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My 86 year old grandmother developes copius amounts of thick mucous in her throat that literally chokes and gags her. What can be the cause?

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Many, many things could be the cause. If she hasn't seen a doctor, I suggest it. If she has, see a homeopath or naturopath. Look one up in her area. It's worth a shot to get her treated.
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Hi- I ran across your post. My 81 year old husband is having the same problem. Did you ever find out what was causing it? thanks in advance! Libba McDonald lfmcdonald@bellsouth.net
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Just came across a possible answer because of my own experience with a similar situation. The cause could be an infection in the bronchial/pulmonary area. That would be my suggestion and have all organs cleansed via colon irrigations and their foot spa energy balancing system.
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Did you find a satisfactory response to your husband's problem? My 90 year old husband coughs up copious amounts of mucus and I have so failed to find anything that can help. He has a small pleural effusion revealed on two chest x-rays but a sample of the sputum shows nothing abnormal. Have you any ideas about how to deal with this?
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WOW ... I'm so happy to have found "something" similar to what I've been experiencing with my 91 year old Mother over this past couple of yrs now! I feel so sorry for her because it all began when she started complaining about her nose running constantly. And, naturally, we thought it must be allergies or a little cold she caught! But, when her voice began to sound weaker and she was having a difficult time speaking because she had to clear her throat so much ... I noticed she was losing weight because she was eating less - primarily due to her inability "to easily swallow" her food. Again, we justified that with the fact she wasn't chewing her food well enough due to her dentures not fitting well enough (common with the elderly - especially when they begin losing weight and their jaw bone structure also begins to shrink - so, the dentures don't fit as well as they used to).We finally found a possible answer to our questions from her diligent PCP, Dr Saleem Haq. He tested her for myasthenia gravis and she showed up "positive". So, he referred her to a neurologist who subscribed an Rx medication called "Pyridostigmine BR 60mg tablets.3x daily"which has helped her - but, she's still having the problem - just not as bad as it once was.There have been times when the VERY stretchy, thick mucus/saliva is so "rubbler-like" I have had to literally put my fingers in her mouth and pull it out from the back of her throat - causing her to gag it out! I know that sounds disgusting - but, it's hard to watch my Mother choking!There has to be something else to all of this. I was told that as people get older, their muscles tend to become lax. Therefore, when they go "to swallow" and sometimes cough because "it goes down the wrong pipe" ... it technically IS going down the wrong pipe --- outside the esophogus and foods/liquids end up "in the lungs" instead of the stomach where they can be digested and dissolved. When they land in the lungs - they just sit there and within time, the build-up of "air/oxygen space" in the lungs ... gets filled up and this begins to "drown a person's ability to breath" and congestive heart failure occurs. This is what was explained to me. I'm not a doctor - but, it all made sense to me.When I see my Mother appears to look "toxic" and coughing with a mucus/smoker's sounding cough (even tho' she's never smoked herself - but has been around 2nd hand smoke from my brother) ... I get her to the DR or ER. Typically, they put her on an antibiotic called CIPRO (500mg ... which I can cut in half, if they feel it's too strong for her) - and she seems to feel better within 24-48 hours.I really hate to see her suffer and go thru all of this. I wish there was some kind of "aspiration machine" I could plug in, and put the tube down her throat to clear it out so she can just "enjoy a meal"! This is so hard on her ... and the rest of the family ... to witness. Plus, we have to make soft/pureed foods for her to eat - which doesn't make her "quality of life" very enjoyable.I hope this has helped someone or hopefully, several people with feedback. If you have any questions or comments - please contact me so we can compare notes and try to figure this out!All the best, URSULA 

 

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message is for Ursula if you are still with this site. Reading about your mother's issue, its as if I wrote it. Any updates since your post, in finding out anymore to what can be done for your mother's health issue? Sharon
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I actually spoke with an allergist about my 87 year old grandmother having this exact same issue a couple days ago. She prescribed Ipratropium Bromide and said it's very common for elderly people to just start producing tons of mucus when they get older, when they eat mostly. She said to use this spray before each meal and it should help prevent the mucus. We're starting to try it tomorrow.
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Hi there is a suction machine you can get. We have one for my grandma. It doesnt go down her throat but you can put it towards the back and suck it out. Ask you doctor to out in an order for one. Ut dies help alot with that stringy thick stuff it sucksbit right out instead if trying to pull it out . hope this helps God Bless

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please let me know how the Ipratropium Bromide helped.Thank you for your info.My mom is having the same problem she is 98 and we want to know what is out there that might help. THANK you so mUCH
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We're not sure if it helped or not because it's a nasal spray so she couldn't actually spray it herself because of her arthritis in her hands. Basically it was only being used when someone was there to do it for her. I would still recommend trying it because I gave it to her when I was spending the day with her and she didn't seem to have any mucus.
On a side note, it turns out that a colonoscopy she had over a year ago poked a hole in her intestine, causing a large infection her doctor didn't find until she ended up with an intestinal hernia.
SO, I would have her checked out and make sure there's no way she could have some kind of infection going on inside. I'm definitely not trying to scare you, but I would just be sure from my experience with my grandma. Anyway, she's now out of the hospital and doing much better, but the mucus hasn't stopped. I've heard that it could have started from the infection and it may just never stop now since the infection was there for so long.

BUT, we have noticed that there are certain foods that seem to trigger more mucus than others. If you google foods that produce mucus you'll find that dairy, wheat, sugar, and sometimes eggs are huge triggers. Because she had intestinal surgery, she's not allowed to eat solid foods, at least not for a while. So we've started having her drink unsweetened vanilla almond milk and limit foods with sugar. We make her chicken salad with egg-free mayo. She eats mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes cooked in chicken broth rather than milk. Broth helps a lot so she eats a lot of chicken soup and my mother has a recipe for tomato soup made without cream that's also good. If she could eat solid foods, we would buy gluten, dairy, soy, and egg free breads. Eating leafy greens like salads helps a ton. Annie's makes salad dressings that are free of a lot of those mucus triggers. And also fruits like pineapple that are acidic can help reduce the mucus. I make my grandmother strawberry-pineapple smoothies with the almond milk and artificial sweetener to sweeten it. She loves it! If I think of anything else I will post it because I know how puzzling all this is and how hard it is to watch. I hope this helps!!

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Having same problem with my 93 year old mother. Thank you, Ursula! Very informative!! Nancy
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Hi Ursula,
Thanks for your in-depth post my father is suffering similarly but doctors here seem to have no answers other than fizzy drinks with his dinner to save him from choking they appear to help sometimes but he still throws up half his food and has lost lots of weight. They have operated on his throat 3 times because they have identified a 'shelf' in his throat but the operations have made no difference to his situation. If he gets any further help I will pass mit on and I will pass on the diagnosis your mum had. My dad's condition started imediately after having a hip replacement under a local anaesthetic. he is fairly active (gardens and still drives a tractor slowly around the farm but the lack of calories and waring nature of this condition is taking it toal and as you say it is heart breaking to watch your parents suffer in this way. All the best to your mum

Wendy
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I know you posted quite awhile ago, but thought I would still answer. My mother is 99 and declining rapidly. She has the same problem, which we did not realize until now. We found out when she went for her monthly visit to Hospice. When I went to check on her the choking issue arose and the used a suction machine to clear her throat. It's not pleasant, but helped. They said that is the only thing that would help so they set up a suction machine at home which I have to do myself. She returns home today. They said that an antibiotic would not help which I can't understand why. But I am going to try giving her vitamin c and probiotics to see if that will help.
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I care for my 85 year old mother with dementia. She to has this problem I have found its a side effect of 3 of her medications. Pasta is the worst and of course it's what she always wants but we never feed it to her
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