White Stringy Stuff in Stool

Have you ever used the bathroom and then looked down to see white stringy stuff in the stool? It can be very frightening to see this, as it looks like thread or even a worm. What might be causing this?

White Stringy Stuff in Stool: Why and What to Do

Here are a few things that might be causing the white stringy stuff in your stool:

1.   An Overload of Mucus

Healthy stool usually has some mucus in it – it might be white or yellow, but is present in such small amounts that you probably can’t see it. However, if you see a great deal of white stringy stuff, this might mean you have more mucus than usual. This can be caused by numerous problems that have to do with the stomach or bowel. Here are a few:

  • Ulcerative Colitis. In this condition, the mucus membrane of the large intestine becomes inflamed and ulcers form on it. The ulcers bleed and then create more mucus and even pus.
  • IBS. Irritable bowel syndrome is known for producing excess mucus in the intestines. It is much more common among those who have diarrhea as the main symptom, and less likely among those who complain of constipation.
  • Crohn's Disease. Though mucus is not a common occurrence in the stool of those with Crohn’s, those who notice it should pay very close attention – it might be the start of an anal fissure.
  • Bacterial Infections. Several bacteria that attack the intestines can lead to mucus and white stringy stuff in stool. Though some of these infections might resolve in a few days without treatment, others might be chronic and require medical attention. Talk to the doctor if you suffer from fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
  • Bowel Obstruction. An obstruction in any part of the bowel means that not much will be passing through it. One of the signs of this problem is mucus in the stool, as well as severe constipation, cramps, vomiting and abdominal distention. It can be caused by anything from swallowing a foreign object to a hernia or scar tissue.
  • Proctitis. This inflammation of the rectum lining can be caused by a wide variety of issues, including radiation therapy, inflammatory bowel disease, sexually transmitted diseases and some food-borne pathogens. The result is rectal bleeding, mucus in stool, diarrhea, abdominal pain, swelling, and the need to go to bathroom quite often. A course of antibiotics works for some cases, but others might require surgery.

What to Do

Excess mucus in stool usually indicates a digestive problem, especially if it is accompanied by abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea. Collect the stool sample and go to the doctor for a test. This enables your doctor to diagnose the underlying problem earlier. Seek emergency help if the mucus is accompanied by dehydration, fever, and blood in the stool.

2.   Candida

Candida can also appear in the stool. The fungus starts out in a yeast form but can change into a mycelial form under the right conditions. This makes the fungus penetrate the walls of the intestines, which then allows passage of food particles and pathogens into the bloodstream. The body tries to get rid of it, which is why you see white stringy stuff in stool.

The symptoms of Candida infection include:

  • Bad breath
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation, etc.

What to Do

In most cases, an overgrowth of Candida can be removed from the body through a few simple remedies.

  • Antifungal herbal teas, along with edible essential oils, can help clean out the gut.
  • Probiotics, such as the good bacteria found in yogurt, are a great way to help the process along.
  • It’s also a very good idea to focus on a diet that is very low in sugar and carbohydrates; remember, if the Candida doesn’t have the proper food to feed on, it can’t grow quickly.

3.   Pinworm

Though the idea of having worms in your gut might make you feel sick, it does happen to many people. Pinworms are the most common culprits. They start out as tiny eggs, make their way to the digestive system, and mature in the intestines. They then lay more eggs in the anal area, and the process begins again. Adult worms live for up to six weeks, and can look like white stringy stuff in stool. The infection usually includes a serious itching around the anal area, difficulty sleeping and being irritable all the time. Severe infections include:

  • Being nervous or restless
  • No appetite and weight loss
  • Vaginal itching and irritation

What to Do

Treatment medications include Piperazine and Mebendazole. Everyone in the family should be treated, since pinworms spread very easily. Good hand washing and excellent hygiene can help prevent reinfection.

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