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Doctor insights on: Coughing Up Salty Tasting Phlegm

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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

Dr. Angelina Postoev
925 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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Whenever I cough the phlegm that comes from inside has a funny taste which is there after I got an infection cold last week. What can it be? Advice.

Whenever I cough the phlegm that comes from inside has a funny taste which is there after I got an infection cold last week. What can it be? Advice.

Infection: That is a sign of your infection, either from a virus or from bacteria. It should get better. If not better in another week or so, or if it starts getting worse, talk to your doctor. You may need antibiotics. ...Read more

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What can cause a metallic taste with phlegm coming up with post pneumonia cough?

What can cause a metallic taste with phlegm coming up with post pneumonia cough?

Side effect: The metallic taste may sometimes be a side effect of the antibiotics that are frequently used to treat the pneumonia. Hence the metallic taste may not have much to do with the phlegm itself. ...Read more

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About 3 weeks ago I had a terrible head cold and recently when I cough it taste like bleach or chlorine and a lot of phlegm?

About 3 weeks ago I had a terrible head cold and recently when I cough it taste like bleach or chlorine and a lot of phlegm?

Normal: It is normal for phlegm to have a salty taste. It will clear up on its own.
For good health - Have a diet rich in fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat milk and milk products, nuts, beans, legumes, lentils and small amounts of lean meats. Avoid saturated fats. Exercise at least 150 minutes/week and increase the intensity of exercise gradually. Do not use tobacco, alcohol, weed or street drugs in any form.
Practice safe sex. ...Read more

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Fever 2days. Residual cough little to no phlegm. I smell like a sick person also bad taste. How long till the smell subsides? Cough n phlegm worse?

Fever 2days. Residual cough little to no phlegm. I smell like a sick person also bad taste. How long till the smell subsides? Cough n phlegm worse?

Herpes simplex: Viruses are respiratory viruses that infect the upper respiratory tract and cause bronchitis. Drink water and get a good rest. NSAIDs are also recommended every 6 hours. If concerned, see your PCP after 4 days or so. ...Read more

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I have had a cough for three weeks after moving to Seattle from NY. No allergy history, good amt of phlegm and rash cough. No metallic taste?

I have had a cough for three weeks after moving to Seattle from NY. No allergy history, good amt of phlegm and rash cough. No metallic taste?

Persistent coughing: Hi Marilyn,
Since your cough has persisted for more than two weeks, it needs to be evaluated. A physician should listen to your lungs with a stethescope and examine your ears and throat. A lung or bronchial infection, new onset asthma or sinus drainage are just three possible causes for a persistent cough. ...Read more

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I have a viral infection. Still have phlegm and cough. Two days now my mouth and tongue feel burnt. It hurts to eat and everything tastes different?

I have a viral infection. Still have phlegm and cough. Two days now my mouth and tongue feel burnt. It hurts to eat and everything tastes different?

GLOSSITIS: (inflammation of the mouth/tongue) is a common result of some upper respiratory and many stomach viruses.

Hope this is helpful

Dr Z ...Read more

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I cough up alot of phlegm in the whenever I wake. At times when I clear my throat the taste is gross. Also when I eat I always feel sick afterwards.

Morning flems smell: Bad taste can be from GI reflux or sinus problems and postnasal drip. Teeth problems or gum diseases. Check with your Dr. ...Read more

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I am having a metallic taste in my mouth and a worsening"hacking/phlegm" cough. In case its relevant, I am also taking Zoloft (sertraline) and Claritin for allergies. What should I do?

I am having a metallic taste in my mouth and a worsening"hacking/phlegm" cough. In case its relevant, I am also taking Zoloft (sertraline) and Claritin for allergies. What should I do?

Probably phelgm: Mucous secretion due to that produced in the upper sinus passages and upper airway as well at that produced in the lower respiratory tree can drain into the back of the mouth and when tasted, can have a metallic taste pending the type of infection, some blood and if mixed with medications, food and other ingestants, give the metallic taste. If this doesn't clear with "wellness" get checked out. ...Read more

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Phlegm taste in mouth and breath. Pain in sternum. No cough or cold just sometimes clearing of throat.?

Phlegm taste in mouth and breath. Pain in sternum. No cough or cold just sometimes clearing of throat.?

Phlegm in throat: Phlegm in the throat associated with throat clearing and heartburn symptoms sounds like acid reflux. Generally treatment would start out with acid avoidance (citrus, tomatoes, peppermint, coffee, peppermint, etc) Acid irritating the throat frequently results in increased mucous and prompts throat clearing. I advise increasing water intake and consider starting an antacid. See your doctor. ...Read more

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I have hayfever. I've had sore throat, cough, wheezy chest, phlegm taste in throat for 4 days, but no congestion. Is this hayfever even w/o congestion?

I have hayfever. I've had sore throat, cough, wheezy chest, phlegm taste in throat for 4 days, but no congestion. Is this hayfever even w/o congestion?

No way to tell w/o t: ...testing. The "wheezy" cough & phlegm suggests there may be congestion in the lungs. But is it hayfever or a viral infection? Or bacterial tracheitis? They all feel the same more-or-less, but are treated differently. Testing of phlegm, blood (allergy tests), chest X-ray, & other tools available to a doctor can sometimes tell the difference. TTYD or use HealthTap Prime to determine the cause. GL! ...Read more

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Cough 5+ days, constant cloudy/yellow phlegm lodged in throat-occasionally cough up. Sore throat, No fever, Dry nose, No smell/taste & Cracking Voice?

Cough 5+ days, constant cloudy/yellow phlegm lodged in throat-occasionally cough up. Sore throat, No fever, Dry nose, No smell/taste & Cracking Voice?

Be assessed: You have many symptoms of a virus or flu but should be examined to make sure you are not presenting with pneumonia or sinus disease. Hope you feel better soon. ...Read more

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Why do I taste blood when I cough? I've had a frequent, productive cough for the past 2 days. Should I be concerned?

Why do I taste blood when I cough? I've had a frequent, productive cough for the past 2 days. Should I be concerned?

Yes: You are obviously already concerned but have not provided enuf info to allow advice guiding you further. Do you have fever, chest pain, shortness of air, have you been exposed to someone with infection, and so on. Go and see a doctor and let them examine you, and they may need a chest x-ray. Good luck. ...Read more

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I had a cold but got rid of it a mth ago. But since then I feel 100% but have like a rattle in my chest. Whezing, n cough up flem that tastes horrible?

Bronchitis Bronchiol: It sounds like bronchitis or bronchiolitis. The mucus collected in the air tubes can act as a culture medium for bacteria resulting in a bacterial infection. Sometimes if you are healthy you can fight it off sometimes you need to see a doctor to get antibiotics. If it is persisting you must see your doctor. If there is associated fever, chest pain or shortness of breath, it could be pneumonia ...Read more

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I have a very nasty cough cant stop coughing finding it hard it breath horrible taste when coughing up yellow/green phlem?

I have a very nasty cough cant stop coughing finding it hard it breath horrible taste when coughing up yellow/green phlem?

Mgt: I would suggest drinking fluids, rest and if you have a fever for more than one day, seeing your PCP. You may have bronchitis, Most bronchitic infections are viral but some should be treated with a course of antibiotics. If you have lung disease, smoke, or are experiencing shortness of breath, please see your ED right away. ...Read more

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Moved into new house and allergies are awful. Get asthmatic when in bedrooms for a long time. On allergy med and shots. Cough up flem and taste blood.

Clean/HEPA filter: If you are coughing up any blood tinged fluid, you could have an infection or other lung problem. It is best to check with you doctor.
For your allergic asthma, cleaning the carpets, dusting with a mask on, and buying a hepa filter unit will help to decrease your exposure to environmental triggers of your asthma.
Take asthma medications as prescribed and avoid areas that trigger your cough. ...Read more

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Cough with dark phlegm?

Cough with dark phlegm?

Cough: Dark phlegm: This sounds like bronchitis or a cold or pneumonia. Sometimes when we cough a lot of violently we break small blood vessels and blood can get on or into the mucous.

As long as you are not freely bleeding this is considered routine and normal. ...Read more

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What is best for cough with phlegm.

What is best for cough with phlegm.

Robitussin: I would recommend doing a sinus wash so that you get rid of the mucous, maybe using mucinex or robitussin. ...Read more

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Foamy phlegm with cough lasting over 4weeks?

Foamy phlegm with cough lasting over 4weeks?

Cough: If you have not been sick it ma be silent acid reflux or LPR. If you have been sick, it may be bronchitis or walking pneumonia-see your doctor ...Read more

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Should a child swim when she has a wet cough and lots of phlegm?

Should a child swim when she has a wet cough and lots of phlegm?

Belief system: If you believe that a child can catch cold from cold weather, then she shouldn't swim. If she is having trouble breathing, then she shouldn't swim. If she is happy, running and playing and mobilizing her phlegm, swimming should not make her sick. Most mothers and certainly grandmothers would vote NO SWIMMING. ...Read more

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Why does I always have phlegm esp in morning eventhough I don't have cough orflu.

Why does I always have phlegm esp in morning eventhough I don't have cough orflu.

Morning Phlegm: Think of gravity as your friend during the daytime when all the phlegm drains down but when you lay down at night, gravity is not your friend and those sinuses fill up with fluid. Then you wake up and gravity pulls everything down the back of your throat. ...Read more

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I am producing clear thick phlegm after I recuperate from cough. Is that normal?

I am producing clear thick phlegm after I recuperate from cough. Is that normal?

Normal: Yes, respiratory infections by some viruses might take longer to recuperate and cause cough for several weeks after acute infections. ...Read more

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Excess phlegm with cough which has never happened to me before. How do I stop this?

Excess phlegm with cough which has never happened to me before. How do I stop this?

Diagnosis first...: Before this cough can be treated, the cause needs to be diagnosed. Possibilities include acute bronchitis from an infection of the airways, chronic bronchitis, a form of copd, bronchospasm with airway inflammation, post-nasal drip or a combination of factors. The treatments for these are all different so you need to see your doctor so your cough can be diagnosed and treated. ...Read more

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I don't get sick easily, but I have had a nasty wet cough & phlegm for nearly 2 weeks. What is it?

I don't get sick easily, but I have had a nasty wet cough & phlegm for nearly 2 weeks. What is it?

Hard to tell: Perhaps seeing a doctor to listen to your lungs, check you head, ears, eyes, nose throat and vital signs will determine if you have a virus or pneumonia. Good luck ...Read more

Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,613 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
625 Doctors shared insights

Productive Cough (Definition)

Cough which ...Read more