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Spitting very thick, gel-like clear saliva. Produced at a rapid rate. What is it ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
Answered : 6714 Questions
A family member had an episode last night where she started spitting up a very thick, gel-like clear saliva. It was too thick to swallow and was produced at such a rapid rate that it almost seemed like a volcanic eruption from her mouth
Posted Wed, 18 Jul 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 31 minutes later
Hello and thanks for the query.
Before proceeding ahead I would want certain informations so that I am in a better position to answer your query.
Was this spitting accompanied by a bout of coughing?
Was there any blood in it?
Did this episode occur in night during sleep or it happened before sleep?
Did this happen before her dinner or after her dinner?
Is there any history of such type of episodes in past?
Is she having any cough,cold or acidity currently?
Is there any history of consumption of alcohol or anything else just before this episode?

Please supply these informations so that we can proceed ahead with our discussion.
Waiting for your reply.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Spitting very thick, gel-like clear saliva. Produced at a rapid rate. What is it ? 9 minutes later
This has happened about 3 times in the past 20 years or so. Once before eating a meal, once during and another time just watching tv. It does not seem to be brought on by anything and she does not have any symptoms such as coughing. It has not happened at night. But it seems like a very serious matter seeing as she could potentially aspirate. It is a very thick, clear, saliva, NOT mucus. The best way she can describe it is as having a "volcano in her mouth, too thick to swallow it or spit it up until there is so much it has no where to go" Does not consume alcohol.
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 20 minutes later
Such copious amount of fluid can come from either lungs or stomach.
Any thing coming from lungs has to be accompanied by severe bout of coughing.
Since there is no cough,it denotes it's origin from stomach only.
The best way is to consult a Gastroenterologist and find the cause although I have a doubt that something is going to be diagnosed as the episodes are very infrequent,just 3 times in past 20 years.
But still you must consult a Gastroenterologist and see any reason can be found.
Keep me posted about the development on this issue.
Any thing you want to discuss,you are welcome to write again.
Best of luck.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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