Everybody’s Favorite Topic: Mucus
Continuing this short series about annoying health problems that don’t threaten to kill us, just irk the tar out of us, today is about mucus.
Mucus is one way our bodies protect us. Which probably makes you ask, “Is that really necessary?” As a matter of fact, it is.
But, while some mucus is just a part of life, a lot of it is optional, and you have two choices for dealing with optional mucus: avoid it or fight it.
Avoid or fight mucus
You can avoid it two ways. First, avoid the things that cause mucus to rear its ugly head. If, for instance, you realize your body responds to milk with a mucus storm, as it does for many, many people, don’t have anything to do with milk.
If you can’t avoid mucus-creating events, give your body enough nutrition to bulletproof you against floating germs and viruses and close the door to a lot of optional distress. I used to get how-low-can-you-go colds and you-didn’t-know-you-could-feel-this-bad-did-you bouts of flu every year until I started learning about vitamins, minerals, etc.
It’s been years since a virus got past my defenses, and I really, really like it this way.
Second, if mucus does show up, you can fight it the hard way or the easier way. In other words, are you going to let your body fight alone as best it can, the hard way, or are you willing to help fight the battle, which is a whole lot easier?
There appears to be no body part that can’t have a mucus mess, but this will be about the head and chest.
What causes mucus creation?
• The body protecting itself
• Breathing polluted air
• Colds and flu
• Allergic rhinitis from mold, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, etc.
• Bronchitis, bronchiolitis, and other infections
• Hypothyroidism leading to sinus infections and post-nasal drip.
• If estrogen runs wild during pregnancy, mucus can result. Lots ‘o mucus.
• Open-mouth sleeping makes for a very dry mouth, so your body lays down a lot of mucus to protect your airways, and, upon awakening, you get to spend time getting rid of it.
• Chronic conditions such as COPD and emphysema
Avoiding excess mucus
Keep track of where you are, what you’re eating, what you’re doing, etc. when mucus shows up. You may have to keep a diary for a while to pick up on connections you never noticed before.
The mucus created by open-mouth sleeping can be avoided with a sleep mask. Some people love them; others have nothing good to say about them, so read reviews.
Meanwhile, build a solid vitamin/mineral program that gives your body the tools it needs to tame optional mucus. A solid nutritional program isn’t about a little something here and a little something-else there. You have to know what your body needs so you can provide it, and your results will pretty much match the effort you put into it.
• Gargle warm salt water. Celtic Sea Salt tastes best and also gives your health a little oomph.
• You might want to take vitamin C, too. If a cold or the flu has you dripping all over the place, your body will absorb all the C it gets, and you can take C pretty much without limits. BUT if you take more C than your body can use at the moment, here cometh the diarrhea. C fights infections and works quick as a wink.
• And/or take MSM (methylsulfonylmethane), a natural sulfur compound. This not sulfa, which many bodies object to, but the fourth most common mineral in the human body. It helps a lot of body parts, with mucus-reduction-including COPD and emphysema-being only one item in MSM’s bag of tricks. MSM gets right to work, but usually takes a while to notice.
• And/or take stinging nettle leaf, usually just called nettle. The nettle plant has sharp bristles that sting like crazy if they get into your skin, but the bristles are long gone when you get the herb. Nettle leaf tames hay fever and other allergies, clears congestion in the nose and chest, and works as an expectorant to clear mucus from the stomach and lungs.
As with all new things, start nettle slowly so your body has time to offer its opinion. If your body has a history of reacting poorly to many things, nettle tea comes in at very low dose, which would be good as a test-or for an occasional pick-me-up. Otherwise, just get nettle capsules.
Be sure to get “nettle leaf.” Nettle root does good things for the prostate, but nothing for allergies.
I cover vitamin C, MSM, and nettle thoroughly in the Moving to Health program (below), but you can’t get into much trouble with these supplements, so it seemed safe to provide enough information for you to give them a try.
God is good,
Copyright by Bette Dowdell. All rights reserved
P.S. Bette Dowdell is not a doctor, nor does she purport to be She’s a patient who’s been studying and successfully handling her own endocrine problems for more than 30 years. She offers introductory teleseminars and an in-depth 12-month subscription program, “Moving to Health” about living well with endocrine issues. She explains how things work-or don’t, discusses what things to avoid as well as the things that help, and she provides a lot of well-researched nutritional information. Subscribe to her free e-zine at Information is power.