What are the causes for spitting up phlegm?

Spitting up phlegm is an indication of an infection within the body and expelling it from the body helps clear up the infection. When spitting up phlegm, it is important to notice its color as it determines the stage of the infection and how serious it is. If the color is yellowish, the infection is only beginning and if it later changes to green, it is an indication that the infection is at its peak. This should gradually turn back to yellow and finally white to indicate an end to the infection. If the phlegm looks like it has blood in it or appears a little rusty, it could be caused by excessive air pollution or smoking. This could also be a sign of some serious lung infection that requires immediate medical attention. If the phlegm appears pinkish in color, it is an indication of asthma. Phlegm forms in the body when there is an infection of the trachea. This infection develops during or immediately after a cold and is symptomized by an itchy, irritated throat, mild chest pain when coughing and ejecting clear phlegm when doing so. When spitting up phlegm, if you notice that it is greenish yellow and tinged with blood, it could be a sign of tuberculosis and the symptoms are likely to last about three weeks. If the phlegm is yellow or bloody and you start losing a lot of weight, it could be an indication of lung cancer and requires immediate medical attention to get a correct diagnosis.

Sometimes spitting up phlegm could be extremely difficult and if it remains within the body, it will only aggravate the infection. One way out of this is to drink plenty of water and warm broths or liquids that will help loosen it up. Drink liquids that are rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins to strengthen the immune system thus preventing a re-infection. Warm chicken broth with a few vegetables added or hot clear soup will help in spitting up the phlegm. Inhaling steam also works well and you could heat a sauce pan full of water till it boils and inhale the steam by covering your head and the pan with a towel. A few drops of eucalyptus oil may be added to the water before boiling it and the vapors will soothe the nasal passages. If the condition persists for over three weeks, it would be advisable to consult your local health care provider to run tests and to rule out any serious medical condition.

answered by G M

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