What Are Common Causes of Bloody Mucus in the Stool?

Bloody mucus in the stool is cause for concern.
A diagram showing ulcerative colitis and other colon problems that could cause bloody mucus in the stool.
Ulcerative colitis may cause bloody mucus in the stool.
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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2014
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Bloody mucus in the stool is commonly associated with inflammatory intestinal conditions like, Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis. If a patient is already in treatment for a bowel condition, bloody mucus in the stool should be noted and reported, but it is not usually a cause for immediate concern. Patients who have no history of intestinal problems and notice this symptom should contact a doctor for evaluation and treatment as soon as possible.

Some mucus is usually present in the stool, albeit in trace amounts. Mucus is produced by the lining of the bowel as a lubricant to keep the bowels healthy and flexible, and sometimes the levels fluctuate in response to diet and other factors, like stress. Bloody mucus in the stool, however, is a cause for concern, as it indicates that there is a problem somewhere along the length of the intestines. The stool may also have a softened appearance and patients can experience bowel urgency and other symptoms as well.

When the bowel is inflamed, mucus production tends to increase, and ulcerations can develop, causing a leakage of blood into the stool. In addition, people can develop bloody mucus in the stool as a result of an infection, particularly if bacteria are involved, or because of an anal fissure, hemorrhoid, or bowel obstruction. Signs like abdominal bloating and tenderness or painful defecation can help narrow down the causes of bloody mucus in the stool.

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In people who notice changes in bowel habits, including a change in the frequency of defecation or the appearance of the stool, bloody mucus is a cause for concern. It is advisable to call a doctor to see if a stool sample needs to be collected and to make an appointment for an examination. A doctor can evaluate the patient and determine what steps, if any, need to be taken for treatment. Antibiotics may be prescribed along with a bowel protectant to address the potential for infections and ulceration in the bowel.

People with a history of bowel problems may periodically have this symptom, and it usually is indicative of a flareup somewhere along the intestines. If it persists, a doctor should be consulted to discuss changing the treatment plan. People with cancers of the intestines can also develop this symptom, particularly at the end of their lives as they focus on supportive care for comfort, rather than aggressive treatment.

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Kristee
Post 4

I dated a guy with Crohn's disease, and he was in such misery! He had pain, nausea, and blood and mucus in his stool.

He was afraid to leave the house for very long, because diarrhea could hit without much warning. On days when he was feeling particularly bad and having flareups, he wouldn't even want me to come over.

Life was hard for him. I can't imagine living with a pain and sickness that occurs so often.

wavy58
Post 3

@JackWhack – Red blood in the stool could just be from hemorrhoids. It could also be something more serious, like ulcerative colitis.

There's really no way to know for sure without consulting a doctor. I will tell you that I have bright red bloody mucus in my stool from time to time, and it is only caused by hemorrhoids. So, it isn't always something serious, but it's best to find out for sure.

JackWhack
Post 2

I saw bright red blood in my stool yesterday, and I'm worried. I don't have any of the conditions mentioned in this article, and as far as I know, I'm pretty healthy.

What can cause bright red blood? I can't tell if it's mixed with mucus or if it is just pure blood.

feasting
Post 1

My dad has diverticulitis, and he has blood and mucus in his stool. This usually happens while he is having an episode of pain.

When he feels pain in his abdomen and sees this type of stool, he knows that a portion of his intestines has become infected. He has to take antibiotics and pain medication to get through it and over it.

There is no cure for it. However, there is a diet that he should stick to that might lessen his episodes. It's just hard for him to give up fatty foods.

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