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  I am 44 yrs old, more or less in perfect health but I have some
  GI problems. I definitely don't have irritable bowel syndrome as
  I am pretty "regular" having a "normal" bowel movement almost
  every AM upon arising. I do have a consistent problem, however,
  that is mild to moderate discomfort, a feeling that I need to
  have a bowel movement in the evening, however, I am almost always
   unable to produce one. Often I go
  to sleep feeling bloated and like I have to go. I almost always
  wake up feeling fine. I decided to write because a couple of days
  ago I felt particularly bloated almost painful lower tract. The
  next day I had a bowel movement that was almost entirely mucous.
  Today I had a bowel movement that was maybe 10% mucous. Would
  appreciate any insight.
Dear Richard F,
Irritable bowel syndrome is a general term that refers to a number of different gastrointestinal symptoms.  The sensation of bloating and an inability to defecate may be considered a presentation of Irriatble bowel syndrome by some physicians, assumiing that there is no structural abnormalities.
My initial thought is that the mucus is not indicative of serious gastrointestinal pathology.  You are however, approaching the age where it is necessary to begin screening to rule out colon polyps/camcer.  I suggest that you arrange with your physician to have stool tested for blood (guaiac) and a flexible sigmoidoscopy.  These tests will provide reassurance.  Additionally, you should consider a trial of fiber supplementation to determine if this approach will improve your symptoms and make you more regular vis-a-vis pattern of defecation.
This information is presented for educational purposes only.  Always consult your personal physician for specific medical questions.
*keywords: irritable bowel syndrome

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