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Doctor insights on: Can't Cough Up Phlegm

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Dr. Angelina Postoev
922 Doctors shared insights

Phlegm (Definition)

Phlegm is the thick, sticky mucus secreted by the surface of the respiratory tract during a cold or other respiratory infection. The respiratory tract includes the nose and sinuses, throat, voice box, bronchi, and lungs. Phlegm is mucus that may contain bacteria, viruses, respiratory surface cells, and inflammatory cells. Normal mucus is not phlegm, but a protective layer secreted ...Read more


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I have been having bronchi for at least month. Ear infection, then cold appeared. On Medrol (methylprednisolone) and decongestants, proair inhaler, but can't cough up phlegm?

I have been having bronchi for at least month. Ear infection, then cold appeared. On Medrol (methylprednisolone) and decongestants, proair inhaler, but can't cough up phlegm?

Chronic cough: A chronic cough needs to be seen by your internist or pulmonary docotr and/or ent, a cxr, asthma testing, blood test, test for whooping cough and fungal infection and make sure you don't have reflux or allergies, one shoulg not be using proair continuosly for one month. ...Read more

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Why can't I cough up phlegm when it feels like I need to?

Why can't I cough up phlegm when it feels like I need to?

Thick: It is probably too thick. Try to drink a lot of water, spend some time in a steam room to help get it out. ...Read more

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What causes me to cough up phlegm when I don't have even a cold?

What causes me to cough up phlegm when I don't have even a cold?

Possibilities...: Possibilities include chronic bronchitis, a form of copd, or perhaps bronchospasm or post-nasal drip. Each of these has different treatments so see your doctor to determine the diagnosis in your case. If you are smoking, you need to quit asap to decrease airway inflammation. ...Read more

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How come I cough up phlegm?

How come I cough up phlegm?

Possibilities...: If you have a productive cough chronically, you may have chronic bronchitis, a form of COPD typically caused by smoking. You should see your doctor as this can be treated and symptoms lessened. If you still smoke, smoking cessation is also needed and your doctor can help with this as well. ...Read more

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I am now afraid to cough up phlegm?

I am now afraid to cough up phlegm?

Cough it up: The problem with coughing is the discomfort or pain some people feel. Loosen the secretion with lots of fluid or expectorant/mucolytic or even bronchodilator if needed to make coughing easier. Phlegm not coughed up can thicken and plug or close the airways and can become culture media for infection to grow. So I suggest cough it up. ...Read more

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Why do I cough up phlegm that tastes like metal?

Blood: Sometimes with a very forceful cough there can be specks of blood or actual amounts of blood in the phlegm. Blood will have a typical metallic/iron taste. ...Read more

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Why do I constantly cough up phlegm all day long?

Why do I constantly cough up phlegm all day long?

See doctor...: Possible etiologies of a chronic productive cough include chronic bronchitis, a form of copd. Other possibilities include bronchospasm from any cause, gerd, post-nasal drip or a combination of these diagnoses. For diagnosis and treatment, you need to be evaluated by your doctor. If you currently smoke, you need to quit today! ...Read more

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When I cough up phlegm (its only on occasion) its white/foamy. Is that bad?  

When I cough up phlegm (its only on occasion) its white/foamy. Is that bad?  

No: If you cogh up geen, brown, or bloody plegm seeks medical attn. Especially if you have a fever. STOP SMOKING IF APPLICABLE IT INCREASES MUCOUS PRODUCTION ...Read more

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I cough up phlegm every time I eat. What causes this and should I be concerned?

I cough up phlegm every time I eat. What causes this and should I be concerned?

Reflux?: acid reflux can cause asthma and coughing. If you are coughing every time you eat, you may be having reflux due to either expansion of your stomach or the foods that you are eating. Spicy foods, alcohol, mints and chocolate are some of the foods that can cause reflux. ...Read more

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When I wake up in the morning I cough up phlegm, but every so often there will be small bright green balls in it. Is there something wrong with me?

When I wake up in the morning I cough up phlegm, but every so often there will be small bright green balls in it. Is there something wrong with me?

Why Coughing: This may be due to failure of your cilia to move bacteria out. Try stimulating cilia: Green tea with lemon, humming, drink extra water. Pulsed nasal irrigation is designed to stimulate nasal cilia - see www. Grossaninstittute. Com ...Read more

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I cough up phlegm after every meal?

I cough up phlegm after every meal?

Stuff going up/down: Sounds like acid reflux to me. But upper respiratory issues (sinusitis, allergies) causing mucus drainage down the throat or acid reflux up the throat can commonly result in those symptoms. Acid reflux or "silent reflux" commonly causes throat clearing, sensation of something stuck in throat, voice changes, post-nasal drip or phlegm in throat, and cough. Stay hydrated and see your doc! ...Read more

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Why do I cough up phlegm once I start running?

Why do I cough up phlegm once I start running?

Cough: This can be from post nasal drip or asthma and needs to be evaluated, you should see an allergist. ...Read more

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How can I get my 19 month- old son to cough up phlegm?

How can I get my 19 month- old son to cough up phlegm?

You cannot: A 19 mo old child does not have enough coordination to cough, feel sputum and spit. They usually swallow, and may cause stomach irritation. If your son has a lot of runny nose and swallow it, and hi has rattle in the throat, you may use suction bulb to suck out the junk in the nose, so that he does not swallow it to begin with. ...Read more

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Can you cough up phlegm with black bits in whilst taking certain vitamin tablets?

Can you cough up phlegm with black bits in whilst taking certain vitamin tablets?

Phlegm: Yes, you can cough up phlegm with black bits while taking vitamin tablets. Your specks you see in it are not parts of those tablets, as they are dissolved in your stomach. See a physician to see what is causing your cough. Good luck. ...Read more

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Whenever I finish an intensive cardio workout, I become congested beyond belief. I even cough up phlegm. What could be causing this?

Whenever I finish an intensive cardio workout, I become congested beyond belief. I even cough up phlegm. What could be causing this?

Exercise allergy: Exercise in some people can cause increase release of histamines which can in turn trigger different symptoms such as itchy skin, nasal congestion or even asthma. You may try to take over the counter non-sedating antihistamines 1 hour prior to exercise or get evaluated by pulmonologist, otolaryngologist or allergist ...Read more

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I never usually cough up phlegm with blood but today I coughed up phlegm with blood and it was thick im nervous and is wondering if its bronchitis?

I never usually cough up phlegm with blood but today I coughed up phlegm with blood and it was thick im nervous and is wondering if its bronchitis?

See a doctor: Usually if it happens once there is nothing to worry about, most likely it is secondary to dry cough.
if it keep happening you need evaluation by a lung specialist.
see your PCP ...Read more

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I have had a cough for 2+ months. In morning shower I cough up phlegm. Cough and runny nose sometimes extends thru the day. I don't feel sick, and a non-smoker.

I have had a cough for 2+ months. In morning shower I cough up phlegm. Cough and runny nose sometimes extends thru the day. I don't feel sick, and a non-smoker.

Chronic cough: A chronic cough with nasal symptoms and not feeling sick sounds like an allergic problem. Allergies are a chronic disease that often is annoying but not severe. When severe, allergy patients can have a worse average quality of life than cancer patients. A chronic cough for two months could be a viral bronchitis resolving slowly, or asthma, or a subacute sinus infection. Time to see an allergist. ...Read more

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I only cough up phlegm when I lay down, and sometimes a clear liquid comes from my nose?

I only cough up phlegm when I lay down, and sometimes a clear liquid comes from my nose?

Clear nasal drainage: Positional cough with phlegm can be caused by several things. It could be postnasal drainage from allergies or could be a sign of more serious lung or heart issue. If it persists a doctor should examine you and listen to your heart and lungs. Clear nasal drainage could just be a sign of nasal allergies or nasal irritation. It could also be cerebrospinal fluid leaking but doubt this if no trauma ...Read more

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Cough up phlegm from smoking marijuana? Am I already getting a smokers cough? I've been smoking mj past 3 months daily. Could this cause this?

Cough up phlegm from smoking marijuana? Am I already getting a smokers cough? I've been smoking mj past 3 months daily. Could this cause this?

Yes, it could be: Smoking any substance irritates the airways and lungs and can lead to coughing, mucous, etc. So yes, your cough could be caused by your smoking. Of course, mj can cause other side effects as well. ...Read more

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If your gallbladder is not functioning right after a meal when you cough up phlegm if you eat fatty or spicy foods?

If your gallbladder is not functioning right after a meal when you cough up phlegm if you eat fatty or spicy foods?

No: If am understanding your question correctly, coughing up phlegm after eating some foods would not be expected to be related to any gallbladder condition. ...Read more

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I have a stuffy nose, and I have a cough where it hurts my chest and I cough up phlegm. I need this gone by friday night please! Any remedies?

I have a stuffy nose, and I have a cough where it hurts my chest and I cough up phlegm. I need this gone by friday night please! Any remedies?

No magic bullet.: Whether one can get rid of your symptoms depends on the cause. An otc antihistamine/decongestant or afrin nasal spray for no more than 5 days may reduce the nasal congestion. If this is a long-term issue, be sure to see your doctor. ...Read more

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What causes a productive cough after eating? For the past few days, about 10 minutes after every meal, I cough up a large amount of phlegm from lungs

What causes a productive cough after eating? For the past few days, about 10 minutes after every meal, I cough up a large amount of phlegm from lungs

Acid reflux: Acid reflux, also known as gerd, which is very prevalent in overweight people especially (with 60% of americans being overweight, of course). Constant acid coming up from the stomach causes irritation that induces the formation of mucous, constantly trying to clear by coughing. Reflux is increased with smoking. See doctor for management of condition. ...Read more

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When you cough up phlegm/mucus with bronchitis, is it bad to swallow it, or must you spit it out every time?

When you cough up phlegm/mucus with bronchitis, is it bad to swallow it, or must you spit it out every time?

Not bad at all: It is totally harmless to swallow the phlegm (although it may sound gross). The stomach acid will kill whatever is in the phlegm. You don't have to kill yourself trying to spit it out. As long as it gets out of your lungs, that is most important. ...Read more

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If your gallbladder is not functioning right after a meal when you cough a lot and cough up phlegm when you eat spicy or fatty foods?

If your gallbladder is not functioning right after a meal when you cough a lot and cough up phlegm when you eat spicy or fatty foods?

GERD: When the gb is not functioning well, one gets dyspepsia which is the same symptoms as gerd. The acid that comes up can become gas and irritates the airways causing cough and the irritation causes mucous production. Spicy and fatty food are the triggers as the bile from the gb is used to neutralize them and improve their digestion. ...Read more

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I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 2 years ago now. I'm fighting a lot of issues with it. But now I cough up phlegm after eating anything! Help?

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 2 years ago now. I'm fighting a lot of issues with it. But now I cough up phlegm after eating anything! Help?

Postnasal drip/GERD: The problem you are having has several possibilities depending on how long after eating this occurs, position you are in, and the color/consistency of the phlegm. Food increases acid reflux which with/or without diabetes can lead to the pipe from mouth to stomach getting scarred and uncoordinated which can lead to your problem. Do not lay down after eating, eat small portions, bland food. See md. ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,596 Doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

The cough reflex is a protective mechanism that uses muscles in your throat and chest to expel mucous and saliva that may contain pathogens that would otherwise possibly be inhaled via aerosol or to expel pathogens infecting the throat and respiratory system. Cough benefits the host by reducing load and benefits the pathogen which may then spread via aerosol. ...Read more


Dr. Sue Ferranti
621 Doctors shared insights

Productive Cough (Definition)

Cough which ...Read more