What Causes Mucus in Stool?

If you're experiencing episodes where there is mucus in your stool, it's likely you may be suffering from a gastrointestinal infection or other medical condition. Discover the most common causes and symptoms in this article.
What Causes Mucus in Stool?

Last update: 23 December, 2019

The digestive system has several membranes throughout the intestines. These membranes are responsible for secreting mucus to completely lubricate the digestive tract, which allows food to pass through easily, as confirmed in this study by the University of Costa Rica.

With normal amounts of mucus, the stomach is able to function properly and the body can constantly absorb nutrients and eliminate waste through stool.

However, all of those processes change when mucus levels are higher than normal. This may take place due to an infection or other ailment, which in turn indicates something isn’t right in your digestive system.

What can cause excessive amounts of mucus in stool?

  • Amoebic dysentery, as shown in this study carried out by the University of Zulia in Venezuela.
  • Ulcerative colitis, as suggested in this study carried out by the Ramón y Caja University Hospital Clinic in Madrid.
  • Colon polyps, as confirmed in this study by the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.
  • Diverticulitis, as stated in this investigation, also by the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital, Madrid.

You might also be interested in reading: 5 Digestive Disorders that Can Cause Weight Gain

What diseases can cause mucus in stool?

Ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis

In cases of ulcerative colitis, the colon’s entire mucus membrane becomes increasingly inflamed until ulcers eventually form.

This is due to an irritation in the intestines, which lack protection from acids. This doesn’t only cause general discomfort, but can also lead to also to specific symptoms such as large amounts of mucus in stool.

Bacterial infections

The presence of many kinds of bacteria in the colon and in different parts of the intestine is normal. These bacteria are helpful for digestion.

However, when the bacterial balance gets out of controlit can lead to the appearance of infections, causing not just diarrhea, but also symptoms such as mucus in the stool, or in some cases, blood streaks, which require immediate medical attention.

Intestinal obstruction

If you don’t drink sufficient amounts of water, over time your body may fail to regularly secrete gastric hormones and suffer from yeast infections.

The consequences are frequent episodes of constipation that eventually obstruct the digestive tract due to the constant mucus production in stools. Many of these cases require surgical intervention.

This study, lead by the Alamedilla Health Center in Salamanca, also suggests that mucus in stool could be an early warning side for the appearance of other health issues, such as Crohn’s disease.


The colon has small pouches, known as diverticula. When these small pouches swell, they cause a a condition called diverticulitis. This medical condition will eventually produce mucus in stool and other symptoms, which in many cases include abdominal pain and blood in the fecal matter.

Colon polyps 

If there are polyps present in any area of the colon, the irritation that they can cause might also harm the mucus membranes as well, leading to the appearance of mucus in the stool. In turn, this can also indicate there might be a problematic colon cyst.

Read the following article: 12 Symptoms of a Damaged Gut Flora

Crohn’s disease

Due to it being a chronic illness, having Crohn’s means that you will always experience symptoms because it has an immunological origin. While you can treat some of the clinical symptoms, there is no definitive cure.

One of the symptoms of Crohn’s is mucus in stool that results from a frequent inflammation of the colon and inflammation of the mucus-secreting glands, which requires palliative treatment.

After learning about the many potential causes of mucus in stool, it should be much easier for you to work out which condition best fits your symptoms.

If you know the cause, you can decide which of the treatments that your doctor suggests will work best for you. Picking the right one will help you keep your large intestine in good health and functioning properly.

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