Blood always alarms, even more so if it appears without prior notice and from our body. There are many reasons why a person may spit up bloody phlegm, some due to problems in the nose or mouth, or it may be a lung or stomach origin. Whatever the cause, it is always advisable to go to a medical center.
If you want to know what spitting up phlegm with blood means, continue reading this FastlyHealarticle. In it, you will find detailed the possible causes of this problem.
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Spitting up bloody phlegm from nasal problems
The nose is connected from behind with the pharynx. Therefore, any problem that could cause a nosebleed (epistaxis) can be perceived in the mouth, mainly if that bleeding occurs when lying down. There are times when a person is more prone to nosebleeds, such as:
- Rhinitis: The mucosa (the lining of the nose on the inside) becomes inflamed and irritated by the watery secretions of rhinitis. Small blood vessels are more likely to open, causing bleeding that is usually light or slightly more marked in those who take medication that does not allow blood to clot or when the technique to stop nasal bleeding is not well understood quickly.
- Nasal dryness: Sometimes, there is some possibility of nosebleeds when there are very dry or heated environments. It is usually seen in people with a deviation of the nasal septum or who typically suffer from frequent bleeding since that area is irritated more frequently.
- Rhinosinusitis: on the one hand, the mucus can irritate the nose. On the other hand, there is much inflammation in the paranasal sinuses that bleeding can be more accessible, especially when mucus comes out. Therefore, you can swallow bloody mucus, and this is what you notice.
- Trauma: blows to the nose cause inflammation with the subsequent production of mucus and blood.
- Nasal polyp: It is rare for them to bleed on their own, but you may have injured yourself and notice blood in your mouth mixed with secretions.
- Nasal tumor: nasal tumors can bleed spontaneously. Depending on the type, one side of the nose may be blocked, causing you to notice mucus mixed with blood.
Bleeding from clotting problems
In this case, the bleeding is usually very abundant. Therefore, you will hardly only notice bloody phlegm, but it can happen.
Different disorders can make your body not clot the blood correctly, in the case of diseases such as hemophilia, liver problems, problems with clotting factors, cancer, low number of platelets, as well as the consumption of antiplatelet medication ( aspirin) or blood thinner (warfarin).
Phlegm and bloody secretions from high blood pressure
As in clotting problems, the bleeding when blood pressure levels rise more than adequate is very bulky and abundant.
It is widespread to observe that someone with nasal bleeding has higher blood pressure than usual, but due to the moment of stress, they are experiencing. So when epistaxis slows down, and your blood pressure calms, it returns to normal without the need for antihypertensive medication.
Phlegm with streaks of blood from problems in the pharynx
To defend itself against aggression, the pharynx produces mucus, and when it is very irritated or injured, it can bleed. Therefore, a problem at this level can cause you to notice bloody phlegm. Among the possible causes, you can find:
- Reflux: the rise of acid and substances from the stomach to the esophagus and then to the pharynx can cause significant irritation. You may feel burning, scratching, a sensation of having something in the throat, cough, among other symptoms.
- Injury from a food: something dehydrated, sharp or hard may have hurt your throat, producing some blood, which mixed with saliva or mucus, you can perceive it as bloody phlegm.
- Foreign body in the pharynx: if, after eating fish or something that may have remained in your pharynx, you notice discomfort, this may be the case. The foreign body will cause the pharynx to produce mucus and bleed slightly. It is an emergency since it can pass into the lungs if it detaches.
- Tumor in the pharynx: Any abnormal growth in the pharynx can cause bloody phlegm, swallowing discomfort, difficulty swallowing, among other symptoms.
Bloody mucus from respiratory diseases
From the larynx to the narrowest part of the lungs, there is the possibility that some disease or injury causes mucus and blood. Therefore, you can perceive this in your mouth, especially after coughing. Among the disorders that can generate these symptoms are:
- Foreign body: both in the larynx and the rest of the airway, an object that does not belong to the airway can cause bloody mucus.
- Trauma: both in the neck and chest can cause you to have bloody phlegm.
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: is generally suffered by smokers. Although it is not the only reason, it is one of the causes of coughing up phlegm with the blood.
- Infections: in the case of pneumonia, parasitosis, tuberculosis, or lung abscesses, there may be such inflammation that bleeding occurs, added to the mucus produced by the disease itself.
- Pulmonary embolism is when a small clot covers one of the arteries that carry blood to the lung, thereby causing damage to the lung. In addition to shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pain.
- Drug use: there are certain drugs, such as crack, that can damage the airway, causing you to cough up blood.
- Wegener’s granulomatosis: the entire airway from the nose to the lungs can be affected by this disease. There is inflammation around the blood vessels, frequent bleeding with mucus.
- Cystic fibrosis: Thicker-than-normal mucus is produced in the lungs and other bodily secretions, leading to many different problems, including bloody mucus and increased susceptibility to infection.
- Bronchiectasis: This disease can cause you to cough up blood, as well as recurrent cause infections, shortness of breath, or coughing. It is the formation of small pockets or enlargements in the lung tissue; this can be due to different causes such as ingestion of a foreign body, infections, or COPD.
- Lung tumors: Various abnormal tissue growths in the lung can cause you to pass bloody phlegm.
Spitting up bloody phlegm from digestive diseases
As we have seen, gastroesophageal reflux is one of the possible causes of having mucus and blood. Another possibility is an ulcer at the gastric level. However, it is sporadic for it to appear in this way since if it bleeds, the picture is usually much more spectacular due to the amount of blood.
The same happens with varicose veins at the esophageal level, which usually appear in patients with severe liver problems (such as cirrhosis). The bleeding caused on these occasions is very abundant and is usually a medical emergency.
Whatever the cause of bloody phlegm, it is advisable to go to a professional since, as has been seen, there are specific causes. Still, others are more complicated and require adequate and often immediate treatment.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Spitting up phlegm with blood: what does it mean? We recommend that you enter our Ear, nose, and throat category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.