Although natural, mucus in stool with blood may be invisible to the unaided eye. If it is, you might see stringy clear, white, or yellow goop in the bathroom or cling to your stool, which could indicate a health problem that needs to be treated.
Also, whether you find blood in your stool when wiping away after a bowel movement or as the result of a test your doctor ordered, finding blood in your stool might be terrifying.
Blood in the stool can indicate a significant issue, although it doesn’t necessarily. The presence of blood in your stool indicates that your digestive tract is bleeding.
Sometimes the amount of blood is so little that a stool test is the only way to find it.
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The leading causes of mucus in stool with blood are discussed in this article. It also clarifies when to see a doctor and how a medical professional would determine the problem and possible treatments.
Causes of mucus in stool with blood
Here are some potential reasons that may cause the presence of mucus in stool with blood;
1. Crohn’s disease
Crohn’s disease is a long-term digestive tract inflammation that extends from the mouth to the anus.
The digestive tract’s layer of mucus is thicker in Crohn’s patients, making the body secretes too much mucus in the stool. However, the body creates less mucus during acute flare-ups, which can result in less mucus in the stool.
Other Crohn’s disease symptoms include:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdomen ache
- Urgent need to go to the bathroom
- The sensation of a delayed bowel evacuation
Proctitis is an inflammation of the rectum’s lining that can linger for a short or very long time. The most typical symptom is a constant and pressing need to go to the bathroom.
Having mucus or pus discharge from the rectum is another sign of proctitis, which should be reported immediately to a doctor.
Additional signs include:
- 1. The sensation of being full in the rectum
- 2. Back pain
- 3. Cramps in the stomach
- 4. Gastrointestinal discomfort
- 5. Rectal bleeding
- 6. Diarrhea
- 7. Constipation
- 8. Swelling of the groin lymph nodes
3. Anal Abscess or Fistula
Anal Abscess or Fistula is an infection that results in a pus-filled pocket inside the body. People with Crohn’s disease experience it more frequently, especially in the perianal region.
An abscess can grow big enough to create a tunnel between two organs or between the skin and an organ in around 50% of cases resulting in mucus leaking into the stool from the abscess or the fistula.
The abscess may occasionally require surgical drainage.
4. Intestinal infection
Mucus in stool with blood can also be a sign of an infection in the Gastrointestinal tract.
A bacterium, virus, or parasite can cause an infection. Some parasite infections can cause bloody diarrhea and mucus.
Additional signs include:
- 1. Vomiting
- 2. Nausea
- 3. Diarrhea
- 4. Cramping
- 5. Fever
Those who have ostomy surgery (ileostomy or colostomy) may occasionally release mucus from the rectum.
Stool exits the body through the stoma in an ostomy rather than the rectum and anus, but the rectum still produces fluid. Mucus that accumulates can be uncomfortable and pressurizing.
6. Cystic Fibrosis
An inherited disease called Cystic Fibrosis makes the body produce excessive mucus. The mucus typically influences the lungs but can also impact the digestive system.
Cystic Fibrosis affects all ages; a young child can also be diagnosed with this chronic illness. Constipation and stomach pain are symptoms of cysticFibrosis.
Angiodysplasia is a condition caused by a disorder in which blood vessels are brittle and malformed. Thus, leading to mucus in stool with blood.
8. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Patients with Irritable bowel syndrome may notice whitish mucus in their stool.
Symptoms like Constipation, diarrhea, Bloating and the impression that a person hasn’t finished their bowel movement, and other changes in bowel habits are frequently experienced.
People with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, characterized primarily by diarrhea, are more likely to notice mucus in stool with blood than those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which Constipation primarily characterizes.
9. Peptic ulcers
A peptic ulcer is known as an open sore that grows on the stomach or duodenum, the small intestine’s top portion. Helicobacter pylori infection is the primary cause of many peptic ulcers (H. pylori).
Additionally, ulcers can be brought on by long-term use or high doses of anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen which can result in the presence of mucus in stool with blood stains.
10. Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
Ulcerative colitis happens as a result of the immune system’s overreaction. It can occasionally flare up or be active while being inactive at other times.
The large intestine’s mucous membrane becomes irritated and prone to developing ulcers during a flare-up. These ulcers can bleed and release pus and mucous. People with ulcerative colitis disease are more likely to have mucus in stool with blood during an outburst.
Other Ulcerative Colitis signs and symptoms include:
- 1. Loose and hurried bowel motions
- 2. Constipation with blood
- 3. Discomfort in the abdomen
- 4. Continuous diarrhea
An intestinal polyp is a little growth on the lining of your intestines. There are numerous varieties of polyps. Some of the most prevalent polyps are adenomatous. These polyps develop on the surface of the big intestine or colon. This form of polyp is present in about 30% of persons over the age of 50.
Adenomatous polyps have the potential to turn into colorectal cancer, often known as colon or rectum cancer. Even though adenomatous polyps are the primary cause of most cases of colorectal cancer, only about 5% of polyps will progress into cancer.
Although polyps frequently go unnoticed, they can occasionally result in bloody stools. The blood may be dark and sticky or red.
Before they develop into cancer, polyps can be removed. If they do develop cancer, it is curable if discovered early.
For this reason, routine colorectal cancer screenings should be conducted on everyone aged 40 and beyond. Also, a stool test or a colonoscopy can be used to perform this.
12. Mistaken Signal
Sometimes, what appears to be mucus in stool with blood is merely food coloring, which depends on what you eat. Your stool may turn red if a particular fruit punch and gelatin dyes are consumed.
Additional reasons for mucus in stool with blood
1. Gluten intolerance, often known as celiac disease.
2. Various other dietary intolerances, such as lactose, sugar, and fructose.
3. A deficiency in dietary fiber is required to bulk out stool and aid in quickly exiting waste from the body.
4. Parasites in the intestines include pinworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.
5. A genetic condition can result in an overproduction of mucus in the intestines and other organs.
6. Excessive mucus in the stool is another symptom of dehydration. Unless dehydration is a persistent issue, it will probably go away. In some situations, addressing the underlying issue may help with the mucus overproduction problem.
When to seek medical attention for mucus in the stool
It is typical for stool to have a modest amount of mucus. A person should see a doctor if he/her consistently experiences excessive mucus or other changes in bowel motions.
Mucus in stool with blood may indicate a problem that needs to be looked at and treated if it occurs along with other symptoms.
Therefore, you should contact a doctor if you experience the following:
- 1. Constant diarrhea
- 2. Nausea or vomiting
- 3. Unexplained tiredness
- 4. Unexplained weight loss
- 5. Abdominal pain
- 6. Presence of blood in your stool
You should keep track of their bowel actions and any other symptoms to aid a doctor in diagnosing the problem. Identifying conditions connected to food may also be aided by keeping a food log.
Testing and Diagnosis of a stool sample
Testing a stool sample is typically the first step in determining what is causing mucus in stool with blood.
How to take a sample often entails gathering a sample of stool in a sterile container. If it can’t be tested immediately, it should be kept in the refrigerator to stop bacteria from growing.
A medical expert can examine it for germs and other elements of the digestive system. To determine the reason for too much mucus in stool with blood, you may require additional testing based on the stool sample results.
The tests include;
1. Blood tests
2. Enteroscopy: This is a method used to look within the small intestine comparable to colonoscopy and EGD. In certain instances, this entails ingesting a capsule that contains a tiny camera and feeds images to a video monitor as it travels through the digestive system.
3. Imaging examinations such as MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasounds.
4. Nasogastric lavage: This test could reveal to your doctor whether the upper or lower digestive tract is bleeding.
During the surgery, a tube introduced into the stomach through the nose removes the contents. If there is no sign of bleeding in the stomach, the bleeding may have ceased or is likely to be in the lower digestive tract.
5. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD): This is a process where a flexible tube with a tiny camera on end is inserted via the mouth, down the esophagus, and into the intestinal and duodenum.
This will help the doctor locate the bleeding’s origin. Small tissue samples can be obtained during endoscopy and examined under a microscope (biopsy).
6. Colonoscopy: This is an EGD-like procedure where the scope is placed through the rectum to see the colon instead of the mouth. A colonoscopy can obtain tissue samples for biopsies as an EGD can.
7. Radionuclide spectroscopy: This operation entails injecting minute amounts of radioactive substance into a vein and then using a specific camera to see photos of blood flow in the digestive area to find where bleeding occurs.
8. Laparotomy: This is an operation where the surgeon opens and examines the abdomen. This may be required if other tests cannot identify the source of the bleeding.
Recommended treatment for stool mucus
The outcome of diagnostic testing will determine the course of treatment.
A doctor can advise drinking more water, increasing your fiber consumption, or taking probiotics if your diet causes the mucus in your stool.
Long-term illnesses, including Crohn’s, UC, and Irritable bowel syndrome, may require both prescription medications and lifestyle adjustments as part of the treatment.
If the patient is diagnosed with cancer, a doctor will refer them to an oncologist or a cancer specialist who will create a personalized treatment plan.
The intestines create mucus, which promotes a healthy digestive system. It is normal to have a little mucus in your stool. Still, Irritable bowel syndrome, a bacterial infection, bowel blockages, anal fissures, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or proctitis can all result in excessive mucus production. It might be a sign of colon cancer.
Consult a doctor if you have any concerns about the mucus in your stool with blood or other symptoms like mucus combined with stomach pain, blood in your stool, vomiting, diarrhea, or Constipation.
To make an accurate diagnosis and start a successful course of therapy, you might need tests like stool cultures, blood tests, imaging investigations, or endoscopies.