Bronchiectasis sputum trouble

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I have Just been diagnosed with mild Bronchiectasis. Had all the scans etc seen a physio but still having trouble coughing up sputum. I find when I go through all the breathing techniques it makes me feel like I'm going to be sick. Any suggestions.

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  • Posted


    The nausea feeling is probably the amount of coughing. That happens.

    Your physio or specialist should give you as Airway clearance devices and exercises.

    This basically helps you move the phlegm from the airways.

    Ask lots of questions.


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  • Posted

    Do you do the exercises standing or lying down? 

    I use lying down. Sitting makes me lightheaded.

    Anyone else got any suggestions?



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  • Posted

    Hi violet I have had bronchiectasis for 16 years and only recently (the last year) I have been able to bring sputum up . I am now on hypersonic saline through the nebuliser twice a day and then use a acupella device to rattle the mucus off my lung these 2 things have really improved my physio and I know can't imagine trying to bring anything up without them xx

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  • Posted

    I, too,  have  Bronchiectasis. with Pulmonary Fibrosis, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. Mycobacterium abscessus complex and  Alpha and Gamma Streptococcus.with the latest find of Bronchitis.  The infections I got in hospital, from surgery for a fractured wrist.  Pulmonologist gave me Levofloxicin for the infections and I thought it would kill me.  It ruptured my left knee and destroyed the meniscus in my right knee, left me with horrific pain all night and days after.  Don't let them give you those antibiotics, (Cipro (levofloxicin, Levaquin)  if you have painful knees to begin with.  There is a warning about that doctors often ignore..  Getting the sputum up can be difficult and unpleasant to be in ear shot of..   I start with the inhaler (2 rounds) and the flutter (a few times) in the morning and it can take sometimes hours later before I feel it coming up.  I then, lay down (best position to get this stuff up) press my knees up to my chest and push firmly exhaling from my mouth until I hear the wheezing.   After that It usually starts coming up.  If not, another couple of rounds of the inhaler. If  I let it go a day or two or more I start feeling really sick and have severe back pain.  I always feel much, much  better after the clearing, so it's very important to do so.   In the beginning when first diagnosed 9 years ago, it was mild and the sputum came up without too much effort, but always it would come up when I was horizontal.   Love and Luck with this.   Hope this helps a little.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for that detailed description of your attempts to get up sputum and for your advice. I have never written but have followed the site for about 5 months. Frankly, I have received more helpful information and advice from this wonderful site than any doctor! I was diagnosed a year and a half ago. I have been sick for years before the diagnosis but my doctor didn't look into the reason for it until I kept pushing,

      My problem is being unable to get any sputum up. When first diagnosed I had no problem without the aid of anything. I was very fluid, Now, however, my chest is usually tight and I find it hard to project my voice. I try and try but very little, if anything comes up. I am currently on 3-7 percent saline in nebulizer. Sometimes I can't tolerate the 7 percent. Every day I go through my ritual, including the flutter valve but it gets exhausting when nothing comes up.

      I appreciate your description of how you do it and am hoping for the best! I am continually off and on different antibiotics because I feel like Im coming down with something after Ive been off of them for only a few days, I typically start first with drainage down my throat, achy, chills and then the even an tighter chest and congestion begins.

      When you say you get pain in your back do you mean upper back. Ethernet shoulders. My tight chest radiates straight through yo my back but the doctor never comments when Zi tell him they. Fir years I blamed it on my Fibromyalgia but now I can tell it's from my lungs.

      If you ircsnuine else had any advice Id be forever grateful.


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    • Posted

      Hi Robyn,

      There are days I, also, have when nothing comes up so I don't worry

      about it until I feel that tightness in my chest, have not enough breath to finish a sentence,  and have that upper and mid back pain then I know it's time to get that stuff up.   It may take several hours and it can be

       painful but I also feel better after  I have Fibromyalgia as well but the pains from that are much different.


      are much different.  I can't take the antibiotics that prescribe for this

      so I'm doing other things too long to mention here with natural remedies.

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    • Posted

      This has worked for me for year.  Fill bathtub with very warm water, close the shower curtain, lay flat in tub with knees bend, lift and lower back inhale on lifting expell on lowering.   After a very short time I bring up mucus .  I also take on mucinex daily.
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  • Posted

    The sickness you feel is the sputum being activated.   Don't give up on it.

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  • Posted

    Mither the physiotherapy department and insist on repeat appointments until it works.

    I am in exactly the same situation and i'm not there yet.

    But it helps to be scrupulous about the breathing techniques. I tend to do them when i feel bad but lay off when i feel well ( and if my physio is following this i shall deny that ,when we next meet!)

    I KNOW this is not helpful...andf i am trying.

    I am also being sick if needs be....

    ( sorry, TMI i thnk...)

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