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Whence nosemeat?
October 18, 2009 7:31 PM   Subscribe

I don't think this is, strictly speaking, supposed to happen: meat often comes out of my head when I'm sick. Why? What does it portend? [Warning: so gross.]

Sinus tissue, very similar in texture to what you might inadvertently bite off your cheek, detaches in my sinuses and I cough it out. In single, big ol' pieces you would not believe. They're mucousy and sometimes bloody, but not themselves mucous, meat rather. I'm an ovo-lacto vegetarian, I know the difference.

This seems to occur with fever. I almost never have nasal congestion, and am prone to dry sinuses when I travel, including bloody noses. This time, it seems like I have a pretty run-of-the-mill cold, not something I should be panicking over, except this nasal meat-gifting is happening. Only twice. Maybe once daily when I'm feverish.

I know, so gross. I've spared you a photo, though.

Do I have some nose-disease you know of? Does this happen sometimes to people you know? Is it okay? It it my brains? What?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is it definitely flesh...when I used to have congestion sometimes a big compacted lump of mucus would come out. If it is flesh, doctor I would think.
posted by Not Supplied at 7:32 PM on October 18, 2009


It's totally epithelial tissue, I believe. Also, it doesn't hurt at all.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:37 PM on October 18, 2009


Do you really think you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between flesh and mucus if you weren't an ovo-lacto vegetarian?

This guy sneezed out a lump of tissue and was apparently fine. I'm guessing your question is best answered by an ENT, though.
posted by kate blank at 7:44 PM on October 18, 2009


Hmm, not sure how being a vegetarian would make you better equipped at telling "meat" from bloody mucus.

You say you're coughing them up, you mean from your mouth, right?
If they come out from your throat/mouth, why do you think the tissue is detaching from your nose? Is there some kind of nasal sensation that makes you believe this?
How big are the pieces?

Honestly, this is REALLY one of those medical questions that requires seeing a doctor, but in order for the knowledgeable among MetaFilter to help, you will probably need to clarify these issues.
posted by ishotjr at 7:44 PM on October 18, 2009


Might be nasal polyps that are detaching from your sinus. Are they "greyish and grape-like"? Polyps are a pain in the ass but mostly not a big deal. I don't know why you would have so many, though, or why they would be coming out on their own...f

A picture would actually be awesome.

Of course they could be something totally different.

ENT docs stick a little thingy up there and look around. Might be worth knowing what's going on.
posted by kathrineg at 7:49 PM on October 18, 2009


> If they come out from your throat/mouth, why do you think the tissue is detaching from your nose? Is there some kind of nasal sensation that makes you believe this? How big are the pieces?

I can feel them come into the back of my throat when I sniff hard/snort/snurk from the top of my throat/sinus cavity. Then I go "agh!!" and spit them out, and at that point have rinsed and examined them. The biggest one was about the size of a cornflake crossed with a lima bean, but even less delicious.

> Are they "greyish and grape-like"?

Nah, they're clumps or patches of cheek-like skin, spongy and pale white and kind of marbled or infused with snot and blood. Like a sort of scab or a giant piece of inter-head dandruff, perhaps.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:29 PM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe they're just sloughed off sinus lining. I would describe them as...tough? Like, kinda leathery. Sound like the same thing? I used to get those and my doc's reaction was "meh", but I also had nasal polyps that needed surgery so he'd already looked up there.
posted by kathrineg at 8:32 PM on October 18, 2009


I had nose surgery once and afterwards had things that sound like what you're describing. According to my ENT they were, essentially, scabs. Sounds like a good thing to ask your doctor about.
posted by Tsuga at 8:37 PM on October 18, 2009


Nah, they're clumps or patches of cheek-like skin, spongy and pale white and kind of marbled or infused with snot and blood.

I know exactly what you are talking about. I'm pretty sure they aren't really meat rather than meaty sinus crud. I've horked up some pretty unbelievable stuff in my day too, but I haven't lost any actual flesh. Better for it to come out than stick around up there, in any case.

If this only happens when you are otherwise ill, I wouldn't worry about it. If it becomes a chronic thing that just won't go away, then maybe you should think about visiting an ENT. Some swear by the neti pot / nasal irrigation and it might help to get the stuff out before it builds up to cornflake dimensions.
posted by ssg at 8:43 PM on October 18, 2009


Unfortunately, you definitely have something wrong with you. Normal people do not sneeze out meat. Go to a doctor.
posted by CharlesV42 at 8:49 PM on October 18, 2009 [9 favorites]


I can feel them come into the back of my throat when I sniff hard/snort/snurk from the top of my throat/sinus cavity. Then I go "agh!!" and spit them out, and at that point have rinsed and examined them. The biggest one was about the size of a cornflake crossed with a lima bean, but even less delicious.

I hate to be the girl who always cries tonsil stones, but this sounds just like what happens to me when I get especially large tonsil stones (though mine aren't usually bloody). Do they smell? You sure it's not one of those?

Seconding katherineg in that a picture would be (disgustingly) helpful.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:49 PM on October 18, 2009


oops, kathrineg.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:50 PM on October 18, 2009


Google tonsil stones and see if the pictures look like what you're describing. They are not flesh but have a rotting flesh smell. They are also called tonsiliths.
posted by dfriedman at 9:28 PM on October 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking that they're old scabs from your dry sinuses all plumped up with fresh mucous.
posted by desuetude at 9:33 PM on October 18, 2009


Yeah...also voting for dry sinus stuff. Maybe even really old, dried mucus, since you say that your sinuses are usually very dry. Try using a neti pot (or any old squirt-type bottle with uniodized salt water) to try and hydrate your sinuses regularly and soften up the dried up crud.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:01 PM on October 18, 2009


Hmm, could be something like a tornwaldt's cyst -- a kind of congenital weak spot, periodically scabbing over, then sloughing off the scab. DEFINITELY get it looked at by a good ENT, because (not to alarm you here) it could conceivably be something that is actually gradually getting worse, and could present significant problems down the road if not addressed early.

- AJ
posted by Alaska Jack at 11:22 PM on October 18, 2009


Alaska Jack, that's very compelling, the nasopharynx is definitely the location where I experience the sensation of being suddenly aware that something has dislodged.

And I'm sure it's not tonsoliths, which are actually even grosser in my book than this.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:57 PM on October 18, 2009


Tonsil stones are typically range from white to yellowish brown, smell all kinds of special and have a most un-meatlike texture.

And just to reiterate katherineg's statement, a picture would be awesome!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:31 AM on October 19, 2009


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