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Mucus is a clear, white, or yellow substance with the consistency of jelly that is produced by the mucus membrane of the large intestine. Mucus is also produced by other organs in the body, such as the lungs, where it helps to trap any foreign particles that are inhaled. In the intestines, mucus protects the inner lining and helps ease along the passage of stool. Passing mucus in the stool is not harmful in and of itself, but it could be a symptom of a disease or condition that may require treatment.
In ulcerative colitis, the mucus membrane of the large intestine (colon) becomes inflamed and develops ulcers. These ulcers bleed and may also produce pus and mucus. The mucus may be voluminous enough that it can be seen as it is passed along with the stool.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
In IBS, there may be increased mucus production by the lining of the intestine. That mucus is then passed in the stool. Mucus is more often associated with diarrhea-predominant IBS than with constipation-predomin ant IBS or alternating type IBS (IBS-A).
Passing mucus in the stool a is less frequent occurrence in people who have Crohn's disease. If mucus is seen in the stool of a person who has Crohn's disease, it could be associated with the development of an anal fissure.
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