how does the human body make some much mucus?

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Someone can be sick for days but the body still produces mucus at a constant rate. How and why does it do this?

In: 6

HOW:

You drink water, it goes from the stomach into the blood vessels that surround the stomach, and your blood is your “reservoir of water”. Kidneys have the job of taking out excess water (so the blood doesn’t get too “thin”) and also taking out “waste” chemicals. So because the blood is your “reservoir” of water, everything that requires water takes its water from the blood. Sweating, saliva, mucus, tears, the water for all of these comes from your blood.

Why:

Mucus usually has two purposes:

* to protect “sensitive” tissues with a coating

* to eliminate waste

You don’t have skin inside your mouth, nose, and inside your body surfaces (such as the interior of the stomach and intestines), so these surfaces don’t have the “toughness” of skin and need mucus to protect them.

Specifically for a cold, your nose is full of mucus so that more bacteria cannot “enter”; the stream of air that you breathe in is “slammed” into the mucus and the bacteria get caught in it like insects on a sticky surface. Then you blow your nose and eject this mucus-with-bacteria-in-it, and more mucus needs to be made to replenish the inside of your nose.

Your mucus can also be the “result” of your immune system fighting the bacteria that gave you the cold. Your immune system cells [do this](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_xh-bkiv_c), and once they’ve “eaten” too many bacteria, they die and are expelled as mucus.

[Here’s an article](https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2020/march/what-your-nasal-discharge-says-about-your-health) that explains what mucus does, and how the color of it may indicate what it is.

If I recall correctly, mucus also isn’t “difficult” for the body to make–basically just long strings of proteins that trap water. I remember reading about some type of fish that was able to produce *gallons* of mucus in seconds that way.