By Dr. Ritu Krishnatreye, BHMS
Mucus after bowel movement
The color, consistency, shape, and frequency of bowel movements can tell a lot about one’s bowel health as well as overall well-being.
Although many experience some mucus after a bowel movement; excessive mucus may be an indicator of a serious intestinal problem that needs immediate medical attention.
A little bit of mucus after stools can be normal. This jelly like substance is produced by the mucus membrane of the intestines and has a protective action.
An excess slimy substance or mucus after stools can be caused by a number of conditions. Let us have a look at them in detail.
A psychosomatic disorder, irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by excessive mucus in stools, abdominal pain, bloating, flatulence and alternate phases of diarrhea and constipation.
IBS is a common condition that affects at least one in five Americans. There isn’t a specific cure for IBS, but the symptoms can be alleviated by avoiding trigger foods and managing stress.
Magnesium is generally one of the best natural treatments for constipation. Taking a daily magnesium supplement may help alleviate the symptoms of IBS in as little as a month.
Another intestinal cause of mucus in stools is ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Both of these conditions are characterized by inflammation of the lining of the intestines. This in turn results in the production of excess mucus.
Bacterial infections such as Salmonella, Shigella and Yersinia can also cause increased mucus production in the colon. Dysentery is also a bacterial infection that is accompanied by mucus in stools.
Bacterial infections are usually associated with other symptoms, including fever, diarrhea, nausea and extreme weakness.
Consult your doctor for a course of antibiotics to combat infection, and begin rehydration therapy for replenishing lost salts and fluids.
Proctitis is defined as the inflammation of the lining of the rectum. Proctitis can occur due to inflammatory bowel syndrome, sexually transmitted diseases or bacterial infections.
One symptom of proctitis is severe pain while passing stools. Consult your physician immediately if you experience pain while normal stool and it is not because of fissures.
One of the common and neglected causes of mucus after bowel movements is constipation.
Constipation is generally accompanied by straining, and straining causes the expulsion of intestinal lining. This results in excessive mucus production that is seen after passing stools.
Most of the above mentioned intestinal causes of mucus in stools are serious and require medical care.
However, constipation can be tackled easily by making some dietary and lifestyle modifications.
Another way to deal with difficulty in passing stools is by taking a daily magnesium supplement.
Magnesium is a needed nutrient that helps in alleviating the symptoms of constipation.
What you see in the toilet does say something about your health. Therefore, if you observe an excess of mucus it is important to carefully assess the cause and rule out any serious underlying disorder.