SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

January 4, 2018

CT Scan notation, not to worry

Benign mucus plugging

Dr Roach does a fine job of allaying the fears of this querent with what I am sure is sound advice per medical standards.  Tho I have no “Hot New thing” to offer on the subject,   I do have a different springboard from which I evaluate and draw conclusions – following. Jan

Dr. Keith Roach: Should ‘benign mucus plugging’ prompt pulmonologist visit?

DEAR DR. ROACH: I had a CT scan in July as part of my follow-up care for grade 1 chondrosarcoma. My scans were good, showing no cancer issues; however, one item that was noted said, “scattered areas of benign mucus plugging.” This was the first time that particular issue had been noted. My orthopedic oncologist did not mention this at all, and the only reason that I have taken note of it is because another member of the chondrosarcoma support group I belong to mentioned that she had them noted on her scan, and asked if other people had seen it as well.

I contacted my primary care physician to ask what it means, and she said that the note saying they were benign indicates that there isn’t anything necessarily to worry about, but said she could refer me to a pulmonologist if I would like a referral. I really don’t want to have any additional specialist visits if there is no need, but I still don’t understand what it means. I tried to look it up online, but it was mostly referring to people with asthma, cystic fibrosis and COPD. I do not have any of those conditions. I quit smoking in 1987. My question really is if I should ask for a referral to a pulmonologist, or if this is something that can be ignored. I am a retired 65-year-old woman in good health, and I exercise on a recumbent bike and treadmill almost every day for at least an hour. I have not noticed any breathing difficulties while I am exercising. — T.M.H.

ANSWER: The lining of the lung is protected by cells producing mucus, and cilia (small, hairlike projections on the cells lining the airways) continuously clear the mucus. Occasionally the mucus gets too thick, and literally can plug a small airway. This can be removed with a forceful cough.

Mucus plugs certainly can be found in people with no lung problems. I think they probably have nothing to do with the chondrosarcoma, a malignant tumor of cartilage (usually on a bone), which can spread to the lung (the CT scan is to look for tumor). It’s possible you have some distant residual damage from smoking years ago or that you have asthma that is so mild you haven’t noticed it. However, since you are able to exercise without problems (congratulations on keeping so active), I agree with your primary care doctor that further evaluation probably is unnecessary.

My thoughts on the matter: 

So what’s the mucus doing there in the first place?  Is this considered the norm to have mucus hanging out – anywhere? 

What’s causing the mucus?

Mucus is not a healthy passtime for the body to have to be dealing with as it handles all  it’s regular functions. What it is, is the body’s attempt to protect itself as it defends against the intruder of an unwelcome (and unneeded) food we Americans (as well as many foreign cousins) are prone to do.   I speak of Dairy in any of it glorious, delicious and tantalizing forms.  Among our classification as animals, humans are the only form to continue ingesting MILK after weaning  from mommy’s breast.  [Count  me among those who love/crave  dairy].  Milk in all it’s beautiful forms. . cheeses, ice creams,  cheesecake, sour cream, yogurts,  (pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches  – anything with cheese in it will do).  So Good!  We can’t help ourselves – – but why worry?. . it’s so good for us!  Seems all say Dairy is healthy and we need it.  Doctors even prescribe Calcium meds to be taken to insure against fractures, but ‘that’ doesn’t work out so well. They say Dairy is our rich source of calcium.  But other, larger animals  with huge, healthy bones get their calcium [all they need] — from the grasses, JUST  LIKE  WE SHOULD BE DOING!  How much is conjecture?  Where’s the truth?  What to do?  Who to believe?

Well, let’s take a look at what doctors, investigators and some natural healing paths have found.  (Have an enviable collection of books so it won’t be too hard to isolate a few concepts from them for the purpose of thinking about milk),. kinda off-the-cuff, throw at you, if you’re interested.     My thought – from the top — Dairy (MILK), is a major allergen and deterrent to health in many different ways.  And it has been shone that ‘that’ which we deeply crave and cave to are in fact the very things we’re probably allergic to.  . . so yeah, I really get that! But we’re not a slave to our taste buds/cravings. . we have a mind which is broader, deeper and more powerful than a taste bud.  In knowing that, we are able to choose dependable, good health over a momentary ‘want’. . . it IS up to us. (Says the smoker who was a non-smoker 20 of the forty years of trying to quit).  I’m not judging – have no room to, but I’m just sayin’ .  .      .      .

We start young (innocently), cuz it’s just what people do

Cow’s milk is not the same as human milk. Both serve the same purpose obviously, but the baby receiving the two forms are radically different. Cow’s milk is much higher in PROTEIN (4 X), and minerals (6 X), and fats (not Omega 3’s), to enable the calf to grow to 300 – 500 pounds in a year. Cows have a much greater enzyme capacity to digest and handle it’s milk. . . but is a burden to the human form which has way less, and type to use, and that only until age 2 to 4,  while presumably nursing.  Therefore, cow’s milk cause babies to suffer digestive problems and mucus congestion in the sinus cavities, lungs, brain and ears.  Many types of allergies are created from excessive congestion that started with cow milk conception.  Sadly, many babies are not being nursed by mommy, but fed cows milk and other synthetic formula – often 20 X more concentrated than cow’s milk.   After age 3 or 4, kids lose the enzymes that digest milk, especially lactase, which breaks down the lactose — the main sugar in milk. (Nature’s programming – we should be weaned by then.) Thereafter, lacking the proper enzymatic function to break down milk, we get an increased mucus production;  which is highly irritating to  the GI tract — which causes even more mucus.   This mucus mixed with starch can cause a heavy mucoid plaque to build up on the intestinal walls (impacted fecal matter in the bowels).  (Famed John Wayne we’re told had 50#’s in his bowels when he died.) Such impactions cause inflammation, pocketing (diverticulum), and tissue weakness in the intestinal wall. This leads to bowel restrictions, ulcerations lesions and cancers.   

Adults cannot digest milk at all and develop deeper congestive problems as  they get older.  Cow’s milk is low in Essential Fatty Acids which are vital to humans  in the production of systemic cholesterol, steroids, brain and nerve tissue, etc.  Raw cow’s milk is for skeletal/muscle growth,   whereas human milk feeds brain and nerve growth.     

Culled from years of grappling with this issue, I’ve had to conclude that milk causes phlegm, sinus activity, headache, mucus in all kinds of places it shouldn’t be;   leads to tumors both benign and cancerous anywhere it finds a comfy spot. Ingesting Dairy subjects us to all or any of this.  It’s a crap-shoot – will it get me or can I get away with it?    Ya pays your money and ya take your shot.  Choose.


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