(WellnessPursuits.com) – Mucus isn’t something everyone likes to think about, but it’s one of those things the body produces that can be both gross and fascinating at the same time. So what’s really up with the mucus and phlegm the human body creates, and what does the color of it mean? Here’s what to consider to better understand your health and how it relates to the color of your boogers.
Boogers Can Give You Important Health Information
It may seem strange, but boogers and mucus can really tell a person a lot about their health and wellness. How much mucus a body is making, what color it is, how thick or sticky it is, and whether it’s different from what’s normally expected all matter. You won’t get a complete insight into all your health concerns from mucus, but paying attention to it is an important way to run some self-diagnostics so you know when to seek medical attention and when you probably don’t need to worry.
Everyone makes mucus. It’s perfectly normal, and your sinus cavities and throat need the lubrication it provides. You’ll also find mucus lining organs like your stomach, and the human body produces about one liter of mucus every day. A lot of that is associated with your nose, where you want the boogers to be clear. That’s the right color for healthy mucus, and anything else could indicate a problem. You’ll probably notice if your boogers aren’t the right color because you’ll have other symptoms and your body will be producing excess mucus, too.
When boogers turn white, it’s generally because of mild viral infection, like the common cold. You might find that your body produces a lot of extra mucus during a cold, too, in an effort to clear the germs out of your system. So much mucus can be produced that sinus cavities and nasal passages get clogged with it. There are ways to alleviate that with natural remedies like humidifying the air, gargling salt water, and staying hydrated. You can also use OTC remedies, such as decongestants, expectorants, and chest rubs (e.g. Vicks), but it’s important to let the mucus do its job as much as possible.
Yellow or Green Boogers? Gross — and a Sign of Infection
Nobody likes to blow their nose and see yellow or green boogers or mucus. Not only does it look really gross, it can be an indication of a bacterial or a more serious viral infection than the common cold. When you’re sick, the body sends white blood cells to the area to help protect you and fight the invading germs. The greenish enzyme in these cells can turn your mucus green when they’re present in large numbers. Some infections that cause green mucus will go away on their own, but a trip to the doctor is often necessary. A sinus infection, for example, are frequently painful and can linger for a long time if not treated. A course of antibiotics is very often necessary to clear up your infected sinuses.
Orange or Brown Mucus Often Means Your Nose is Dry
Orange or brown mucus comes from dried blood cells and inflammation. That means the inside of the nose is dry, as frequently happens in the winter months when the air is very cold. Having nosebleeds during that time isn’t uncommon, either, and a lot of people experience the same issues when they take long airplane flights or travel to areas of the country with lower humidity. It’s usually nothing to worry about unless it persists, gets significantly worse, or is accompanied by symptoms of illness.
No matter what color mucus your body’s producing, it’s trying to tell you something. Keeping a close eye on the color of your boogers may seem gross, but it can also help you discover a health condition before it becomes more serious so you can start taking care of yourself right away.
~Here’s to Your Healthy Pursuits!
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