What is sputum? How is sputum removed?

Mucus, which is produced by body tissues and has a normal, slippery, fibrous structure, plays an important role in body functions. It is a protective and moisturizing layer of mucus that prevents the drying of vital organs. The layer containing antibodies and bactericidal enzymes supports the body’s fight against infections. The body produces around 1 to 1.5 liters of mucus per day. Increased mucus fluid may be a harbinger of some diseases.



What is sputum?

The type of mucus that protects the lungs and lower respiratory tract is called sputum. It acts as a filter for the removal of unwanted substances and bacteria entering the body through respiration, ensuring that these areas are moistened. The natural color of sputum, which is composed of antibodies, water, protein and some salts, is clear and clear. Especially the sputum produced by the lungs is expelled by coughing. Discharges from the stomach, postnasal drip and sinus discharge are not considered as sputum and sputum does not normally constitute a dangerous situation. However, when it is secreted in high amounts, it may obstruct the respiratory tract.



What causes sputum?

When the lungs are damaged, they produce excessive amounts of sputum. Sputum formation is common in newborn babies. Since the respiratory tract and lungs of babies are not fully developed, they are easily irritated by exposure to dust, foreign substances and microbes. Accumulating microbes cause nasal congestion, mucus accumulation in the nasal passages and irritation of the respiratory tract, causing a phlegmatic cough in babies.




• Asthma: The respiratory system of asthma patients is extremely sensitive to environmental pollution and allergens. This sensitivity causes the airways to become easily inflamed and increased sputum production.
• Cystic Fibrosis: This disease, which is usually seen in children and young adults, is genetic and causes an increase in sputum in the lung.
• Congestive Heart Failure: The disease that causes the heart’s blood pumping ability to decrease, causes an increase in sputum and shortness of breath.
• Pulmonary Embolism: Sputum that develops due to vascular occlusion in the lungs, is usually bloody and life-threatening.
• Lung Cancer: Lung cancer, which is characterized by excessive amount of sputum and intense cough, also thresholds fatigue and weight loss.
• Pneumoconiosis: In the disease, which is considered an occupational disease, tissue damage develops due to dust accumulation in the lungs and sputum occurs.
• Pulmonary Abscess: Sputum occurs in an infectious disease that forms a cavity filled with pus in the lung.
• Lung Fungus: The most important symptom of the disease caused by fungal seeds settled in the respiratory system is sputum.
• In addition to these diseases, sputum occurs in the lower respiratory tract such as bronchitis, bronchiolitis, bronchiectasis, pneumonia and COPD.


How about sputum treatment?

When sputum, which is a natural part of my respiratory system, increases at a level that will affect daily life, it must be checked by a specialist. Especially if the color of the sputum is brown, red, black or foamy, it can be a sign of a serious health problem. Sputum treatment is done according to the cause, as in all other diseases. In order to determine the direction of treatment, sputum samples are taken and infections that cause sputum are investigated in the laboratory. While antibiotic treatment is applied for sputum that develops due to bacterial infections, drugs to control allergy are prescribed for sputum that develops due to allergies. In addition, sputum-removing syrup and medicines that dilute the consistency of sputum and allow it to be expelled from the lungs can be given. Treatment according to the type and stage of the disease plays an important role in preventing sputum.



How is sputum removed?

Natural expectorant treatments can be listed as alternative solutions to the question of how to remove sputum:
• You can add 1 teaspoon of rock salt or Himalayan salt to 1 glass of warm water and mix it and gargle with this mixture.
• You can massage the eucalyptus oil in the chest area and wrap it with cheesecloth to allow the oil to penetrate the pores.
• As dry air causes the sputum in the lungs to solidify, you can buy a humidifier in your home or place a bowl of water on the heating cores.
• By drinking plenty of water, you can help soften and remove the solidified sputum.
• While taking a shower with hot water, you can breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes and breathe deeply by dropping peppermint or eucalyptus oil into a bowl of hot water.
• You can drink it by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice in a glass of warm water. In addition to its high vitamin C content, lemon is also a very good expectorant.
• You can prepare tea by boiling ginger and turmeric tea with black pepper and red pepper seeds.
• Honey, which has anti-bacterial properties, is also a very good expectorant. You can add honey to your herbal teas.


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