Clearance - yellow sputum

Posted , 11 users are following.

This discussion has been locked due to a period of inactivity. Start a new discussion

Hi all,

Thanks for this great forum. It helps a lot to be able to learn more about bronch and how you all deal with it.

I have mild bronchiectasis, but I have become obsessed with clearing my lungs when I'm not sure I even have to. 

Since I'm afraid of leaving anything in my lungs, I work very hard at getting out even just a few specks of yellow sputum.

Does anyone know if it's ok to leave in just a bit of yellow sputum? 

A respiratory therapist told me that we all have some yellow sputum and that I can cause more damage by forcing coughs.

However, every other month or so, I'm able to bring up more yellow sputum - maybe like 4 -5 tablespoons. I clear it out and then I seem fine.

I'm just confused and hoping that someone here has more experince as to whether you can work too hard on clearing out stuff that might not be necessary to remove and if the yellow specks are not even related to my bronch.

Thanks and best to all,

Ida

2 likes, 18 replies

Report

18 Replies

Next
  • Posted

    Hi there

    I have had bronchiectasis all my life and clear my lungs out a few times a day. I do my usual acapella exercises until I'm clear. I don't always get every bit out as I would be there all day. You may have little speck left but my advice is don't worry or wear yrself out trying to get rid of every tiny bit. It doesn't necessarily mean you have an infection. As long as you send regular samples off to keep an eye on whether you have any bugs growing or not that's the best thing you can do. Regular Exercise is key. There are lots of things I have to do to keep myself well like nebulise hypertonic saline& anti biotics twice a day I also take carbocistine which helps clear the mucus, plus my preventative inhalers. I take manuka honey everyday and vitamin D. It's all about accepting the condition and maintaining yr lungs the best you can. I'm sure you will have loads more advice from other broncho suffers. Hope this helps.

    Rach ☺

    Report
  • Posted

    Hi Ida

    It certainely is a great forum  you learn so much from hearing other people"s experiences.  Not sure whether it is bad to overdo the lung clearance or not, But I do find tht every day it is different, some days I can only get little bits up so I don't push it, but other days I can get so much up which makes me feel so muh clearer. We are alldifferent and what is good for one is not good for another.  Keep up with the

    clearance though, as it is vital.  

    Report
  • Posted

    Hello, yes both replies you just got are good advise,I do nebuliser with Sodium Chloride,then Aburteral,also have an inhaler,but sorry to say this stuff just keeps coming 24 / 7 so you need to get it out coughing is natural for your body to get it out so just let it happen.

    Good Luck

    Report
  • Posted

    I have no evidence, but have to believe that excessive hard coughing in probably not good.  I use an inversion table to clear my lungs, and it seems to work well.  I don't stay on it long, but just to clear to easily coughed-up mucus, and I do this 2-3 times a day.  So far so good.  I do not continue to try to force up every little bit.  I do the acapella first thing in the morning as well, and that seems to loosen things up.  Time wiil tell if the regimen is sufficient.

    Good luck!!

    Gary

    Report
  • Posted

    Ida,

    I also have learned a lot from this forum.  And I agree that you can't get every little bit up mucus up.  The more I try the more my lungs close up.  So after each nebulized treadment, I wait for 10-15 minutes, use my acapella and posturing (have my head lower than my waist. and cough.  If I don't get much up I'll wait for a while the try again.

    This is a good place for knowledge and most importantly, support from people going thru the same thing.

    Stay healthy, Beth

    Report
  • Posted

    Quite high volumes most of the time. 30-40 ml is normal (a teaspoon is 5ml); double that when infected. I cough up relatively easily, so don't use contraptions - I just lie down falt and expirate with increasing depth to the bottom of my lungs until a cough comes naturally, followed by a minute or two's relaxed breathing. I don't go all the way and my lungs will still often wheeze a bit once I have done 20 mins of coughing physio. 

    If having a busy day in the garden or other exercise no need to do the lung physio, otherwise 20-30 mins mid morning (I let the mucolytic and bronchodilator meds do their job for a couple of hours; eating a good breakfast tends to work stuff free after a couple of hours). I can usually feel in the late afternoon or evening whether I need another shorter physio time - usually post infection for a few weeks.

    I don't get paranoid over clearance - I could not get it all out anyway. Maybe I would get sligtly fewer infections if I did but I don't feel that spending my life coughing obsessively is good for my health either!

    [2 year moderate sufferer. Antibi or prophylactic antibi (most of the time) + Symbocort (turbohaler) + acetylcysteine (mucolytic) + doxofylline (broncodilator). Living in sub-tropical Thailand]

    Report
    • Posted

      Hiya Steve,

      Read your reply I live part time in the West Indies seem to be having a harder time here, when they say living by the sea is better saw what you said and what you take especially the Antib,and everything else which I never heard of,I'm going to ask my Doctor when i get back,sorry question is your doctor a BX specialist that recomended all that you are doing or GP, what they got me doing is Sodium Choloride ( Nebulizer ) Abuterol and Symbocort and I'm having issue,I know we are all different,but reading what some others are doing makes sense to me.especially Antibi, but they say you can't take them all the time because it kills the good stuff,yet some readres say they are on it for life. don't get it.

      So Thanks for the info I will ask my Specialist.

      Best Regards,

      Charlie

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi there

      I nebulise anti biotics everyday twice a day but this has only been for the past few years prior to that I used to take one oral anti biotic every other day to keep infections at bay. I guess it all depends on how bad yr condition is. We are all different but it's nice to know what is available.

      I would love to live by the sea in warmer climates but I would miss my large family to much. I wish I had the money to move us all aboard 😆!

      Report
    • Posted

      Good to know, I'm sure going to check on staying on AntiB as i did have an affection and they had me on Antioxcin for 14 days and I felt good,now I belive I'm getting another,what a crazy thing this BX is, never heard of it my whole life,can't spell it,can't hit the lottery but we can get this,go figure.

      Best Regards,

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi all,

    Thank you so much for all your responses. I appreciate you sharing your clearance techniques. I'm trying out a few of them and hopefully it will make it a little easier to get rid of it all.

    Thanks again,

    Ida

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Ada

      Good luck with trying out different things but just remember to live your life as normal as possible don't let the condition control you, you must control the condition. As long as you eat well exercise & do your daily clearance etc things will become second nature.

      Take care

      Rachel

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Rachel,

      Thanks for the very wise words. I try to stay calm about this and I'm getting much better, but I still have a long way to go.

      When I start stressing about my bronch, I will think of what you said.

      Thanks 😊

      Report
    • Posted

      Dear Ada

      Please do think about it. I don't know how old you are but I've been dealing with this for most of my 47 years I've been alive. I have always had a positive attitude and all my family & friends think I'm amazing the way I deal with it. That said I do have my days where I get a bit down & frustrated especially as I love being active but if I have to spend the day in bed or relaxing I always think theres another day tomorrow. I listen to what my body is telling me. If I'm a bit tired in the afternoon I have a 'power nap' to keep me going the rest of the day. I still have 2 sons living at home & a husband I also have a daughter who has 2 children herself so I see my lovely grandchildren when I got plenty of energy so I never feel guilty about looking after myself cos then everyone benefits!

      Have a lovely weekend & enjoy life to the max when your well.

      Rachel xx

      Report
    • Posted

      Hi Rachel,

      I'm your age and have two lovely sons and a dear husband. I appreciate you sharing your attitude about this. You sound so positive and seem to have a method of dealing with the down times. I admire that and I think a positive attitude is very helpful to all of us dealing with bronchiectasis.

      I'm learning a lot about my mental state and I highly recommend reading Byron Katie to anyone who might be a bit down about this.

      Thanks again, Rachel, for sharing and a great weekend to you and your family as well.

      Ida

       

      Report
  • Posted

    Hi Ida     Ive also had BX all my life   diagnosed witth ithmat 2yrs ago as mild also have asthma    I have become obssessed with clearing my lungs every day   and on some days i could like get 4/5 tablespoons of mostly Green sputum          i dont really get yellow sputum like you     i do know after clearing my lungs i canu get relief     But when i cant get stuff up i get worried 

    My chest doc said "dont worry about the colour"  it doesnt mean you have infection.    

    He has me on azithromycin 250   3 times a week  as a preventer  since last november  

    I suppose forcing yourself to clear your lungs is gonna cause more damage long term

    Keep well

    Rob

    Report
    • Posted

      Hi Rob

      Your doctor is right about the colour but generally if it's really green/brown it can indicate an infection. I produce anything from 5-15 teaspoonful a day. I send off a sputum sample every few weeks just to keep an eye on things. As for clearing out all the mucus it's really difficult, I find if I do my treatment then my acapella to clear my lungs I'm good for a few hours then I need to clear again but generally I can do this by the breathing method. I don't stress or panic about it though because due to the nature of bronchiectasis we are always going to produce mucus so it's best to have a clear out when you feel it's building up. I do think constant excessive coughing & clearing is just going to wear you out. You have to control the bronchiectasis not let it control you.

      Good luck

      Rachel

      Report

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion

Report as inappropriate

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up