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Causes and Remedies For Coughing Up Green Mucus

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What Coughing Up Green Mucus Can Mean In The Body

Coughing up green mucus can sometimes cause alarm in people unnecessarily.  Production of mucus in the body is essential in keeping parts of the body from drying out and making sure that it generally stays healthy.  A large production of mucus indicates that the body is in the act of warding off harmful invaders, such as viruses, bacteria and allergens.  The color of this mucus can often give clues as what is currently happening within the body and provide information on what might be the best way to treat the problem.

Common Causes Of Coughing Up Green Mucus

There are several reasons for coughing up green mucus, though the most common of these are more inconveniencing than harmful.  Green mucus formation is often a sign that the body is in the last stages of an infection and needs to remove the leftover waste.  Colds, influenza and sinus infections will all produce an excess of mucus as they finish their cycles.  If a person is coughing up green mucus, chances are that the worst of the problem is already over.

Allergies can also end up producing excessive mucus, many times green in color.  When the body is under attack by allergens it will increase the production of mucus in order to get them out.  Diagnosing which type of allergy is causing the issue is the key to avoiding having future problems.  With environmental allergies there will be a seasonal pattern to the excessive production which can be easily recognized if one watches for it.  Food allergies are sometimes not so straight-forward and so a sufferer may need to conduct some trial and error in order to figure out which food may be causing the problems.

Aside from the basic and easily treatable problems, coughing up green mucus can also be an indicator of some more serious infections or diseases.  Bronchitis and sinusitis are relatively easy to deal with, but conditions such as tuberculosis and cystic fibrosis can be potentially fatal if not dealt with properly.  Each of these conditions has accompanying symptoms that can help one narrow down the source.

  • Bronchitis – Often accompanied by fatigue, mild fever, chills and mild chest discomfort.  Not serious unless it lasts more than three weeks, the fever starts to escalate or blood begins to appear in the mucus.
  • Sinusitis – Accompanied by facial pain and discomfort, headaches and swollen sinuses on the face, particularly around the eyes.
  • Tuberculosis – Green mucus will appear in the early stages of TB, though may eventually progress to contain blood.  Will also be accompanied by fever, night sweats, fatigue and pain in back, chest or kidneys.
  • Cystic Fibrosis – Mucus will be thick and sticky, accompanied by wheezing breath, weight loss despite increased appetite, digestive problems and repeated infections.

If one has signs that indicate tuberculosis or cystic fibrosis, a doctor should be consulted immediately in order to get them under control and prevent them from developing into other serious health conditions.

Some Remedies To Help With Coughing Up Green Mucus

In most common cases, the best remedy is to rest and let the body recover.  Because coughing up green mucus is usually a sign of an infection reaching its end, removal of the mucus and the restoring of health to the body will alleviate the problem in time.  Some ways to help speed up the process are:

  • Drinking plenty of water and other fluids
  • Drinking herbal teas, which also have anti-congestant properties, such as eucalyptus.
  • Taking regular hot baths and showers to moisten the lungs and airways, breaking up the mucus and helping the body purge it.
  • Eating healthy foods, such as plenty of vegetables, as well as eating purging foods, such as garlic, hot peppers and other spicy meals.
  • Avoiding food which will cause more mucus to form or dry out the body, such as dairy, starchy foods or large amounts of meat.
  • Using natural supplements that give the body’s immune system a boost.
  • Getting plenty of bed rest until the body has fully recovered.

One should always avoid swallowing the green mucus, as it is filled with waste products from the body’s processing of the infectious bacteria or virus.  If it is allowed to reenter the system, it can often infect the weakened body and produce more health issues.

For those suffering from allergies, especially those having environmental causes, over-the-counter or prescription anti-allergy medications can relieve symptoms and help to prevent mucus build-up.

Bronchitis is treated in much the same way as any common flu or cold recovery – with plenty of rest, fluids, hot showers and other immune system building practices.  Sometimes mild over-the-counter pain medications may be helpful in alleviating some of the discomfort associated with recovery and allowing one to rest better.  In particularly stubborn cases a doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

Tuberculosis requires a doctor’s attention to treat properly.  A regimen of antibiotics is usually the main remedy.  Medications may need to be taken for up to twelve months in some cases.   Those suffering from TB will also need to be regularly monitored by a doctor during their recovery process.

Cystic Fibrosis, unfortunately, has no cure as of yet.  Since the disease gets more life-threatening the longer it goes without treatment, seeing a doctor is essential.  The goals of CF treatment involve keeping the lungs clear through methods such as chest physical therapy or high-frequency vibrational therapy and fighting the bacteria that build up in the excessive mucus.  Antibiotics are usually prescribed and a high-calorie diet assigned to the patient to keep their body as healthy as possible.

What NOT To Do When You Are Coughing Up Green Mucus

One common error to avoid when coughing up green mucus is the use of any medications that might suppress the cough.  Coughing is the way that the body cleans itself of the waste products and must run its course in.  If coughing is suppressed, a build-up of mucus in the lungs can potentially lead to pneumonia.

Many people over-react to the presence of green mucus, thinking that they have a serious infection, and run to their doctor for help.  In general, if the mucus is green then the body has fought off the infection already and just needs time.  The only real concerns about coughing up green mucus involve a few serious diseases, each of which will have other, accompanying symptoms to indicate their presence.

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