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Mucus in Stool


Updated June 21, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Mucus in stool often indicates there is inflammation or irritation of the intestinal wall. Mucus in stool can occur with either constipation or diarrhea. It's usually whitish in color.

According to alternative practitioners, the mucus in stool can be caused by bacterial overgrowth and food allergies and sensitivities which may be addressed with dietary changes and supplements. With bacterial overgrowth, bloating and gas are usually worse after eating any sugar, whether it's white sugar, bread, pasta, rye, rice, or milk (which contains the sugar lactose). In contrast, people with food allergies and sensitivities react to specific foods.

Other causes of mucus in stool are:

Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and celiac disease may be often accompanied by diarrhea. Rectal bleeding can also occur with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

If there is no underlying disorder present, mucus in stool, abdominal bloating, and constipation may often helped by increasing water intake and taking herbal or food demulcents, substances that form a soothing film which soothes the intestinal lining.

Demulcent herbs include slippery elm and marshmallow. A demulcent tea can also be made by adding one cup of hot water to one teaspoon ground flaxseeds or chia seeds and soaking overnight.

If the tongue has a thick coating with teethmarks on the sides, greasy foods, dairy products, and wheat may be contributing to the mucus in stool, according to traditional Chinese medicine. Avoiding these foods is often recommended, at least until the condition improves.

According to Ayurveda, the traditional medical system in India, mucus in the stool may indicate a Kapha imbalance due to excess Kapha. Stool often sticks to the toilet bowl due to excess fluid and incomplete intestinal absorption or it is difficult to wipe clean. Typically, exercise is recommended to correct the Kapha balance. Meals should be regular with no snacking. The Ayurvedic herbs triphala or amalaki may also be recommended.  

Excess consumption of spicy foods, coffee, highly processed foods should be avoided. 

MORE: Take the Ayurvedic type quiz here.

Bacterial or parasitic infections can also cause mucus in stool. They are often accompanied by a sudden onset of diarrhea, lower abdominal cramping, urgency and possibly blood in the stools.

SEE ALSO: Loose Stool | Floating Stool | Green Stool | Dark or Bright Red Stool | Pellet-Shaped Stool | More Poop Colors Explained

Address any change or abnormality in bowel movement with your physician, as it can be a sign of a medical condition.
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