleeding, swelling, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and a consistent urge for bowel movements. This is generally treatable with a course of antibiotics, unless it is chronic and triggered by inflammatory bowel disease, where case surgery may be needed to ease symptoms.
When to See Your Doctor
If there is an increase in mucus in the poop, accompanied by symptoms of dehydration, fever, or blood in the stool, medical attention must be looked for instantly. With appropriate medical treatment, the inflammation can be decreased, triggering a decline in mucus production and symptoms.