What Your Snot Says About Your Health

Admit it; when you blow your nose you take a little peek, don’t you? According to the XX, it’s healthy to examine what’s left behind in your tissue because it can be a good indication of your overall health. Not only the color, but also the texture of your mucus (or snot, if you prefer) can tell you if you’re coming down with a common cold, a fungal sinus infection, or even worse…

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1. Green or Yellow

Not to disagree with North America’s favorite frog when he sang, “It’s not easy being green,” but I’m sorry Kermit, green or yellow-tinged snot is not always a the sign of an infection. Common belief tells us that green mucus always indicates a bacterial infection—while yellow is the sure sign of a viral infection. However, otolaryngology (or ear, nose, throat specialty physicians) researchers at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, say that’s not always the case.

Several things can cause mucus to turn a lovely shade of green or yellow. Sure, a bacterial infection can turn your snot from clear to green, but so can inflammation and mucus quantity. If your nasal passages are inflamed and super congested, the telltale green or yellow tinge is a sign that your white blood cells have come to the rescue. As they fight to eradicate whatever ails you, dead white blood cells don’t turn mucus white—they turn it yellow or green. Plus, if If you do have an infection or virus, you’ll also show related symptoms (i.e., sinus pain, congestion, and fever).

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