Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

What on earth am I coughing up? *Don't read this if you are squeamish.* adult content

I'm asthmatic and getting over a cold. The freezing weather doesn't help. I'm no stranger to phlegm. So I'm not unduly distressed. I'll make a doctor's appointment. I'm more curious than anything. But for the last few days, I've been coughing up bits of something hard, about the size of coffee grounds. Maybe every few hours or so, three or four times a day anyway. It hasn't been waking me up at night or anything. I'll go into a choking, gagging fit, and finally hack up a piece or two, and then be done with it. Once it's out, I'm fine, all that fuss over this hard little gravelly thing. I've never been a smoker. Can mucus get dried out inside the lungs? If it doesn't get coughed up, will it eventualy be reabsorbed into the body? Sorry for TMI, but I did put a warning in the title and throw up the flag. So, CM docs, whatcha think?


Asked by Ballad at 12:56 AM on Dec. 8, 2013 in Health

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (14)
  • I know it isn't tonsil stones when I have it. I have had those too and this is different. It comes up from the lungs.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 1:42 AM on Dec. 8, 2013

  • What color? They could be scabs from throat damage due to acid reflux. They could be globs of cells and phlegm dislodged in the pits of your tonsils.

    See and ENT that's the doctor that has a camera that can go down your throat and video what it looks like and where/what this stuff is.
    Depending on your insurance you probably need to see your personal doctor and have him write up a referal for the Ear Nose Throat (ENT) doctor.

    Answer by vanillaorchida at 1:51 AM on Dec. 8, 2013

  • Does it have a foul odor? If so, it could be tonsil stones, or tonsilloliths. They are globs of dead cells, mucous that harden or calcify.

    Answer by KTElite at 1:16 AM on Dec. 8, 2013

  • I get that sometimes when I get a cold. It is gross. I chalked it up to breathing in dried clay. Haven't been around a pottery have you?

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 1:39 AM on Dec. 8, 2013

  • That's probably what it is then. They're calcified dead cells or mucous that end up in the crevices of your tonsils. When you cough them up, they're approximately the size of a pea or smaller. Nothing to be concerned about.
    It's actually more common than you think.

    Answer by KTElite at 1:39 AM on Dec. 8, 2013

  • Do you still have your tonsils?

    Answer by KTElite at 1:30 AM on Dec. 8, 2013

  • Ballad... I have a completely unrelated question for you. How does your language program decipher misspellings and or text speak?

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 1:43 AM on Dec. 8, 2013

  • What color is this stuff you cough up? I was thinking its blood. You can cough up blood from your lungs or trachea.

    Answer by jenny3344 at 1:54 AM on Dec. 8, 2013

  • That is awesome Ballad! I was just typing an answer and misspelled something and wondered. Thanks for the answer!

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 1:21 PM on Dec. 8, 2013

  • It could be from your salivary gland, are they kind of small and like grit? Try gargling with warm salt water then listerine, if the listerine burns the back of your throat, not like a usual burn, but painful, you might have an infection, feel on the sides of your throat right under the jawbone, any pain or tenderness?

    Answer by 2kids2dogs2cats at 2:25 PM on Dec. 8, 2013