It can be unnerving to see red-colored streaks in your sputum or
phlegm — unless you just ate something that’s red and some bits of it are still
in your mouth, you can rest assured that what you are seeing is blood. However,
it’s important to note that it isn’t all the time that having blood-tinged
sputum is something that could put your life in danger.
For instance, health authorities say that it’s not unlikely for
you to spot some blood in your sputum if you have severe and prolonged coughing
— such is simply brought about by an irritation somewhere in your upper
respiratory tract infection. Someone who is battling bronchitis or asthma may
expect so cough up sputum tinged with blood occasionally, and that’s something that
can be expected.
But then blood-tinged sputum is commonly associated with all kinds
of problems that have something to do with the lungs or respiratory system,
many of which can be quite serious.
It’s because of this exactly why seeing a doctor without delay is
a must especially if having blood-tinged sputum is accompanied by other unusual
signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, rapid heart rate,
dizziness, weakness, profuse sweating and unintended weight loss.
By the way, it’s also possible for the problem to originate from
the digestive system, especially if there are also food particles around. Sometimes
the blood may be bright red, but other times it may be darker — it all depends
on which part of the digestive system the blood is coming from. No matter the
case, seeking immediate medical attention is a definite must.
Without any more ado, let’s take a quick look at some of the most
common causes of the presence of blood in your sputum:
This is an infection of the lung tissue, and it’s usually due to
bacteria. Definitely, it’s something that can cause one’s sputum to be tinged
with a lot of blood. Other common symptoms of pneumonia are fever, chills,
chest pain, cough and sweating.
A form of lung infection, tuberculosis is caused by a bacterium
called mycobacterium tuberculosis. Individuals who are at risk of suffering
from tuberculosis include those who smoke, have medical conditions that can
weaken the immune system, and are living where tuberculosis is very common.
Simply put, this is a condition in which there’s fluid present in
the lungs. Actually, the root cause is often a problem that has something to do
with the heart. Needless to say, individuals who are suffering from certain
heart-related problems are at risk of having pulmonary edema.
Having a blood clot in the bloodstream is a very serious matter as
it can travel and get lodged somewhere, thus causing an organ to be deprived of
much-needed oxygen. A blood clot in an artery in the lungs is referred to as
pulmonary embolism, and it’s regarded as a medical emergency.
Short for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD is a
long-term medical condition in which the flow of air to and fro the lungs is
obstructed. COPD refers to a couple of problems, and they are chronic
bronchitis and emphysema.
A disease that runs in families, cystic fibrosis is characterized
by the production of excessive amounts of mucus, causing severe damage to the
lungs and also some other organs of the body. To date, there is no available
cure for cystic fibrosis, although it’s very much possible to control the
symptoms and lower complications.
Having blood-tinged sputum is oftentimes seen in individuals who
are suffering from lung cancer, especially if the disease is already in its
late stages. Some of the risk factors for lung cancer include being 40 and
above, cigarette smoking, exposure to carcinogens and having a family history