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  1. #1
    Omega Fan BryanW's Avatar
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    Should I ride with this cough?

    Is there a hard-and-fast rule about whether or not to ride when you're coughing up brown stuff, however little? About a week ago I cought a very minor cold, so feeble I hardly knew i had it, and this has left me with a very minor cough. I only cough a few times a day, and one or two of those coughs bring up very small amounts of brownish phlegm. I feel fine otherwise. I want to get back on the bike ASAP, especially since the weather is calm and dry at the moment, but would I be risking it getting worse if I go out before it completely clears up?

    Thanks for any input

  2. #2
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    It's not the cough that carries you off…






































    …it's the coffin they carry you off in…


    - Wil

  3. #3
    Omega Fan BryanW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wil Davis
    It's not the cough that carries you off…









    …it's the coffin they carry you off in…


    - Wil
    What frustrates me is that yours is probably the only reply I'll get

  4. #4
    Seńor Member SimiCyclist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BryanW
    Is there a hard-and-fast rule about whether or not to ride when you're coughing up brown stuff, however little? About a week ago I cought a very minor cold, so feeble I hardly knew i had it, and this has left me with a very minor cough. I only cough a few times a day, and one or two of those coughs bring up very small amounts of brownish phlegm. I feel fine otherwise. I want to get back on the bike ASAP, especially since the weather is calm and dry at the moment, but would I be risking it getting worse if I go out before it completely clears up?

    Thanks for any input
    My rule of thumb is, ride if the problem is from the neck up. If I'm experiencing lung congestion, I give it a rest.
    "We just don't recognize the most significant moments in our lives while they're happening. You say to yourself, 'there will be other days'. Then you realize it was the only day".

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  5. #5
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Where does the slime come from? Deep down where you can feel it gurgling with each breath? Or just tickling the back of your throat? Brown is blood, be careful. Yellow or green is usually an infection. Either way, I wouldn't push it...

  6. #6
    Omega Fan BryanW's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    Where does the slime come from? Deep down where you can feel it gurgling with each breath? Or just tickling the back of your throat? Brown is blood, be careful. Yellow or green is usually an infection. Either way, I wouldn't push it...
    I can't feel the "slime" at all normally - no gurgling, no ticklish throat - I can only feel it sometimes if I cough, and then sometimes I can feel a little bit sitting there that wants to come up, so I cough a couple of times more and it comes up. If it is infected, it must be the most ridiculously minor chest infection ever.

    I guess "beige" is a better description of its colour. Quite pale. I don't know if that qualifies as yellow or brown.

    Seems like I ought to stay off the bike, though ...

    Would swimming be better? (must ... exercise ...)

  7. #7
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    It wouldn't hurt to exercise lightly. Just don't push it.

  8. #8
    Climbing Fool terrymorse's Avatar
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    I asked my doctor about riding with respiratory infections, head colds, etc. She said it probably would do me good, as long as I had no fever.

    So if I'm not miserable, I ride.
    Managing Director, Undiscovered Country Tours

  9. #9
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    I'm guessing you're asking the bike forum, not as healthcare advice but sort of experience.

    My experience is that if the sputum is not clear or near clear, there's something going on. Also I notice that in the morning, I clear my throat with an intentional cough, really hard cough. That's when I check for color.

    So if its brown like you say, you can always ask the doctor for a sterile plastic cup for a sputum specimen and take it to the lab.

  10. #10
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    Was it from a chest cold... sounds like it's from the bronchial tubes.... as long as you don't push to the point of having to Hoover air you should be ok. A little adrenaline in your system will always do ya good. If it's cold you might want to cover your air intake while you have this cough just so it doesn't inadvertently become something worse. I see your in the UK.... bundle against the moister for the time being...keep your chest and throat nice and warm, until the cough goes away.

  11. #11
    Omega Fan BryanW's Avatar
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    Thanks guys. I might try a gentle ride later with a scarf. The air here at the moment is close to freezing and damp, so I'm sure gasping great lungfuls of it won't be a good idea.

  12. #12
    Don't Believe the Hype RiPHRaPH's Avatar
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    in an otherwise healthy person, brown plegm could be a sign of dehydration. When your secretions dry up, the crap from the lung lining gets stirred up. You don't necessarily have to be a smoker to experience this. It could be from the throat lining rather than the lung.

    Usually infrequent coughing indictates a dry cough rather than a productive cough that induces more frequent coughs.

    Anything that adds moisture to your throat/chest is good.
    I have enough words to get me into trouble, but not enough to get me out of trouble.

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