Sputum tests: Problems producing enough sputum

Posted by Tina Sims @tinaesims, Jul 14 4:30pm

I have problems producing enough sputum for a sample. I had no problems in March but my doctor wanted it repeated again. Yea… March was negative for MAC and I’m currently on the big 3. I took my sample to the lab this morning and they said there was too much saliva. Any suggestions? Last time I used the nebulizer with saline prior and I also did that this morning.

Hello Tina, You might try taking Mucinex starting at least 24 hrs before. And use a PEP such as Aerobika before you nebulize with 7% saline, then do some exercise that gets your respirations elevated, then lay on a flat surface and get someone to do some manual chest percussions, then while still lying down do a series of Huff coughing, then finally sit up and do some regular coughing hopefully bringing up enough sputum for your culture. Good luck, Bill

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Thanks Bill. I did the Aerobika after instead of before. I’ll switch it around tomorrow. I told my husband I was waking him up to beat my back! I’m also not going to do my lung clearance tonight to hopefully build up the sputum. I’ve always had a hard time bringing up anything but spit.

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Hi, Mullein tea really helps loosen up sputum for my sputum tests. Celebration Herbals makes a plain Mullein loose leaf tea with no other herbs added. It takes a day or two for it to loosen after drinking the tea.

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@tinaesims great suggestions so far. For me to have a good sputum sample, I'll lay off any lung clearance the night before (neb, percussion) to let it build up. Then do clearance in the morning, postural draining, and huff coughing.

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@beatrixflower

Hi, Mullein tea really helps loosen up sputum for my sputum tests. Celebration Herbals makes a plain Mullein loose leaf tea with no other herbs added. It takes a day or two for it to loosen after drinking the tea.

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I’ve never heard of it! Where do you get it. I gave them another sample today. She handed me 2 more cups just in case.

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Hi,
Mullein is a common herb like dandelion so it might be in your yard. I buy my mullein tea at the natural food store. I think Amazon carries Celebration Herbals tea brand. It is caffeine free and pretty mild tasting. There is a Wisconsin tea farm that blends it with peppermint but it is not as effective I find.

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@beatrixflower

Hi, Mullein tea really helps loosen up sputum for my sputum tests. Celebration Herbals makes a plain Mullein loose leaf tea with no other herbs added. It takes a day or two for it to loosen after drinking the tea.

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Hi there Beatrix. Isn't mullein also known to be an antibacterial? I used to use the oral version of it to try to fight my lung infections back in the day before I sought treatment at Mayo.

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@windwalker

Hi there Beatrix. Isn't mullein also known to be an antibacterial? I used to use the oral version of it to try to fight my lung infections back in the day before I sought treatment at Mayo.

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Hi, I hadn't heard that before but it wouldn't surprise me. It is a lovely herb and seems to grow near people who need it. I had not heard of it until I was diagnosed with Bronchiectasis the same year we moved into a house in Canada that had tons of it growing in the back yard. I discovered the plant first and about 3 months later got my diagnosis. I have used the liquid tincture also but don't find it to be mucus producing. I use the tincture because it is supposed to nourish the lungs generally like salmon and garlic, etc.

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I use Mucinex every day. Actually, I use the Sam's club brand, much cheaper and it doesn't have Lake Blue in it which is not good for you at all. It's just a plain white pill and it's good for 12 hours, but I take only one a day, every morning. I find it help loosen up the mucus. I use my Smart Vest and then do deep breathing exercises, then huff cough and I can usually get something up. I have to say drinking A LOT OF WATER helps a lot. I also drink Horehound tea and Tulsi tea. The Horehound by itself it uck but I blend it with fennel or licorice tea also and ginger/tumeric tea. Then I add some honey and/or Stevia.

I want to ask everybody tho, does anyone use a Neti Pot to clear their sinuses and nasal passages?? I know this gets a lot of mucus out. But I haven't heard of anyone using one. I have Bronchiectisis MAC and I thought it may help keep the passages a bit cleaner. Opinions? Thank you, Toni

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Don’t think anything wrong w/netipot that I have heard— it’s just if you use 7% saline everyday— I use it in my aerobika that can be attached to my nebulizer—it makes you cough and get a lot of mucous out from your lungs. Netipot more for upper airway it seems.

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Toni—Here is an excellent video of a conference with different and very interesting info on different aspects of NTM Excellent info even tho 4 yrs ago http://Www.NationalJewish.org/ntmvideos2016

Liked by poodledoc

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@beatrixflower

Hi, Mullein tea really helps loosen up sputum for my sputum tests. Celebration Herbals makes a plain Mullein loose leaf tea with no other herbs added. It takes a day or two for it to loosen after drinking the tea.

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How often do you drink the tea In order for it to be helpful? How do people take the drops (Eg diluted?) and how often?

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@toni1132

I use Mucinex every day. Actually, I use the Sam's club brand, much cheaper and it doesn't have Lake Blue in it which is not good for you at all. It's just a plain white pill and it's good for 12 hours, but I take only one a day, every morning. I find it help loosen up the mucus. I use my Smart Vest and then do deep breathing exercises, then huff cough and I can usually get something up. I have to say drinking A LOT OF WATER helps a lot. I also drink Horehound tea and Tulsi tea. The Horehound by itself it uck but I blend it with fennel or licorice tea also and ginger/tumeric tea. Then I add some honey and/or Stevia.

I want to ask everybody tho, does anyone use a Neti Pot to clear their sinuses and nasal passages?? I know this gets a lot of mucus out. But I haven't heard of anyone using one. I have Bronchiectisis MAC and I thought it may help keep the passages a bit cleaner. Opinions? Thank you, Toni

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I've used a neti pot for years. It really helps with my sinuses! I can tell when I don't use it.

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I just got home from taking in yet another sputum sample. One gal usually just looks at it and tells me it's just spit. I could have handed an empty vile to this gal. I'm sure it's just spit. They told me not to drink anything in the morning to bring up a good sample. I didn't. I did the saline and Aerobika. My husband also got up and did percussions on my back. Still just spit. I did buy some of the tea. Do I drink that in the morning or the night before? I'm sure I'm going to get a call to bring in another sample.

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@toni1132

I use Mucinex every day. Actually, I use the Sam's club brand, much cheaper and it doesn't have Lake Blue in it which is not good for you at all. It's just a plain white pill and it's good for 12 hours, but I take only one a day, every morning. I find it help loosen up the mucus. I use my Smart Vest and then do deep breathing exercises, then huff cough and I can usually get something up. I have to say drinking A LOT OF WATER helps a lot. I also drink Horehound tea and Tulsi tea. The Horehound by itself it uck but I blend it with fennel or licorice tea also and ginger/tumeric tea. Then I add some honey and/or Stevia.

I want to ask everybody tho, does anyone use a Neti Pot to clear their sinuses and nasal passages?? I know this gets a lot of mucus out. But I haven't heard of anyone using one. I have Bronchiectisis MAC and I thought it may help keep the passages a bit cleaner. Opinions? Thank you, Toni

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I Toni. I used the Neti Pot for years but now find I prefer the Ayr brand of sinus device. I only use it when I feel there is a need. If I get up, have coffee and things in my sinus has not opened up, I'll use it. Last Christmas I had a problem and became a sinus mucus factory. I had to rinse 3-4 times a day and two rounds of different antibiotics to clear things. Wish we could know what triggers these problems but treating the symptoms is the only option sometime. Sharing is helpful but finding out what works for you is best.
Faye

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