Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trouble Coughing Up Phlegm? NAC May Provide Relief

Trouble Coughing Up Phlegm?
NAC Supplement May Provide Relief

After my mother’s diagnosis with emphysema/COPD, I noticed that she had a large amount of phlegm in her lungs and couldn’t seem to cough it up. She said that every now and then she could but usually she could not.

In my research I found that phlegm contained sulfur which formed di-sulfide bonds with each other and caused the phlegm to stick together into large clumps. I found a supplement at the local health foods store called NAC. NAC or N-acetyl-l-cysteine, breaks these di-sulfide bonds and thins out the phlegm.

I purchased some of this so we could try it. The tablets were large and were 200 mg strength. I gave her one and within about 45 minutes she said it had loosened some but she still could not cough up most of the phlegm. We tried another 200 mg and it loosened some more. After 400 mg of this supplement I was scared to give her much more so I broke a third tablet in half. About 30 minutes after the half pill and 500 mg and 2 hours total since she took the first tablet she could finally cough up the phlegm and spit it out. This seemed to help however, it wore her out to cough so much. She took a nap after the NAC and coughing session but she slept very sound so appeared it was worth all the effort.

After that, anytime she had trouble with phlegm we got out the NAC but we would just start with the two and a half tablets, the 500 mg that had helped before. You may want to try the same progressive dosage method we tried starting with only one tablet and giving it time to work before taking an additional tablet. If you have a chiropractor, naturopath or osteopath you can ask I would strongly recommend doing this. I don’t mention MDs here because they don’t generally train on many supplements and often don’t have a suggestion except not to take it. They learn primarily pharmaceutical treatments which I like only as a last resort.

She liked the fact that it was not another prescription that she had to take with a myriad of side effects she had to watch out for.