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Old 05-11-2006, 10:14 PM   #1
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Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

chemical toxicity is what caused my contsant mucus in my throat.
I was exposed to a mineral supplement that contained lithium and arsenic iodine and other trace minerals or colloidal metal mixture, its toxic stuff, at least it was to me.

I had developed thyroiditis too as a result, both the mucus and thryoid problem happened around the same time.

im only 25 and have been dealing with this for 2 years now.

I get thick sticky mucus, or Post nasal drip after eating drinking, exercising, putting on makeup or perfumes, anthing that stimulates my body. The mucus isnt so much a problem as is the pain that goes along with it.

If I dont hack up the phlegm I get facial swelling and pain in my face, jaw and cheeks and sometimes hands feet and eyes.

The headaches come on about 20 min after I eat and my jaw really hurts and cracks and the mucus starts flowing.

Its depressing and makes me feel less attractive.

I have tried many diets and pills and sprays and supplements.
I think that avoiding gluten and dairy helps a little bit.

Im still trying to find relief for myself, maybe there are some sort of emzymes I can take or somthing....

DOes anyone else have JAW pain or facial swelling, headaches with their mucus? Id really like to know.

I have already been evaluted for TMJ, hasnt helped.

 
Old 05-12-2006, 05:28 AM   #2
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

Christine,

Constant throat clearing and mucous is a horrible troublesome condition. Like you, I developed this after a toxic exposure (in my case, it was to exhaust fumes backdrafting from my my furnace after I moved into an old house). Like you, the throat problems were coupled with the development of thyroid problems (Beginning Graves/multi-nodular thyroid - I have to watch it and make sure it doesn't turn into a goiter)

This happened when I was 28, 3 1/2 years ago.

Well, it took over 6 months for me to find a diagnosis for the counstant throat clearing - and I actually had an Environmental Health doctor at Yale send me to his colleague who is an ENT at Yale. She diagnosed me with a condition called "laryngeal pharyngeal reflux" or "LPR". No doctor has ever been able to prove how I developed the LPR when I was previously healthy, but I know that whenever I was in that house on the 1st floor above the basement area, I would have horrendous coughing fits that would go away if I went outside or up to the 2nd floor. Apparently, the toxic exhaust would relax my esophageal spinchters and allow acid to flow into my esophogous and up my throat. After 3 months of this, I believe that my esophogeal spinchters became permanently weakened and all of a sudden I couldn't stop couging and throat clearing no matter where I was - and it was constant all the time.

You may have heard of GERD before. GERD is the best-known form of acid reflux. It stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. The big symptom that everyone has heard of is heartburn. Heartburn is simply acid flowing upwards from your stomach into the esophogous because the lower esophageal spinchter muscle isn't working properly and doing it's job.

Well there is a 2nd form of acid reflux called "LPR", which is laryngeal pharyngeal reflux. Most LPR patients don't get heartburn - instead they complain of 1 or more of the following "chronic throat clearing", "constant cough", sinusistis-like symptoms, "lump-in-throat" sensation". And 90% of LPR patients don't have any heartburn. Doctors aren't exactly sure how the acid gets all the way into the throat - it's thought that maybe it goes up the esophous too quickly to cause damage there, then exits the esophogous via the upper esophageal spinchter muscle and into the throat. But once it's in the throat, you get the horrible throat symptoms. Mostly because the larynx itself is in the throat and has no natural protection against acid. So the larynx swells up and becomes candy-apple red. The mucous in your throat then begins spreading the acid throughout your sinuses, causing weird irritations, erosions, sometimes high levels of sensitivity to smells, etc. For some people a little acid can even get aspirated into the lungs from the throat and mimic asthma.

Treatment is simple. It's 2 doses of a PPI a day. A PPI is a proton-pump inhibitor. One ion of acid is just a naked Hydrogen ion - a proton. So PPIs work by decreasing the amount of acid that you produce, lowering concentration. This way, less acid gets out of your stomach and into your throat. They are very effective.

There are 4 Prescription PPIs available under the brand names: Nexium, Aciphex, Prevacid and Protonix. Nexium is the "latest and greatest to market". I've been on it 3.5 years every since it came out and I have done great. 95-99% of my symptoms on any given day are gone. But I have to take it every day.

Most doctors have never heard of LPR. The ones that do are typically ENTs at large university hospitals in metropolitan areas. However, knowing what you know now about LPR, you can still have local ENT test you. Because the diagnsotic procedure is the same.

You go to an ENT and inhale a numbing spray into your nose. The ENT then gently slides a thin wire with a miniature camera at the end up your nose and into your throat. The camera provides a video of your larynx and you see it on a monitor. If the larynx is red and swollen - then the doctor will go "AHA! Acid Reflux". It's just that most doctors don't know how LPR differs from GERD, and often don't know to prescribe 2 pills a day instead of one.

This is important! If you have LPR (red, swollen laryx), you MUST take 2 doses of a PPI a day. 1 will simply not work.

If the nexium doesn't work, go onto the next drug. I'd give each drug at least a week to work. I was one of the luck ones. After 6 months of PPI treatment at the 1 a day level, I still had every symptom. When the Yale doctor put me on 2 pills a day, the symptoms disappeared within 30 minutes of the double dose.

Also, either your PCP or ENT should be able to give you some free samples of NExium to get you started - the drug reps always give them loads of free samples. Don't hesitate to ask. Also, doctors get cozy with certain drug reps and will sometimes recommend whatever drug their favorite rep (ie: rep who's taking them to more golf games) is pushing. Demand Nexium, regardless of their opionion. Don't waste any more time. I want to see you feeling better!

I don't know where you live - but the doctors familiar with LPR that I have seen are Dr. Eugenia Vining in New Haven, CT (with Yale) and Dr. David Katzka (Gastroenterologist, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia)

But you might as well go to a local ENT first and at least have them scope your throat. Just demand 2 pills a day if you indeed have a red and swollen laryx.

 
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Old 05-12-2006, 06:27 AM   #3
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

I almost forgot - you can find lots of other people with LPR at the GERD message board. We don't have our own board and have to share it with the heartburn crowd - but you'll find that most people there have some form of LPR.

 
Old 05-14-2006, 09:29 AM   #4
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

wow. thank you hon!!
I hope you are right that nexuim will help. Its actually somthing I havent tried yet. And I happen to have some samples in my medicine cabinet!
I can totally go and get scoped from my ENT and if it works take it every day.

So you had thyroid problems too? How is your thyroid now, has it recovered?
I hope so.

I truly believe in environmental toxicity induces a lot of problems, did you get out of that basement I hope!!!

When I took the supplement it came in liquid form, I swallowed it and it burnt my mouth and throat really bad on the way down, and I got the most herrendous metallic taste in my mouth like poison, nothing ive ever tasted before.

My neck swelled up started getting tired after that and had hasmotos and constant mucus.

No one has ever thought of treating me with Nexium beofre and I had dismissed thoughts about reflux because I dont have heart burn. But I do hiccup and burp somtimes if I eat too fast.

Im so glad I found you here, thanks for resonding, I hope your right.

I will ask my doctor to scope me and about it.

Im in Columbus, OH.

Thats great that you got to see an ENT from Yale, im sure there the best in the country.,,,, ohh and where can I find an environmental helath doctor.

I have to try the nexium, are there any other foods I should avoid, and also do you still have any symptoms....

sorry for asking so many questions, im just excited!

Christina

 
Old 05-14-2006, 04:51 PM   #5
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

Hi Christine,

You asked: "So you had thyroid problems too? How is your thyroid now, has it recovered?"

I haven't recovered from the thyroid problem and don't think I will. I've been told that enlarged thyroids don't get smaller on their own. I've had no physical symptoms yet (it was discovered by manual palpitation, and then confirmed with ultrasound), but they could come on any day due to the amount of enlargement.

The LPR and the thyroid developed simultaneously, which might be a coincidence, but I just can't believe it given what I was going through. I can tell you that the exhaust exposure caused me a lot of stress, because I could smell it, and I knew it was making me cough, so I was totally panicked because I couldn't escape it - it was my house. Stress coupled with sickness can just lead to even more sickness. And obviously the stress weakened my immune system somehow.

It took 6 months to fix the damn furnace. I can't tell you how many people I had come to the house to look at it and tell me there was nothing wrong. As it turned out, the backdrafting was intermittant, and only occured after the furnace turned on (which is just ever 20 minutes or so). So if the person isn't there at that exact moment, they weren't able to detect the exhaust.

Finally someone figured it out and we installed a special fan on the furnace, then moved the hell out of that house -too many horrible memories. Found another wonderful house that is comfortable to live. in.


You said "When I took the supplement it came in liquid form, I swallowed it and it burnt my mouth and throat really bad on the way down, and I got the most herrendous metallic taste in my mouth like poison, nothing ive ever tasted before." I'm really sorry this happened to you. I fully believe that there are a lot of really dangerous things out there that are supposedly "safe" and really aren't.

Many doctors believe that stress has something to do with GERD, if not LPR for sure. Apparently, stress can contribute to the weakening of the esophageal spinchters. If this is the case, perhaps your body had an immune reaction to the supplement, and in addition to developing the Hashimotos, maybe it also weakened the spinchters, or possibly caused the larynx to begin expressing acid.

My question for you is - is it possible that the mucus and coughing is separate from the hashimotos? Are mucus and clearing/coughing ever associated with Hashimotos?

You said "No one has ever thought of treating me with Nexium beofre and I had dismissed thoughts about reflux because I dont have heart burn. But I do hiccup and burp somtimes if I eat too fast.". Why would anyone associate what you have with acid reflux? Most people (and rightfully so) think "heartburn" when they think of reflux. And even most doctors haven't heard of larygeal reflux. I don't have heartburn, and I have acid reflux.


You said "Thats great that you got to see an ENT from Yale, im sure there the best in the country.,,,, ohh and where can I find an environmental helath doctor". It wasn't easy at all to find a doctor who could help me. I saw what I thought were "the best of the best" many times and they had no clue. From those experiences, I learned that young doctors are morons. They don't have enough experience, and they also don't get enough experience in their internships treating very basic conditions. The only doctors I found that helped me and could identify the problem were highly experiened doctors at university hospitals in major metropolitan areas.

I haven't seen an environmental health doctor since that time because there is nothing they can do to help. The reason I saw one to begin with is that the reflux was making me horribly sensitive to all smells, and it was so maddening. But I got lucky in that the environmental health doctor at yale could kind of recognize the symptoms of reflux and refer me on to his colleague.

If you feel that you need to find an environmental health doctor, you should look to the "American Academy of Environmental Medicine". They should be able to give you a referral or a list of doctors in your area.

However, I'd recommend seeing the ENT first. You might want to consider going to a very experienced physician at Ohio State Universtiy Medical Center's Otolaryngology department.

If you do have LPR and the medicine works but you have breakthrough coughing (which almost everybody does, but at a manageable level) you can try diet modification. But the trigger foods are different in many people. The worst for me are any kind of carbonated beverage, fatty meats, anything fried, and most chocolate.

But I have terrible willpower and will frequently indulge in the above, just in very small portions.

General small portions (in meals) is another way I control the LPR.

Do you ever feel like there is something stuck in your throat? It's another symptom of LPR that not everybody gets.

Usually people either have the "lump/stuck in throat feeling" OR the coughing/clearing/sore throat. Sometimes people have both but not all.

 
Old 05-15-2006, 12:41 AM   #6
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

I just want to start by saying, Thanks for the wonderful comments, and helpful suggestions.

Yes I do get the feeling like I have a lump in my throat, im aware of my neck. The neck swelling was worse a year ago when I was first dx with hashimotos thyroiditis, and my TSH was up and thyroid antibodies were elevated above the normal range. I still feel a lump in my throat but not as bad as previously when I had chronic painful thyroiditis.
Somtimes I have enlarged tender lymph nodes in my neck that I can palpate and feel, they feel hard, and somtimes I get the sensation that its hard to swallow, or that im swalling a lump.

I wake up most mornings with a puffy dry face and mouth, a dull achey head, and sore throat, probably from the constant clearing I do all the time.

Overall, The headaches have really been a problem for me.
If I can get the mucus out and it can drain, thin and watery, I can blow it out of my nose and get relief, but latley (8 months) its sticky and very viscous, and it stops draining and im mostly dry 10 min after the initial PND occurs, then the jaw swelling head swelling starts and spreads all over my face, causing pain and the feeling of pressure in my face accompnied by water retention. Also somtimes I get it in my hands and feet if its a really bad day.

Hashimotos patients or thyroid patients can have PND and mucus hypersecretion ive read, they can also get myxedema, a classic hypo symptom which literally means mucus swelling. Its cause it still unknown, but its thought to be related to immune mechamisms involving thyroid hormone receptors. In primary myxedema Intersitial tissues of the face hands and feet become infiltrated with mucopolysaccrides, mainly chondroiton sulfate, and hylauronic acid, which have a high affinity for water, these proteins attract water and creates swelling of the tissues creating a puffy appearance, with a build up of fuild and pressure. The treatment is thryoid hormone replacement, but I am euythroid right now. My TSh is 1.0, but these remaining symptoms still linger. Ive read that in some euythroid individuals the symptoms still persist and that the medical community doesnt really have the foggiest idea about what the true etoligy of myxedema is.

There may be a leakage of cells, or somthing wrong with the mucosal, or epitheial barriers where damaged by drink the caustic chemicals.

My speculation is that the damage is of oxidative origin, I have read studies about oxidative damage relating to the substance I injested, and that it also causes goiter, a rare arthritic disease called *****n beck disease, and also read in one study how it increased the levels of mucopolysaccrides in anmials after they injested it.

The chemical is called humic acid which binds with heavy metals and coal hydrogen atom ions, In the form I took it it was treated with chlorine, I guess to kill the pathogens, which actually when bound with chlorine becomes a polychlorinate biphenol and even more mutagenic aparantly. A first class endocrine disruptor.

Not a good product in my opinion. lol

Off that subject,,,tho

I want to know if you get headaches, or facial pain, swelling or was it just the mucus you experienced from the toxic furnace fumes.

Also I read that one of the side effects of nexium is headache and drymouth. This I mention because I suffer wtih headache, and Im almost scarred to put anymore drugs into my body at this point. Seems like everything ive tried so far has made things worse.

I know that PPI's are somthing to nonchalantly mess around with.
I so badly want it to help.

What side effects have you experienced, if any?

Christina

Last edited by christine25; 05-15-2006 at 01:05 AM.

 
Old 05-15-2006, 05:12 AM   #7
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

Christine,

Was the substance you ingested humic acid? Was it a chelator? I'm just curious what it's therapeutic use is. Sounds like it did a real number on your system.

Nexium hasn't given me any side effects. I've read that others have had side effects with it, and the chances seem to be 50/50. I'm grateful that my response has been only positive. I never get headaches or edema or nausea or any problems on it.

The only thing I've noticed is a slight decrease in energy when I am exercising at the gym. This decrease energy doesn't affect me when I'm not exercising - only when I'm doing aerobic activity. When I exercise, I just feel like I'm at 75% of where I used to be, and adjust my workouts accordingly. I suspect that the decrease in energy is related to the decrease in production of Hydrogen ions. I'm not that up on my biochem right now, but hydrogen ions play a major role in the Kreb's cycle, which generates ATP, and an organism's energy. I suspect that tinkiering with your hydrogen ion (acid) production might impact energy a little. But I can honestly say that before I went on the 2x a day Nexium, I didn't think I could like with the cough/clearing any longer. It was constant, and I felt like a freak. Wherever I went, people would stare at me as if I was a mucous monster or as if I had SARS or Bird Flu or something bad like that.

The only time I had any relief was lying down bed, on my right side. It's the only position that reduced the acid flow. Don't know how or why, but it did. Apparently, this is another hallmark of LPR - LPR patients usually (but not always) experience (the worst) reflux during the day (upright) and less or none at night (when they are prone). This is the opposite of GERD - in which people suffer heartburn when they are upright.

Don't worry about trying the Nexium or its alternatives. These drugs only stay in your system about 17 hours, so if you do experience a bad reaction, it will be over pretty quickly. Physicians hand out PPIs like candy because the occurence of severe side effects is almost unheard of.

There is one weird side effect that I hear a lot about on the GERD board that isn't physical. There is a tendency to have more vivid dreams on Nexium. I'm inclined to agree. Some people say nightmares, but I haven't had an increase in nightmares - just the recallable intensity of my dreams. Nothing that tends to stick with me throughout the day though. Doesn't interfere with the sleep itself - I love to sleep!

Back to the thyroid problems - I'm not up yet on the thyroid community "terminology" only because I haven't started any negative symptoms yet. I'm worried, but with everyone else on my plate, I just try not to think about the thyroid. So I apologize if I'm not a good responder to your thyroid questions. But I did want to add that I'm inclined to believe that there is also a genetic response to how someone responds to chemicals, ingested or inhaled, and that it's also thyroid-linked. I have a friend in Microbio class who is a Mom in her late 30s, and she has full-Graves. Her daughter has Hashis. This is far from a representative study, but perhaps the predisposition to thyroid disorder is inherited, and maybe environmental substances set it off. Who knows?

 
Old 05-15-2006, 09:57 AM   #8
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

I just read that you're studying to become a nurse - I'm finishing up my prereqs for Physician Assistant School - I'm applying in the fall.

 
Old 10-17-2006, 06:09 PM   #9
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

I am very new here. I also found this site thru Google. I have suffered from Mucus and throat clearing for many years and now at age 64 it has gotten worse. I am presently taking 2, 20mg of Omeprazole once a day. I take these in the morning. The question that I have for aswander is what strenght Nexium were you takeing.

 
Old 10-25-2006, 07:06 AM   #10
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

Hello,
My wife had the same problem. The pharmacist had her start taking OTC Claratin during the day and Benedryl at night. That clear it up. Now, she just takes 1 Claratin in the morning and hasn't had the problem since. Hope this helps.

WW

 
Old 10-25-2006, 05:36 PM   #11
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

yes, aswander, what is the proper dose of ppi. Right now I take nexium 40 in the am and an otc prilosec at night. My dr may recommend two nexium but the dosage does interest me....please help

 
Old 11-02-2006, 07:16 AM   #12
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

I,too, have a thyroid problem & am ultra sensitive to perfumes,household cleaning products, & any strong odors,causing me headaches & jaw pain... I also have difficulty coughing up mucus. I started taking Mucinex yesterday & it seems to help me to cough up a little better,as it thins out the mucus. I have also found that drinking a lot of orange juice helps my chest congestion .

 
Old 11-10-2006, 10:53 PM   #13
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

I am finding that limiting certain foods like excessive sugar and sweets, dairy and wheat, help with my slimey ever extruding mucilage.

The jaw pain continues and I also get neck pain and spine pain when I am sensitive.

Of course avoiding chemicals and preservatives helps, and other toxic materials and some of my makeup.

I am still trying to figure out how to control my symptoms so my body doesnt control me.

I dont like being in pain....

let me know how you are doing.

---
what type of thyroid problem do you have?
when did this happen.

 
Old 12-04-2006, 11:48 PM   #14
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

Hi Cristine I read about all the symptoms that you suffer and i notice that i have some of the symptoms like:FASIAL SWALLING,CLEARING MY THRAOT,COUGHING.BURPING NOT NORMAL BUT MORE LIKE CRACKING IN MY THROATSOMETIMES I TRY TO BURP TO CLEAR SOMETHING STUCK ON MY THROAT BUT I CANT,I ALSO HICCUP AND HAVE MUCUS . The puffy face trubled me a lot . it first happend almost a year ago i had TMJ and was taking advil 3 pills 3 times a day for 10 days it turned out it is bad for your stomach and i got facial swelling a lot i was feeling the ''lump in my throat'' could not swallow normal without pain and was feeling that the food stay in my throat. My doctor gave me samples of aciphex 1 a day for 10 days like half an hour to an hour beffore breakfast, and i was cured. i also did not eat any dairy foods (verry important). I reasently got cold and started taking anti
-bioticks and they triger my symptoms again.I was coughing clearing my throat , feeling heaviness in my chest and my face was swollon i started taking aciphex but this time did not help much then i realised i was eating dairy food again so i stop it and naw i will try the aciphex without it.


How about you haw are you feeling do you have fasial swelling or any other symptoms ,did you try any ppi and do you know anything that helps? I hope you are feeling better.

 
Old 12-07-2006, 11:45 PM   #15
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Re: Constant Mucus and Throat clearing!

hi there i have a quik question do u take 2 pills of ppione after another at the same time and what time during the day?

 
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