Gross But True: Science Says You Need Your Phlegm When You Get Sick


Women's Health |

Photography by Freepik

This is a public service announcement: phlegm is good for you. Also, there’s mucus in your eyeballs! It’s about to get real. 

We know that when we get sick, our bodies deploy those white blood cells that go into overdrive to make us better. We also know that our body produces mucus and phlegm. But fun facts: they’re two separate things, and also, they’re both essential bodily fluids.

Phlegm Vs Mucus

Inside your body, membranes produce the slippery liquid mucus that coat your nose, mouth, airways, digestive tract, reproductive tract, and the white parts of your eye. That’s because these parts of your body comes into contact with the outside world and need to be coated to prevent from drying out. It’s also useful for trap foreign nasties like bacteria and dust. Another super gross fact: the mucus is produced in your respiratory tract and moves upwards, like soda, into all those other places.  Phlegm is what happens when you get sick.

An Excess Of Phlegm 

As soon as your body detects a cold, your mucus (the same things that trap dirt and bacteria) go into overdrive and reproduce rapidly to flush out those toxins. The result? All that gross stuffiness. And since you’re sick, there may be too much mucus for your body to keep bringing upwards, so it pools in your lungs. It’s dangerous because if it doesn’t make it’s way up, it can’t fight those infections. Your body’s fix?  That gross wet cough – it encourages the phlegm to make its way up to where it’s needed.

And there you have it: the cold, hard, gross truth about your bodily fluids. Get better!

This article was published with information from Bespoke Communications

Want more? Here’s how to beat that flu – fast, and here’s how being lonely can actually make your cold worse. We’re not kidding. 

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