Primary Care Physician
Dr. Orrange received her BA in Biology at the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters Degree in Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health. She received her MD from the USC Keck School of…
What does mucus in your stool mean?
Posted in Irritable Bowel... by Dr. Sharon Orrange on Aug 20, 2010
Approximately one-half of all patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) complain of mucus discharge with stools, so the first thought with yellow mucus in your “poop” is IBS. There are other things to consider as well so it’s worth a checkup to help rule out other worrisome causes.

Steps you should take if you have mucus in your stools:

1) “Alarm” symptoms like rectal bleeding, abdominal pain at night, weight loss or laboratory abnormalities such as anemia will likely prompt a quick referral to sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy.

2) Start with your primary care doctor so they can get a history from you and perform a physical exam.

3) Routine laboratory studies (complete blood count, chemistries) can be done and are normal in IBS.

4) If you have mucus and diarrhea, stool cultures should be done to rule out a gastrointestinal infection (campylobacter, salmonella, shigella, Clostridium difficile, etc) especially if you have had recent travel.

5) Celiac disease (Gluten sensitivity): Screening for celiac disease can be done with blood tests (serum IgA antibody and tissue transglutaminase) and adults who meet criteria for IBS are four times as likely to have Celiac disease.

6) Lactose intolerance should be considered so you should modify your diet and your doctor may consider Lactose breath testing.

7) If the above testing is unrevealing and you have persistent symptoms and/or diarrhea flexible sigmoidoscopy (or colonoscopy) and biopsy should be done.

8) This workup should help rule out organic disease in 95% of patients and if this workup is negative, IBS is more likely. DS has an active and informed IBS community available to answer questions and provide support.

To those patients with IBS, jump in and tell us your experience.

Dr O.
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CONDITIONS AND COMMUNITIES: Anemia  •  Celiac Disease  •  Diets & Weight Maintenance  •  Gastritis  •  Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)  •  Weight Loss For Teens

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another cause of mucus in the stool could be mucinous adenocarcinoma which is a mucus producing bowel cancer.
By markarina  Aug 22, 2010
i have this quite often, but i do not have ibs. i've had a colonoscopy and laproscopic surgery. my doctors said i had endometriosis but on my actual paperwork they only said i was "indicative" of it. i've been lactose sensitive for years but it's only recently that i've had any mucus when i go. i get constipated a lot (even with a very high fiber diet and stool softeners and what not) and when i'm not back up i go too much. basically my body just doesn't do what it should. eh, oh well. until someone says something one way or another concering the 50 million some odd tests i've had done i'm just going to keep doing what i'm doing.
By slh11192  Aug 22, 2010
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