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Mucous related diseases a rising concern amongst the population
Vishnu Mohan | 11 Jan 2011

In the respiratory system mucous aids in the protection of the lungs by trapping foreign particles that enter it particularly through the nose while normal breathing.

Mucous is a slippery secretion produced internally from mucous cells found in mucous glands. The average human body produces about a litre of mucous per day. One of the major functions of the mucous glands is to protect the body from infectious agents such as fungi, bacteria and viruses.  In the respiratory system mucous aids in the protection of the lungs by trapping foreign particles that enter it particularly through the nose while normal breathing.  Phlegm is a specialised term of mucous that is restricted to the respiratory tract. 
 
In the digestive systems, mucous is used as a lubricant for materials which must pass over membranes. A layer of mucous along the inner walls of the stomach is vital to protect the cell linings of that organ from the highly acidic environment within it. 
 
The problem begins where there is increased flow of mucous in the human body.  Increased mucous production in the respiratory tract is a symptom of many common illnesses, such as the common cold and influenza.  Similarly, hyper secretion of mucous can occur in inflammatory respiratory diseases such as respiratory allergies, asthma and chronic bronchitis. 
 
The presence of mucous in the nose and throat is normal, but increased quantities can impede comfortable breathing and must be cleared by blowing the nose or expectorating phlegm from the throat.  Tears are also a component of nasal mucous. Generally nasal mucous is clear and thin, serving to filter air during inhalation. 
 
During times of infection, mucous can change colour to yellow or green either as a result of trapped bacteria or due to the body’s reaction to viral infection.  In the case of viral infection such as cold or flu, the first stage and also the last stage of the infection causes the production of clear, thin mucous in the nose or back of the throat.  As the body begins to react to the virus (generally one to three days), mucous thickens and may turn yellow or green. 
 
Some experts believe that infectious mucous (phlegm) in the respiratory systems cause heart attacks and certain percentage of natural deaths due to heart attacks come under this category.  Due to change in lifestyles and with lack of proper physical exercise compounded by wrong eating habits all these could lead to curtailing the normal resistance level in a human body leading to secretion excessive mucous beyond the normal levels. The following may result in lowering the resistence levels in a human body:
 
-          Lack of proper physical exercise;
-          Eating junk food regularly;
-          Everyday staple food containing more of spicy products;
-          Eating boiled stale food;
-          Consuming more of oily foods on a daily basis;
-          Consuming lots of stale milk products like old curds mixed with rice or salad on a daily basis;
-          Lack of consuming of raw vegetables or fruits on a daily basis;
-          Inhaling impure air on a daily basis;
-          Drinking contaminated water on a daily basis;
-          Living in areas where mosquitoes can breed and flourish easily which can carry harmful diseases;
 
It is requested that Health Ministry should take the above as a serious issue and come out with warnings to ensure that average human body should be tuned to maintain normal and high levels of resistance at all levels to combat viruses entering the body causing greater flow of mucous production.