What causes mucus in stool? Is this a concern?
Answer From Elizabeth Rajan, M.D.
A small amount of mucus in stool is usually nothing to worry about. Stool normally contains a small amount of mucus — a jellylike substance that your intestines make to keep the lining of your colon moist and lubricated.
But you should talk to your doctor if you notice an increased amount of mucus in stool — particularly if it begins happening regularly or if it's accompanied by bleeding or a change in bowel habits.
Larger amounts of mucus in stool, associated with diarrhea, may be caused by certain intestinal infections. Bloody mucus in stool, or mucus accompanied by abdominal pain, can represent more serious conditions — Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and even cancer.
Elizabeth Rajan, M.D.
March 05, 2022
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- Fischbach FT, et al. Stool studies. In: Fischbach's Manual of Laboratory and Diagnostic Tests. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Wolters Kluwer; 2018.
- LaRocque R, et al. Approach to the adult with acute diarrhea in resource-rich settings. https://www.uptodate.com/contents/search. Accessed May 24, 2018.
- Stone CK, et al., eds. Pediatric emergencies. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Emergency Medicine. 8th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2017. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com. Accessed May 24, 2018.