Why is mucus yellow when sick

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Why is mucus yellow when sick

When down with cough and/or colds our body has a natural way to defend itself from sickness that includes coughing and sneezing, which is often accompanied by mucus. Although gooey, yucky, and most of the times annoying, mucus plays an important role in protecting and helping the body heal itself.

As a rule, mucus is produced by the body in order to trap and push out foreign particles that are entering it. And, its color can provide a clue especially for doctors so that they can provide proper diagnosis on the patient.

Clear, transparent mucus is nothing to worry about as it can only indicate an irritation which may be due to an allergic reaction or simply a response to eating spicy foods. However, mucus can also appear to be colored green or yellow which is believed by many as a sign to either getting better or becoming worse.

In actuality, coughing or sneezing out yellowish mucus can only mean that the body is fighting off an infection that has either bacterial or viral source. Such condition may develop into a more serious health condition if not treated immediately, and properly. The yellow mucus contains leukocytes, or inflammatory cells, which is produced by the body due to an inflammation in the respiratory tract brought about by an allergy, irritation, infection, or asthma. Yellow mucus is a common symptom for having bacterial pneumonia or chronic/acute bronchitis.

In some cases, expelling out yellowish mucus can be an indication of a serious health condition like tuberculosis and lung cancer. In TB, aside from the yellow colored mucus, there are traces of blood, fever and with the feeling of listlessness are its common symptoms. And the most dangerous and proven fatal of all is lung cancer which greatly needs help from experts for early detection and management.

Author: khristine

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