A Quick Guide to: Excessive Mucus, Phlegm, PND (Post-Nasal Drip)
Common causes of these conditions are:
- Allergic reaction to the environment: pollen, smoke, “colds”, viruses, dust, chemicals
- Foods and drinks – they exacerbate and/or can cause those conditions
- A combination of the previous two items
- Non-allergic rhinitis (“runny nose”) – changes in weather, some medications, etc.
- Dry air
Allergic reaction to the environment
If I suspected I had strong allergies to pollens, wool, dust, cleaning chemicals, etc., I would put my nose close to the suspected item(s) and take a good sniff and I would probably know whether I was allergic or not: the reaction would probably be strong and immediate. Of course, I would avoid those items as much as possible. Depending on the severity of the case I would also want to consider seeing an allergy specialist. If I had a bacterial infection—especially if I would get them frequently—I strengthen my immune system regularly. This publication addresses this. . Whatever allergic reaction one may have it can be exacerbated by some foods, as you already saw on page 2, “Three Steps . . . , “ item A. More on this in the next section.
Foods effect on mucus production
These two items are, often, the main contributory cause of excessive sinus drainage. The suggestion outlined in the box on page 2, item A, will probably eliminate the problem by a percentage close to the percentage of the reduction in the use of certain mucus producing foods. This is one area which, again, the publication being offered discusses in detail. There is a whole chapter on this topic. Thus, please read on. Remember that the body normally produces up to two pints of mucus a day. We are oblivious to its going down in the back of the throat until it becomes thick. The best way to thin it and to prevent and relieve sinus pressure, infection, etc., is to drink lots of plain, pure, room temperature water.
Non-allergic rhinitis (“runny nose”) due to excessive production of nasal histamine
Not a serious condition, but an annoying one. I would try an OTC antihistamine for a while. Some foods produce histamine. I avoid them: red wine, cheese, tomatoes, alcohol, beer, eggs
A combination of the previous two
By now it is obvious what a combination of the items, above, can do to you. If it is concluded at some point that one has strong allergies to some environmental item the sensible thing to do is to go see an allergy specialist and get shots to desensitize from the allergen(s). Some people are allergic to some foods and the allergic reaction can be similar to that of the environment.
When air is so dry that the sinus and nasal membranes can’t produce enough moisture to compensate, they can swell and the mucus turns thick and yellow. I use a room steam humidifier.
In many cases just the changes in food and drink will make a huge improvement.