Q:

What happens if you swallow mucus?

A:

Quick Answer

According to Everyday Health, swallowing mucus is harmless. Mucus, or secretions from the respiratory passages, allows the body to remove foreign objects from the airways and lungs. When mucus is swallowed, any pathogens present in mucus are quickly destroyed by stomach acids and enzymes, according to Focus Magazine.

 Know More

Full Answer

When the body is healthy, mucus is thin and watery and is therefore commonly swallowed without notice, according to Blue Shield of California. The mucus keeps the nose and throat moist and helps to carry away bacteria and other foreign particles that cause irritation and infection.

Blue Shield also states that when a person has a cold, allergies or congestion, the amount, color and thickness of mucus increases substantially. While expelling mucus by blowing one's nose or by spitting it out gets rid of some of the excess, it makes little difference if it is expelled or swallowed. When using a tissue, dispose of the tissue promptly to prevent the spread of sickness to others.

Many people do not like the sensation of swallowing mucus and therefore do not. However, if swallowed, it is simply reabsorbed by the body, according to Everyday Health. The dirt, dust and other debris present in mucus is passed out of the body while any bacteria it contains is killed by stomach acid.

Learn more about Gastrointestinal Issues

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a home remedy for a laxative?

    A:

    There are a number of home remedies that have laxative effects, including eating more grains, eating certain fruits, not eating refined foods and eating more fiber, according to HowStuffWorks. Eating honey or blackstrap molasses and drinking coffee may also help relieve constipation.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    How do you know when to seek medical attention for constant heartburn?

    A:

    A physician should examine individuals who have persistent heartburn or take medication to treat heartburn symptoms daily, notes Mayo Clinic. These may be symptoms of gastroesphageal reflux disease, or GERD, which is chronic condition that causes acid to regurgitate from the stomach to the esophagus.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What causes excessive gas?

    A:

    According to the Mayo Clinic, excessive gas is caused by high-fiber foods, fiber supplements, carbonated drinks, chronic issues such as diabetes and an inflammatory bowel disease, swallowing more air than usual, constipation, and system intolerance of certain foods and artificial additives. WebMD also notes that tumors causing intestinal blockage can lead to excessive gas.

    Full Answer >
  • Q:

    What does "dilated small bowel loops" mean?

    A:

    Dilated small bowel loops are loops of the small bowel, distended and filled with air and fluid, that are associated with an obstruction in the bowel. They locate toward the beginning of the obstruction, which is frequently related to an adhesion from a prior surgery, according to the online textbook Learningradiology.com.

    Full Answer >

Explore