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Chest Pain And Dark Phlegm Worries

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Please could I have some advice as I am getting a bit worried about some chest symptoms that I am experiencing.

Firstly I do smoke cannabis (without tobacco) on a regular basis and have done for many years now. I have been getting pain in my chest on the right hand side under my collarbone for a couple of months now. The pain comes and goes, and i’m not sure if it is my lung or ribs that are aching, or if I have injured a muscle in my pectoral. My concern being that I feel fine in the morning but have been producing brown specks and the odd lump in my phlegm, this will stop after being up and about for an hour or so. I don’t have a cough and otherwise my lungs feels clear. I run regularly between 3-8 miles 2-3 times a week with no pain or noticeable problems with my breathing, in fact I keep besting my times. I have in the past stopped smoking for several months at a time and have produced this phlegm for a few weeks then it goes away. I assumed that this was just the oil and muck coming out of my lungs.

The reasons I am unclear about if it is muscular is that if I “pull” my shoulders back as if I were on a parade ground the discomfort increases in the chest. Also I find that the ache is far less after I have had a hot bath (possibly the effects of the steam?). I have over the summer been working delivering water which was very heavy work, lifting down 18.5 litre bottles from my truck always taking the load on my right shoulder then carrying them two at a time all over the place! The first time that I started to get these chest pains was strangely when I was on holiday and was not lifting anything heavy. I am no longer moving water about my chest pains seemed to start as my heavy work stopped (give or take a few weeks)

i have seen my local doctor about this problem, I did omit the fact that I smoke cannabis as I cant have that on my records, and didn’t raise the oil in my phlegm as a result of wanting to keep that private. He listened to my chest and got me to do some resistance tests with my arm and he feels that it is a muscle problem.

The one thing that is worrying me is that the ache does feel worse once I have smoked some cannabis, i’m not sure if that’s my lung’s being aggravated or the psychological effects of the drug.

I used to work as a diver and I am looking to return and so killing two birds with one stone I am awaiting a diving medical. This will look at my lung and heart function as well as chest x-rays. I’m hoping that this will show up anything sinister that may be going on.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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First Helper Trimix
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replied November 25th, 2005
Your Pain
You know, I used to smoke that stuff too. I smoke cigarettes now tho. It is a known fact that smoking cannabis, especially unfiltered is like smoking 5 cigarttes or more each joint. The truth of the matter is, you know that oily brown hash that comes off the end of a joint or the brown color that resides in a bong after its been used a few times?? Well thats the stuff that is sitting in your lungs. You can run 60 miles a day. That wont help. You experience the cough more in the morning because over night, as you sleep, that sludge settles. Your breathing slows and your not taking in as much air as you would while awake. So int he morning, the sludge moves and your taking in deeper breaths, therefore you hack and cough up this gunk. The pain in your should could be due to the work you do. You could even have a hairline fracture in your collarbone. You could have a bad part of your lung right there that is damaged. Your colarbone runs right across a major artery and the tops of your lungs. My advice, go to your doctor and tell him whats going on. Tell him you dont smoke the stuff anymore. It is patient confidentiality, he cant run and turn you into the cops for it. Best have an x-ray done tho....And hey if you want to keep smoking it, your never gunna get rid of that sludge. I smoke regular cigs and I have it too. Its just not brown resin.
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replied February 2nd, 2006
Hello again

i have been to see the doctor who heard some rattle in my lower right quadrant (strange as my pains are top right) this came back normal, no action. I continued to bring up dark sputum and returned for another visit, I was then put on a weeks course of amoxicilin which didn't seem to have any affect on my pain or sputum production. I went back again with the same complaints (sounding like a broken record) and saw a different doctor who sent me for blood tests immunology (aspergalosis) haematology and cytology all came back normal.

At this time I stopped smoking and was also put back on another week of amoxicilin. During this week my sputum producion dropped in quantity and also became alot lighter (from dark brown/grey to a lighter brown) I have now stopped smoking apart from the odd weak moment, after which the next day I have a reaccurence of the chest pain and also darker sputum production. So I have now stopped completely.

I am now awaiting a appointment with a chest consultant but and concerned about some other sympoms I am experiencing.

Almost daily I have a very mild stitch like feeling under my ribs on the right, a low grade sore throat (could be from clearing what muck is still coming up) and now have a swollen gland in my left armpit, dull ache.

Any advice would be very gladly recieved as im quite worried now.

Mark
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replied February 11th, 2008
Hello Trimix
While I'm not glad to hear you weren't feeling well, I am interested in your experience with smoking, sputum, and the swollen gland in the armpit. I'm experiencing the same symptoms. I've smoked green daily for a quite a few years now, no cigarettes though.

A little over two weeks ago I caught a cold, which eventually became what I think was bronchitis and I started having very forceful coughing episodes, especially at night before going to sleep. I would cough up sputum. This lasted for a few days and my body became sore from coughing so much and so hard. Now my cough has subsided but has been replaced with a slight sore throat and my right armpit seems swollen with a dull ache. Every time I cough, clear my throat or generally move the pain in my armpit area increases. Until I caught the cold/bronchitis I had never felt the dull ache in the armpit.

I've stopped smoking and drinking alcohol entirely for the past two weeks with no problems. It was obvious to me that that is a smart move. Though I've never experienced the pain in my armpit like that and it is freaking me out. I see that you posted this in November of 2005. What was the resolution to your issue? I feel like the swollen area is a leftover from my bronchitis/cold and it will subside shortly. If you could write back and let me know how it turned out I'd be appreciative.

Thank you
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replied March 24th, 2008
really starting to bother me
Hey- I am really becoming worried about my sharp chest pains and am waiting a week to see a doctor again.

It began a couple days before new years, while i was smoking marijuana with my buddies. I know many of you are saying- you shouldnt be smoking that, you got what was coming to you, but hear me out. During our smoking session, I had a small coughing fit, and suddenly i felt a sharp pain in my chest. I began to panic and went home to just rest it off. The next couple weeks, i still had the chest pains, and I thought it must have just been a chest muscle that i pulled or strained when i coughed.

However, it is now 3 months in, and they are still there, maybe even worse. I kept smoking after it happened since i was convinced it was just a muscle problem, but now i have stopped. I havent smoked at all today but i am sitting here in pain right now. When i went to the doctor about two months ago, I told her i smoke marijuana and she took an EKG and my blood pressure and everything looked fine.

She told me simply to stop smoking, and now that I have and the chest pains are continuing, I am really nervous. It is a sharp pain that can occur either on the left OR right side, and it can even spread so that it feels like there is a pain deep in my back. It isnt like when i take deep breaths it hurts or anything, just randomly it will start hurting. I also have had a couple times where i feel like I am not taking as deep breaths as i should be taking.

Reading the above posts makes me think that maybe it is OCPD, which scares the daylights out of me. Any suggestions?
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replied March 28th, 2008
Am feeling better
Hello, just wanted to chime back in and share that I've felt better for the past month or so. It seems as if I caught some kind of severe cold or flu. Many of the people in the office where I worked experienced the same symptoms to greater or lesser degrees. I do believe that my smoking habits had something to do with me falling into the greater degree category. I may have had bronchitis, I'm not sure.

There was a new symptom every week for 4-5 weeks so by the 4th week it really started to wear on me and that's when I posted my message above in this thread. Eventually I found information that lead me to believe the pain in my armpit was related to my body fighting off an infection in that area. That pain climaxed and then disappeared in a few days. Last night I even practiced yoga so I feel much better.

If you're experiencing these symptoms under similar circumstances, stop smoking entirely is the first thing you should do. This was obvious to me and eventually I did start to heal. If you want to start again later that is fine but at least go through a few weeks without smoking anything or going into smokey bars and let your lungs clean out and repair themselves somewhat. I'd imagine it would take longer than a few weeks for the lungs of serious smokers to return to a semblance of normality, so a few weeks at the very least.

Dbones it sounds like you are experiencing something slightly different than what Trimix and I were experiencing.

Best of health to you all and good luck.
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replied March 30th, 2008
ya sorry
ok sorry guys i went to my doctor and he said it is damage to my chest wall.. i worried myself into thinking i had something i did not. My doctor said he likes sites like this because it can sometimes scare ppl into going to see him hahaha. If you are just having bad chest pains with no other major symptoms (i had a minor cough and minor shortness of breath) it is probably nothing too serious, just a damaged chest wall. He perscribed some light steroids to promote healing and I should be fine in a couple weeks (although i cant go to the gym in the meantime)

I wish you all good health and good fortune
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replied April 20th, 2008
Extremely eHealthy
Yes, you can get that from smoking. But, you may have an infection coming on as that is one of the first symtoms. Could esially lead to pneumonia if you don't catch it in time. I would see your doctor if you are concerned enough. Never hurts ya know.
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replied May 10th, 2008
Hi Trimix
Hi there, did you find out what the problem was, as i;ve been experincing exactly the same symptoms, especially when i pull my shoulders back x
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replied October 14th, 2009
Coughing and chest pain
Hi, my mother died as a result of lung cancer which then traveled to her brain. First let me say that it is very important that you tell your doctor that you smoke MJ. Ask him not to write it in your record. The doctor will respect that. Truth is, the doctor can't help you if you lie. A doctor will take the information you give to them and base their diagnosis on tests and information supplied. Omitting that you are putting this smoke into your lungs is not doing you any favors, or them as your care giver. Now, my mother coughed as if she inhaled fluid. That kind of choking slash coughing. I told her it sounded like chronic bronchitis. Finally got her to the doctor. She did not cough up phlem or mucus, but rather just a bit of spit. I think it was the tumor 'itching' her lung when she breathed that caused the coughing fits. I doubt you have cancer, but you should always check these things with your doctor. The pain in your pectal area is probably the result of injury. I ripped a chest muscle clear off the bone and it felt like a spring snapped in my chest. The pain comes and goes depending on which side I sleep on at night. My guess (remember I'm no doctor) is that you have a slight infection in your airway and when you lay down at night it is as the other poster said, sitting there because of your shallow breathing. You are describing what people do when they have walking pneumonia. Go to the doctor. Tell them everything, MJ info and all and get what care you need to get better. Don't forget to mention the muscle pain. Good luck!
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replied January 11th, 2011
Problems?
hey im havin brown specks in my phlegm...

and i had thee worst panic attack from MJ couple days ago
my breathing is fine ... but im not sick
and i have a lymph node under my jaw, which is a sign of it fighting an infection!! but i am not sick!!

im 21 and dont have health care what tha hell should i do?
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replied January 11th, 2011
hey im havin brown specks in my phlegm...

and i had thee worst panic attack from MJ couple days ago, And i did smoke cigarettes but i quit...last week
my breathing is fine ... but im not sick
and i have a lymph node under my jaw, which is a sign of it fighting an infection!! but i am not sick!!

im 21 and dont have health care what tha hell should i do?
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replied May 25th, 2011
Snaekermanjaydc: I had pain in my tooth or jaw. Saw docs (ENT, oral surgeon). They finally decided there was a tumor. Had it removed over two surgeries. Path report said benign. Doc disagreed. Sent slides to USC and confirmed cancer. FOLLOW UP ON YOUR SYMPTOMS, MAN. Mine was over 25 yrs ago, right after college. No problems since.... Best to you.
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replied February 17th, 2011
Brown specs in phlegm
snaekermanjaydc, the brown specks in your phlegm are normal for someone who has quit smoking or reduced smoking recently. I quit smoking weed about 2 months ago and had the same brown specs as everyone else who quits after smoking too much for too long, which I worried at first were discharges from an open sore in my lower throat (or even cancer), but after about a month the brown specs disappeared, so a week ago I tried smoking again and now I'm seeing the brown specs in my sputum again (though not as much). What I gather from research I have done is that by quitting smoking my lungs are allowed to purge themselves of the tar and resin that I inhale when I smoke, and likewise your lymph node could also be kicking in because your body has changed its approach from accepting the tars and resins to trying to fight them. It could also be something else, but probably nothing serious.

Best advice I can give... and this is what I'm trying to do... is quit smoking entirely until your symptoms disappear and stay gone for at least a couple months.

Seems like a lot of people go to the doctor about this and have expensive tests done only to be told that they are fine but to quit smoking. Well sometimes it is necessary to hear it from a doctor, but I can tell you the same thing for free and if you listen to me you'll probably be just as well off and without the hospital bill.
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replied May 20th, 2011
Chest Pain under collar bone
I have been smoking marijuana daily now for about 2-2 1/2 years now and do not smoke cigs at all. For the past week or so I have felt a pain in my upper right chest under the collar bone and sometimes between the ribs. I have also been coughing up plem anywhere from green to dark green to brown. I went to the doctor who said I had a upper respiratory infection and put me on augmentin. I took a week off smoking but I smoked again yesterday and the pain intensified and I cant tell if its because of the coughing or if it is a serious problem. My doc measured my white blood cells and oxygen level (all fine) but I'm the kind of guy that worries about this stuff. I have not had these symptoms the entire time I have smoked except the past week but now I'm worried about lung damage. I have had some anxiety problems in the past but in my experience marijuana has been my anxiety reliever. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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replied September 30th, 2011
I am 33 and have been smoking for 20 years, I have also smoked caannabis for about 20 years and I too cough brown thick pleghm in the morning (and throughout the day) I have pain under my right shoulder in my back, but yet I keep smoking. I have seen numerous people die of lung cancer, my dad died of a heart attack and his death certificate stated his cause of death was smoking related, but yet I continue to smoke and my excuse is because I enjoy it. I hate the smell of cigarettes, breath and clothes, the way it makes me feel, the way I cough throughout the day and have to spit, but I always have an excuse. My advice to you people that say you smoked 2 years and you experience pleghm, you ain't seen nothing yet. Quit while you can, if you continue it will only get worse. My pleghm started with brown specs, now it is full blown brown and that is why I am here today, reading everyone else's problems. It sucks and it's scary and everyday I try to quit. Somedays I feel like I can't breath in good or let it all out, I have a sharp pain when I inhale deeply and I can't kick the habit! I am not asking for advice, I tried it all, I just wanted to let you know what to expect if you continue to smoke.
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replied October 30th, 2011
Use the patches or some other form of nicotine delivery to quit the cigarettes! I never understood addiction until I quit smoking. I always thought addicts were weak, but what I learned was that the physical part of chemical addiction can over-ride your mental and emotional determination. The tobacco companies put just enough nicotine into their products so your body will NEED more about every 2-4 hours! If you use a weaning method, it will take care of your body's physical resistance to stop smoking. Meanwhile, you can use your emotional and mental strengths to deal with the habit part. Prior to stopping, change the way you smoke - make it as difficult as you can so it is no longer "normal" and comfortable. Use the other hand to hold the cigarette, make yourself stand outside, get up and move right after meals, hold the cigarette but take deep breaths instead of lighting up right away, etc. Watch your alcohol and caffine intake as they have chemicals that cause you to crave the nicotine!
I offer this advice because cigarettes killed both my parents. My dad died from emphysema (and he was frightened and miserable the last 3 years of his life because he couldn't breathe). My mother quit smoking in her 60s but more than 15 years later, she asked a smoking relative for and was given a cigarette. She went out into the garage to smoke it, got dizzy, fell and broke her hip and never recovered.
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replied November 13th, 2011
Pain under right collarbone and dark flem
I have the pain under my right collarbone too and I now have dark brown flem, However 2 colleagues at my school have had bouts of pnumonia. I have been to the doctor and have. Cleared of pnumonia.

Help anyone!
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replied January 25th, 2012
Cannibis smoke lung pain
I have same problems but hopefully we r ok. U seem like a cool
Dude. My problems stem from some broken ribs from police beating me up and when it snows and rains it hurts bad. But I Al's had pneumonia... Try a bong or vaporizer

Any word on what's wrong?
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