I always have phlegm.
May 28, 2011 7:27 PM   Subscribe

I can't seem to get rid of my phlegm. For a couple of months now, I tend to always clear my throat because there's phlegm in there and sometimes its easy to expel it, sometimes I will have a hard time as it's sticky. It gets really sticky especially in the morning upon waking up. Also, two weeks ago, I had an episode of blood spots in my phlegm, I had sore throat then and I was eating a spicy meal. At times, again, especially in the morning, some of the phlegm is dark. What's wrong with my throat and what can I do to stop it?

Also, I don't know if it's related but I also have been bloating every time after I eat so when I went to the doctor she prescribed me Domperidone and Omeprazole before meals. One time for Omeprazole which I usually take before dinner, and 3 times (every before meal) for Domperidone. I usually get better after eating when I take the meds. But the phlegm won't go away. Last but not the least, my left arm is achy sometimes. When I lift it up, I get the numb/tingly feeling. Please help! I tend to be a big worried too, so any help, tips, suggestions will be appreciated. I am planning to do some endoscopy next week also. Thanks guys.
posted by LittleMissItneg to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'd personally cut out ALL dairy and grains (and that means no beer) for 2-4 weeks and see what happens.
posted by iamkimiam at 7:34 PM on May 28, 2011

w/r/t the phlegm, make an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor to rule out Post Nasal Drip.
posted by mlis at 7:35 PM on May 28, 2011

Response by poster: To iamkimiam I haven't had beer for more than a month now. The phlegm just won't go away. When you say grains, will I eliminate rice too? I eat rice 3x a day.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 7:39 PM on May 28, 2011

Yeah cut down on dairy and grains (rice included - 3 times a day? WTF!)

Following a low carb diet will greatly reduce mucous production. I'd very much recommend giving that a try before submitting to courses of pills with god-knows-what side effects.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 7:44 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

I'm Chinese, but am completely 100% Western medicine.

However, I'm going to highly suggest that you try to find a bottle of Pei Pa Koa - it's an extremely effective expectorant/mucosal congestant loosener which is also soothing for the throat. A tablespoon of it held in the mouth and allowed to slowly dribble down your throat - as needed, up to 4 or 6 times a day.

It has a pleasant taste, and since I've been using it since I was a small child, has no discernible side effects. I recommended it to a coworker with chronic congestion and throat problems this past winter and it was an extremely effective solution.

The pain/numbness is probably related to coughing hard and chronic congestion. Losing the congestion will help with that, although it may take a few days to a week once the congestion is dealt with.
posted by porpoise at 7:50 PM on May 28, 2011 [9 favorites]

Did you have a cold preceding this two month period? Do you smoke? Those are triggers for me.
posted by J. Wilson at 7:54 PM on May 28, 2011

See your doctor or an ENT. If you have questions about proper usage of OTC drugs, ask the Pharmacist.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:56 PM on May 28, 2011

Are you on birth control, perhaps? Hormonal methods increase/thicken mucus as one way to prevent pregnancy, and that isn't limited to your reproductive system. But yes, do see your doctor.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:12 PM on May 28, 2011

Response by poster: Yes, I am on birth control pills. So that means I will have to eliminate that also? I don't really cough, and I do not smoke, although a month or two ago, I did have about 3 sticks.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 9:12 PM on May 28, 2011

Try Sudafed with the pseudoephedrine in it, or Mucinex D (or generic equivalents). It works wonders for my congestion and post-nasal drip. You'd probably have to ask the pharmacist for it, as it is usually behind the counter.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:29 PM on May 28, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nthing cutting out grains. I eat a ton of dairy (full fat, low sugar), which doesn't affect phlegm for me. When I eat low carb, my phlegm production is not noticeable at all. Give it a shot!
posted by sunnychef88 at 10:28 PM on May 28, 2011

Sounds exactly like my issues with GERD. Everyone's triggers are different. Some types of dark coffee cause me to experience that perma-phlegm you're talking about. Does it cause a constant desire to clear your throat, and drinking water does nothing to help? My allergy doc tells me that not eating or drinking alcohol for three hours before bed can help alleviate it, as can avoiding spicy foods and other common triggers. Check out GERD symptoms on webmd and try avoiding the foods they list. You may want to see a gastroenterologist about the bloating. It could be connected to the GERD (if that is indeed what you're experiencing). GERD and bloating led my partner to have her gall bladder removed, and both symptoms have improved since then.
posted by Lieber Frau at 4:19 AM on May 29, 2011

Response by poster: Hello Lieber Frau! I indeed have that constant desire to clear my throat. It's bothersome. And yes, water does not help but it gives me some relief as it makes me burp after. I have been really really careful with my food intake, to the point of really being paranoid what food should I eat or not.

As for the bloating, well, maybe it's not really bloating but I get this feeling of gas elsewhere after I eat, like below my throat and above my lower stomach. It can be stopped somehow by eating bananas, then I will feel like I have really eaten after.

Also I don't know if this is related but the area around my eyes get itchy.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 5:56 AM on May 29, 2011

As Leiber Frau says, GERD is a possibility. Seems to me you also should be checked for allergies, particularly if your eyes are itchy.
posted by gudrun at 6:15 AM on May 29, 2011

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