So I have this nasty cold, cough, running a fever kind of thing going on to ring in the new year...super exciting! In the middle of a coughing fit last night I started thinking "I wonder where the congestion, that I'm currently coughing up, comes from"? And because Google and I are best friends (most days) I decided to start searching the answer to that question and many others. Unfortunately, the one they do not have an answer to is "How did I get to be 28 and just NOW learn this". Oh well.
So what is it exactly that you're coughing up? You're coughing up phlegm. It's a combination of bacteria, white blood cells, and and mucus (tasty, right?). It comes from your lungs, not your nasal passages. You also should not shallow it and should spit it out when you get a chance. Why? Because it does contain bacteria and swallowing it means you are just continuing to harbor the bacteria in your body. Bad idea. But if you're anything like me you're busy and not always near a trash can or box of tissues to spit into every time some phlegm decides to work it's way out of your lungs. So what should you do? Drink lots of water. It will help to break up the phlegm in your lungs and help to flush out your system. Also, take an expectorant. It will help you to have a more productive cough, which helps you to cough it up more easily. Lastly, get some rest! Plenty of rest will help you to feel better because at least you'll be recharged and ready for the coughing and snot fest that the expectorant will bring about. I hope you feel better soon!