Respiratory Disorders Expert Forum
Yellowish-White Lumps in Throat
About This Forum:

This forum is for questions and support regarding lung and respiratory issues. such as: Allergies, Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds - Flu, Chronic Cough, COPD, Cystic Fibrosis, Emphysema, Fibrosis, Lung Abscess, Nasal Polyps, Pleurisy, Pneumonia, Sarcoidosis, Sinusitis, Tuberculosis.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Yellowish-White Lumps in Throat

For about eight years now (since I have moved to Huntsville, AL from PA), I have been spitting up yellowish-white pea-size chunks with a foul odor from my throat (usually come when coughing or sneezing).  I have been feeling okay otherwise with no fever or any other symptoms.  I have since been on a wide spectrum of antibiotics for various sinus infections which have not helped the chunks.  They come up periodically usually about once every one to two weeks.  I have had sinus x-rays from a family practitioner which came out normal.  Various doctors have told me that this is allergy/sinusitis related.  I am a non-smoker.  I am contemplating if I should be concerned about these lumps esp. since this has been going on for so long.  I am reluctant to be put on allergy medication since I feel healthy otherwise.  Plus, I previously had a bad reaction to Clartin (jittery, etc.).  The short time that I was on Clartin (one month), though, did not seem to clear up the lumps.  Could this be the sign of another more serious condition?
Related Discussions
251132_tn?1198082422
Because this problem has gone on for so long and it has not changed a lot, it is most likely related to either an allergic problem or a chronic sinus problem.  Sometimes sinus x-rays are not sufficient to pick up a chronic sinus infection.  When this happens a CT scan of the sinus is recommended.  If this problem does not really bother you, I am not sure I would do much more than you are doing.  If you are uncomfortable, concerned or it is a socially difficult problem, you may want to go further into finding out the cause and going forward with more aggressive therapy.  This would include a CT scan of the sinuses and allergy skin testing by a Board Certified Allergist.
9 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I don't know what they are, but I have had that on and off since childhood.  I just figured it was food that got and eventually came back "putrid".  I have always had post nasal drip and have also thought it might be from that.  I have never been concerned.  It doesn't happen too frequent.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
do you have tonsils still? it could be stagnant food particles in the crevices or behind your tonsils...has anyone evrry looked down the back of your throat to see if something is there collecting?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I remember having these periodically as a child.  I only had one or two a year that I noticed until this past summer when I underwent a total hysterectomy and was put on HRT.  I've since had one or two cough or sneeze up each week.  I don't think they are any sort of food that has been trapped as they are always a little waxy and yellow and quite smelly.  Maybe they are the body's reaction to food that's trapped?  I can feel a little place in the back, right of my throat where it feels like they are trapped, but can't purposefully expel them.  Would be wonderful to get rid of them as I feel they may cause bad breath even if they aren't a medical problem.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I've experienced the same situation for several years. My dad and brother have them as well. I've read that they are tonsilloliths and are caused by mucus/bacteria that forms and becomes trapped in the tonsil area. The only solution that is presented is having your tonsils removed.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I too have just started to notice the white-yellow chunks that I cough up.  I have found where they come from, on the side of my throat and if I stick my finger back there I can get some of them to come out.  The concern I have is they are neverending, I will get rid of a bunch of them and then there will be more behind them.  I was just wondering if anybody has been to the doctor about this and has received a diognosis of some kind.  Thanks.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hello, I think I have the solution to your foul smelling lumps on the throat.  I used to have the same thing as did a few of my uncles, so it does run in families.  Basically it is harmless but if left untreated it may advance to a place where you have wretched and horrible breath.  
The cause of this condition is inflamed tonsils.  The inflamed tonsils develop "pockets" in them that trap food.  Wheat and starch related foods such as bread and pasta are the worst.  There is no cure.  I used to clean my tonsils out by using a small metal rod and actually reaching back and pushing the lumps right out of the pockets.  This soon became overwhelming and I dont recommend it as it is not a sanitary solution.  Desperation drove me to it.  
In the end, I had the tonsils removed and the problem has been long gone for 7 years now.
Hope this was helpful.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi.. Just wanted to say that I have to agree with one of the recent statements.  I too, had the same type of issue.. Thank goodness my ENT was willing to help.  I was extremely embarrassed by the smell of my breath and would "hack" up these mini stone type things at the most unopportune times.  These are created in your tonsils.  What my ENT told me is that you have several bad "tonsilitis" episodes in childhood through adult and then if you're suseptible to it (I guess I was) it creates "pits" in your tonsils.  The food you eat sometimes gets trapped in these pits or pockets and then begins to "rot"...yuck to say the least.  I had my tonsils taken out back in '96 and have NEVER had the problem anymore!  When my doctor removed the tonsils he said that they had become abcessed and were disgustingly gross.  It was painful to have them removed (I was 26 at the time) but I'd do it again in a heartbeat to get rid of the embarrassing problem.  I would seriously talk to your ENT about this issue...
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Oh my oh my,

Zippy90 has the best answer here by far, i cannot believe that the discussion of CT scans and drugs have come up relating to this. bless the people who have had all this utter trash haha,  you do not need scans and antibiotics will not help in this case either. i refer to what zippy90 said ( "tonsilitis" ) this has created Holes/crypts in the tonsils, and yes the white lumps that smell and that you can cough/pick out are food that has built up and begun to rot. Note: this can lead to infection having rotten foot stuck in your tounsils, many people have this and dont realise it and the holes in their tonsils are to small, NOW if you are experiencing pea sized lumps or bigger then your crypts are large to cause this and it is recommended to get passed your doctor to your ENT, most doctors havnt a damn clue about this, i have heard so many stories about people trying to battle through doctors and all they get are antibiotics.  SAY no! it wont help remove the problem.    Once you get to your ENT , you must stress to them the effect this is having on your day to day life, and the thing is to remove your tonsils!  yay.   but i would only recommend this to people with pea sized or bigger lumps as these are the ones that get stuck deep in the large crypts you have.  

Good luck to all .  I call for more awareness on this matter, doctors make note lol
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, Tonsiloliths and allergies was started.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
A related discussion, Injured Arm was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
242587_tn?1355427710
David Tinkelman, M.D.Blank
National Jewish Health
Denver, CO
Blank
Request an Appointment
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Asthma Tracker
Asthma Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Blank
Allergy Tracker
Allergy Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank