What happens to dormant mucus ??

Hi this may be a stupid question but it is worrying me so any answers please, as I have copious amounts of mucus daily that I literally wretch up as if I'm being sick (sorry gross ) but fact, I can feel the build up of it at the bottom of my lungs but it feels more like it's in the stomach diaphragm region if I'm not in a position where I can start the expelling process say in the middle of a store ! I just carry on shopping and although my breathing is harder to do I do mananage to go a couple more hours and if I sit down and rest a while it does seem to disappear almost but very slowly indeed where does it go or am I creating an enormous build up for my next expelling session any help on this please, eating some food seems to help too ?? Xx

28 Replies

No question on here is too stupid to be asked. I would imagine it stays in the lungs and helps cause infections. The fact that eating helps makes me think you need to drink more (lots of liquid in food) to thin it down so it's easier to cough up. Try cutting down on dairy as well if you haven't already.

Hi ilia like, I do drink quite a lot of water but to be honest I think I'm having issues with reflux non acid type and I think it's more from my airway and top of my stomach once I've heaved it all up it feels like I've got a massive hole in my chest wall a very weird feeling , thanks for reply xx carol

Ah I don't know anything about that, sorry. I hope you find some answers.

I very much doubt if this mucus is reflux fluid or coming from your stomach.The stomach would not produce so much fluid.

When you have a daily production of mucus in the lungs it builds up until if you have not already spent time getting it out, it will attempt to come out anyway. The breathlessness is due to the mucus blocking air from entering the airways and lungs. Because there is so much it can feel as though the stomach is involved but it is in the lungs. The feeling that it has 'settled down' is due to the fact that being unable to come out of the body it has dispersed into lung tissue where it sits and breeds bacteria. I don't know if you are having antibiotic treatment to reduce the bacteria which should lesson the amount of sputum. If not, I suggest that you see about that. You need to get the sputum out before it becomes so uncomfortable. This takes effort. I suggest that you see your respiratory consultant to see what treatment you can have to reduce the amount of sputum that your lungs are producing. I appreciate that it must be very difficult to get rid of mucus when you are using oxygen but you really will feel better if you can get organised and get on top of it. I have never heard of non acid reflux as the stomach juices which come up as reflux are usually acid. Any stomach juices which get into the airways and lungs can irritate them and sometimes cause damage. This is why many people with lung problems take reflux inhibiting drugs of one form or another. I hope this helped.

Hi littlepom , thanks for replying, well this saga goes on n on my resp consultant doesn't feel that the fluid is coming off my lung he's says he would see the Muke in my lungs on the X-rays pre eyeing him that is why they have referred me to reflux people so I'm a bit confused ☹️ Xxx

well... I have bronchiectasis and naturally produce quite a lot of mucus which I get rid of every day unless I have an exacerbation when I produce more. I recognise your description of the feeling when the mucus fills up and it is definitely in my lungs. The mucus in my lungs does not show up on xrays-only the damage to my lungs and that can only be confirmed by ct scan. I don't take carbosisteine because I found that it thinned the mucus so much that I felt as though I was drowning. Time to change consultants?

Hi little Pom, it's so frustrating when you get so many different answers depending on which doc you see but next time I go I shall be more assertive I have both bronchiectasis and emphysema but one consultant said he didn't think my bronchialitis was so bad to warrant so much mucus !! So you can understand my frustration too many fingers prodding the same pie I think thanks again xx

you need a consultant who is an expert in bronchiectasis. So many are not but won't admit it. Producing so much mucus IS a sign of badly controlled bronchiectasis. I find it hard that you could feel so much better and have a nicer life if only your bronch was controlled. You need the correct form of antibiotic therapy for a start. I know that it is difficult to face out the medics but it's your life not theirs. If you have a big teaching hospital near you, look at their site for a consultant who specialises in bronchiectasis. Then I suggest that you go to your GP and insist on a referral to them. The consultant you have seems to have no idea what he is looking at or dealing with.

Hi littlepom yes I think you ar probably right it's just some issues that make me also think it's my stomach too , do you get really short of breath when you are a bit constipated !! And my esophogus at the top of my stomach feels blogged up I feel like everything is blocked up awful sensation, and the worst PND ever, do you have all these symptoms, sorry I barraging you with questions but I am so frustrated with no answers, I live in south yorks so I'm going to try and find a bronchiectasis specialist if we have any here thanks for your replies I do appreciate it, oh and which type of antibiotic therapy do broncs normally have 😰Xxx carol

hi Carol. Your questions are difficult to answer because I have had bronch since I was tiny,diagnosed at three and am now 67. I was taught how to manage it from an early age and don't dwell on my symptoms. I just get on with it and use my docs to make sure that I get the best antibiotic treatments etc. I also have reflux and developed atrial fibrillation and dilated cardiomyopathy four years ago ( not due to my bronch). Everything is controlled by drugs and I lead a full life. Of course you can have other conditions which run alongside bronch and need to be treated but the most important thing is that the bronch itself is brought under control.

We are all different which is why you need a REAL bronchiectasis specialist and a programme of treatment and self management. All of this talk of carbosysteine and drinking water is more appropriate to COPD symptoms and their problems when they get infections. We are very different.

The fact that you have to ask me what antibiotic therapy bronchs have makes me think that you have never had proper treatment or discussion of proper treatment with a good consultant. Otherwise you would know most of it. There are too many combinations for me to go into it on thus forum. It depends on what is best at the time. I must say Carol that this kind of neglect makes me very angry on your behalf. Especially as you are coping with emphysemia as well. It is a disgrace that this is still happening. I have been fighting for better diagnosis and treatment for bronch all of my life.

I don t know Yorkshire very well but I do know that there are excellent bronch centres in Liverpool, Newcastle on Tyne and Leicester. I go to Anita Sullivan at the QE in Bham. Hopefully another bronch may see this and may know of a centre near you. You have the right to be referred to any centre where you can get the right treatment. And you are not getting it now.

Im sorry to be pedantic but I do care so much that you are having such a miserable time and being messed about by medics when with the right treatment life could be so much better. Unfortunately it is up to you to use your GP to get to the right consultant. I only wish I were there to do that for you.

Hi littlepom you are so so right I have been pushed from pillar to post took loads of different meds non of which I can say really help but when I tell the consultant who ever is on duty on my visit ! And they just shrug and say it's the nature of the beast which doesn'thelp me, god how does a young child cope with the damn disease my hats off to you you sound so positive, that's what I need to be mor per assertive so I'm going in next time guns blazingwish me luck thank you xx

I do very much wish you luck Carol. Through this forum you already know more about bronchiectasis than your doctors and so called consultant seem to. Stick to your guns and if they try to fob you off talk about starting the complaints procedure. I do hope that you get to a proper bronchiectasis consultant soon who can put you on the road to a better controlled and more comfortable life. xx

One says the very same, not in lungs

COPD and acid reflux (GERD) are common complaints when you have COPD I was given Solox to help ease the reflux, but I also take Gaviscon to help ease the discomfort.

Drink more water etc & i had tabs off doc to thin muscous down also have got it down to a fine art where i put tissue to mouth spit mucous in discretely

I also do this but as yet having been giving anything to thin it. Wish l could. Occasionally l will cough and it catches me out and l have to run to the sink

I sympathise it's. Gross situation to be in, I don't enjoy going anywhere anymore because of it xxx

Hi, you could ask your G.P.about Carbocysteine (Mucodyne).It has helped me a lot.

That has helped me a lot take 1x3 times a day or 2x3 a day if mucous is extra hard to shift

I take 2 x 3 /day as well. They've really helped with clearing my chest. I only struggle getting it up morning and night, the rest of the time it's relatively easy.(But not very pleasant! ! )

I've just realised how I worded that reply! ! ! Sorry for any ambiguity!

Haha we have to laugh or we would be 😭 Which is no good thanks xx

Anytime. Take care

Hi yes I do take that sometimes but then I start to flood my chest with the stuff 😭Xxx thanks

Hi I do take carbostiene but I had really bad reflux and had quite a few tests on my heart ct scans and a camera down to my stomach and they found I had a bug in my stomach which they gave me a very large dose of antibiotics for I am also drinking plenty water and eating very healthy and I feel as if I have got a new lease of life I even went swimming this week the first time in 2years I hope it continues x

Wow I'm going for tests again relating to the stomach reflux I hope they find what's wrong I've been suffering for four years at the end of my tether thanks xx


I also make copious amounts and retch till feel will be sick to try and get rid. My feels like it's in my upper resp area and is very viscous!

First thing in a morning has become the same daily, cough till l retch trying to get it up.

This is year round, worse now as have hay fever too.

Hope this makes you feel less alone!

Aww bless u and thanks il post if I find any answer xxx

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