5 Reasons Why You May Be Coughing Up Yellow Mucus
Mucus is gel-like substance expectorated from the upper and lower respiratory tract organs that is usually produced daily in healthy individuals to coat and protect these organs from drying out and from external invaders. As a response to a variety of factors like viruses, allergens, bacteria and dust, mucus changes its color and texture and becomes tackier and more viscous. Coughing up yellow mucus could also accompany viral and bacterial inflammatory processes. The color of phlegm could be a major clue in determining a correct diagnosis for your doctor. Clear mucus is usually not an alarming sign and could simply signal mild irritation due to allergies or eating spicy foods. On the other hand, coughing up green phlegm and excessive mucus secreted from the nasal passages is a more serious sign of an acute respiratory inflammation like sinus infection of pneumonia and should be evaluated by your doctor.
Yellow mucus could be the reasons for many health conditions, insignificant or serious depending on the accompanying set of symptoms your doctor can help you evaluate. Let us shed some light on the most common causes for coughing up yellow mucus:
1. Acute viral or bacterial bronchitis will force you coughing up yellow mucus, which is a definite sign of inflammation, which could also be accompanied by sore throat, excessive cough and fever. There are a number of natural remedies for bronchitis you may try that help to deal with mucus problems as well. Dr. Weil, one of the best known natural health gurus, recommends you limit cow’s milk and its products at least for the duration of the illness, inhale hot steamy air with a few drops of sage and eucalyptus oil and never suppress cough, especially if you are coughing up yellow mucus.
3. Coughing up yellow mucus could be a sign of chronic bronchitis caused by smoking or hazardous work environment like coal mines or chemical factories. In this case the phlegm is especially thick and hard to cough up and might even restricting oxygen to lungs and cause characteristic blue lips.
4. Sinus infection is another reason for you to be coughing up yellow mucus that might also contain traces of blood, fever and a general feeling of listlessness. Stagnant mucus is an excellent breeding medium for bacteria that thrives in warm, dark sinus cavities. Drinking more water, taking hot showers and using methods of nasal irrigation will lessen the symptoms and loosen up stagnant mucus. According to the well trusted alternative health practitioner Dr. Mercola, limiting dairy and starchy foods will make your body less hospitable to viruses, allergens and bacteria.
5. Lung cancer is the most dangerous reason for coughing up yellow mucus, especially if accompanied by low appetite and weight loss, and should be evaluated by a health professional immediately for early detection and treatment. Mucus in this case could even acquire pinkish color with bloody inclusives as the illness progresses.
If you continue coughing up yellow mucus for more than two weeks and you see no signs of improvement, see a doctor to rule out a dangerous health complication.