With this question, the SteadyHealth member started a discussion about jelly-like stool he experienced. Another member joined, claiming to have the exact same problem that happened twice, the night before and in the morning. This user said he thought he had diarrhea, but after looking into the toilet bowl, he noticed clumps of jelly-like substance but no stool. One more member joined the discussion, worried that this could be an inflammation of the lower bowel or intestine. All of them had the same question:
Is it ok or should I be worried?
Many who responded later tried to provide possible reasons for mucous discharge without feces. Many blamed candida or probably parasites. One participant who had experienced the problem has been diagnosed with celiac disease. The jelly-like discharge from the anus is often a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or IBD, especially Crohn's disease, where it could indicate anal fissure.
One member said that his doctor told him that it's fat discharge, which is highly probable because consuming fatty foods can lead to this problem. Another participant noted that he passed "a large clump of jelly" after taking a tea detox.
One participant noted that he gets mucous-like discharge every time he gets SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth), which is apparently, commonly connected with IBS. Another mentioned added stress induced by poor diet (consumption of processed foods) that could lead to "GAPS" (Gut And Psychology Syndrome), the invention of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. According to this theory, a wide variety of health problems, from autism to schizophrenia, can be traced to a single cause: an imbalance of gut microbes.
On the other hand, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), defined as excessive bacteria in the small intestine, although still poorly understood disease, is well documented.
A crucial aspect of added stress induced by poor diet (consumption of processed foods) will lend to "GAPS" (Gut And Psychology Syndrome).
Many gastroenterologist believe SIBO is commonly connected with IBS.
One participant noted that this jelly-like discharge had a rancid smell. Interestingly, many described the smell of the discharge as "the smell of the sperm."
The pain is rarely reported along with this problem, although some other symptoms may be present as well, including:
- the sudden urge to defecate,
- the pressure in lower abdomen,
- trouble to empty bowels,
What do experts say?
The jelly-like substance is called mucus. It is completely natural and our bodies primarily use it to protect and lubricate delicate tissues and organs, such as mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and gut.
The presence of mucus in stool is common. The mucous membrane of the large intestine helps stool to pass. A "normal" bowel movement will not produce much mucus. Healthy mucus is typically clear and thin, which makes it difficult to notice. Mucus can also appear white or yellow due to illness, diet, or environmental factors, which can also change mucus consistency and amount.
A large amount of visible mucus in your stool isn't normal. That doesn't necessarily indicate you have a health problem, but it’s something you should monitor.
Having a noticeable increase in the mucus in your stool may be the symptom of an underlying health condition, such as:
- Crohn’s disease - an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the GI tract. Early symptoms may include diarrhea or fatigue.
- Ulcerative colitis - Like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects large intestine or rectum.
- Irritable bowel syndrome - It may result in symptoms such as abdominal pain, cramping, and diarrhea, but it doesn’t cause inflammation.
- Bacterial infections - Infection from bacteria such as salmonella and shigellosis, which can occur from eating contaminated food.
- Parasitic infections - These can result from malaria, which is caused by infected mosquitoes, and trichomoniasis, a sexually transmitted infection.
- Bowel obstruction - It's caused by an impacted stool, hernia, tumor, or the passing of a non-food item through bowels.
- Anal fissures - Small tears in your anal lining that may be related to Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
- Anal fistulas - Fistulas develop when an anal abscess or cavity heals improperly or is left untreated.
- Colorectal cancer (colon or rectal cancer) - Cancer that starts in the colon or rectum causing blood in the stool, rectal bleeding, and unexplained weight loss.
Dehydration and constipation can also cause mucus from the colon to leave the body, giving the stool the appearance of increased mucus.
Excess mucus in the stool can be sometimes accompanied by other symptoms, which may be a sign of a bigger problem. These symptoms include:
- blood or pus in the stool
- stomach pain, cramping or bloating
- sudden changes in bowel movements or habits
- sudden changes in stool consistency, or color
It is important to visit your doctor if any of the following occurs along with the increased amounts of mucus in your stool. Also, if the mucus is present in your stool for several days, you should seek medical advice.
Most doctors will begin with a physical exam and a blood test. A doctor may also order you to bring in a stool sample. This sample will be used to detect parasites, bacteria, and other illnesses. If th results of these tests re inconclusive, more tests may be ordered, including:
- imaging tests, such as an X-ray, a pelvic MRI scan, or a CT scan
- sweat electrolytes test
The treatment would depend on the cause. Most bacteria found in the stool, such as such as Campylobacter, Salmonella, or Shigella, will be treated with antibiotics.
Prescription medications and ongoing treatment may be necessary for people with chronic conditions, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Over-the-counter probiotics and supplements may be recommended to help with irregular daily bowel movements, constipation, or diarrhea.
Eating habits may need to change, such as getting a healthy balance of fiber, carbohydrates, and fat in your diet, eating foods rich in probiotics such as yogurt.
Resting will help to heal the symptoms, as well as increasing the fluid intake.
What symptoms have been reported?
- I passed gas and a clear jelly like substance came out of my anus.
- I at first thought I had diarrhea but looking into the toilet bowl, there was just clumps of jelly like substance but no stool.
- At first there was a lot of pressure and a whole lot of mucus.
- Yes mine does have a sperm smell to it!
- I have white mucus coming from my retcum no bowl movement pressure in my rectum heavy pressure
What diagnosis some participants had?
- I have been diagnosed with coeliac disease.
- I also have celiac disease and I get this.
- ive had IBS symptoms for years.
- My doc told me its fat discharge
- I have coeliac disease too and I find I have this problem.
Having mucus in the stool is normal, but being clear and thin, it hard to notice it. Mucus color, amount or consistency may change due to different factors that may include illness, diet, or environmental factors. While it's usually no reason for worry, any change in mucus should be checked with your doctor because it may indicate an underlying medical condition, sometimes even serious one.