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What Foods Cause Mucus Buildup?


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#1 Dee

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 09:55 AM

Foods That Cause Mucus Buildup


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Overview
Mucus, also referred to as phlegm, is a thick substance that protects your mucous membranes. According to William M. Thurlbeck and Joanne L. Wright, authors of the book "Thurlbeck's Chronic Airflow Obstruction," excess mucus can accumulate in your respiratory system when you have a cold, intolerance to a particular food, influenza, allergies or a chronic lung disease such as cystic fibrosis. Certain foods can cause a buildup of mucus in your body. Knowing which foods can trigger excess mucus can prevent irritating mucus from collecting in your body.

Dairy Products
Consuming dairy products can cause excess mucus in your body. Dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese and ice cream can cause mucus buildup in people who have an intolerance or allergy to milk products. According to Tanya Wright, author of the book "Food Allergies: Enjoying Life with a Severe Food Allergy," these foods can cause thick phlegm to form in your throat. If you already have mucus in your throat, they can worsen your condition. If dairy products trigger mucus, replace them with soy, rice or almond milk products.

Wheat
A diet rich in wheat can cause mucus to accumulate in your body, according to Wright. Wheat can be found in many pre-packaged breads, cereals, wheat flour, cookies, cakes, white flour and snack foods. If you appear to have an intolerance or allergy to wheat, replace these products with healthy, wheat-free foods such as soy flour, brown rice, rice flour and rice-based cereals.

Meats
Limit or avoid fatty red meat, liver, poultry fat, egg yolks, bacon and sausage, which can cause mucus buildup in your body. These fatty foods can be especially troublesome for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a common lung disease, according to Lavon J. Dunne, author of the book "Nutrition Almanac." Dunne further states that animal-based proteins can over-stimulate your immune system, increase mucus production and cause pain, fatigue and fever. If meat is one of your trigger foods, switch to plant-based proteins such as walnuts, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, kidney beans, white beans, navy beans, lima beans, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds and pumpkin seeds.

Oils
According to Swami Sadashiva Tirtha, author of the book "Ayurveda Encyclopedia: Natural Secrets to Healing, Prevention, and Longevity," oils like safflower, sunflower, corn and sesame are loaded with omega-6 fatty acids, healthy unsaturated fats that can increase mucus production in your body, especially if you have cystic fibrosis. If you notice increased mucus after consuming oils rich in omega-6 fatty acids, replace them with healthy, monounsaturated oils such as extra virgin olive oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, grape seed oil and canola oil.

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#2 Darrell

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 04:52 PM

I believe this is the generic homeopathic diet that they claim will cure anything from dandruff to allergies to athletes foot. It was even prescribed to my brother to treat prostate cancer which delayed his seeking actual medical treatment and shortened his life considerably. Specifically about mucus, the medical community including a number of pulmo docs and other pulmonary specialists that I have spoken to, does not agree that this will help to clear your lungs. About the diet, if you take out dairy, meat, wheat, fats, sugars etc. you essentially become a vegetarian (vegan?) and you probably will lose some weight. This too should be undertaken with the advice of your doctor and in my case I'd prefer a Doctor with a medical degree and a good amount of pulmonary experience before making radical changes to my diet.
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#3 Dee

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:04 PM

I don't think anyone is claiming this to be a cure all diet. I think these ideas are just recommendations. Most of them suggest only to limit or not over indulge in certain products that you seem to have a sensitivity or are allergic to. What I understood was that if certain foods seem to thicken or cause excess mucus, there are alternatives, substitutions, that you can choose. Some people have an intolerance or sensitivity to certain foods that others don't.
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#4 richardjm

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 03:15 AM

This was interesting, not least because I was planning to post a question on this very subject, but specifically concerning dairy foods which, (I had heard, long ago), were mucus forming and therefore to be avoided by people subject to mucus-associated problems. However, it was a bit of a surprise to find that almost all the foods that I enjoy are supposed to be in that category. I might agree that too much of anything would probably be unwise for all sorts of reasons. For instance, although I do eat meat, it is generally in small quantities and I did over-indulge in pork, beef and turkey at Albert's Christmas lunch, plus his famed roast potatoes, of which I probably ate 9 or 10 (they're that good). As a result later in the evening, having had that feeling that you have a mucus build-up to get rid of, I puked most copiously - unpleasant but a relief when it was over. And that mucus build-up, I think, was probably due to excessive amounts of three different meats, plus the oil from the potatoes causing my subsequent distress.

I think I agree with Darrell that drastically altering one's diet might not be entirely wise, but it would be interesting to hear from COPD-ers as to what foods, IN THEIR EXPERIENCE, tend to disturb what, for us, is a quite delicate relationship with mucus and what you might call the urge to puke it out. I don't know about other's patterns, but it does seem to me that my coughing and puking up mucus comes on every 3rd or 4th day when my diet is normal. Changing from the norm brings all sorts of surprises. I also think that I should find a diet of tofu, beans, lettuce leaves and other sundry weeds a bit grim, but if the evidence is sufficient, I'll give it a go.

So, are other COPD-ers prepared to enter the ring with their own experiences?
aun aprendo

#5 Darrell

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Posted 31 December 2010 - 11:48 AM

Mucus in COPD can be a very serious problem leading to chronic infections and lung damage and it is much more than just a dietary issue. If you are concerned about mucus, consult a physician. You may also want to read Larry's informative discussions in the "Ask the RT" forum.
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#6 richardjm

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Posted 01 January 2011 - 04:24 AM

I'll do that, Darrell. For me, at present, mucus seems to be the main tangible problem. And I agree also that it is far more than a dietary thing. However, whatever can be shown to help, dietary or otherwise, is worth investigating.
aun aprendo





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