Thick mucus in the throat and throat clearing are common symptoms that many people suffer from. Here we describe common causes of the problems and how you can get rid of them.
Why do I have mucus in my throat?
Having mucus in the throat is the body’s defence mechanism to protect the mucous membranes against corrosive stomach acid leaking from the stomach. The mucus can cause coughing or throat clearing.
Thick mucus and throat clearing are usually due to a hiatal hernia. It is a condition caused by a muscle – the diaphragm – being weakened.
Symptoms of thick mucus and throat clearing
When stomach acid leaks into the oesophagus, thick mucus is formed that comes up into the throat.
It is common for saliva to become frothy and difficult to swallow. Some people need to spit often and therefore need to have a spit cup next to the bed.
Here are some common symptoms:
- Thick mucus in the throat – even when you don’t have a cold
- Foamy saliva – which can be difficult to swallow
- Throat clearing – especially after eating
- Hoarse or gurgly voice – or changes to the voice
- Dry cough – usually in the morning
- Burping and gas – when you try to swallow saliva
Treat thick mucus in the throat and throat clearing
How do you get rid of mucus in the throat? When thick mucus in the throat and throat clearing is due to a hiatal hernia you need to train the weakened muscles to get rid of your problems. You can easily do this with IQoro.
The treatment removes the cause of your problems
The treatment with IQoro removes the cause behind your problems – unlike, for example, medications that only relieve your symptoms.
No medication needed
The treatment with IQoro is completely medication-free. If you are already taking antacids for your symptoms, it may be a good idea to continue taking them for a while.
When your muscles become stronger, you can begin to come off your antacids in consultation with the prescribing doctor.
Easy and quick to use
Treatment with IQoro is easy and only takes 30 seconds at a time. You can perform the treatment wherever you want, at any time. Just follow our simple instructions on how to train with IQoro.
Three advantages of IQoro
This is how IQoro works
By using IQoro you strengthen the weak muscles that cause your symptoms. In total, you strengthen 148 muscles, from the mouth down to the diaphragm.
As the muscles get stronger, the amount of stomach acid that comes up into the throat decreases. The body then no longer needs to produce mucus to protect the mucous membranes against the corrosive stomach acid.
Risks of mucus in the throat and throat clearing
Thick mucus in the throat and throat clearing are symptoms of a hiatal hernia. If the hiatal hernia is not treated, it can lead to serious illnesses in the longer term.
Cell changes and cancer
The corrosive stomach acid can increase the risk of cell changes.
Such changes can eventually develop into cancer, known as Barret’s syndrome.
Weaker muscles can cause other problems
Over time, your muscles may become weaker. Your symptoms may then also get worse and you may have other related problems, such as swallowing difficulties.
Therefore, it is important to strengthen the diaphragm as soon as you realise that you have a hiatal hernia.
Your throat clearing and coughing can also develop into a social problem since it can disturb both you and others around you.
It can take a few weeks or months to strengthen weakened muscles – depending on how weak your muscles are. Therefore, you may need other symptom relief while carrying out the treatment.
Remember that this advice only relieves your symptoms – if you really want to get rid of your problems, you need to strengthen the weakened muscles.
Some ways to relieve your symptoms:
- Raise the head end of your bed about 15 cm.
- Sleep on your left side – stomach acid will not run up as easily.
- Do not eat before going to bed (no later than 2 hours before).
- Change your diet – avoid foods and drinks that you know cause discomfort.
- Drink water after each bite as you eat.
- Avoid bending forward when standing up.
- Avoid heavy lifting.
Relieve symptoms with medication
Some people who suffer from a lot of mucus in the throat or throat clearing can get relief using antacids.
This is because the antacids reduce the amount of stomach acid that comes up in the throat. The body does not then need to produce as much protective mucus.
But since antacids do not strengthen weakened muscles, your problems will recur once you stop taking the medication.
Medication can have serious side effects
Antacids can have serious side effects when used for long periods. They should therefore only be used temporarily.
Read more about stomach acid medication on our page about acid reflux.
Home remedies for mucus in the throat
There are home remedies that can give relief against mucus in the throat or throat clearing. A simple home remedy for mucus in the throat is to drink plenty of fluids. It can dilute the mucus making it easier to cough up. However, avoid fizzy drinks and juice as these can worsen symptoms like acid regurgitation.
Causes of mucus in the throat and throat clearing
Throat mucus and throat clearing are usually symptoms of a hiatal hernia. This means that one muscle – the diaphragm – is weakened.
When the diaphragm is weakened, it cannot keep the stomach and its contents in the right place underneath it. Instead, the diaphragm releases the upper part of the stomach into the chest cavity.
Stomach acid can then leak up and cause corrosive damage to the mucous membrane of the oesophagus.
Why do I get mucus in my throat?
Mucus in the throat is formed to protect the mucous membranes of the mouth and throat from corrosive stomach acid. Stomach acid is usually due to a hiatal hernia.
Stomach acid causes corrosive damage
Stomach acid is corrosive to be able to deal with the food in the stomach. There it does no harm.
However, when it comes into contact with the mucous membrane of the oesophagus and throat, it causes corrosive damage. It causes troublesome symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain and poor dental health.
To protect the mucous membranes, the body creates thick mucus and frothy saliva.
Why do I clear my throat all the time?
Clearing one’s throat is a natural reaction. Among other things, throat clearing shakes mucus away from the vocal cords, which makes your voice clearer.
A hiatal hernia can cause a lot of mucus in the throat. This risks you clearing your throat a lot.
Throat clearing can become a social problem
Throat clearing can be very stressful both for you and for those around you. Therefore, throat clearing is also seen as a social problem.
To get rid of mucus in the throat and stop throat clearing, you need to treat the cause behind your problems – the hiatal hernia that causes leakage of corrosive stomach acid up into the oesophagus.
Silent reflux – mucus and throat clearing without heartburn
Silent reflux means having a reflux of stomach acid, but without the burning sensation that we associate with heartburn.
Lots of people who read about stomach acid leaking into the throat usually think of heartburn and acid reflux. But you may not notice the actual stomach acid, only the symptoms that it causes.
Mucus in the throat and throat clearing are two common symptoms of silent reflux.
Silent reflux can lead to more serious symptoms
It is important to take action against throat clearing and throat mucus as soon as possible. Otherwise, the internal musculature can become more weakened, leading to further problems.
Seeking help for mucus in the throat and throat clearing
Mucus in the throat and throat clearing may be due to a hiatal hernia. It is then important to start treatment as soon as possible, otherwise your problems may get worse.
When should I seek medical help?
If you have problems that could be caused by a hiatal hernia, we advise you to contact a health care centre to rule out other diseases.
While you are waiting for an appointment for an examination, you can start treatment with IQoro. The treatment does not cause any negative side effects.
There are a few rare diagnoses where treatment with IQoro should be avoided. You can read more about it on our page about side effects and secondary effects.
Examinations and investigations
When you seek medical help for mucus in the throat and throat clearing, you will most likely be examined by a doctor at your health centre. You will be asked about your problems. Therefore, consider the following questions before your visit:
- How often do you experience your symptoms?
- How long have you had these symptoms?
You can also do our self-test for a hiatal hernia to see if your problems may be due to this. The test takes three minutes and is completely free.
- Kjellén G, Tibbling L. Manometric oesophageal function, acid perfusion test and symptomatology in a 55-year-old general population. Clinical Physiology. 1981; 1:405-15
- Hägg M, Tibbling L, Franzén T. Esophageal dysphagia and reflux symptoms before and after oral IQoro® training. World J Gastroenterol 2015; 21(24): 7558-7562.