I know mucus in the stool has been discussed in other posts, but I wanted to share my specific issues to see if anyone else has experienced the same type of pattern as me.
I'm a 40 y/o female w/history of endometriosis and endometrial polyps (D&C in 2004 for polyp removal). I also have a history of pre-cancerous (adenomatous) colon polyps (removal of 2 in 2003, with clear follow up in 2006...next colonscopy planned for Nov 2011, as directed by my GE).
About 3 months ago, I first noticed what I believe is mucus in my stool or passing mucus on it's own, with no stool present. It usually feels as if I'm having diarrhea, but nothing is in the toilet except the flaky, off white matter. It was very scary at first, because I believed it was bowel tissue of some sort, but after researching, I now believe it to be mucus. The first couple of times this occurred, it happened several times over a few days, but it wasn't a large amount and I didn't notice any other symptoms to speak of. Given my history of polyps, I did call my GE doc to see if I should be seen, since my next screening was 17 months away. The nurse did not seem very concerned, but did suggest that I make an appointment. I did not have health insurance at the time, but was starting a new job and thought my insurance would be valid within 45 days, so I decided to wait. It happened again a few weeks later and was somewhat mild like the first occurrence.
When it happened the third time, however, which was last month, it was quite severe. It caused a lot of lower back pain, abdominal pain, and it occurred multiple times every day for 5 days consecutively. On the first day, a small amount of stool was passed with the mucus, but on the other 4 days, it was only mucus (oftentimes with a great sense of urgency)...sometimes it was just 2 or 3 dime sized floating "pieces" of mucus; at other times, it has been three tablespoons or more worth, creating a pile of the flaky mucus at the bottom of the toilet. On the last full day, blood was also present and the pain was almost unbearable in my lower back and lower portion of my bowel, leading to the rectum. After that terrible last day, I was absolutely fine...didn't pass any more, and was asymptomatic for several weeks. (Although, since all this started, it does seem my more regular bowel movements are now coated with mucus, too; but not the flaky presentation I'm referring to with these episodes, rather just a slimy clear to white coating).
At the time of the last occurrence, I started to realize it was cyclical. An episode had happened once a month for each of those 3 months - June, July and Aug. (My health insurance was a longer wait than I initially thought and will not be eff until Oct 1, so I still have not seen my doc). So, I watched and waited to see if it would happen again in similar timing this month. Sure enough, it started again 2 days ago (Sept 5th) and I am in the midst of another episode. It seems to be happening almost right in-between menstrual cycles, starting about 2 weeks before I start my period.
As for other symptoms, I often experience sacral back pain (many times it is difficult to distinguish between pain caused by an old injury or that caused by the bowel), have had an increase in occurrence of headaches during this time, fatigue, have slight nausea often, but not usually at the same time as the mucus episodes, appetite is not affected. Sometimes I seem to see darker blood in the more regular stools, but any blood that has presented during the mucus "episode" has been brighter red.
Aside from the pain and discomfort, this is obviously concerning to me. I would appreciate any feedback...if you've had a similar experience and what your diagnosis may have been...medical opinions, if post is read by medical professionals...or just thoughts in general, based on my info. I will have health insurance and be able to seek medical attention after Oct 1st, but barring an emergency situation, may even wait until the "October occurrence" that I'm sure will come about.
Because of your history of precancerous polyps, you do need to at least call for an appointment asap so that you can get in once your insurance kicks in.
You could try fibre supplements to help deal with some of the mucus, but in truth, the colon produces more if there's something it's feeling it needs to protect itself from. Now, that could mean increased mechanical activity from food sources, stress, hormonal changes, etc. OR it could be a foreign invader (but you say it's cyclical). OR it could be another polyp, changes on a cellular level such as inflammation, etc.
Hope you're able to get things dealt with quickly.
Let us kow the outcome.
It's all a matter of perspective!
I just had colonoscopy and upper endoscopy and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. But Yes I have noticed my symptoms are always worse about 10 days before my period and stay bad thoughout period. And I always get my period on full moon. Hope this helps you to see you are not alone with these symptoms. Dv