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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18443
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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This morning around fiveish I awoke coughing and realised I

Resolved Question:

This morning around fiveish I awoke coughing and realised I was coughing up blood. I hav had a phlegm in
my throat for months. I am a non smoker and since the bleeding have been to the
toilet to open bowels twice which was runny and smelly. I am very scared, what could this be?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Hello from JustAnswer. I will be glad to assist you today.

The most likely cause of the acute symptoms would be a viral infection, which is affecting both the airways of the lungs, causing cough and bleeding, and the gut, causing runny and smelly stools. Viral infections are more likely when there is multiple organ systems affected by the infection.

A bacterial infection of the lungs also can present with cough and bleeding, but would be less likely to also cause the stool symptoms.

An acute infection would not cause the months of phlegm, but the most likely scenario is that the months of phlegm is due to a condition that causes irritation or inflammation of the airways, such as allergies or acid reflux, and the chronic irritation/inflammation and mucus allows for the growth of the germ causing the acute infection.

When someone has coughing of blood, there also is some consideration that there could be a growth in the lungs, particularly on smokers, but since you are a non-smoker, this would be less of a concern.

At this point, even though a virus is more likely, since it is possible that there is a bacterial infection, it would be appropriate to be seen to determine if antibiotics are needed. If you are having shortness of breath, then you should be seen urgently, but if not, it does not need to be done as urgently, but you should still be seen.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thankyou for your reply but I would also like to know if feeling sweaty and a little light headed is because of shock or is it another symptom. The phlegm is still not cleared and has a sweet taste although the coughing is not continuous.

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It is common to feel sweaty and mildly light headed with any acute infection. The sweatiness is similar to a fever, and the lightheadedness is typically related to fluid status and will typically respond to an increase in fluid intake.

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