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Noticed clear mucous in stool. No abdominal pain or bleeding. What could it be?

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On a couple of occasions lately I've noticed a very small amount of clear mucous when i wipe after passing stools. I am a healthy active 35 year old female. No abdominal pain or bleeding. Just the very occasional jelly like substance. Advice?
Posted Fri, 8 Feb 2013 in Digestion and Bowels
 
 
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 16 minutes later
Hello!

Thank you for the query.

Mucus is a very normal thing in the stool and it is permanently produced for better stool passage. It can be present in the stool in increased amounts when constipations or diarrhea is present. It can also appear due to IBS, hemorrhoids. So if you do not have any other symptoms like abdominal pain, blood in stool, weight lost, low hemoglobin level, nausea there is nothing to worry about.
Increased fiber XXXXXXX products and mineral water intake with physical activity can help with better bowels functioning.

Hope this will help. Feel free to ask further questions.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Noticed clear mucous in stool. No abdominal pain or bleeding. What could it be? 6 minutes later
So no cause for alarm and the fact i can notice it is likely normal? Should I have hemoglobin levels checked to be safe?

Thanks for prompt response.

XXXXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 16 minutes later
Hello!

No reason to be worry if no other mentioned symptoms. It is good to have checked hemoglobin from time to time so you can do it.

Hope this will help.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Noticed clear mucous in stool. No abdominal pain or bleeding. What could it be? 13 minutes later
My final question..... If it's harmless, why is mucous in stools sometimes a sign of cancer?

Thanks again for prompt response.

XXXXXXX
 
 
Answered by Dr. Grzegorz Stanko 15 minutes later
Hello!

Mucus is present in the stool permanently. Visible amount of mucus without any other symptoms does not indicates a cancer. It would be suspicious if:
- you would be 50 or older (in such age the cancer risk is increased)
- there would be any blood mixed with stool
- you would have any weight lost
- you would have any abdominal pain
- you would have any diarrheas and/or constipations
- you would have any colon cancer in family (especially diagnosed before 50)

You are a very young person and should not think about colon cancer as it happens extremely rare at your age (excluding dose which are hereditary, but this would give any colon cancers in family).
If you want to be 90% sure, you can do iFOBT (fecal occult blood test). This test should be available in every pharmacy and allows to detect invisible blood in stool.
If you want to be 100% sure, colonoscopy should be done.

Hope this will help.
Regards.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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