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Excessive Mucus
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Excessive Mucus

Help and advice needed....

Hi everyone,

I am a 31 year old female who has never smoked but was exposed to second hand smoke for 24 years of my life (from living with my Mum). For as long as I can remember I have always had a cough, which I never seemed to notice as it just became part of my everyday life. After a few recent prompts from my husband however, I decided to seek medical advice and recently attended the doctors to try and sort this out. As such, I have now started to pay attention to my symptoms: excessive mucus production with a need to cough/clear the throat to loosen this.

The first time that I attended the doctors I did a peak flow test and got prescribed a brown inhaler (approximately 10 weeks ago). The second time (approx 6 weeks ago) I attended the doctors, a blue inhaler was added for times when the mucus gets particularly bad. The third time I attended (approx 3 weeks ago) I was prescribed Beconase nasal spray to take in conjunction with the inhalers. Despite all of these medications, I still experience symptoms which start as soon as I wake up in a morning.

On waking, whether I stay lying down or get straight up, I start to have mucus form in my throat (I am not sure if this drops down from the nose or comes up from the chest) – I am then forced to cough at various intervals for the for the next 30 or so minutes before my symptoms starts to calm down. I find that if I suppress the need to cough, the mucus will travel much further into my chest and is then harder to loosen. Throughout the course of the day at various intervals, I will have the feeling of mucus accumulating/stuck in my throat area - I can fel this when I breath and often have a wheeze sensation or the feeling that something is irritating my throat. I find that in order to try and clear this, I will need to keep clearing my throat or coughing. When I talk, I sometimes have a wet sounding voice that ‘breaks’. I do not experience any mucus symptoms during the night but do find that I occasionally wake myself up with a slight dry cough. I have the mucus/cough problem each and every morning (same intensity) but the day time issue can vary in severity.

I have been using a cool mist humidifier in the bedroom during the night time to see if this alleviates the problem but this does not seem to help. I do not have itchy/watery eyes or any sneezing problems, or a bunged up nose although on occasion I can feel a slight accumulation of mucus behind my nose. I have tried nasal rinsing (for a few days) but I did not like the sensation that I was feeling for the remainder of the day ( slight burning, salty taste).

At present, we have floorboards in our bedroom and experience a great degree of dust as our house is over 100 years old. We are looking at getting a carpet fitted to see if this may help. I am unsure about whether this will help however, as I still have the same issues throughout the day time whilst at work.

I have a further appointment with my GP later this week but have the feeling that I will just be given further medication to try, rather than determining the actual cause of the problem.

I am hoping to gain some advice from others with similar symptoms, to try and determine what is likely to be causing my symptoms and what I can do to try and reduce the mucus production. I am currently 16 weeks pregnant so I am not sure if this will be adding to the problem.

Thanks for taking the time to read x
6 Comments
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Avatar_f_tn
What was the specific diagnosis? I assume allergy/asthma, but you never quite say it. Another possibility is a proliferation of Candida albicans. Do you suffer from dry mouth? Please supply a little more information.

In any case, second-hand smoke is not likely a factor.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hi. Thanks for your response. The Gp has never officially diagnosed anything - she said that my peak flow was low the first time that I attended , so I'm guessing she assumed it was asthma. The second time I went, we discussed post nasal drip as a possible cause. I assume the Gp is going to see if I respond to any of the medications and make an official diagnosis from there?

I returned to the doctors yesterday because my symptoms aren't improving and ive have noticed that the mucus/phlegm seems to be settling deeper in my chest, to which the GP suggested using a spacer as she doesn't think that the steriod inhaler is properly entering my lungs.

I don't think that I have a particulary dry mouth. I'm currently toying with the idea that it is possibly an environmental allergy or a food allergy (the latter due to the fact that it seems to arise at certain times throughout the day).

Thanks for your help.
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Avatar_f_tn
You really should be seeing a pulmonologist, not a GP. Prednisone and inhaled steroids have inherent dangers. In any case they are used  for people with a relatively serious case that more conservative medications do not help. I stopped using a steroid inhaler three years ago. The steroid caused adrenal fatigue, osteoporosis and severe choking (from phlegm).The powder that is propelled into your lungs from the inhaler can cause inflammation that results in choking..

For the phlegm you might want to take 500 mg. of vitamin B5 (a mucus thinner) daily (no side effects.) Also you can reduce inflammation (which is what is causing the mucus) with vitamins C and B6. Also there are herbal supplements that reduce inflammation. Among them are mullein, boswellia, licorice. marshmallow and many many others others. That is the route I follow.
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4851940_tn?1385441629
I am exactly the same every morning.  It is post nasal drip.  The catarrh drops down the tubes and then you have to make a awful noise and spit it out.   It is caused by allergic reactions and it much worse when you get a viral or bacterial infeciton.  

We have a carpet and it makes no difference.  My husband sleeps on a feather pillow next to me, so I may be allergic to that.  

We did have mould in the bathroom and I insisted my husband get rid of the sealant around the bath (that was black in places) and replace it.  You can get allergic reactions to the spores of the moulds.

Don't drink milk products as they will increase cataarh.  

I was allergic to the Beconase (kept getting thrus in the mouth), so rinse your mouth and have a drink after you use the inhaler.  I was prescribed with Ventolin and a spacer on Friday as I couldn't get enough air.

Sometimes the only symtom of the asthma is a persistent cough.  I usually get this wet cough when I llie down, and no sooner you cough up the wet phlegm, after a few seconds it's there again.  This is asthma that is triggered off by some irritant (dust mites perhaps).  I have never smoked only passively other people's smoke.  I was diagnosed with asthma after the age of 40.  The symtoms (symptoms) were persistent coughing that had would not go away after 3 bouts of influenza.  

You may start to recognise triggers that set you off, like cigarette smoke, perfumes, animals, the cold, feathers and so on.  After a while you will recognise your triggers and will be able to keep away from them.  I find the extreme cold weather will set off a coughing bout.  Unfortunately there is no cure for asthma, just management and control.

If you do have feather duvets and pillows it would be worth changing these to the manmade fiber antiallergenic types.
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Avatar_f_tn
It sounds like asthma caused by allergens not secound hand smoke.  Tjough smoke may be a trigger for you. Have you been allergy tested by an allergist?  Many allergist also deal with asthma too. If you have an allergy to something it can cause the excessive mucus.  Testing yourself could tell you what your triggers are helping you to avoid both allergy and asthma issues or at least decrease your symptoms.  
Mucinex seems to help my son with the terrible mucus issue he has.  Check with your OBGYN to see if it is safe for you to take it is over the counter thr genetic brand works just as well.  Drink lots of water and avoid milk and oj as they both cause more mucus production.  I would ask gor a referal to an allergist thst deals with asthma and get tested.  
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4851940_tn?1385441629
Asthma is a common chronic inflammatory disease of the airways characterized by variable and recurring symptoms.

Asthma is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors.[

Cigarette smoke contains 92 different carcinogens.  When you are in a room full of other people's smoke, for every 7 cigarettes smoked by someone else, a passive smoker will have inhaled the equivalent of 1 cigarette.  A passive smoker is the term to describe someone who does not smoke, but by breathing, the smoke gets inhaled into the lungs.

As a teenager I worked in an office of 19 women, out of whom 17 smoked, there was not extraction in the room.  At home my parents chain smoked.  I was a passive smoker.  I have no doubt that the everyday expousure to  inhaling other people's smoke has damaged my airways.  

These days, it is now illegal in the UK to smoke in offices, shops, pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and on public tranpsort and even some outdoor public spaces.






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