Phlegm In Throat
Got Phlegm In Your Throat?
Phlegm in your throat isn't always such a bad thing. In fact, the presence of phlegm is natural, and in the right amount is healthy. We don't tend to think of the slimy stuff as anything that's good for us, but phlegm is a mucous that's created by the glands and cells lining our throat and sinus passages, and functions to trap tiny particles that otherwise might find their way into our lungs. Phlegm also serves to humidify air as it passes through the air passages on the way to the lungs, and also is an infection fighter. It's mainly when we have too much of the stuff that we being to regard it as a problem.
During most days, the glands in your throat will produce a quart or more of mucous or phlegm, about the right amount for what the body needs. We continuously are swallowing it without thinking much about it. Sometimes however, the phlegm in your throat accumulates in excessive amounts, especially in the back of your throat. Symptoms of this happening range from a constant need to clear the throat, to discomfort, to irritation, and to infection in extreme cases. There are several ways to eliminate this excess phlegm, including home remedies, but it’s always helpful to know the cause in the first place, as it’s the cause you really should attack if you want genuine relief.
What You Eat Can Be A Cause - If you're experiencing phlegm in your throat, the last thing you're likely thinking of is that it might be caused by something in your diet. The foods you eat don't generally contribute to the production of phlegm, but for some people, dairy products will do just that. The fat in diary products doesn't do so much in producing phlegm, but rather thickens it, making it easier for the phlegm to accumulate, and remain in the throat instead of being swallowed. The obvious way to determine if this is the case, is to monitor yourself when dairy products are being ingested, and note if problems of phlegm in your throat coincide with when dairy products have been eaten. If dairy products are at fault, you don't necessarily have to eliminate them from your diet, but you may find it helpful to eat dairy products which contain less fat.
Candida Overgrowth Can Cause Phlegm - Candida albicans is a yeast which naturally occurs in the throat, but normally is kept in check by other bacteria. Sometimes, taking antibiotics, prednisone, or corti-steroids will kill off these "good' bacteria, allowing the candida albicans bacteria to flourish, and become what is commonly known as a yeast infection. The yeast infection can cause excess phlegm to be produced, presumably in reaction to the body's defense mechanism. Defense or not, the excess phlegm can cause discomfort or irritation.
Sinus Problems Are Most Often The Cause - As is the case in the throat, mucous is also produced in the sinuses and nasal passages, and when produced in excess, will find its way into the throat. There are a number of conditions in the sinus region which can cause this to occur. The most common situation is probably simple sinus congestion. The obvious solution here is to clear up the congestion, which may be as simple as using a nasal spray, sucking on a mentholated cough drop, or having a little horseradish or fresh garlic with your meal. Anything which causes the nasal passages to clear up will rid the throat of the excess phlegm. Sinus congestion is the simplest to treat, as it usually is a temporary condition.
Postnasal Drip - Chronic conditions can be a bit more troublesome, with postnasal drip leading the way. Postnasal drip is another word for drainage, which can result from a number of causes. An allergy or allergic reaction is one cause of postnasal drip. A reduction of phlegm in your throat may be difficult to achieve unless the allergy itself can be dealt with. We also can experience an excess of phlegm during the latter stages of a bad cold. The postnasal drip in this case is a result of the nasal passages having become inflamed. The accumulation of phlegm tends to get worse when you're lying down, and the situation usually improves when you are up and moving about. A combination decongestant-antihistamine is usually the best treatment in this instance, though one or the other may be all that you need. Chronic sinusitis is yet another cause of postnasal drip, and a resulting accumulation of phlegm in your throat. As is the case with an allergy or the after effects of a cold, the effects of chronic sinusitis can be treated, though there is generally no permanent cure.
There are a number of decongestants, antihistamines and nasal steroids one can purchase over the counter, or obtain through prescription, that will provide either temporary or long lasting relief. If the condition persists however, it is always best to seek the advice of a physician rather than relying on over the counter medication for an extended period. Bear in mind also, the presence of excess phlegm can on occasion be a symptomatic of an underlying condition, such as candida, which will require treatment at some point in time.