Does Swallowing Phlegm Make Your Cough Worse?

In general, cough is something that is considered normal and often times are underestimated by most people. Therefore, most people do not bother too much when they are experiencing cough. But the situation changes when coughing starts to expel phlegm and also makes the chest sore. In this condition, a person usually begins to care about his cough.

Phlegm is a thick mucus secreted by the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract. Most people tend to be confused in distinguishing between mucus and phlegm. Mucus is a normal protective layer around the respiratory, visual, auditory, and gastrointestinal mucous membranes, which basically consists of glycoproteins and water. While phlegm is a special type of mucus produced in the respiratory tract when experiencing an infection or disease.

Does Swallowing Phlegm Make Your Cough Worse?

Phlegm is usually produced in bronchial tubes, lungs, windpipe, and other parts of the respiratory tract besides the nasal cavity. In addition, phlegm is also usually characterized by infection, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, chronic sinusitis, which you should know regular foods that causes sinus infection, asthma, flu and you should know fruit juices to treat flu quickly, and also the most severe, namely lung cancer which is divided into several stages or conditions. So that if we swallow back phlegm to enter the body, that means we re-input the diseased substances.

The following are the dangers of swallowing phlegm during coughing that you should know:

  1. Adding Phlegm Production and Changing the Color of Phlegm

If you experience cough that is accompanied by clear phlegm, that means there is a possibility that you have a common cold or flu in the first phase. In fact, clear phlegm is not too serious compared to other phlegm. When clear phlegm appears the virus that causes flu and cough is attacking the immune system.

Swallowing clear phlegm is the beginning of the production of excessive phlegm in the throat. Not only that, swallowing clear phlegm will cause phlegm to turn yellow or green which is a sign of an attack from
chronic bronchitis, postnasal drip (mucus that seeps from the nasal tract), and gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD)The more you swallow the clear phlegm, the faster the color of phlegm and mucus will become green or yellow.

2. Aggravating The Infection

This will happen to those of you who swallow gray phlegm or the kind of thick milk-white phlegm. If you experience coughing and expelling this milky white or gray phlegm, it’s a sign that you have an infection in the upper respiratory tract. 

In addition, this white and gray phlegm occurs due to chronic bronchitis, asthma, inflammation of the throat, gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD) and allergies.

There are several important things to note, some of which is that this phlegm can be triggered by other factors such as air pollution and smoking.

Phlegm will become thicker and harder to remove if you consume milk. If you swallow back this phlegm you will actually worsen the occurrence of infections in the upper respiratory tract.

3. Neutrophil Damage

Neutrophil damage will occur in people who swallow yellow and green phlegm. For those of you who experience coughing and expelling yellow or green phlegm, it’s a sign that you have an infection in the respiratory tract. 

The infection is accompanied by neutrophil damage in the cell resulting in long-term infection. The infection is also accompanied by inflammation. If you even swallow the phlegm back in, you actually make damage to neutrophils in your body cells.

4. Disrupting the Lungs

For those of you who experience cough accompanied by dark yellow phlegm, then that means you have a bacterial infection, sinus infection or lower respiratory infection. Severe infections accompanied by dark yellow phlegm are chronic bronchitis and pneumonia. 

If you swallow back this phlegm, that means you re-input pneumonia bacteria into your body. The condition of the lungs will be increasingly disturbed by the presence of the bacteria that enters the body. To maintain lung health, it’s also recommended for you to learn the easy ways to keep lungs healthy naturally.

5. Weakening the Immune System

Swallowing back phlegm will weaken the immune system, because you had re-input back phlegm containing germs and viruses to your body. This can happen to bright yellow phlegm owners. If you experience coughing and are accompanied by bright yellow phlegm, then it indicates that the immune system is carrying out its function to fight viral infections in the body due to sinus infections, asthma and allergies. 

All of that can cause inflammation in the respiratory tract. The immune system will weaken if you re-swallow your phlegm. To help improve your immune system, you will need foods that contain vitamin C  or try to learn natural ways to boost immune system.

6. Aggravating Lung Health

When you experience coughing accompanied by the expulsion of brown phlegm, you certainly are a heavy smoker. The phlegm that comes out is usually mixed with saliva. It’s a good idea to try to control your smoking habits. 

In other cases, this brown phlegm usually also comes from acid reflux that occurs in patients with ulcer, coffee, chocolate, and red wine. For those of you who had ulcer, it’s best for you to know about ways to cure an ulcer naturally.

As a result of swallowing brown phlegm into the body, your lung health could deteriorate.

7. Interfere with Heart Function and Respiratory Failure

In severe conditions, swallowing phlegm can cause a heart attack and respiratory failure in the lungs. This can happen to those of you who have a bloody cough or pink phlegm. What causes bloody cough usually refers back to serious health conditions such as tuberculosis. The symptoms are fatigue, weakness, swollen stomach, irregular heartbeat, swollen legs and arms, and persistent coughing.

If pink phlegm mixes with foam, it can be concluded that you have pulmonary edema. These conditions cause heart problems and respiratory failure because the virus attacks the lungs. If you swallow back phlegm into your body, it means that it will further disrupts the function of the your heart and lungs.

8. Aggravate The Symptoms of Tuberculosis

For those of you who experience a cough accompanied by the discharge of bloody phlegm, it could be a sign of you experiencing symptoms of tuberculosis. 

In some cases, bloody phlegm contains dangerous TB viruses. If the condition are even worse than that, more blood and coughing is going on, it could be a sign of lung cancer. If you even re-swallow the phlegm, you will aggravate the symptoms of tuberculosis and make the healing process longer.

10. Cause Acid Reflux

Acid reflux does not only occur in people who experience ulcers but can occur in people who swallow back their phlegm. When you experience coughing and foaming phlegm, that means you are experiencing gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD). This condition can cause acid reflux because stomach acid reaches the esophagus and damages the muscular tube. This condition will be exacerbated by pneumonia and pulmonary edema.

Those are various kinds of dangers of swallowing phlegm based on it’s color. It would be nice if the phlegm was removed instead of being swallowed or held back in the throat. If this is done, there will be some harmful effects from swallowing phlegm and will worsen the disease associated with it.

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