Q:

What causes mucus in human stools?

A:

Quick Answer

Causes of mucus in human stool include digestive tract conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive tract cancer, rectal ulcers and bacterial gastrointestinal infections, including Campylobacter infection and Salmonella food poisoning, according to Healthgrades. Other conditions that affect the digestive tract leading to mucus in the stool include lactose intolerance, a condition in which the body is unable to digest lactose; bowel obstruction; anal fissures; colonic volvulus; and parasite infections, including Giardia infection.

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Full Answer

While a little mucus in human stool is essential for lubrication of the intestinal walls to ensure smooth movement of the stool, excessive mucus in the stool may be a sign of an underlying condition that needs treatment, notes Healthgrades. An individual with excessive mucus in stool may also experience other digestive tract symptoms, such as difficulty controlling stools, distended abdomen, blood in the stool and abdominal muscle cramps. Other accompanying symptoms include rectal bleeding, abdominal rigidity and inability to produce urine. It is advisable to seek emergency treatment when these symptoms appear to ensure early diagnosis and treatment of the underlying condition. Early treatment helps to prevent possible complications, such as diarrhea related dehydration, low red blood cell count and cancer spread.

In diagnosing the cause of mucus in stool, a doctor may seek to know certain aspects of the condition, such as when the condition started and other symptoms that accompany the condition, explains Healthgrades. He may also seek to know certain things that worsen or improve the condition.

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