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Old 10-24-2007, 11:19 AM   #1
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imamystery HB User
Constantly coughing up phlegm

For about the past 8 months, I have done nothing but cough up phlegm. My doctor has no idea what causes it, my x-rays and scans have all been clear. I dont smoke, and I am 48 years old and a housewife.

The phlegm is white and very thick. Sometimes it gets stringy and I start to choke on it. If I'm not coughing, I'm clearing my throat, because phlem is always there, no matter how much I cough up. Theres not a moment that goes by in which I don't feel the phlem in my chest and throat. I clear my throat all the time, sometimes every few minutes

I always have tissues, or be near a sink or garbage can. When I start to cough, I grab tissue to put over my mouth to cough out phlegm, but sometimes 1 or 2 tissues is not enough, and need a cup (sometimes I can cough up 1/2 a cup) or cough for at least an hour. I can not fully rest, and if I do, the phlegm wakes me up, start coughing for at least 30 minutes before it stops.

Sometimes when I eat or drink, I start to gag and choke. Coughing fits can last anywhere from a few seconds to the point where I get tears in my eyes, gag, choke, and then throw up. I usually feel nausiated when I cough. The coughs can start as small regular coughs then progresses to full chest cough. I try to sip water in between coughs or immediately afterwards.

If teh phlegm is too thick to cough up, I have to swallow it until I cough again (which makes it even harder to get up). I sometimes gag on the phlegm until I need to swallow it, which can cause me to gag even harder.

I can't do anything without violently coughing up phlegm (walking, chaning positions, doing laundry etc). I can't go out anywhere because I feel so miserable. I have a headache along with all this that won't go away, and my chest and throat always hurt. I can't go out in public or visit anyone (or have anyone visit my house) because I know its irratting to others listening to my cough up phlegm.

I can only sleep in reclined positions because if I am flat on my back, I start to choke. I have tried OTC Sinus and Flu medicines with no avail, Mucinex did nothing for me either. My husband is at a loss for what do, and so am I.

I feel horrible and completely miserable. I am tired of being sick, tired and having my whole body hurt because of coughing. I am getting helpless and desperate!

Last edited by imamystery; 10-24-2007 at 02:25 PM.

 
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:11 PM   #2
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redgirlred HB User
Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

I have exactly the same symptoms as you although my phlegm is a dark
green colour. All my tests are 'normal' and my doctor says I have nothing
that is treatable. I know how miserable you must be feeling. I can wake in
the night gasping for breath too. My peak flow is around 250. I am 55. I
hope someone has answers for us.

 
Old 10-28-2007, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

I had a really bad cold about 4 weeks ago and was left with a hacking cough and loads of phlegm on my chest. GP said he couldnt help as I didnt have an infection. I have almost got rid of it now by the following method. I stand in the shower with it on really hot for about 10 minutes this in turn makes me cough I then lie on the bed on my front with my head and chest hanging over the end, my partner massages and gently pats my back. As I cough the phlegm comes up in vast quantities. I have been doing this for 3 weeks and today I feel like I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. Im still coughing but am producing almost nothing.
Hope this helps a bit.

 
Old 11-17-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

O my! Have you been to a doctor, a pulmonologist? I have a horrible cough like that when I wake up and he is FINALLY doing a cat scan and said something about mucous tests, and antibiotics, mine is mostly white, but also comes from my sinuses and in the morning is so thick I feel llike I am going to puke. it is so embarrassing for my poor teenaged daughter., I did used to smoke, but my lungs are clear on the xray, most of you sound like you need inhalers or tests, please try to push for more help. If you are coughing up green mucuous that is bad, that is infection. If you have chronic broncitis it can be yellow at times. While I am doing my 45 minute coughing stint in the morning I also shake really bad, have no idea if the two are related I was sent to JOHN HOpkins for the shaking and they hardly did a thing and sent me a way saying it was probly pyscosomatic. Now the lung stuff, though, does anyones mucous smell bad? My doc is checking me for bronchiectasis I already have copd of some emphysema and chronic broncitis. this was just my second visit with him, last time he tried to tell me i never had asthma, now I do, he is rather flaky, but seemed calmer this time and like really listened. I also cough up and I think it comes from my sinuses little mucous plugs that smell awful he said that can happen......I guess I will find out soon enough, at least finally got cat scan we'll see .....please go try for some help especially the last poster, sorry I can't go see your name or I will lose my post, I am not good with that computer stuff...good luck....!!!! Oh i was talking about Ima mystery , could it be allergies? my doc also wants me to go see the ent and allergy doc again.

Last edited by lailavia; 11-17-2007 at 07:55 PM.

 
Old 11-18-2007, 06:34 AM   #5
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wen10 HB User
Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

Hello, i am pleased i swa this thread as it sounds a bit like my symptoms
for over two years now i too have been constantly bringning up phlegm and gave up going to drs for it about 6 months ago as i had a chest exry which was clear and lots of antibiotics which have done nothing. I am constantly spitting in to a tissue, people when im out look at me as if to say how rude or disgusting of me but if i didnt spit it out i would choke!!! Some times the phlegm is clear other times it is lime green in round balls. There must be some test a dr can do as it cant be right having this for over two years. Any ideas???

Best wishes
wenXXX.

 
Old 11-18-2007, 07:28 PM   #6
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BlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB UserBlueAtlas HB User
Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

If you haven't seen a specialist, you probably ought to look up a pulmonologist. A bronchoscopy may help diagnose your problem. I've heard of a type of bronchiectasis that isn't related to smoking that sounds very much like what you describe. A lady I knew about 20 years ago had something like this. She had regular treatments to clear out the phlegm from deep down to keep it under control. She got mild sedation, just enough to keep her comfortable, and the doctors removed sometimes up to a quart at a time. Then she'd be okay for a while. When it got bad again, she'd go back and they'd do it again.

Hope you get some relief.

 
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:52 PM   #7
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Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

If it is discolored it is from infection, if it is white or light yellow it is probably allergies. Also, acid reflux causes mucous so try a couple Pepcid and see if that helps at all. Mucous is a protectant so when acid or anything foreign to the body is introduced in certain areas mucous forms around it.

 
Old 12-13-2007, 10:46 AM   #8
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mystic65 HB User
Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

Quote:
Originally Posted by imamystery View Post
For about the past 8 months, I have done nothing but cough up phlegm. My doctor has no idea what causes it, my x-rays and scans have all been clear. I dont smoke, and I am 48 years old and a housewife.

The phlegm is white and very thick. Sometimes it gets stringy and I start to choke on it. If I'm not coughing, I'm clearing my throat, because phlem is always there, no matter how much I cough up. Theres not a moment that goes by in which I don't feel the phlem in my chest and throat. I clear my throat all the time, sometimes every few minutes

I always have tissues, or be near a sink or garbage can. When I start to cough, I grab tissue to put over my mouth to cough out phlegm, but sometimes 1 or 2 tissues is not enough, and need a cup (sometimes I can cough up 1/2 a cup) or cough for at least an hour. I can not fully rest, and if I do, the phlegm wakes me up, start coughing for at least 30 minutes before it stops.

Sometimes when I eat or drink, I start to gag and choke. Coughing fits can last anywhere from a few seconds to the point where I get tears in my eyes, gag, choke, and then throw up. I usually feel nausiated when I cough. The coughs can start as small regular coughs then progresses to full chest cough. I try to sip water in between coughs or immediately afterwards.

If teh phlegm is too thick to cough up, I have to swallow it until I cough again (which makes it even harder to get up). I sometimes gag on the phlegm until I need to swallow it, which can cause me to gag even harder.

I can't do anything without violently coughing up phlegm (walking, chaning positions, doing laundry etc). I can't go out anywhere because I feel so miserable. I have a headache along with all this that won't go away, and my chest and throat always hurt. I can't go out in public or visit anyone (or have anyone visit my house) because I know its irratting to others listening to my cough up phlegm.

I can only sleep in reclined positions because if I am flat on my back, I start to choke. I have tried OTC Sinus and Flu medicines with no avail, Mucinex did nothing for me either. My husband is at a loss for what do, and so am I.

I feel horrible and completely miserable. I am tired of being sick, tired and having my whole body hurt because of coughing. I am getting helpless and desperate!
Honey, you need to do what my sister does. She got a small baby syringe and a nasal wash. You can buy it at Walmart, I think. Its in powder form. At least the one she uses is. She mixes it with sterile water, sucks it up in the syringe, leans over her sink and sprays it up her nose. She says she gets all kinds of gunk out. I think the phlem and cough is due to sinus drainage draining down the back of your lungs. My doctor says if it gets bad enough, it will get into your lungs.

 
Old 12-17-2007, 05:52 PM   #9
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Exclamation Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

sounds like COPD I have it also find good pulmo

 
Old 12-17-2007, 09:55 PM   #10
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Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

See and ear nose and throat Doctor and get scoped to find out what is going on. They can usually tell if it is coming from sinus area. The other thing I would suggest is to just try an antihistamine over the counter and see if that helps. If it does then you are probably having allergy problems. Mucous is produced to protect the linings of the lung, nose and everywhere else so something is irritating it. Doesn't sound like a pulmonary problem to me if you lungs are clear. It sounds more like a regurgitation problem. The ENT should be able to tell if it is from acid also and give you some help. It does not sound like Chronic Bronchitis.

 
Old 03-16-2008, 02:20 PM   #11
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MacyMaid HB User
Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

I am just reading all of this now. Has anyone found a diagnosis and treatment plan? I am very interested. I am sooo sick of coughing up this junk. Thanks and Well Wishes.

 
Old 06-03-2008, 08:30 PM   #12
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Boi776 HB User
Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

Answer: Hypersensitive pneumonitis.

Its what I have, and it sucks.

 
Old 06-03-2008, 09:30 PM   #13
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Re: Constantly coughing up phlegm

I thought mine was coming from lungs but discovered indeed it was coming from mucous from acid reflux. After many years it has subsided.

 
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