Author Topic: Mucus Production: Reasons to Treat the Cause of Congestion  (Read 15555 times)

Offline SC

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Mucus Production: Reasons to Treat the Cause of Congestion
« on: December 20, 2007, 06:24:00 AM »
I know that we have threads on WTM about remedies for Congestion. This thread is not for remedies, but rather to have a discussion on what the body is signaling with the overproduction of mucus and what can happen when these things are not addressed in a timely fashion.

Mucus is a protective natural lubricant that keeps the sensitive membranes of the digestive and respiratory tract moist. Under normal conditions, it is clear and thin. When the body comes under attack from a virus, bacteria, fungus or even a foreign object it will try to rid itself from the threat. The overproduction of Mucus is one of the ways that the body does this. When this happens, you will find that the Mucus is thickened, cloudy, yellow or green and/or very abundant. This ‘tidal wave’ of Mucus is designed to envelop the invader/irritant and carry it outside of the body.

Congestion is a red flag that something is attacking the body.

Why do I bring this up? Well, as I’ve stated elsewhere on this forum, many parents and doctors are beginning to call things “normal” simply because they are common. While congestion may be quite common during cold & flu season – or even common among family groups and/or individuals – congestion is NOT NORMAL in a healthy body. Congestion does not signal health, but an attack on health and the body’s attempt to defend itself.

The other trend I have seen is that rather than deal with the cause of the congestion, (which requires some investigation) the symptom is all that is treated. Herbal remedies, pharmaceuticals, etc. are often used to remedy the overproduction of mucus rather than as a means of helping the body heal from the original problem. A second danger of this method is that while the congestion is being treated, it is not completely remedied, meaning that the respiratory tract and digestive tracts continue to be lined with deposits of residual thickened mucus which become a breeding ground for viral, fungal and bacterial invaders.

That’s right, the presence of congestion in the respiratory/digestive tract is like potting soil for every sickness to which you are exposed. You are like a walking Petri dish ready to grow any germ you find when you are dealing with congestion.

When congestion becomes an acceptable part of life – when a common occurrence is considered ‘normal’ – then a danger arises. What may have started as a food sensitivity, a speck of something in the nasal passage, or a persistent cold is treated as sinusitis without the underlying cause being addressed. This means that the excess mucus is reduced and the body continues to be exposed to the original culprit. This then means that the body continues to attempt to produce the thickened mucus in spite of treatment. At some point, the weakened defenses become susceptible to other invaders that LOVE to grow in thickened mucus (congestion). NOW the person begins to deal with yeast overgrowth issues or other types of bacteria/fungus.

In small doses, this can be a persistent annoyance. In worse cases, it can begin to affect behavior and learning. In the worst case, a person could be exposed to a resistant strain of bacteria that would threaten his/her life.

That is why it is VERY important to not only address the congestion, BUT to also address the issues that contribute to it.

This is based upon my own experience and observation. I have no lab report to back me up, but I think I am about to state something that every Ear, Nose & Throat doctor and Allergist already knows: Seasonal allergies & most airborne environmental allergic responses are ROOTED in dietary causes. You just don’t hear this from your doctor because he’s already dealt with hundreds of patients before you that aren’t willing to consider changing their diet, so he figures it is a waste of his time to tell you this. He has also likely not considered that there is a vast difference between pesticide ridden produce and organic, so you may be told to avoid strawberries, for example, rather than told to avoid strawberries that have chemical x and use only certified organic berries.

The above is why one effective treatment for respiratory congestion is a laxative. Not only does this clear the colon of the excess mucus that has accumulated in the body, it also reduces the matter that the sufferer has consumed to which the body is responding.

While congestion is being treated, it is VERY IMPORTANT that we discover what triggered the excess mucus production and ADDRESS THE CAUSE as well. The person may be sensitive to processed dairy products, shell fish, nuts, etc. This isn’t the same as having an allergy. It is simply an annoying response to the consumption of a product. IMO, the most common sensitivities are to processed sugar (including brown sugar), coloring agents, preservatives, and other chemical enhancements in processed foods. I know of one woman that can’t eat steak at any restaurant because she is sensitive to the chemicals used to tenderize and preserve the meat. Within 45 minutes of consuming a restaurant steak, she WILL need to find a restroom. No one would suggest that she is allergic to steak. She is most certainly sensitive to chemical additives.

The good news is that when you avoid those things to which your body is reacting badly, your body often tends to balance itself, and you MAY be able to consume these things in the future in moderation. However, you could also overload your system and end up back where you started.

When congestion becomes an issue in our home, I treat the congestion first with an increase of fluids in the form of filtered water, herbal tea (hot or cold) and homemade broths. This works with the body in its effort to flush itself of invaders. I also usually administer some sort of garlic application in the form of a tea and/or GOOT. In persistent cases, I utilize applications of neem oil, colloidal silver, grapefruit seed extract, tea tree oil and other viral/bacterial/fungal killing applications. We also make use of sinus rinses and a neti pot.

However, WHILE I TREAT THE CONGESTION, I am also asking myself what caused this reaction/response. I look carefully over what the person ate and/or was exposed to over the previous 48 hours. It may be a simple cold. It may be one too many pieces of candy. It may be some fast food, processed food, or who knows what else, but figuring out this will tell me what we need to avoid for a month or more to give the body a good window of time for healing. At one point, there was a sensitivity to a soaked grain cereal we were consuming and daily consumption of bananas. None of it was unhealthy, but something in it was causing problems, so we dropped it. Another time, the sensitivity was to a very expensive, high quality vitamin/mineral supplement. The temptation was to continue the supplements, but the cost of sick days and reduced learning was higher than the dollars we lost on the supplements, so we stopped the vitamins.

What if you are able to get the congestion to go away? Can you continue to expose yourself to what caused the congestion? Well of course, you could do so, but I think there is good reason to not do this. God designed your body in such a way that, given the opportunity, it WILL fight to live. This means, that while you may find a way to repress congestion without addressing its cause, the body will still produce this thickened mucus to a lesser extent. You will still be in danger of complications as a result.

If I see a thickened, cloudy, yellow or green discharge, I KNOW there is a problem that needs to be addressed – even if it is not appearing in large quantity. If you are seeing anything other than normal mucus production, I believe you would benefit by considering a course of action that addresses the cause as well as the symptoms.
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Offline Jemima

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Re: Mucus Production: Reasons to Treat the Cause of Congestion
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2007, 06:33:02 AM »
Wow, SC, I think maybe you should change your signature that says, "I'm no doctor..."  :D 

Thank you for taking the time to share this.  It is especially timely for me, as I'm dealing with a little boy who's got a very runny nose right now.  Even though it's annoying to have to a runny nose to wipe constantly, I was thinking along these same lines - that it's good for it to come out.  I do know that his is a common cold, as he's been exposed recently, but this is great info for future reference!

Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: Mucus Production: Reasons to Treat the Cause of Congestion
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2007, 09:04:42 AM »
This is a good thread!
I have a question about the common cold/virus/bacteria that causes congestion.

I know a little girl that picks up colds easily but they are very short lived and a VERY small amount of mucous is produced.....IF the child is put on a strict diet of no sugar, dairy, wheat, etc.
However, if at the first sign of a cold the diet and herbal teas/tinctures are not used...... Mucous production does occur in the form of a cough or ear pain (I think the diet has more effect than the herbs....but the herbs help).

What's the deal? Does this child have mild allergies to the dairy, sugar, wheat.... and it is only presenting itself when the body is busy fighting other combatants (the cold). OR, is this just a good healing diet to be on while sick with anything?

FYI, when the diet/herbs is utlized at the first sign there are very very mild symptoms for less than 48 hours.
If the diet, herbs, rest, are NOT utlilized at first sign the cold symptoms persist about 5-10 days....
The little girl touches EVERYTHING and touches her nose, mouth, etc. She is 2.
Never been on antibiotics, drugs, etc. Was breastfed 12+ months. No other health issues. No other allergies.



Offline SC

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Re: Mucus Production: Reasons to Treat the Cause of Congestion
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2007, 10:08:38 AM »
What's the deal? Does this child have mild allergies to the dairy, sugar, wheat.... and it is only presenting itself when the body is busy fighting other combatants (the cold). OR, is this just a good healing diet to be on while sick with anything?

The deal is that the body rallies all of its nutritional and immunity resources when it is threatened by sickness. If there are no nutritional stores, then it has nothing on which to draw to support its defense. Processed foods, the chemicals in them and processed sugars ALL require the body to draw on these same stores in order to properly dispose of the toxins they introduce. When all of these factors are at play, the body has a depleted store of resources upon which to draw to fight off sickness. This means that what might be a simple yucky feeling in one person can domino into a life-threatening illness in another. The difference is in their ability to utilize their stores to fend off the attack.

Diet is a VERY important weapon in supporting healing.
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Offline Simply Kristen

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Re: Mucus Production: Reasons to Treat the Cause of Congestion
« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2007, 11:27:33 AM »
So I would say that dairy causes excess mucous production in this child when ill.....thus inhibiting the body from healing itself faster...b/c it is dealing with even more mucous.
It also creates a haven for bacteria......More healing issues.

The sugar/wheat products/processed foods draw from her natural resources to fight the infection/virus....thus making healing longer and harder (while eating the sugar/wheat/processed/etc).

Am I correct in my assumptions?:
1. Diet is ultra important in keeping mucous production down during illness
2. This child does not have allergies. This young child just does not have a lot of reseviour to choose from (maybe it is age...or something else?).... Which accounts for picking up cold viruses easily... but also passing through them very easily when on a correct diet of food and immune boosting herbs.
3. big aspect is keeping mucous production at a minimum to avoid infection and boosting the system to fight the illness.

Offline SC

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Re: Mucus Production: Reasons to Treat the Cause of Congestion
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2007, 11:50:29 AM »
So I would say that dairy causes excess mucous production in this child when ill.....thus inhibiting the body from healing itself faster...b/c it is dealing with even more mucous.
It also creates a haven for bacteria......More healing issues.

The sugar/wheat products/processed foods draw from her natural resources to fight the infection/virus....thus making healing longer and harder (while eating the sugar/wheat/processed/etc).

Am I correct in my assumptions?:
1. Diet is ultra important in keeping mucous production down during illness
2. This child does not have allergies. This young child just does not have a lot of reseviour to choose from (maybe it is age...or something else?).... Which accounts for picking up cold viruses easily... but also passing through them very easily when on a correct diet of food and immune boosting herbs.
3. big aspect is keeping mucous production at a minimum to avoid infection and boosting the system to fight the illness.
Give her a gold star! ;D
I'm no doctor . . .             I'm not even a Post hole Digger! ;)
See what works for me at LexingtonSlim.com