Healthy mucus is clear and watery with very little viscosity. Being a first line of defense against germs, viruses, foreign particles, etc.–and a part of our immune system-mucus is produced and flows all the time. We do not ordinarily notice it until it becomes excessive, thick or colored. The sinus and nasal cavity membranes are the main producers of this vital bodily secretion. Without it our lives would be rather miserable.
Yellow, as well as green mucus, denote that our immune system is in the process of fighting something that the body has decided is a threat to its wellbeing. For example, dark yellow can indicate that a sinus infection may have started, while a light yellow can be caused by dry air. The body chemistry assigns mucus its color based upon the actual nature of the threat, stage of development of an infection or the offensive substance it may be trying to expel from the body.
Determining the cause
It is very important to try to determine the cause of the yellow secretion so it can be properly eliminated. Thus I proceeded to do that. Among possible causes are:
- Sinus infection
- Allergic reaction to the environment
- Colds, flu
- Air dryness
- Nasal polyps
The most common causes of yellow mucus are: a cold and sinus infection. During allergy season the constant irritation of the respiratory (breathing) organ membranes caused by pollen or other air pollutants can in turn cause bacterial infection and yellow mucus with it. Any of these conditions should be addressed early on to avoid complications.
What to do
Whenever yellow mucus is produced by the breathing organs, especially chronic conditions, it is a good idea to:
- Start drinking extra amounts of water to:
- keep the mucus thin and flowing instead of stagnating
- help the immune system flush out the offender
- replace the fluids being lost
- help the immune system
- Avoid sugary foods or drinks as well as starchy foods
- Quit smoking–if one has this habit
- Increase the intake of antioxidants such as:
- fresh pomegranate juice-from concentrate green tea
- vitamins A, C, E
- Eliminate mucus producing foods
- See a physician if I suspect I have:
- a bad sinus infection
- traces of pink or red color in the sputum
- pneumonia-its symptoms are:
- cough from chest
- shortness of breath
- muscle pain
- shaking chills
- lower than normal temperature in older people
Nothing rivals good common sense on health issues. Thus when not sure how serious a health situation may be, please, see you doctor.