Bloody Mucus in Stool – Is Something Wrong with My Bowels?
Bowel mucus is downright gross. Most of the time, it is completely unseen and never makes it out the back end. Sometimes however, it is visible, and can be rather alarming. Under most circumstances, there is nothing to fear from clear mucus in stool or that which is whitish, so long as no other symptoms are present. Bowel mucus is actually a rather healthy part of the digestive system, offering much needed lubrication for all the movement occurring in the intestines. But, there are times that bowel mucus can be absolutely frightening. Changes in mucus color, for instance, can signal distress. While there are many subtle variances in hue, most of the time the mucus associated with excrement is clear or white, with brown mucus in stool not being incredibly uncommon. But, when the color changes to red, and bloody mucus in stool appears, it’s definitely worth paying attention to.
Mayo Clinic points out that stool mucus fairly common in conditions that cause diarrhea. To put it bluntly, when things are coming out at a faster than normal pace, they can take anything they run into along the way along for a rapid ride. However, while diarrhea can be a very common cause of generalized stool mucus, it is not normally associated with being a cause of bloody mucus in stool.
Conversely, constipation can be another common cause of stool mucus. While feces may not necessarily be coming out at a faster rate of speed, they are afforded quite the opportunity to build up, and that can include surrounding mucus. Most mucus associated with constipation is not bloody mucus. However, there are some cases where blood can be evident in stool or in the mucus encapsulating it. Hemorrhoids, which can occur during times of excessive straining from constipation, can create bleeding in the rectum. And, therefore fecal matter passing through is subject then to a free coat of paint from an already traumatized area. However, it’s important to understand that this isn’t bloody mucus in stool resulting from the bowels, it’s simply a pickup of blood on the way out.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is often related to mucus from the bowels. Because it can create enormous digestive upset, including diarrhea and constipation, having mucus produced therefore is not uncommon. WebMD explains that there are no known causes for IBS, and the diagnosis is based on a select set of symptoms that are typically long lasting. And, while mucus in the stool is one of them, it’s not considered a common symptom. Rather, it’s an end result from the constipation and diarrhea that the condition can cause. Of course, if the latter is present, then it’s possible to encounter occasional bloody mucus in stool.
But, the real concern from bloody mucus coating the fecal matter isn’t related to a one time occurrence or an unfortunate brush with a hemorrhoid. When occurring more than once or ongoing, it can signal some very serious health concerns. Mayo Clinic explains that one of these is cancer. Cancer can affect many parts of the digestive tract, and can carry bloody mucus in stool as a symptom.
But, cancer isn’t the only serious condition that can create bloody bowel movements. Ulcerative colitis as well as Crohn’s disease can also contribute to bloody mucus in stool. And, the potential of these conditions as well as cancer should make sufferers immediately alert to danger if stool mucus is bloody persistently or is accompanied by other symptoms. For instance, abdominal pain is characteristic of these conditions, and when it occurs alongside mucosal changes in fecal matter.
It’s incredibly important to pay attention to poop. It may sound very unglamorous and even gross, but it can be a tremendously useful indicator of changes occurring within the body. Whether other symptoms are present or not, the first sign of bloody mucus in stool should be enough of a warning sign to monitor the condition. And, medical help should follow promptly if the condition repeats itself. Due to the very serious and even life threatening and chronic conditions that can have bloody stool mucus as a symptom, a trip to the doctor’s office can be more than invaluable and serve as a means to quickly identify potentially hazardous health concerns sooner rather than later.