Today’s topic is a little… gross.
But it’s super important.
Because if you want to stay healthy (especially in times like this), you have to know how your body works.
That includes your snot.
Snot is simply mucus that comes out of your nose.
And it plays an essential part in keeping you healthy.
You see, you have mucus in your nasal passages to protect your nose and sinuses from things like dust, bacteria and other unwanted invaders.
And your body produces quite a lot of it each day… about 1.5 quarts.
Yes, that much is produced, but most of it is swallowed, so you don’t actually see all of it.
Of course, some do come out as you blow your nose.
And what you find on a tissue is like a window to what’s going on inside your body.
Most of the time, your mucus is doing its job, invaders are kept out, and nobody notices.
That’s when your snot is clear and thin.
But sometimes, when you’re coming down with something, mucus can get thicker…
And change color.
The colors themselves provide clues on what’s going on in your body.
White mucus is a sign of nasal congestion.
You see, when the nasal tissues become swollen, your mucus can’t get through as fast, and it begins to lose its water content.
This makes it thicker, and cloudy white.
Yellow mucus can mean a problem.
It’s a good indication that you have an infection.
But the good news? Your body is fighting back.
The yellow color comes from white blood cells coming in to do battle with the invaders.
Once the battle is done, and the white blood cells have completed their job, they’re discarded in your snot with a yellowish-brown tint.
Green mucus means your immune system has kicked into high gear.
In addition to white blood cells, you’ve probably got a good batch of germs, other cells and proteins present.
That combination leads to green snot.
It’s probably no surprise that if your mucus is red, it means blood is present in your nasal cavity.
This doesn’t necessarily mean something terrible.
Typically, the blood is caused by excessive nose blowing… or you’ve taken a hit to the nose.
Even coughing can add blood to your mucus mix, because tiny vessels can bleed with vigorous coughs.
But red snot can also mean something far more serious is at play here, so if it lasts for a few days, it might be time to visit your doctor.
Black mucus is perhaps most alarming, and it could mean a fungal infection.
This should trigger a call to your doctor right away.
So often we just blow and toss, without paying close attention to what’s come out.
But I encourage you all to take a look and examine what your nose is producing.
Sure, it’s a little gross.
But what comes out can offer important clues as to what’s going on inside.