The causes of phlegm widely vary and it is necessary to pay close attention to your surroundings, your health and what you are putting into your body. Causes can be as simple as an allergy to something in the area to a type of food that you are eating. But before we get into what the most common causes of phlegm are, where does this sticky mucus come from.
Mucus is a thick, sometimes clear, sometimes greenish yellow fluid that can end up in your lungs, clog up your nasal passages and sit in your throat. It can be quite difficult to clear it out from your lungs and throat while the phlegm found in your nose is much easier to clear out. The one thing that is true of any and all excess phlegm in your body is that it can be very annoying and very difficult to deal with.
Mucus is normal to be generated by the body, but the body accelerates the production when it is dealing with an infection. This excess mucus can end up dripping into the throat and even the lungs causing irritation. To fight and protect against the infection, the body tends to create a thickening of the mucus resulting in what is often referred to as phlegm. This is then most easily expelled through the throat, but can often times be difficult to expell.
Of course, it is not just infection that can cause the body to produce excess mucus. A number of other things can cause a reaction in the body to produce more, whether it is needed or not. Let’s look into what some of the most common causes are.
Common Causes of Phlegm
irritants and pollutants: smoke, fog, noxious gases such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide… cause swelling and inflamation
Food: Foods such as dairy, gluten and egg products are very common causes of excess mucus. These can lead to thickening and dripping or clogging in the throat due to an allergic reaction. The best thing to do is to just avoid these foods if you notice an increase of phlegm production after having eaten them.
Smoking, alcohol, caffeine: Much like the foods listed above, these unhealthy habits can cause an increase as well as drying up of mucus, making it harder to flush out.
Medical Disorders: Having Lung cancer or a deviated septum are two medical conditions that could be responsible for excessive or thick mucus in the throat or lungs. There are other medical conditions as well that can be a cause of excess mucus and phlegm. One of the most common ones people struggle with is GERD.
Allergies: Allergies such as hay fever can trigger an increase in the build-up of phlegm that will run through your nasal package and often times back down into your throat. This mucus is created when the sinus passage becomes irriated in response to the particles in the air that you are allergic to. If the air quality outside is not very good, it may be a good idea to stay in-doors.
Common Cold: A common cold can result in a build-up of phlegm that starts out as a clear mucus but can often times become a yellow or green color depending on your infection. The best treatment for a cold is almost always to drink lots of fluids and getting lots of sleep.
These are some of the most common causes of increased phlegm and if you are experiencing it, think about which of these could be contributing to your condition. Once you have pin-pointed the root cause, it will be much easier to determine how to treat yourself or get the treatment needed. If you know of some other common causes of excess phlegm, please share them in the comment section below.
Check out these articles for some great ideas for treating your excess phlegm.