Most times, mucus is clear and thin. However, illness, diet, or environmental factors can sometimes increase mucus consistency. Mucus can even change in color.
People most commonly experience increased mucus when a sinus infection is present. They may notice when the mucus in a tissue after blowing their nose is a greenish color.
What happens when important mucus changes aren’t so obvious? Men and women at any age can spot signs that something is wrong based on the content of their stool as well.
Why is there mucus in my stool?
The mucous membrane of the large intestine helps stool to pass. A “normal” bowel movement will not produce much mucus. Yellow or clear mucus is present in such little amounts that the naked eye would not notice it.
When stool has visible mucus, it can be a sign of bacterial infections, anal fissures, a bowel obstruction, or Crohn’s disease. This type of warning sign is the body’s way of saying stop, look, and listen.
Other signs to look for:
- Increased amounts of mucus
- Blood or pus in the stool
- Stomach pain, cramping, or bloating
- Sudden changes in stool frequency, consistency, or color
If the problem is obvious or persists, the next step is a call to the doctor.
Causes of mucus in stool
Dehydration and constipation can cause mucus from the colon to leave the body. This gives the stool the appearance of increased mucus.
Increased mucus can also be a sign of illness, especially if inflammation occurs and the mucous membrane breaks down. This leaves the body more open to infection.
Here are some other causes of mucus in stool.
More common than other issues, bacterial infections are usually caused by bacteria such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, Shigella, and Yersinia. These bacteria are often the cause of food poisoning and other infections. Signs include:
Some cases can be quite serious, and medication from a doctor is recommended. Other cases can be treated at home and must run their course.