Discussions By Condition: Lung cancer

gel-like balls in sputum-what is it?

Posted In: Lung cancer 24 Replies
  • Posted By: nosmartyr
  • March 23, 2007
  • 03:43 AM

I came down with a severe case of bronchitis in Oct 2006 and have yet to shake these symptoms. I cough up large amounts of clear sputum every morning. It has balls in it like tapioca ball or etwas. The balls sometimes can be broken open and I can see what looks like a tiny drop of blood within it. Sometimes I cough up blood. My nose is clear and not bleeding that I can see. When I take a deep breath it feels like I'm still not getting enough air, but my abdomin feels inflated. Why on earth would air I'm breathing in go to my ab area? The sputum is clear, slimy, shiny, no odor, no taste. More and more often I'll just be sitting here, not coughing, and a huge hunk of stuff just enters my mouth. I'm hoarse and out of breath all the time. There's a whole lot going wrong with me right now. Click my name to read all my other posts. The beyond desperate with baffling symptoms is related to my chronic ab pain, but i have pressure headaches and vertigo too. I'm wondering if i have cancer somewhere and it's just spreading, cuz I've only gotten worse in these past 4 months. I'm in a wheelchair now and Im still beyond desperate for help, by the by. thanx for any help.

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24 Replies:

  • Disapointing you've no replies yet....I have the same type of clear sputum balls! Do you also have un-balled sputum with, I wouldn't say blood, but more like ash-colored or grey to black specs or flecks inside? I hope some others with some info may soon respond to this. Have you been to a Doctor, yet? If so, I hope your diagnosis was good.
    shrugatlas 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • I've got so many other health issues, I haven't seen anybody for this yet. It's more of an just an annoyance, but it's so gross. I also have dark flecks(sometimes they look like dark red) in mine, but not all the time. Sometimes they'll be contained in a ball and other times they will be in thick slime that isn't balled. It isn't just a morning thing anymore, either. And the balls are looking larger. Did yours follow a respiratory illness also? Like I said I had bronchitis really badly and then this. I've had pneumonia 3 times very seriously and two of those times I had bronchitis too. But I've had bronchitis at least 5 times. I'm wondering if my lungs are just worn out from my being sick or if this could be a sign of bad things to come...I'm not really sure what to think. But I'm glad I'm not the only one getting this. I don't even have a doc right now, so please let me know if you get any info and Ill do the same. Take care.
    nosmartyr 40 Replies Flag this Response
  • ......Why on earth would air I'm breathing in go to my ab area? Well, that is how we are supposed to breathe. As we age, we forget the proper way to breathe. Then when we take voice lessons, they reteach us. If you dont take voice lessons, you think it is abnormal to breathe this way. Since you didnt learn this, I am guessing you are bringing in a lot of air when you are trying to take deep breaths and it ends up not getting saturated in the lungs totally and some of it ends up filling to the diaphram area. ......The sputum is clear, slimy, shiny, no odor, no taste. More and more often I'll just be sitting here, not coughing, and a huge hunk of stuff just enters my mouth. I'm hoarse and out of breath all the time. There's a whole lot going wrong with me right now. Click my name to read all my other posts. The beyond desperate with baffling symptoms is related to my chronic ab pain, but i have pressure headaches and vertigo too. I'm wondering if i have cancer somewhere and it's just spreading, cuz I've only gotten worse in these past 4 months. I'm in a wheelchair now and Im still beyond desperate for help, by the by. thanx for any help.Wow, I saw your other posts, there is something going on. It is hard to say if it is related, but I will say you probably get sick easy right now and your lungs probably arent totally healed up yet. It is normal with bronchitis or with coughing to sometimes break a blood vessel in the lungs and a tiny amount of blood to appear. The streaming, continuous blood is the concern. It takes a while to get that crap out of you lungs after bronchitis. You may also have chronic asthma. I thought I had bronchitis and ended up at the ER cause I couldnt breathe, it was chronic asthma. They had painted where I worked and it was terrible. I already had the bronchitis and then they painted and it ended up being the asthma. If you dont get any exercise, then it will take even longer for the phlegm to come up. It was over a month after I had gotten over mine and I was still coughing up stuff. Then after that, one day a circular piece of dried phlegm was coughed up and it must have been sitting around a ventricle all that time all dried out and finally broke loose. Your body is in a bad way right now. It is going to react to everything. Go to the doctor and have him listen to see if it is asthma. Get a breathing treatment and have him check your oxygen level in your blood. This was several months ago and I am still not back to full lung capacity because I am disabled and dont move around a lot. Are you German? You used the word "etwas" a few times.
    crabbycosmo 21 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am a hospice nurse- casemanager and frequently treat lung cancer- I have seen the gel type balls and at times they seem to come and go my best advise would be to try to keep sputum thin through increased liquids- decreased milk products and meds if needed such as nebulizer treatments or cough syrup- as your doctor recommends. Not to be negative but I would encourage you to report all symptoms and see your oncologist don't feel your just complaining- lung cancer spreads very frequently to bone-lymph-brain-etc. and as early as can be detected for treatment the better- people often put it off because they don't want to complain. Best wishes
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am a hospice nurse- casemanager and frequently treat lung cancer- I have seen the gel type balls and at times they seem to come and go my best advise would be to try to keep sputum thin through increased liquids- decreased milk products and meds if needed such as nebulizer treatments or cough syrup- as your doctor recommends. Not to be negative but I would encourage you to report all symptoms and see your oncologist don't feel your just complaining- lung cancer spreads very frequently to bone-lymph-brain-etc. and as early as can be detected for treatment the better- people often put it off because they don't want to complain. Best wishesI want to thank you for replying and for being so frank. Often folks who do have knowledge they could share in forums such as these refuse to give their imput and I often get told to just go see a doctor. I already spend so much money on so-called medical professionals; that kind of reponse isn't very helpful. We can't all run to doctors for every little thing. Now that I know this could be serious I'll make sure to look into it. SO, thank you.
    nosmartyr 40 Replies Flag this Response
  • I came down with a severe case of bronchitis in Oct 2006 and have yet to shake these symptoms. I cough up large amounts of clear sputum every morning. It has balls in it like tapioca ball or etwas. The balls sometimes can be broken open and I can see what looks like a tiny drop of blood within it. Sometimes I cough up blood. My nose is clear and not bleeding that I can see. When I take a deep breath it feels like I'm still not getting enough air, but my abdomin feels inflated. Why on earth would air I'm breathing in go to my ab area? The sputum is clear, slimy, shiny, no odor, no taste. More and more often I'll just be sitting here, not coughing, and a huge hunk of stuff just enters my mouth. I'm hoarse and out of breath all the time. There's a whole lot going wrong with me right now. Click my name to read all my other posts. The beyond desperate with baffling symptoms is related to my chronic ab pain, but i have pressure headaches and vertigo too. I'm wondering if i have cancer somewhere and it's just spreading, cuz I've only gotten worse in these past 4 months. I'm in a wheelchair now and Im still beyond desperate for help, by the by. thanx for any help. do you smoke?
    lkitteecatgirl29 9 Replies Flag this Response
  • I came down with a severe case of bronchitis in Oct 2006 and have yet to shake these symptoms. I cough up large amounts of clear sputum every morning. It has balls in it like tapioca ball or etwas. The balls sometimes can be broken open and I can see what looks like a tiny drop of blood within it. Sometimes I cough up blood. My nose is clear and not bleeding that I can see. When I take a deep breath it feels like I'm still not getting enough air, but my abdomin feels inflated. Why on earth would air I'm breathing in go to my ab area? The sputum is clear, slimy, shiny, no odor, no taste. More and more often I'll just be sitting here, not coughing, and a huge hunk of stuff just enters my mouth. I'm hoarse and out of breath all the time. There's a whole lot going wrong with me right now. Click my name to read all my other posts. The beyond desperate with baffling symptoms is related to my chronic ab pain, but i have pressure headaches and vertigo too. I'm wondering if i have cancer somewhere and it's just spreading, cuz I've only gotten worse in these past 4 months. I'm in a wheelchair now and Im still beyond desperate for help, by the by. thanx for any help. I am having the same breathing problems as well at the moment. I get the same sputum and my abdomin feels bloated all the time as well. I just think it is smoking related though because almost every time I have a cigarette I have to spite and is especially worse in the morning. However I have something else that has started as well about a year ago. It started on my face in small patchs where the hair would turn white and fall out. Now it moved to my head as I have these coin sized bald spots and now have shaved my head so to make it less noticable. I am wondering if it is all just related to smoking. I am 34 years old and have smoked since I was 16 but I have quit smoking for a 3 year period in there as well and plan on quitting again. I know stupid for starting back up.
    Booboomagoo 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • i'm 26 and have been smoking 10 years now..only this past year i have had the same thing. coughing up clear or grey speckled gel like balls. my mother also has this and has been smoking since she was young. i doubt it's lung cancer..definitely smoking related but probably more like asthma as it tends to come and go. although i must say mine started after i switched from parliament menthol lights to marlboro non menthols. maybe just coincidence but i think i breathe easier now that i'm back on menthols. take care :)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 26, 2007
    • 08:10 AM
    • 0
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  • Well, I thank you for your reply. I don't smoke, actually, so it's a little more concerning hearing that this is a thing smokers are experiencing. It's also constant, not sporadic, that I'm coughing up this gel stuff. The past few months I've been having trouble breathing off and on. I'll just be unable to get even half a breath. I've never been diagnosed with asthma, but I've had pneumonia several times and when I can't get a breath it feels just like pneumonia and sounds like it. When I breathe there is a slight rattling, but during these attacks the rattling is very loud and I just cough and cough and cough, hyperventilating until I can get ahold of myself and just not breathe. If the couging goes on for more than a few minutes my head begins to ache somethin fierce and it's like my skull is being split in two. Does anyone else experience that with a cough? I'm still coughing up blood at times, too. I've been drinking lemon water and that's been helping to keep the mucus to a minimum, but the balls are just coming up by themselves now, instead of in a glob of mucus.
    nosmartyr 40 Replies
    • November 27, 2007
    • 08:34 PM
    • 0
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  • from Gingerock,Having had my left lung removed because of lung cancer and just having had treatment for cancer in my right lung, I would most strongly suggest you go get a bronchoscopy as soon as possible. Caught early enough lung cancer can be postitvely eradicated from your lungs using Photodynamic Therapy, BUT it must be in the very early stages. (PDT) The treatment is absolutely painless, the side effects are for about 4 - 6 weeks you are allergic to daylight. ( It took me 8 weeks ) You can go home the day after treatment.I wish you well.
    gingerock 2 Replies
    • January 25, 2008
    • 09:47 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I came down with a severe case of bronchitis in Oct 2006 and have yet to shake these symptoms. I cough up large amounts of clear sputum every morning. It has balls in it like tapioca ball or etwas. The balls sometimes can be broken open and I can see what looks like a tiny drop of blood within it. Sometimes I cough up blood. My nose is clear and not bleeding that I can see. When I take a deep breath it feels like I'm still not getting enough air, but my abdomin feels inflated. Why on earth would air I'm breathing in go to my ab area? The sputum is clear, slimy, shiny, no odor, no taste. More and more often I'll just be sitting here, not coughing, and a huge hunk of stuff just enters my mouth. I'm hoarse and out of breath all the time. There's a whole lot going wrong with me right now. Click my name to read all my other posts. The beyond desperate with baffling symptoms is related to my chronic ab pain, but i have pressure headaches and vertigo too. I'm wondering if i have cancer somewhere and it's just spreading, cuz I've only gotten worse in these past 4 months. I'm in a wheelchair now and Im still beyond desperate for help, by the by. thanx for any help. I can't say for certain what this clear firm sputum balls are but I too have had them for about 6 or 7 years I am a smoker and chalked them up to my bad habit. For the last year having been going to the doctor to find out the cause of my chronic ab and flank pain, urinary difficulty, generalized itching, headaches and unintentional weight loss. We tested for alot of things in the span of this year cancer, every std under the sun, staff infection and all of the tests including blood tests came back saying everything was ok and I was in good health other than my lungs looking kinda dirty in my chest X-rays which they attributed to my smoking. Well over the holiday weekend I was paid a visit by the cause of all of these ailments after going to the bathroom I noticed a long string looking thing hanging from my bottom. It looked like a piece of spagetti in width and color, it was roughly 6 inches long and it was firm. Turns out it was an intestinal parasite infection. I had worms. My stool is currently in the lab awaiting diagnosis though my doctor did explain that certain species of worm could attribute to all of my problems. You see some worms such as the hookworm hatch their eggs in your lungs then you cough them up and swallow them and thats how the larvae get into your intestines once your infected from what i understand. Also while I'm awaiting the results of the test I went to my local vitamin store and purchased a all natural parasite cleaner that I'm using until the doctor can prescribe the correct drug for this specific worm. So far it works great its made by a company called natures secret its a two part cleanser part one is called para-rid part two is called para-sweep. Anyway I don't know if this helps but I hope you find the answers your looking for I know how frustrating it is when you know somethings horribly wrong and no one can find anything.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Hey man I have had the same problems, the sputum I chalked up to my smoking habit, then I got a bunch of other symptoms including pain in the ab flank area, headaches, urinary difficulty, unintentional weight loss, constant mucus in my mouth, generalized itching especially on my shins, blood in both my urine and stool in very small amounts. Well I went to the doctor for a year to figure these things out I got tested for everything under the sun. Every Std you could think of, diabetes, staff infection, endochronitis, kidney and liver diseases and cancer. Every blood test came back a O.K. in fact as far as the blood tests were concerned I was in great shape other than the constant pain and discomfort. Well recently I was blessed by the answer. As I sat on the toilet I was greeted by the culprit to all of my problems turned out I had worms. Yeah I know its gross, anyway my stool is off for testing to determine the species but I learned that some of these little buggers hatch their eggs in your lungs and then you cough them up and swallow the eggs and thats how they find their home in your lower intestine. Hope this helps but you absolutely need to go see a doctor.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • hey if anyone has had these tapioca like balls also please drop me an email at apotrosto@gmail.com bc ive been having them for what seems like a little over a year. Sometimes w grey specs, but they're usually just a clear/white-ish. Just like a gel ball that if i bite makes a lil crunch through... Not crunch but hopefully you get itplease let me knowaptrosto@gmail.comthanks-alex
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 21, 2008
    • 05:37 AM
    • 0
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  • I have this also along with short of breath had a CT scan 1st stage mild emphysema only 30. Possible second hand smoke for you?
    mae3057 50 Replies
    • November 22, 2008
    • 01:40 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I can't say for certain what this clear firm sputum balls are but I too have had them for about 6 or 7 years I am a smoker and chalked them up to my bad habit. For the last year having been going to the doctor to find out the cause of my chronic ab and flank pain, urinary difficulty, generalized itching, headaches and unintentional weight loss. We tested for alot of things in the span of this year cancer, every std under the sun, staff infection and all of the tests including blood tests came back saying everything was ok and I was in good health other than my lungs looking kinda dirty in my chest X-rays which they attributed to my smoking. Well over the holiday weekend I was paid a visit by the cause of all of these ailments after going to the bathroom I noticed a long string looking thing hanging from my bottom. It looked like a piece of spagetti in width and color, it was roughly 6 inches long and it was firm. Turns out it was an intestinal parasite infection. I had worms. My stool is currently in the lab awaiting diagnosis though my doctor did explain that certain species of worm could attribute to all of my problems. You see some worms such as the hookworm hatch their eggs in your lungs then you cough them up and swallow them and thats how the larvae get into your intestines once your infected from what i understand. Also while I'm awaiting the results of the test I went to my local vitamin store and purchased a all natural parasite cleaner that I'm using until the doctor can prescribe the correct drug for this specific worm. So far it works great its made by a company called natures secret its a two part cleanser part one is called para-rid part two is called para-sweep. Anyway I don't know if this helps but I hope you find the answers your looking for I know how frustrating it is when you know somethings horribly wrong and no one can find anything.I am also coming across such types of symptoms hese days.I had gone to doctor but they r telling nothing inside..just a bactirial infection...can you suggest me what is the necessary thing i need to do..to come out from this type of thing..
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 24, 2008
    • 04:50 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi all,My family is struggling with what we stongly believe to be a hookworm infection - have any of you been diagnosed with this? What are the white small tapioca like balls? The medical tests thus far have failed to pick them up yet we are certain we have it and have provided them in several samples. Please help - any info would help.... We are passing worm too yet no tests are picking up any of this.PLEASE help...what are the white balls? Hookworm eggs (as many other round worm eggs) are supposed to be microscopic...so what are these!!!!Please help.
    acadian 3 Replies Flag this Response
  • I too do NOT smoke but have been having these same symptoms. It happens when I sneeze, cough, and in the mornings. I dont always have the grey ash dots in every cough but always have the gel-like substance. The cough even turns to a vomit occasionally (i think from irritation maybe). Again, the vomit consists of that gel substance only in a much larger quantity (golf ball size). I HAVE GONE to a few different doctors. Originally the ER back in January of 08. When the symptoms first began (flu-like coughing, then I lost my voice, then pressure in my chest and back). It was like there was a ball of flem pushing at my chest. It was scary. The doctors chalked it off as Michigan Allergies and prescribes Claritin...... ummmm I will say it did help a bit and the doctors didnt seem too concerned but it still seemed abnormal. I then went again to another doctor/specialist and they preformed an Upper G.I. The Diagnostic: possible upper hernia and acute Lactose Sensitive.......... They prescribed some daily meds for the rest of my life that I took for a month and had NO change so I stopped taking them. Too expensive to keep buying for NO results. Since then I have been laid off and lost my insurance coverage and the doctors werent much help anyways!!!!!! They just made me feel like I was over reacting... I have decided to just live with it (even though it kinda grosses my daughter out when I cough). I have not been able to find any other forums that have really said anything different to everyones symptoms. The only other forum mentioned the possibility that the grey specs in the gel-like substance are worm eggs?????????!!!!Sorry, I know this is not much help, but at least it is a little more info out there...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I too do NOT smoke but have been having these same symptoms. It happens when I sneeze, cough, and in the mornings. I dont always have the grey ash dots in every cough but always have the gel-like substance. The cough even turns to a vomit occasionally (i think from irritation maybe). Again, the vomit consists of that gel substance only in a much larger quantity (golf ball size). I HAVE GONE to a few different doctors. Originally the ER back in January of 08. When the symptoms first began (flu-like coughing, then I lost my voice, then pressure in my chest and back). It was like there was a ball of flem pushing at my chest. It was scary. The doctors chalked it off as Michigan Allergies and prescribes Claritin...... ummmm I will say it did help a bit and the doctors didnt seem too concerned but it still seemed abnormal. I then went again to another doctor/specialist and they preformed an Upper G.I. The Diagnostic: possible upper hernia and acute Lactose Sensitive.......... They prescribed some daily meds for the rest of my life that I took for a month and had NO change so I stopped taking them. Too expensive to keep buying for NO results. Since then I have been laid off and lost my insurance coverage and the doctors werent much help anyways!!!!!! They just made me feel like I was over reacting... I have decided to just live with it (even though it kinda grosses my daughter out when I cough). I have not been able to find any other forums that have really said anything different to everyones symptoms. The only other forum mentioned the possibility that the grey specs in the gel-like substance are worm eggs?????????!!!!Sorry, I know this is not much help, but at least it is a little more info out there...Finally! Another non-smoker. So, did you cut out dairy? That helped me quite a bit as this goo had been obstructing my breathing. I've been using these pills lately and I've noticed a lot of improvement, but I've only been on them for a month and there've been weather changes. But I HAVE to tell you about them. It's called Air-Power, Guafenesin Expectorant. Bullet points say: Clears bronchial airways, Helps loosen phlegm. What looks like the brand label says Enzymatic Therapy -What Better Feels Like- and then it has a band that says RESPIRATORY under that and it has 100 tablets. I dont' know where we got them, but I'll give you the website on the bottle.www.enzy.comI take 3 of them in the morning and if I need to another 3 at night and I've ignored all the warnings and directions on the label, but oh my gawd, you have to try this. Since the season hasn't changed since I began doing this I don't know for sure that they are the sole reason for improvement, but i really feel like they are. I avoid dairy too; don't eat dairy. I get coconut milk instead of regular milk or soy, or rice and I love it. I hope this helps you. I wasn't going to post that it had worked til I finished the bottle. I've tried all kinds of herbs, tinctures, and pills and I never saw enough diff to get online and tell anybody to try them. SO, please let me know if you get these and they work.
    nosmartyr 40 Replies Flag this Response
  • i get a clear gel like goo that i cough up every morning, i smoke but only like 2 - 3 smokes a day now. what causes it?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 24, 2009
    • 00:04 AM
    • 0
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  • I'd be very interested in finding out if you ever received any information regarding this condition? I've been dealing with this for a year now and have been laughed at by doctors... I believe that they are mucus plugs and somehow related to a fungal or yeast infection... I know this post was from 3 years ago, but if you are still active...please respond. Hope all is better for you.:)
    crawfojj 1 Replies
    • September 13, 2010
    • 04:23 PM
    • 0
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