What do you do to get the mucus up and out?

Posted , 13 users are following.

I am new to this disease and I'm really struggling to get good information. My pulmonologist is not that great at explaining this whole thing. He does not volunteer a lot of information and I don't really know yet what questions to ask.

So he's got me on a nebulizer but I only use albuterol in it. I also use a steroid inhaler because I have asthma. And since I have the worst luck I have a broken vertebrae in my back and I'm experiencing a great deal of back pain so my husband cannot pound on my chest and back to try to help me get it all up. I purchased a flutter device and was even shown how to use it but it doesn't help me at all. I don't know if I'm even using it long enough and maybe that's my problem. I've had 2 infections in as many months and that's frustrating to me. The doctor has puts me on two weeks of amoxicillin and clavulanate potassium both times. And each time it does clear up the infection or at least the symptoms of the infection. I know infections are a problem with this disease but does this seem like a lot or is this normal? And what things can I do to help me get this mucus up and out?

0 likes, 31 replies

31 Replies

  • Posted

    I wish you could edit your comments on here... I forgot to mention that I live in the US and that I am a 56 year old female.
  • Posted

    Hi there

    Do you take mucodyne or hypertonic saline? These both help to shift the mucus. Are you sending off sputum samples each time you get an infection to see what bugs you are growing? My advice is if you are not getting the help you need change your doctor/nurse/consultant. If you have pains in your lungs you most prob still got an infection and if you are poorly you may need IVS (intravenous anti biotics) Once you get bronchiectasis under control you can lead a good active life. I have had BX mostof my life and I'm now 50. But I have a great chest consultant and nurse.

    Hope this helps


    • Posted

      I will ask about those two meds you mention. Are those done thru a neb? The first infection was determined by the cultures he took when he did my bronchial scope. The second infection that I'm currently on medication for I could tell because I can taste the infection when I coughed. It just tasted nasty and I knew it was an infection so I just called his office and told him and he called out prescription. And the taste has gone away now that I've been on the antibiotic for a week. I may have to change doctors because I am getting very frustrated with him. And I hate this because I have been seeing him for many years because of asthma and he is very friendly and I thought he was a great doctor. But when it came to asthma I already knew all about asthma because my mother had it very badly. So I really didn't have any need to ask a lot of questions about asthma. But I know nothing about bronchiectasis and I don't really know what questions to ask him and he does not seem to be forthcoming with information.

    • Posted

      The mucodyne also known as Carbosistine us in tablet form the hypertonic saline is through a neb. From the sounds of it you may not be on enough medication to keep BX under control I strongly advise you finding a good consultant or doctor who can help you. I have had times where I have felt hopeless with it all but finding the right doctors/nurse etc are key. This disease never goes away so the more you know about it the better you can manage it. I live in the UK so I can't advise you on where to get the best help but I'm sure this forum will help you. I also take herbal tablets tumeric, manuka honey also helps. This forum is full of great advice.

      Take care


    • Posted

      I have another condition called polymyalgia rheumatica. Its main component is inflammation so I'm always looking for ways to reduce inflammation. I have tried turmeric for this and it really upset my stomach so I had to stop. I have never heard of manuka honey. I love honey especially on an English muffin so I will definitely look into this.

  • Edited

    I drink a lot  water  thins mucus.      Then I stand up and touch my toes    Few minutes. The phelgm just comes out when coughing.      You need to clear lungs.    Very important.        Reda the other posts.      A lot of good ideas and great people
    • Edited

      Will try this Papillion although I cannot touch my toes!! How long after drinking the water do you do this please? GOD Bless U.

  • Posted

    Hi Amkoffee,

    I live in New York myself and am on medicare.  Our pulmonologists are very busy it seems and I often get most info on line.  I am sorry you are having such a bad time with the lung diseases and the broken vertebra.  Lately we have been having a lot of discussion on this forum about getting mucus out.  I think you even chimed in on them. You can check up on those but  you may not be able to use some of these devices and exercices because of the other problems.   I find using a saline solution in the nebulizer very helpful and postural exercises and yoga too.  Even then sometimes I have this mucus in my airways that is hard to get rid of and I sound like a crow.  Good luck in talking to your pulmonologist or find another one.


    • Posted

      Thank you for your comment. Because of my back situation my movements are very restricted as you can imagine. Absolutely no bending or twisting and even lifting something as easy as a heavy bowl or even my purse is difficult. I'm not even sure when I injured my back but it may have been as long ago as February when I had a bad fall and broke my left ankle in 3 places and sprained my right ankle. I was laid up in bed for 3 months because I was not allowed to walk on my broken ankle. I'm now up and around of course but my back is restricting me a lot. I like the idea of the saline solution and I think I'm going to request that from my pulmonologist.

    • Posted

      Dear Amkoffee,

      Boy, you must have gone through hell with that accident on top of the Bx.  I hope you gradually regain your ability to move better.  Good luck with getting the salt solution.


    • Posted

      I am so sorry to hear that you have injured your back so badly. It must be very hard to breathe properly and to do anything to ease the congestion. My thoughts are with you and I hope you get some ease.
  • Posted

    Hi Amkoffee

    i hope you're taking a good probiotic to replace all the good bacteria that will have been killed off.  

    To thin the mucus I nebulise a saline (7%) solution and also add a few drops of garlic liquid.  Garlic is a natural antibiotic.  I must point out that my consultant doesn't approve because it hasn't been prescribed.

    Large doses of Vit C should help with infections.  Liposomal form is best (apparently as good as intravenous) but it is expensive.  I understand it can be made quite easily at home and I intend doing this soon.

    Very important to get as much gunk out as possible though.  You could try inhaling steam to which you've added a few drops of essential oils, i.e. eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender, myrtle. Should help to loosen it.

    good luck! 😊

    • Posted

      Dear Irene

      Thank you for your post. Good tips there and much less side affects than all the horrible drugs!

      What saline do you use and how much exactly every day?

      how many drops of garlic liquid and do you mix them together?

      Can it be left in the neb chamber for later that day or the next day?

      How often do you boil the chamber as I hadstrange white stuff/film all over mine afterwards and never found out what it was although the nebuliser company told me it could have been from the colloidal silver??

      Have you ever used colloidal silver which helped me last winter when I had the most painful pleurisy on top of bronchiectasis and was not sure where I was heading - scary time indeed! BUT no-one can tell me how often one can use it - i.e. everyday or ???

      When you find a way to make the liposomal vit C please do let me know how as yes it is very expensive :-(

      Thank you and all the very best to you.



    • Posted

      Thank you for the wonderful suggestions Irene. I don't know about inhaling garlic that just seems like it would give you horrible breath but I like the other suggestions. I have never been a big believer of essential oils but I do thinks that Eucalyptus in the hot water can make a difference. I've had lung conditions since birth and I grew up with my mother rubbing Vicks Vapor Rub on my chest. Whether it works or not I know that it is soothing to me. I will look into this liposomal, it is not something I've ever heard of.

    • Posted

      I've had lifelong bronchiectasis amokoffee.  67 now!  Re the garlic, I nebulise approx 6 drops to 4mls of saline solution.  I can detect it but don't think it gives me garlic breath.  My other half says he can't smell it.  I prefer to use natural antibiotics but of course would turn to prescribed ones if necessary.

    • Posted

      Hi Laurajoy and Irene,

      I also use natural remedies in addition to the things my pulmo subscribes.  I once used the colloidal silver pure in the nebulizer but actually it scared me and I did not do it again.  The sources I consulted at that time said to be careful with it.  It might be better to put in just a few drops in the 7% saline solution (4 ml) prescribed by the pulmo.  I now take the colloidal silver orally and also Oil of Oregano a drop under the tongue once or twice a day.  Additionally, to prevent infections I dilute calcium ascorbate powder in juice or water and sip that throughout the day. I add a capsule of Glutatione Plus to one of the nebulizer sessions.  I read that glutathione is good for the lungs and putting it in the nebulizer helps to get the mucus out more easily.  I use vitamins and other supplements and eat organic homecooked meals and salads.  I used to be so healthy before the Bx hit me but I still hang on to the good habits when I feel up to it.  Sometimes it all seems to be a bit much and I allow myself to relax a bit. 

      I hope this is helpful.

      Wish you strength in the struggle.


    • Posted

      Dear Louise

      Only just found your post!! Could I ask U plse what scared you when you nebulised the colloidal silver neat. Did you find it hard to inhale and all the coughing too as i do and the stopping and starting? Recently I had to do it again as was fighting off something nasty but this time tried half distilled water (my wonder-full new water machine) and half colloidal silver which seemed to give me less problems 😃 I have read somewhere NOT to mix the silver with saline solution but don't know why and wish I knew more! I will research that again. Where do you get your glutathione from as i have been trying to find a liquid one for a whole year and have not managed to! What do you mix in with in the nebuliser and what are the quantities please and how often can you use it? Also where is there good info on this please? Do you nebulise the 7% saline alone and how often please? Keep well and strong as this condition is so challenging to live with. GOD bless U. Laura x

    • Posted

      Hi Laurajoy,

      What scared me was just some reports from other sources saying it could be harmful to nebulise the colloidal silver straight, not anything that happened. Lately I have been reading again that it could be helpful and your suggestion to mix the colloidal silver with half distilled water is encouraging. I may use it like that when I am fighting another infection. Mixing silver with saline probably inactivates the silver. I get something called L-Glutathione Plus from Theranaturals. These are capsules mixing glutathione (200mg) with sodium bicarbonate (55mg). This combo is formulated for use in nebulisers. I just break apart a capsule and put the content in the salt solution. I suppose it is a bit expensive this way and one can mix it oneself. I am always concerned about sterility when I mix things myself. I only use this once a day. For the second daily session I use just the 7% saline. I cough up a good amount of phlegm this way.

      I hope this is helpful. Thanks for your reply and keep on fighting.


    • Posted

      Does garlic drop kill bacteria in the lungs? How did you make garlic drops? From raw garlic?

    • Posted

      Hello, I'm interested in garlic liquid. Did you make it from raw garlic? Does it kill bacteria in the lungs as garlic has antimicrobial properties? I have been eating more garlic hoping to kill the bugs in the lungs.

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