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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
869 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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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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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 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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Dr. Sue Ferranti
3,448 doctors shared insights

Cough (Definition)

Coughing is an important way to keep your throat and airways clear. However, excessive coughing may mean you have an underlying disease or disorder. Some coughs are dry, while others are considered productive. A productive cough is one ...Read more