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Mucous Colitis

Last updated on November 22nd, 2021


Hello, could you explain why a mucus discharge may occur with a bowel movement? The amount of mucus is very small, there is no pain associated with the bowel movement, and this happens very infrequently.


Mucous is produced by certain cells lining the gastrointestinal tract. It has both a lubricating and protective effect. Therefore, the passage of mucous is not in of itself an abnormal finding.

Mucous Colitis

The passage of mucous with a bowel movement, in those patients with a change in bowel habits (diarrhea or constipation) is often due to the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); in fact this syndrome used to be called “Mucous Colitis”.

If persistent mucous constitutes the major portion of a bowel movement or is passed in large amounts, then the possibility of a villous adenoma is considered. There are a certain type of polyp or benign tumor of the colon, that can become cancerous. If there is a strong history of colon polyps or cancer in the family, an endoscopic exam of the lower colon may be warranted.

Thank you for your question.

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