What Does Your Snot Say About Your Health?

What Does Your Snot Say About Your Health?

It’s kind of like the body’s traffic light. Snot is a normal part of life, and it doesn’t take a scientist to say that when you’re sick, you’ll probably produce much more. So, what snot color means what? Here is that news from the Popsci archive (2017)

But what you may not realize is that the ingredients in your snot-filled tissue (including the color and texture) can actually say a whole lot about your health. These include when to rest and when to take a nasal decongestant.

As the new episode of the American Chemical Society’s Reactions series explains, snot contains a host of cell and bacteria-fighting compounds that affect its appearance and provide clues as to what your immune system is doing.

Let’s start with the ‘good’ side of the slime spectrum. A runny, clear snot is a healthy part of your bodily function, so if that’s what comes out (even if it’s a lot of it), your immune system is probably fine.

But if your snot turns white or yellow and starts to thicken, it’s a sign that it contains a higher-than-normal amount of white blood cells, and that your body is battling the early stages of a virus. Kind of like the amber light at a traffic light, thick mucus that’s yellow or white usually tells you to slow down, drink water, and rest for a few days, so your immune system has a chance to get things under control.

On the other hand, as the American Chemical Society explains, green snot comes out when things get hot. This color is usually caused by the presence of a greenish enzyme called myeloperoxidase, which helps produce strong immune cells called neutrophils.
If your immune system (and snot) is being invaded by these cells, then we’re sorry, but your body is most likely already overloaded with battling the effects of a cold or flu and you really need to rest.


The color red means you stop picking and blowing your nose, because all that friction has probably caused some bleeding. But fear not, small amounts of blood in the mucus are normal and not cause for concern.
So what do you do if you’re dealing with yellow or green snot but really have to turn the switch and get back to work?
As it turns out, there are certain medications that fight certain types of mucus better, so don’t go out and buy a decongestant on your own.
What you decide to buy should align with your symptoms and their root cause. For example, if you’re dealing with a runny nose, one of the possible culprits is histamine. Histamine plays a crucial role in allergies and other immune responses, by increasing blood flow to mucus-producing body tissues.

Fortunately, antihistamine drugs keep some histamines from reaching their target mucus-producing cells. They can also shut down histamine production altogether…all of which will help you stop reaching for the tissue box.

Or maybe you’re struggling with congestion, an arguably more annoying snot problem. If your head is pounding with pressure, decongestants work to reduce blood flow to the mucus-producing nasal and sinus tissues; this time they do this by constricting blood vessels. Reducing mucus volume and inflammation should help relieve pressure in your nose and sinuses. This can make cleaning a little easier.

But too much reliance on both antihistamines and decongestants can diminish their effectiveness over time; so sometimes the best solution is to just rest and let your nose run its natural flow.

But did you know?

Under the right conditions, some runny noses are not related to being sick or having allergies. If you suddenly feel a runny nose while waiting at the bus stop, don’t blame the snot. This is actually condensation from the cold air hitting your hot nostrils. So you don’t have to feel so awful about wiping it on your arm.

Source: https://popsci.com.tr/

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