Health Advice



Is That OK? No, It's Not

Scott LaFee on

Winter season or not, the color of nasal mucus can sometimes tell you a lot about your current state of health. It might not be the polite thing to do in company, but next time you blow into a tissue, take a peek. If it's:

Clear: This is normal. Untainted mucus is mostly water with proteins, antibodies and dissolved salts. It's pretty transparent.

White: This is a sign of congestion in your nasal tract, which is slowing the flow of mucus down your throat, causing it to lose moisture and become thick and cloudy.

Yellow: You may be fighting an infection, and your mucus may be filled with exhausted white blood cells, which are being carried away in mucus for disposal.

Green: You're really in the fight now. Green mucus might mean that it is thick with dead white cells and other detritus. This is the peak of battle. If it persists for more than a couple of days, you might want to see a doctor.

Pink or red: Nasal tissue in the nose has ruptured, perhaps due to dryness, irritation or another factor, and leaked blood is tinting the mucus.


Brown: This is dried blood.

Black: Unless you're a smoker or partaker of illicit drugs, black mucus could signal a serious fungal infection and requires immediate medical attention.

Double Dog Diabetes

Owners of a dog with Type 2 diabetes (yep, they get it, too) are likelier to also be diagnosed with the condition, according to a new study published in the British Medical Journal.


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