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sticky mucus

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I have a question concerning sticky mucus ... Do all you asthmatics have this ? I'm always gunky( as I call it ) pretty much all the time ,and it gets progressively worse as time goes on . Does not seem to matter how much I use my nebulizer . Prednisone and antibiotics usually clear things up for a few weeks ,then things just flare up again . Coughing , lots of sticky thick mucus , fatigue , SOB . Just wondering , because I was diagnosed with Asthma about 13 yrs ago , and this has pretty much been the pattern for me .I recently started seeing a new Dr. whom asked if I had ever been tested for Cystic Fibrosis. I was tested and did have 2 elevated sweat chloride tests , but still waiting on genetic testing. Any if an asthmatic could answer , I would appreciate the help . thanks Very Happy
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First Helper curly48
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replied May 6th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
People that suffer from asthma have more sensitive airways to many different triggers, that cause inflammation and swelling of the walls and the result is sticky mucus clogging the air tubes.
Mucus secretions in the airways in asthma appear to be a major cause of airway obstruction, wheezing and shortness of breath.
Mucus hypersecretion is a hallmark of chronic airway disease, like asthma, but, also, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and cystic fibrosis disease.

Asthma symptoms can be a result of existing cystic fibrosis.

Do you usually have abdominal pain or flatulence?
Do you find your stools with pale or clay color?
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replied May 6th, 2008
Not always , these questions were asked when I saw a CF Dr. in April . I had 2 elevated sweat chloride tests so further genetic testing of course is being conducted . I'm still waiting for those results . My complaint with my lung disease has always been mucus .. lots of it and really gunky . If there are meds out there to help alleviate the mucus problem "I WANT THIS ". Meds that I take for my asthma are : vent neb , pulmicort neb , advair , singulair ,atrovent , claretin , nose sprays , prednisone every mnth , along with antibiotics because I usually have infection or pnumonia .
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replied November 14th, 2012
Let me share something that has worked for me. I was first diagnosed with asthma in 2003, after more than a decade of sinusitis. Like many people here, I was on a high diet of antibiotics at least twice a year, and was taking the usual Seretide and Singulair etc.
About a year ago I accidentally learned of a test called ImuPro300, which tells you if you have delayed allergies to about 300 types of foods and nutrients. It turned out I had serious delayed allergies to gluten, lactose and many other foods. That may have been caused by heavy use of antibiotics, they may have been there before, hard to know at this point. To cut a long story short, the only treatment you get is to stay away from the foods you are allergic to and to rotate the foods you are allowed every 5 days. It is a full time job, but most asthmatics have the skills and patience already. A year later I am feeling a great deal better. The mucus seems to be related to the foods I eat and avoiding them diminishes the production. I am still taking my medication, but my health has dramatically improved. For the past year, I have had only one serious incident, which I have seen the doctor for and am getting treatment. The mucus isn't completely gone, but I sometimes have good, even clear days. I hope this will help.
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replied December 4th, 2012
Hello roxanag21,
I am following the same path you are on, minus the asthma.
Allergies coming out of the woodwork, now I am seeing an
immunologist. My question if you don't mind..How did you
learn to rotate foods on such a restricted diet? Any help
would be greatly taken, I'm hungry but tired of eatng chicken veggie soup! Thank you!
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User Profile
replied June 3rd, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Sorry for delayed post!
Have you received your results from the genetic analysis already?

Both, asthma and cystic fibrosis, are characterized with production of thick mucus in airways, that has trouble moving out of the lungs, so bacteria can remain and cause infections.
Getting infections more frequently, infections that tend to get worse and more difficult to treat, as getting older, is characteristic of cystic fibrosis.

Exercise helps loosening the mucus in the lungs and strengthening the heart and lungs.
Chest physical therapy with clapping on the back and chest, or usage of an electric chest clapper or an inflatable vest that vibrates, can help loosen and clear the mucus from the lungs.

You can ask your physician for prescription of drugs called mucus-thinners, that help thin the mucus so it can be coughed up more easily.
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replied July 19th, 2008
i have the same question
i have been dealing with this also. i have asthma it usually doesn't bother me. In feb i had some eposides. i went to the doctor he said i have allergy asthma and gave me all kinds of med. ok now i have this mucus crap. i bothers me mostly at nite. plus i had the lap band done 4 years ago. i have lost 150 pounds with this i would do it again but it seems i have more health issues now that i have lost the weight than i did before i think it may be i am getting older to i will be 40 in a couple of year so. sometimes the mucus is so thick it won't pass my band. at night i go to bed and within an hour i am coughing have to get up and spit it up i use my inhalers and use a nebulizer also. usually if i cough it all up and take prescribed cough meds it stops. but i haven't had a good nites sleep since feb. i am tired all the time i am so sick of this i can't function anymore i am going the dr in a week and i am demanding he find out what is wrong with me. i have gone threw so much asthma meds i can't afford it anymore its so expensive. i just filled the cough meds today and its 40.00 and that's with insuance. i found this site by surfing any info you could give me would help me. i also have acid reflux to so i don't know if that plays into it to i take nexum for it and its pretty much in control i think. thanks for listening.
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replied August 5th, 2011
Mucous, coughing, and Lapband
I also have the Lapband (since 2001)and Asthma with the sticky mucous. I lost 78 pounds and was hoping my GERD would be gone, like they assumed. It does seem to be worse, but I figure that is because the food is held so long in the pouch, the gastric juices have more time to generate. As far as the mucous and coughing, I just had a ASD (hole in my heart) discovered and repaired, so am anxiously awaiting to see how much relief I get from being short of breath and even the congestion that can go with it. It took 2 years to find. I've only been diagnosed with Asthma for 3 years, but have had a cough, which has increased, for over 10 years. I am not a smoker. My phlegm has increased and gotten thicker, but as long as it stays clear, there is no infection. (I used to work as a nurse.) I am 58. I am on Zyrtec, Singular, Inhaler twice a day, and GERD meds at night since he wants to be sure any gastric juices are not coming up to irritate me. They're not, but try to convince the dr. of that. I also have been on a wonderful cough med that makes life worth living at night. I don't use it every night for fear they will think I am addicted. I use it two or three times a week and it dries up any mucous and I can get a good night's sleep. It's called Tussionex Suspension, and it has Codeine in it. I've been on it for 7 years and prove my ability to handle it by making a month's worth last three months. It really works. I find anything makes me choke and cough: brushing my teeth, the smell of food, walking down the cleaning fluid section of the supermarket....I stay indoors during bad ozone days and when things are blooming. I have only had pneumonia once, almost 6 years ago. I, too, am looking for ways to cut my mucous production. The coughing is embarassing, especially eating with others. Congrats on the weight loss! After all this time I have gained back 15-20 pounds and because I can't exercise, still struggling. But have maintained it for 6 years.
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replied August 5th, 2011
Extremely eHealthy
hi, I found it unusual that u r a Nurse which means u have a lot of eduction and u use cough suppressants when what u need is to clear your lungs.
BUT THAT ASIDE;, try tumeric about 2 tsp daily as it is a great anti-inflammatory
BECAUSE U R NURSE and have education u might find it interesting to look up Hydrogen Peroxzide Therapy as 100 years ago this was a standard and some still practice it today.
BTW the medicine in your product is HYDROCODONE
FINALLY; try this; at a vitamin store (must be for best price) buy Pro-Biotics enough to take 100 billion cultures daily for a month, cut 50% each month to 6 billion daily
best wishes to u
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replied August 5th, 2011
The last time I worked was 24 years ago. I've been on disability for other medical problems. One of which was a very hidden PFO, which caused lack of oxygen for years, thus my muddled thinking and inability to concentrate. I am aware of what the bottle from the pharmacy states. I was using a more recognizable term. I use the suppressant to sleep, every 3rd night. I cough it up during the day. I'm not an idiot. And I was answering someone's question, not asking for advice. Thank you.
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replied November 23rd, 2011
Caution: Turmeric sets the Esophagus on Fire!!!!
For someone who seems to have all the answers, I'm surprised that you didn't know that turmeric can be very dangerous to those with GERD. I've tried it, before I learned that my problem was GERD, and, aye, I paid the price! Almost swallowed a gallon of ice water with Maalox to stop the burn! Be careful when you give advice like that, it could be fatal. I have subsequently been found to have Barrett's esophagus. That could lead to the BIG "C" - it's pre-cancerous. Advice like this could send someone like me over the edge !!!!!
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replied July 19th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Mucus relief. Comes in 400 and 600mg doses and most stores like Walgreens sells their own brand. Although it is not a cure I find it does help dominish it quite a bit. Consult you doctor and see how he/she feel about it. It has Gufenesin in it which is a decongestant.
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replied June 8th, 2009
Managing mucous
My Mom, now 85 years old, has been treated for asthma since she was 36 years old. Treatment spanned all the meds mentioned above. June of 06 Mom had a near fatal asthma attack. Since then I have become more involved.

Long story short we have found that Mom's asthma is actually symptoms or after effects of re-flux or at the least exacerbated by the re-flux. From the time she started taking Zegerid (a very expensive capsule that incorporates two very inexpensive drugs: omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate, not sure of spelling of both) first thing in the AM, at least one hour before any food, her asthma or COPD has been more easily controlled.

Step 2 for us was to understand the part that mucous plays in her condition. We have added one Musinex tablet (over the counter) to her morning meds and make sure she drinks a full, large glass of water with it.

Then we ask her to do some exercise, walking, deep breaths in thorough her nose out thorough her mouth. Within a short time her body's response will be a cough, small but it is just a message.

We then remind her that that is the signal we have been waiting for and that all that we did up till then was to get that response. Now all she has to do is work that little cough with everything she's got to get the loosened mucous out.

We may clap her back with cupped hands if needed to help her along.

We have found that anything with a "DM" (cough suppressant) works AGAINST our goal. We don't give Mom a second dose at night as it will be working to bring up mucous and we want her to rest as much as is possible.

Before our discoveries of 1. the part that acid re-flux played in Mom's asthma/COPD and 2. the mucous removal techniques, Mom was jumping on high doses of prednisone every 6 or 7 weeks (soon after her countdown off, she'd have to start up again), going to the ER 2 to 3 times per year and put on antibiotics about once very 3 or 4 months.

Mom is now 1 year and 2 months from her last ER visit for asthma/COPD, high dose prednisone (Mom has to take 5 mg per day because of her past excess, but that is virtually zero to her body) and antibiotics.

The amount of mucous Mom's body seems to produce varies with the season. Because of a heart problem that arrived only because of her June 06 near fatal asthma attack, Mom has to be careful of the amount of fluids she has each day. Like Goldie-locks she can't have too much because of the heart thing and can not have too little because fluids are vital to thinning the mucous to get it out. We were told by her cardiologist to keep her fluids at about a quart each day.

Mom finds all the pestering to "keep that cough going Mom, there it is, that's what you've been working towards all day" a real PIA. But then we remind her that her now fragile spine is being sparred more damage from the high doses of prednisone and that she has passed the one year mark just by being diligent about the whole mucous routine.

Mom also does 4 nebulizer treatments per day. Each one of those if done well (deep and slow breaths) will yeild some more coughed up mucous.

It's not easy to live with this but it is possible to manage this condition and minimize the amount of ER visits, antibiotics and prednisone taken if you find your own system to stay a step ahead of the mucous.

I hope this has helped.
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replied September 14th, 2009
Thick sticky mucous is a sign that the secretions are dry.Dryness can be due to being in a constant state of mild dehydration. Do not rely on thirst to tell you that you need water. Thirst is not an accurate indicator especially as you grow older.A really good way to check your hydration status is to urinate into a clear glass. The color of your urine should be more like the inside of a lemon than the outside. In CF, however, the dry secretions have to do with some body chemistry issues with sodium pumps in the mucous secreting glands.Water follows solutes and when sodium is not in the right balance, it affects the viscosity or thickness of your secretions.
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replied August 17th, 2011
Hi,
I've had a similar problem now for just over a year now, my doctor just kept on giving me antibiotics and they NEVER worked! They just weakened my immune system... A few months ago it got so bad I would literally choke to get it out which made my head hurt like mad and it came up with large amounts of blood a few times. I really want to know what it is, I've also had really horrible abdominal pains I've been told it could be cystic fibrosis but my doctors never look into things properly and just always stick me with antibiotics for everything... But I don't want to sound like a hypochondriac. Can someone help me? I'm being driven crazy!!! Plus it's embarrassing having to cough it up in the morning in front of my boyfriend Sad
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replied August 17th, 2011
Extremely eHealthy
hi, DO THIS; go to vitamin store (for best price) BUY enough Pro-Biotics to take 200 billion cultures daily
for 2 weeks, 100 b x 2 wks, etc till at 12 billion
AND U WILL MOST LIKELY FIND ALL YOUR G.I. problems and cough and headache. WHY such high numbers/ your immune sys in your gut has TRILLIONS or should BUT what the antibiotics did was KILL bad bacteria and KILL good immune system bacteria.
. . few days u will be amazed
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Users who thank ohcalcuta for this post: AngelMapache 

replied March 19th, 2014
This makes sense to me. I only get asthma, headaches, vertigo and acid reflux symptoms after I have taken a large dose of antibiotics.

So I guess I need to increase my probiotics intake a great deal.

Thanks for sharing
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replied October 13th, 2011
Wahey!! I finally have answers.. I went to my walk in centre due to a horrible throat and chest infection and I mentioned my problem and she told me it's most likely bronchiectasis. It makes so much sense! I've got to go for a few tests to diagnose it. There is no cure but it can be helped Smile Although if it goes unnoticed you can get really ill. Anyone who has the same problem search it up on the internet and go to the doctors.
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replied October 24th, 2011
I know this is a pretty basic question, but how much water are you people drinking a day? With sticky mucus, you SHOULD be drinking about a gallon of water A DAY. I was never a water drinker and had really bad sinus problems and sticky mucus. Once I started drinking water with every meal and in between (1 gallon everyday), my problems quickly diminished. Try it for a week. I promise your mucus will thin out, whether you have asthma or not. Not to mention, my energy has been through the roof!
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replied July 21st, 2012
I have mild asthma and have been on inhalers for years now. Won't go anywhere without them. I got the flu a few months ago and with it came a nasty cough. Not deep, just very productive. I had a really bad coughing attack where I couldn't talk or drink, tears running down my face - it felt like mucus was stuck on a bronchial nerve region. My son ran out and got me a bottle of Robitussin Cold and Cough (DM version) one sip and the coughing stopped. It also thinned the mucus causing the cough which allowed me to immediately clear my lungs. The sticky mucus hung around for a while after the flu left, so I continued to take the cough medicine whenever the coughing attacks began. I haven't had to use my inhalers since. Perhaps my asthma is really more mucus related than bronchial swelling - I don't know, but what I do know is I haven't felt so free of asthma in years. I can actually take deep breathes again. It's a nice feeling. There is a warning on overuse of the DM medicines, so you have to follow directions carefully - but it's much more effective and longer lasting than just the guaifenesin, and it addresses the issue of mucus overproduction which the inhalers don't.
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replied July 21st, 2012
I have recurrent lung infections due to asthma and tracheomalacia so live with a crap load of mucus all the time. Before you continue jumping on antibiotics all the time you need to know what the infection or mucus is from. If it is viral antibiotics wont do crap for you, the dont treat that and will only help with a bacterial infection. Ask your doc to culture your mucus before prescribing antibiotics all the time. If your just jumping on antibiotics you will eventually become resistant to certain ones and if in the future you happen to need it you cant use it to treat the infection and therefore could lessen your options for treatment when you need it. Ask about doing a culture at your next visit, it could save you money on meds that wont work, and allow them to work in the future if you need them. Also if you have a mucus producing cough, DO NOT take a cough suppressant. The cough sucks and can be embarrasing, but if you suppress it you cant clear the gunk and if your allowing crap to brew in your lungs that is what causes you fatal diseases such as bronchiectasis like in the above post. You want to cough to get rid of crud. And I agree with water intake. I too have a PFO in my heart that makes me tachycardic, and water intake is a huge part of staying healthy. It will help your heart do its job, and clear the mucus from your lungs. And something to look into is post nasal drip. I dont have much experience with it, but know others in this mucousy situation that didnt actually have a big lung issue but drainage causing a nasty cough and mimicking symptoms of lung infection. I think its more of an allergy issue but dont hold me to it. If your doctor is educated on this a big help for me to control lung infections is hypertonic saline in my nebulizer. I use it twice a day and have it compounded every month. Its basically a salt/saline solution that breaks down the gunk and will make you cough good at the time but clears you out good. You can even look it up online and purchase vials for cheap without prescription though you need to talk to your doc. I do it with a vest clearance machine but if you have a bad case of this have somebody pound on your back. Asthma doesnt normally cause a serious issue of this but mucus in the airways will make you short of breath in a flare up since air cant get through but if its a major issue be sure there arent any other underlying conditions making this a barrier in your daily life. Best regards.
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replied July 21st, 2012
I actually thought that too, and never ever used a cough suppressant because I wanted to be able to clear my lungs - I used it when I had the coughing fit just to stop coughing - I was so surprised at how that combination allowed me to immediately clear my lungs. Believe me, I was not expecting that effect. Now it might not work for everyone, but as I say, I don't even have to use my inhaler at this point. I think if it was just the cough suppressant it wouldn't have the same effect but with the guaifenesin it works wonders. (I have used guaifenesin alone without the same immediate effect.) I was just at an asthma specialist earlier this year and was prescribed three different drugs along with the inhalers and none of them worked as well as that cough combination. It's crazy I know, but I thank God for leading me to it! As I said though, I think my discomfort is more from the mucus production than bronchial swelling so for me it's perfect.
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replied July 21st, 2012
I actually thought that too, and never ever used a cough suppressant because I wanted to be able to clear my lungs - I used it when I had the coughing fit just to stop coughing - I was so surprised at how that combination allowed me to immediately clear my lungs. Believe me, I was not expecting that effect. Now it might not work for everyone, but as I say, I don't even have to use my inhaler at this point. I think if it was just the cough suppressant it wouldn't have the same effect but with the guaifenesin it works wonders. (I have used guaifenesin alone without the same immediate effect.) I was just at an asthma specialist earlier this year and was prescribed three different drugs along with the inhalers and none of them worked as well as that cough combination. It's crazy I know, but I thank God for leading me to it! As I said though, I think my discomfort is more from the mucus production than bronchial swelling so for me it's perfect.
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replied July 21st, 2012
crich- have you ever considered vocal cord dysfunction? It mimicks asthma symptoms, making you feel short of breath, but the issue is more in your throat where your vocal cords slap shut during a breath when they arent supposed to causing you to struggle to get a good deep breath. Asthma may be the smaller picture and VCD the bigger picture. The only reason I ask is ive been told that one of the easiest ways to detect VCD is to have asthma like symptoms that arent made better by asthma medication. Ive met several people with VCD that also have trouble with feeling gunky and what was explained to them was that having asthma can make you more prone to chest colds, and when your vocals cords are shutting its not allowing you to pass the mucous all the way out which allows it to sit in your chest. VCD also causes a raspy cough. Just made me think of that when you mentioned that being on an asthma regimen didnt give you relief. Also have you recently gotten a chest x-ray to be sure crud isnt settling in your chest? I would just be concerned you feel the medicine is doing the trick and your missing something that is going on. Be sure the medicine wont cause long term effects by taking it regularly since it isnt made for that. Alot of meds made for short term can eventually mess up body functions. I dont know much about that med the situation just sounds really strange.
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replied July 21st, 2012
crich- have you ever considered vocal cord dysfunction? It mimicks asthma symptoms, making you feel short of breath, but the issue is more in your throat where your vocal cords slap shut during a breath when they arent supposed to causing you to struggle to get a good deep breath. Asthma may be the smaller picture and VCD the bigger picture. The only reason I ask is ive been told that one of the easiest ways to detect VCD is to have asthma like symptoms that arent made better by asthma medication. Ive met several people with VCD that also have trouble with feeling gunky and what was explained to them was that having asthma can make you more prone to chest colds, and when your vocals cords are shutting its not allowing you to pass the mucous all the way out which allows it to sit in your chest. VCD also causes a raspy cough. Just made me think of that when you mentioned that being on an asthma regimen didnt give you relief. Also have you recently gotten a chest x-ray to be sure crud isnt settling in your chest? I would just be concerned you feel the medicine is doing the trick and your missing something that is going on. Be sure the medicine wont cause long term effects by taking it regularly since it isnt made for that. Alot of meds made for short term can eventually mess up body functions. I dont know much about that med the situation just sounds really strange.
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replied July 22nd, 2012
Thanks for the info, I haven't heard of VCD before. I'm going to check into it today. I went to an asthma specialist who did a bunch of tests and said my air levels were good and also had a chest x-ray at that time which was clear. He told me that some people's asthma flares up because of GERD, which may or may not be true for me. I've been on inhalers for over 20 years now, and they've been very effective as far as keeping my lungs open and clear...it acts up because of allergies (spring/fall) cold, nerves, mold, etc.. Lately though, it almost feels like there's one little bronchial tube that fills up with mucus and for some reason the inhaler doesn't get in there enough to open it so I can't clear it out. It's like a plug in that one section, very tight where no air can enter. Sometimes I feel a tiny bubbling sensation as if it's filling up really fast. I think that's why the cough medicine works for me, because it opens up that one little tube the inhalers can't get too. The combination of guaifenesin which thins it and the suppressant which allows me to bring up the mucus with one little cough without having to go into a loud, unproductive dry coughing fit over and over has been such a relief. I am going to check into VCD thoughit may be related to my symptoms. Thanks so much for telling me about it!
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replied August 30th, 2012
Theophylline
When I was a kid I had a severe form of wet asthma. I remember my mom beating on my back to try and get the mucus out of my lungs. Inhalers did not work and the only thing that started to control it was a high dosage of Theophylline. I would sprinkle it on top of ice cream every night.. really the only way I could eat it.. I know it has some possible side effects, but I can say it saved my life. Hope this helps!
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