View Full Version : sticky mucas like glue
03-11-2009, 08:42 AM
Hi there, really need some ideas for dad to cope with this sticky glue like substance. Mnd nurse is going to try a drug in his nebuliser but doesnt think it will help a great deal. Also she said suction was out as its too far down and by putting suction further down it will cause his larynx to spasm... Any ideas guys... P.S Thanks for all your help and support so far...
Is he still able to drink? Some members have had good luck with Coca Cola breaking up secretions.
03-11-2009, 12:11 PM
Yes he's still drinking ( not enough mind ) but yes anything is worth a try,will suggest this now, Thank you once again, really didnt expect such fantastic support and so quickly, this site is sooo helpful. :D. will let you know if successful.
03-11-2009, 01:08 PM
Hi ... I have the same problem, and it drives you up the wall. I wear a Scopoline (sp?) patch behind my ear, which cuts down the amount of saliva, but doesn't thin it out. In fact, some medical type told me that it may contribute to the problem, because sometimes thick saliva may be caused by dehydration.
One solution I have heard many times is the use of meat tenderizer on a swab or a Q-tip. Seriously ... meat tenderizer is an enzyme (natural stuff, I think it's from pineapples). My problem is that I can't find it in the stores anywhere. I've been told this by doctors and therapists.
I used to use Musinex to thin the secretions, but I can't swallow the pills any more. This seemed to help thin things out. There is a liquid form for children that I am going to try in my tube. It's vile tasting, but my tube doesn't care.
Part of my problem (don't know if it applies to your dad) is that when I eat thick things by mouth (yogurt to take pills), they do not stay swallowed. They keep sliding back into my mouth and mixing with the saliva making a VERY unpleasant glue-like gunk as you describe.
I also swab my mouth out with paper towels. With me, if I can get it stopped, it will stay stopped for a while. My thick saliva comes from only one part of my mouth ... the left side toward the throat. I have heard that some people get Botox injections to "turn off" particular saliva glands, but I've also read some PALS accounts that it did not work too well.
Good luck. I hope you find a solution for your dad. It seems that with all the powerful things going on in our bodies with ALS, something like saliva should be the least of our worries, but in fact it really affects quality of life.
03-11-2009, 01:19 PM
The only thing that works for me is drinking a lot of water, at least 3 liters per day. This keeps the secretions loose and easy to deal with otherwise they are thick and hard to manage.
03-11-2009, 01:26 PM
Good suggestion as always, Joel. The only caution is that if someone has heart disease, they may have to limit their fluids to avoid congestive heart failure. But if your ticker's OK, that's certainly worth trying. I'm limited to a liter of fluid a day, and that isn't enough to conquer the problem, alas.
03-11-2009, 01:35 PM
Good point Beth, I have never heard that before but then I have never had a problem with my heart. When I first was diagnosed and my doctor had me convinced that I did not want to live long enough to need a PEG or trache and vent I was actually hoping for a heart problem as this would be a better way to die. I have since, obviously, changed my mind and have all of the above and am living a wonderful life. Doctors don't know everything! LOL
03-11-2009, 02:09 PM
I, too, have the thick mucous problem. I try to drink a lot of liquids and I read on one of the forums that the Listermint Breath Strips help. I've tried them and they do help. I use four or five every day and one just before bed and it helps break up the mucous. I prefer the cinnamon flavored ones.
03-11-2009, 03:22 PM
Hi Beth, the meat tenderizer tip is one that I've heard too. I haven't tried it but I have tried papaya juice (which contains the same enzymes) and it worked somewhat. I haven't had too much problem with the thick, sticky saliva since I had the radiation treatment to my saliva glands but I certainly know what you mean. It's especially bad when you can't drink liquids very well.
09-27-2009, 05:30 PM
We believe it is time for our mother to have the radiation treatment to her saliva glands - can you giv eme more information about that so I know what to ask or know before our next clinic visit.
09-27-2009, 05:48 PM
Hi , I find my saliva is stringy most of the time and frothy some of the time , but also just drips out onto my clothes or the floor because I can't control my lips any more . I get copious amounts even wearing a patch and using Atropine sublingual drops . I have as much water through my tube as I can tolerate . xx
09-27-2009, 06:20 PM
Hi topsfan, sorry about your mother's saliva problems. It has now been almost 1 year since my radiation treatment and while I have no way of knowing how bad my drooling would be now if I hadn't had it I do know that the treatment reduced my drooling compared to before. My neurologist, who suggested it to me, said that it was as far as he knew only offered at our local cancer hospital. Apparently it has been used on children with cerebral palsy to reduce drooling. What it involves is 10 days of radiation therapy to the parotid salivary glands. When I had it done I visited the radiation oncologist who explained it to me and then I went back to have my face mapped. Once they had measured and mapped my face each day's treatment involved laying on my back on a table and having the radiation machine zap each of my cheeks for about 1 minute. Each appointment took about 15 to 30 minutes in total. There was some pain especially after the first few treatments but nothing that a tylenol wouldn't take care of. The full effect of the treatment took about a month.
Even with the treatment I still have problems with thick, gooey saliva especially after eating and don't have much advice to give there. I have tried crushed papaya pills that I put on my toothbrush with some water and that works somewhat. I also use a mouthwash called Biotene which I also put on my toothbrush because I can't put any liquids in my mouth. The best thing that I have found is to have a running tap so that I can rinse my mouth out with gallons of water. I am now tied to my tap and sink, if I go out I try not to eat anything because unless I can rinse very well it is hell with gooey mouth.
I hope this helps, if you can get the radiation treatment for your mom I would recommend it even though it isn't a total solution.
09-27-2009, 07:34 PM
Thank you Barry, the information is very helpful. We're not certain if at this point we'd be better off with the radiation or to get her one of those hand held suction devices (not sure of the tech term). Mom is 71 with bulbar, not doing a PEG or vent and condition is getting pretty bad these days.
I do appreciate the advice and all I learn here on the forums. You all are the best.
Thanks again, Mary
Marjorie R. Wilcox
09-27-2009, 08:21 PM
I do not know if crushing the Mucinex and feeding it in applesauce would work getting it down. It's a different texture than yogurt.
09-27-2009, 10:31 PM
Mary, I don't think that the radiation treatment would really be a help with the thick gooey mucus, it reduced the amount of my saliva but I still use my suction and lots of water. Does she have a suction device now? I have a hand operated one that I haven't used but my electric one really helps.
09-28-2009, 12:32 AM
Tich ... I get copious amounts even wearing a patch and using Atropine sublingual drops .
My neuro just changed my prescription from the patch. She said the patch loses effectiveness after continuous use, and you need to take a 3 month break for it to work at full strength again.
I thought she was giving me the Atropine, but instead she prescribed Methscopolamine Brom, a 3x a day pill ... and boy, is my mouth ever dry. When it is in full effect, there is no saliva in sight. It wears off as time for the next pill approaches, but it's great for social activities. I even had been going to the store with tissues stuffed in my mouth. Better a dry mouth than drooling all over the produce!
However, a dry mouth is very hard on your teeth. They really need a continual bath of saliva to keep bacteria down. But you pays yur money and you takes yur choice!
09-28-2009, 10:36 AM
We have this problem and we use Children's liquid Muxinex. It helps but it is still an issue. When it is rainy it is always worse or when the weather changes. You can get the enzyme papain, which is what is in pineapple juice and meat tenderizer in a dhealth food store. I did not know that would help but it is worth a try. I wil be getting some today. Thanks!
09-28-2009, 07:31 PM
Hi Barry, At present, she does not have any type of suction device. She has both gooey stuff (especially in the night and morning) and throughout the day seems to be excess drool. We believe that Mom is past the point where they would have recommended a vent and for certain the PEG and she does not wish to do either of them. So, she uses only the Bi-pap and while the mask is on cannot get rid of the saliva or mucus without removing the mask obviously. She claims her head feels full or stuffy all the time. Another part of her problem is that she has a hard time taking the mask off and putting it on herself. Her mouth fills and then she panics about choking while trying to keep everything in her mouth while attempting to push the release button for the mask. Do you recommend the electric over the hand operated? Is the hand operated similar to one of those bulb type we al used for clearing infants noses?
We have a clinic visit on Oct 7th., given her refusal for a vent and feeding tube I'm just not certain what other choices she has.
Thanks again for your input... I love the forums - I've learned so much and also discovered I've much to learn, but trying.
09-28-2009, 07:55 PM
Hi Mary, the hand operated suction I was given at the ALS clinic is a Res-Q-Vac and here is a link to it
Res-Q-Vac Hand Powered Emergency Suction device (http://firstrespondersupplies.com/resqvac.htm)
I actually have never used it but I take it with me in my travel bag if I go away because it is very portable and it seems easy to use.
My electric one is a Shuco-vac 130 and it works well for me, this one I have used a lot especially when I had a head cold last fall. If I had to have only one I would get the electric one, you just turn it on and suck away. There are plenty of different brands so look around and I'm sure there is a supplier near you.
DOTmed.com - Listing #85845: SCHUCO - Vac 130 NEW!!! Pump Suction For Sale (http://www.dotmed.com/listing/85845)
I really feel bad for your mom, I think that something that interferes with my eating is the saliva and gooey phlem in my throat so without a peg she must really be suffering. I don't use a bipap so I cant help you there but it may be possible for her to use the suction wand while still wearing the mask, can someone else help here?
All the best, Barry
09-29-2009, 02:23 PM
Just to let you know that Mucinex(generic name guaifenesin) is available in a liquid form under name Giaifenesin DAC.
10-01-2009, 07:49 PM
Thank you for the great information. I do like to make my list of what to inquire about and discuss when we go for clinic visits. I've saved the links you provided and printed the pages to take along. So much to learn to attempt keeping ahead of her needs. The electric suction device would be best - if she had to squeeze something, doubt she could or would do it. As it is, she doesn't push the button to release her bi-pap mask (a simple snap). We're never sure if she can't or won't as she doesn't do much to help herself. Claims she can't and since we're not in her shoes, difficult for us to say otherwise.
We are concerned that she is dehydrated, she drinks only about 8-12 ozs of liquid a day. I keep trying to get her to drink more thinking it is adding to her sticky mucus issues...
Again, appreciate the information, this forum and all of your help.
10-01-2009, 10:25 PM
I have a neibulisa with meds that I haven't had to use as I have been drinking way more fluids including soda pop, also Benelyin for dry couugh has help cough it up.The lung expander (the bottle) helps also.
10-11-2009, 02:04 PM
l use Papaya extract and it works :!:
10-11-2009, 03:11 PM
Laure, where do you get papaya extract? What form is it and how do you use it?. I have tried papaya juice and brushing with crushed papaya pills and am always looking for a better way to get rid of the sticky goo in my mouth and throat.
10-12-2009, 04:54 PM
l buy Country Life Tropical Papaya chewable wafers that are really small 2 at 3 times daily and it helps digestion also Country Life Papaya Chewable Vegetarian 22 mg 500 Wafers - Swanson Health Products (http://www.swansonvitamins.com/CRL118/ItemDetail)
10-18-2009, 04:50 AM
Hello again , may I ask what suction devise you use for saliva , and where could I get on ? xx
Corinne uses a DiVillbiss 7305 P-D. We have 2 of these portable units with carrying case and 12 volt and 110 volt plugs. The on board battery will last a day under normal use. You can buy them online for $200 - $300. We have been very happy with ours and it is used about 10 - 20x per day for the last 2 years. To be effective it takes some trial with various Yankauer tubes.
10-19-2009, 08:49 AM
Hey everyone, :)
I haven't been around for quite some time but I do skim the forums a bit. This topic I figured I should add to as I have been having a similar problem. Basically the thick stuff is due to the fact we aren't as mobile. The stuff that would normally come out with exercise and whatnot is just settling in our lungs. I watched that movie "Tuesdays with Morrie" and had noticed he was having his back massaged and pounded, I am assuming it was a way of forcing the congestion out. Drink plenty of fluids.. if you have someone around that can do it for you have them either massage or pound on your back with just a bit of pressure, helps a little bit for me. Hope this helped.