Clear Mucus in Stool – Should I Be Concerned?
Nobody likes to look at their poop. It’s just not on everyone’s list of favorite things to do. But, the stool can provide a window into how healthy the body is. If feces look one way, it could signal constipation. If it looks another, it could indicate diarrhea from illness. Sometimes, clear mucus in stool is visible. And, this can be quite shocking to some people who aren’t used to seeing anything other than normal and mucus free commode contents. Most of the time, clear, yellow or white mucus in stool is nothing to worry about, according to Mayo Clinic. However, there are some times that it may be worth discussing this often alarming symptom with a healthcare provider.
When diarrhea is present along with the mucus and this persists, it may be a sign of an underlying illness or condition. Diarrhea commonly occurs with viral and bacterial infections, and is incredibly common. However, looser than normal stools regularly can also be a sign of irritable bowel syndrome as well as other health conditions. So, if there is no obvious illness attributing to the symptoms such as a case of the flu, then it may be worthwhile to contact a health care provider about the stool symptoms, especially if the amount of clear mucus in stool is abundant or persistent.
Interestingly enough, one of the purported most common causes of excessive clear mucus in stool is a yeast infection, according to Majidali.com. But, this is not the kind of yeast infection that most people think of when they hear the phrase; the kind that sends women clamoring for drugstore aisles hoping to relieve the itch they are experiencing down below. The type of yeast infection that Dr. Ali describes is more systemic in nature, with the body experiencing an overgrowth of the prolific yeast, which can affect a wide variety of biological processes, including the bowels. While clear cervical mucus can certainly appear as a result of a yeast overgrowth (known also as a candida overgrowth, named for one of the most abundant causes of yeast infection in people) it’s not the only symptom, with everything from the respiratory system to the ears being potentially affected.
But, for the most part, clear mucus in stool is just normal, even if it hasn’t ever been there before. Bowel mucus exists in order to provide lubrication to the intestines, according to Mayo Clinic. This material can be jelly-like or snot like in consistency and the mucus color can vary from white to yellow and most often clear. It provides much needed moisture and helps to keep intestine contents moving gently and snag free through the bowels. While most people think that no mucus is good mucus, that which is found in the bowels certainly serves a valuable purpose.
The large majority of the time, there is nothing to be concerned about if clear mucus in stool starts to appear. However, there are indeed some conditions and concerns that can be associated with stool mucus. For instance, Crohn’s disease can cause mucus to appear in fecal matter. And, ulcerative colitis can as well. Even more serious conditions such as cancer and bowel obstruction may also cause some mucus to appear in stools. Less serious causes can include inflammation, and infection, although if inflammation and infection are persistent, they can progress to more serious conditions.
The best way to determine whether or not clear mucus in stool contents is or is not serious is to pay attention to the signs and symptoms that the body is displaying. If there are other gastrointestinal symptoms present and they persist, it may be time to schedule an appointment with a health care provider. However, if all seems well in the poop production department and a little bit of mucus comes along for the ride, there is likely little to be concerned about.