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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board
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Old 07-28-2008, 08:56 PM   #1
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Unhappy Chronic Cough from reflux: What do I do now???

So I have been diagnosed with reflux for about 6 years now. It began with frequent belching as my only symptom. I adjusted my diet, raised my headboard, and started on Prilosec with no luck. I then tried Protonix. The Protonix helped with the belching so I stayed with that for several years. A couple years years ago, I developed a wicked chronic cough. The kind of cough where you can't stop long enough to catch your breath. Asthma treatments weren't getting it under control. (I have asthma with chronic cough as my primary symptom too.) I was placed on Nexium for a month (it didn't help) and referred to a specialist. I went to a GI doc: endoscopy was good, manometry showed I have a loose esophageal sphincter, 24hr PH confirmed frequent reflux even with good diet that was causing my cough. I was put on Prevacid 2x/day. My cough was then eventually brought under control. I stayed on the Prevacid for the last several years and felt pretty good. This winter I had alot of problems with my asthma. I went to a Pulmonologist and the Modified Barium Swallow and Esophagram showed that I have a haital hernia and frequent "silent" reflux, even with the Prevacid 2x/day, that is aggrevating my asthma. Back to the GI doc because I have to get the reflux under control to get my asthma under control. They changed me to Nexium for a month. I was miserably sick for the entire month and had reflux symptoms I had never had before--nausea, major heartburn, belching, coughing. I was then switched to Aciphex and given another endoscopy- which came out ok. My cough got worse. I am now on Aciphex 2x/day and my cough has gotten worse. All of this switching medications have really messed up my reflux--ironic that I felt good with the silent symptoms before all of this started. I have also ended up with some narcotic cough suppressents because it has gotten so bad. I go back to the GI doc next week, but I am getting to the end of my rope after 2 months of coughing. I am seriously considering discussing surgery. Winter is my bad time for asthma and I really don't think I can handle dealing with all the coughing from both at the same time. Anyone out there have any experience with this? Any suggestions?

 
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Old 07-29-2008, 09:57 AM   #2
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Re: Chronic Cough from reflux: What do I do now???

I can certainly relate. My worst symptoms of GERD/LPR have been more of the upper resp kind. There are days I flat can't function due to coughing my head off. I take Nexium twice a day but not sure it really helps when all this kicks in. I don't have a hernia and most of my stomach issues are better but I continue to have problems with ENT. I never had asthma before the GERD and it's probably not real asthma to begin with. Any minute amt of acid that gets in the lungs will cause asthma like symptoms. When I would get really sick with the breathing problems, I slept with a humidifier beside my bed. There are times that when I have coughing fits taking a swig of Mylanta will stop it. I was put on all kinds of drugs for cough that never worked or only reason they did is because they put me to sleep. Chewing gum helps me with the mucus/ or dry throat and the cough. I'm not sure what brings on these "flares" as I call them but seems we all have good days and bad days. I know when I am real active (bending & lifting) my breathing and cough get worse. Always after eating, I have a coughing spell.
Inhalers don't do me one bit of good and think they made me more hoarse than I was. Seems you've been dealing with this for a long time too. Best of Luck and hope you get better soon.

CharBerry

 
Old 07-29-2008, 07:05 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic Cough from reflux: What do I do now???

Thanks CharBerry. I guess I just needed to hear from someone else who understands.

My GI doc has me taking Gaviscon to supplement with my PPI's. It may help a bit, I'm not sure. I do know I hate the texture of chewing up those things.

When I had my Endoscopy a couple years ago, I didn't have the hernia. My guess is that I now have one because of all of the severe coughing I have done. I had a REALLY bad coughing spell a couple years ago that lasted about 4 months...acid, asthma, flu, sinus infection, pertussis...all in the same period and all with cough symptoms for me.

I know my acid cough is just that, irritation from the acid and that it does mimic my asthma. I also have asthma triggered by cold, air pollution, chemicals, etc... Sometimes it is very difficult for me to tell the difference other than going by if my inhaler works.

I agree with you on the bending and lifting. Anything that squishes the stomach causes the reflux to act up more. It is the same with me.

I've tried many cough syrups before and one helped. The Tussionex with hydrocodone and an antihistimine seemed to help some the last couple weeks. I was up until 3 am last night with a cough that had been bad all day. The medicine didn't help at all last night. Also, I can't take a narcotic strength medicine while I am working.

I am extremely busy at work and I am sure everyone around me has to be tired of listening to me all summer. Especially as we have had all day trainings this last week with a large room full of people. It is not only uncomfortable and wearing me out, but it can be embarrassing.

I know my flares right now are aggrevated by all the changes in my PPI's since early June. I have also had asthma problems because we have had red and yellow air quality since the first week in July. We desperately need rain here to clear out the air. They got several storms just 20 minutes south of me last week, but they totally skipped my area.

Well, I guess I will try to get through the week and plan for my GI appt on Monday. I've really felt like going to my PCP the last couple days because the cough has worn me out and I am not getting alot of good breaths as a result, but I know there really isn't much she will be able to do other than confirm my reflux is acting up. I just keep hoping I will find that magic "something" that will help with the cough. I'll let you know if I find it.

 
Old 07-31-2008, 11:06 AM   #4
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Re: Chronic Cough from reflux: What do I do now???

Yes, please let me know if you have any improvements or new suggestions. I took something the Dr. called "pearl drops" maybe because that's what they looked like. Like you, the good stuff knocks you out and I can't work either. I seem to experience the asthma like symptoms more in the fall. Have had bronch and pnemonia, which both were blamed on the GERD/LPR.

Good Luck!

CharBerry

 
Old 07-31-2008, 11:33 AM   #5
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Re: Chronic Cough from reflux: What do I do now???

Mountainreader, I've been using Gaviscon for LPR. I agree that the US Gaviscon tastes terrible. However, the English/Canadian Gaviscon Extra Strength is not only stronger, it comes in different flavors, at least one of which I think is delicious. No problems getting it delivered to the US.

Last edited by moderator2; 07-31-2008 at 12:20 PM. Reason: posted disallowed website(s)

 
Old 07-31-2008, 01:04 PM   #6
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Re: Chronic Cough from reflux: What do I do now???

Hi all with "The Cough":
I had the cough in Memphis every Spring and Fall for 3 months for many years and it actually made me ill. The doc called it chronic bronchitis. Little did he know! In 1986 I moved to Phoenix, AZ and instantly got the cough year around but it did not make me ill. I even took allergy shots every day for 3 years since I only got it in the SPring and Fall in Memphis and the doc thought it might be an allergy. That did not work either. I have been to every type of doc there is and used every medication on the market. Some meds will stop it for a short period, but it always starts back up again. I went to Mayo Clinic and they diagnosed it as reflux. My husband has gotten it very bad just within the last 4 years. Again, used all the meds, elevated the bed, etc. My longest relief came with Hall euculyptus flavored cough drops. Bought them by the large bags and then they also stopped working. No flavor would work but the euculyptus. Husband uses WalMart's cheap brand and seems to help some. I have also been accused by coworkers of having TB. Like one of you said: embarassing. I have fought this thing for over 35 years now. It has actually subsided currently, but would love to hear what others have tried. Good luck to all....

Last edited by moderator2; 07-31-2008 at 01:10 PM. Reason: please do not quote unnecessarily

 
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