Mucus In Stools

What Causes Mucus In Stools?

Mucus in stools can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'very serious'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose mucus in stools, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "mucus in stools" as a symptom.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Candida / Yeast
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • Crohn's Disease

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
significant right iliac pain
history of non-vaginal candidiasis
significant amounts of occult blood
elevated ESR
moderate abdominal pain
current birth control pill use
loss of appetite
meal-related bloating
acute abdominal pain
regular runny nose
chronic diarrhea
high refined white flour consumption
... and more than 80 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of mucus in stools:
Cause Probability Status
Ulcerative Colitis 96% Confirm
Crohn's Disease 21% Unlikely
Candida / Yeast 4% Ruled out
Irritable Bowel Syndrome 1% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate irregular stools, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Do you see mucus in your stools?
Possible responses:
→ Never / rarely / don't know
→ Occasionally
→ Often
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either occasional mucus in stools or frequent mucus in stools, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

Mucus in the stool is one of the most common symptoms of IBS, and yet research on the subject is limited.  The mucus is generally associated with inflammation but researchers lack a specific explanation.  Some smaller studies have shown that over half of IBS sufferers report having mucus, and that it is more common in men than women.

Ulcerative Colitis

If the disease is limited to the rectosigmoidal area then stools may be normal or dry although there can also be constipation.  Rectal mucous, which can be high in red and white blood cells, accompanies stools or occurs between bowel movements.

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