Understanding Mucus-Covered & Different Colored Stools
The Presence of Mucus
Mucus is produced by the large intestine to trap bacteria and to allow for easier waste passage through the colon. It’s not unusual to find mucus in fecal matter from time to time. However, if your bowels have mucus in noticeable amounts for weeks at a time, and if you notice bleeding or a foul smell, you should inform your healthcare professional immediately. It may be an indication that there are other forces at work, and some quite serious including:
Stools of Different Colors
Sometimes, bowels will be different colors than you might expect. If you can explain the color by relating it to something that you ate, there there’s probably no need to worry.
There are instances when the color change is indicative of other things. For example, green stool could be a sign of digestive problems.
- Bile produced by the liver is green in color. The liver sends bile, to break down fats, directly into the small intestine or stores it in the gallbladder. In a healthy digestive system, the stool passes from the small intestine to the colon and changes color along the way, from green to yellow to brown. When health issues reduce bowel transit time of waste material, it doesn't have time to complete the color change process.
Other reasons to see green stool may not be so serious.
- Infants who are breastfed normally have stools that appear to be green because of the Colostrum breast milk contains.
- Ingesting Excessive amounts of refined sugar
- Algae or chlorophyll supplements
- Vitamins or supplements with large amounts of iron in them
Kidney trouble, improper bile formulation or issues in the biliary system could yield white bowels. It could also be a sign of a quickened transit time. To check your white stool, put a sample in water. And, if the white disintegrates, then it was just mucus. If, however, it stays white, then the problem is most likely with bile production.
This is not a normal color, unless you can link the problem with the presence of massive amounts of ingested yellow food coloring. If you see yellow stool, several organs, (stomach, liver, large intestine, or small intestine), may be infected or diseased.
Additional Features of Unhealthy Stools
The following chart lists some other colors that you may come across and what they could indicate about your health.
|If bowel movements are:||It may be due to:|
|Dark Black & Sticky
(Seek immediate medical attention!)
|Blood in the upper portion of the digestive tract|
|Very dark brown||Recent red wine consumption, an excess of salt, or lack of vegetable intake|
|Beet red||Eating red foods|
|Super thin, resembling a ribbon||Polyp development in the colon|
|Greasy looking||Insufficient absorption of nutrients|