9 reasons why you may see mucus in your poop

Did you just notice mucus in your poop? Read on to learn about these 9 possible causes of mucus in stool and when you should see a doctor to manage it.
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A small amount of mucus in your poop is normal! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 9 Mar 2024, 12:00 pm IST
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Mucus is a viscous, slippery substance produced by the body’s mucous membranes, which serves as a protective layer for various organs, including the digestive tract. It helps lubricate and moisten tissues, helping waste pass smoothly through your colon. But what if it shows in your stool? Have you noticed mucus in your poop? Well, mucus in stool is common because some of it can stick to your poop when it leaves your body. However excessive amounts can indicate gastrointestinal issues. Here are all the causes of mucus in stool.

9 causes of mucus in stool

A little mucus and noticing it once in a while may not be a reason to worry. However, if you find mucus in your poop daily, it could be because of these 9 reasons:

1. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can lead to increased production of mucus in the intestines. “Inflammation in the digestive tract disrupts the normal mucosal lining, causing excessive mucus secretion into the stool. This can also be accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhoea, and rectal bleeding,” says Gastroenterologist Dr Pratik Tibdewal.

2. Infections

Bacterial, viral, or parasitic infections of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract can trigger the production of mucus as the body’s defense mechanism. Infections such as gastroenteritis, caused by pathogens like norovirus, Salmonella, or Campylobacter, can result in mucus in the stool along with symptoms like diarrhoea, nausea, and vomiting.

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A bacterial infection can cause digestive problems! Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

3. Gastroenteritis

“Acute gastroenteritis, commonly known as the stomach flu, can also result in increased mucus production as the body’s defense mechanism against infections. This condition is often accompanied by symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and nausea,” explains Dr Tibdewal.

4. Food intolerances

Certain food intolerances, such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, can lead to inflammation in the intestines, causing excess mucus production. When the body has difficulty digesting certain foods, it may respond by producing more mucus as a protective barrier. Eliminating trigger foods can help alleviate symptoms.

Also read: Blood in stool: Why it happens, when should you worry and what to do

5. Polyps or tumours

“Growths within the GI tract, such as polyps or tumours, can cause changes in mucus production. If you are experiencing mucus in your poop daily, you should consult with your healthcare provider,” suggests Dr Tibdewal.

6. Bowel obstruction

In cases of bowel obstruction, where the normal passage of stool is hindered, mucus may accumulate in the intestines. This can occur due to various factors, including adhesions, tumors, or impacted feces.

Many causes can hamper your digestion! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Proctitis

Proctitis refers to inflammation of the rectal lining, which can manifest as either temporary or chronic. Its hallmark symptom is a frequent and urgent urge to bowel movement. Additionally, individuals with proctitis may notice the discharge of mucus or pus from the rectum, a symptom that may need immediate medical attention.

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8. Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectum or anus that can cause discomfort and bleeding during bowel movements. In addition to bleeding, hemorrhoids can also result in mucus in your poop. The presence of mucus may be a sign of inflammation or irritation in the anal region due to the presence of hemorrhoids.

9. Medications

Certain medications, particularly those that affect the GI tract, may contribute to changes in mucus production. Individuals experiencing persistent mucus in their stool should consult their healthcare provider to assess medication-related effects.

Along with mucus in your stool, if you also notice symptoms such as indigestion, stomach ache, diarrhoea, and loss of appetite, consult with your doctor immediately for timely treatment.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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