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Old 02-17-2009, 06:53 AM   #1
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Question Chronic Cough

Hello,

I am a 43-year-old female who has had a chronic cough for about six years. The cough first manifested after a bout with bronchitis and never went away. I was tested for allergies twice and told that I have only very minor allergies to mold and dust mites. I have taken acid reflux medicine for years, but it seems to offer no relief (I have none of the other symptoms of acid reflux). I have had several chest x-rays (all clear). I have been tested for asthma but told that the tests were negative; however, when I use my peak flow meter at home, my output is typically 75 to 100 points below the stated average.

I did find out this past year that I have a 2-cm thyroid nodule, an enlarged thyroid, and Hashimotos. The nodule is benign, and my thryroid levels are currently within normal range, so I am taking no medication for this.

In December, I had my uvula trimmed at the suggestion of my ENT. He said it was touching the base of my tongue, which he believed was causing my cough. My cough cleared up for about two weeks after the surgery but is now back in full force. I think the Vicodin I was taking may have been responsible for the cough clearing up.

Basically, my cough is continuous. Some days, it can occur every fifteen seconds. Other days it is not as bad. It is usually worse at night. Cold air, crying, laughing, eating, and stress all trigger it. If I begin laughing or cyring, I usually go into a full-blown coughing attack, which causes me to stop breathing for about 15 seconds before I begin coughing again. Sometimes, I have excess mucus with my cough. Often it is just a tickle in the throat feeling.

Sorry for the long post. I wanted to give as much information as possible. Any advice anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated. I have had so many tests and seen so many doctors -- I am not sure what my next step should be.

Debbie

 
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:18 AM   #2
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Re: Chronic Cough

Quote:
Originally Posted by dburtaine View Post
Hello,

I am a 43-year-old female who has had a chronic cough for about six years. The cough first manifested after a bout with bronchitis and never went away. I was tested for allergies twice and told that I have only very minor allergies to mold and dust mites. I have taken acid reflux medicine for years, but it seems to offer no relief (I have none of the other symptoms of acid reflux). I have had several chest x-rays (all clear). I have been tested for asthma but told that the tests were negative; however, when I use my peak flow meter at home, my output is typically 75 to 100 points below the stated average.

I did find out this past year that I have a 2-cm thyroid nodule, an enlarged thyroid, and Hashimotos. The nodule is benign, and my thryroid levels are currently within normal range, so I am taking no medication for this.

In December, I had my uvula trimmed at the suggestion of my ENT. He said it was touching the base of my tongue, which he believed was causing my cough. My cough cleared up for about two weeks after the surgery but is now back in full force. I think the Vicodin I was taking may have been responsible for the cough clearing up.

Basically, my cough is continuous. Some days, it can occur every fifteen seconds. Other days it is not as bad. It is usually worse at night. Cold air, crying, laughing, eating, and stress all trigger it. If I begin laughing or cyring, I usually go into a full-blown coughing attack, which causes me to stop breathing for about 15 seconds before I begin coughing again. Sometimes, I have excess mucus with my cough. Often it is just a tickle in the throat feeling.

Sorry for the long post. I wanted to give as much information as possible. Any advice anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated. I have had so many tests and seen so many doctors -- I am not sure what my next step should be.

Debbie
hey debs, ive had a similiar problem, ive had a chronic cough for about a month at a time, and eventually it went away, but the last time it went away i began to have nasal congestion and postnasal drip. maybe a CT scan could give a better picture on whats going on in the back of your throat, and that this problem could possible have less to do with your lungs and more with your throat and up to your nose/sinuses...

 
Old 02-19-2009, 04:05 PM   #3
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Re: Chronic Cough

Bless your heart! Boy can I relate to the chronic cough thing. It is so aggrevating and sends me into a panic sometimes when I am afraid I can' get it to stop. Mine comes and goes depending on my allergies and acid reflux. So many things can set off a cough. I just hate it. I have a tickle cough right now because I have a horrible headcold virus right now and a real bad sore throat. This one is really hanging on.

What I do is make alot of warm tea's with honey, have plenty of cough drops, try to watch my diet so I don't get mucus going which starts a cough. If you have any great idea's please post them.

Hang in there! Good look!

 
Old 02-19-2009, 04:19 PM   #4
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Re: Chronic Cough

I know this might be a tad off topic, but Im going to ask because I wish someone had asked me when I was complaining with a chronic cough that NOTHING would help. It started when I was diagnosed with pnuemonia at the same time I was diagnosed with diabetes and high blood pressure. I've had chronic bronchitis my entire life and any respitory problem I get goes straight into it....this cough was completely different. It was all day long, in the back of my thoat, no mucus. I went through bags and bags of cough drops and 3 bottles of liquid vicodin cough syrup .

FINALLY someone asked me what I was on for my blood pressure....so I will ask y'all....those of you that have the cough and nothing is helping....are you ANY chance on an ace inhibitor for any reason? They had put me on lisinopril for my BP and it was causing the cough (little did I know if I googled lisinopril cough I'd have found out way earlier what was wrong...my doctor didnt even say anything).

like I said...It may not have anything to do with you (y'all)...Im only asking because I wish someone had asked me and I hadnt almost gone insane from 3 months of coughing and no sleep because it was worse at night.

 
Old 02-19-2009, 04:42 PM   #5
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Re: Chronic Cough

I experience a cough, as a side effect of medications I take. The fact that this has been going on for so many years, seems to rule out medication...if you haven't been on longterm medication that co-incides with the cough-

 
Old 02-20-2009, 02:50 PM   #6
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Re: Chronic Cough

Quote:
Originally Posted by dburtaine View Post
Hello,

I am a 43-year-old female who has had a chronic cough for about six years. The cough first manifested after a bout with bronchitis and never went away. I was tested for allergies twice and told that I have only very minor allergies to mold and dust mites. I have taken acid reflux medicine for years, but it seems to offer no relief (I have none of the other symptoms of acid reflux). I have had several chest x-rays (all clear). I have been tested for asthma but told that the tests were negative; however, when I use my peak flow meter at home, my output is typically 75 to 100 points below the stated average.

I did find out this past year that I have a 2-cm thyroid nodule, an enlarged thyroid, and Hashimotos. The nodule is benign, and my thryroid levels are currently within normal range, so I am taking no medication for this.

In December, I had my uvula trimmed at the suggestion of my ENT. He said it was touching the base of my tongue, which he believed was causing my cough. My cough cleared up for about two weeks after the surgery but is now back in full force. I think the Vicodin I was taking may have been responsible for the cough clearing up.

Basically, my cough is continuous. Some days, it can occur every fifteen seconds. Other days it is not as bad. It is usually worse at night. Cold air, crying, laughing, eating, and stress all trigger it. If I begin laughing or cyring, I usually go into a full-blown coughing attack, which causes me to stop breathing for about 15 seconds before I begin coughing again. Sometimes, I have excess mucus with my cough. Often it is just a tickle in the throat feeling.

Sorry for the long post. I wanted to give as much information as possible. Any advice anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated. I have had so many tests and seen so many doctors -- I am not sure what my next step should be.

Debbie
I was diagnosed at age 42 with asthma and coughing was the only symptom I had. Why do you have a peak flow meter if they don't think you have asthma? perhaps you need to find a pulmonologist and get checked again. A cough can certainly represent many things, including a reaction to meds but from what you describe asthma would be at the top of my list. Right now I have a cough which is surprising to me since i have been under good control for my asthma; it is a pain in the patootie esp. at night. good luck

 
Old 02-20-2009, 05:27 PM   #7
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Re: Chronic Cough

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Originally Posted by Shanifaye View Post
... They had put me on lisinopril for my BP and it was causing the cough (little did I know if I googled lisinopril cough I'd have found out way earlier what was wrong...my doctor didnt even say anything).....
Yes, ace inhibitors can cause a nasty cough and it was good of you, Shani, to mention this as many people experience this for years without attributing it to medication.

But there are some things in your post, Debbie, that make me think of something else...

your cough came after bronchitis
you have allergies, albeit mild, but enough for docs to consider
you've had acid reflux for years
doctors suspected asthma, but tests showed nothing
you have thyroid issues, specifically Hashimoto's
your uvula was trimmed, cough cleared after surgery but only for 2 weeks

There are many conditions that make people cough...allergies, asthma, meds, and cancer for some examples...and it sounds like your doctors have ruled those things out. One condition you don't mention your doctors considering, is Lyme Disease which can present as a cold/flu...in some people it is so mild they dismiss it as an "ordinary" cold or flu bug. But many people with Lyme get severe symptoms which can (although not always) include a sore throat, coughs, fevers, headaches, and overall body aches. It is the severity and the duration of these symtoms that makes me think you might consider Lyme.

I suggest you investigate the possibility of Lyme for the following reasons:

1. Doctors/tests have ruled out the obvious causes.
2. Symptoms are symptoms seen in Lyme patients, in particular Hashimoto's (check the Lyme boards if you don't believe me).
3. Your condition is chronic...it is not getting better...and some specialists think that 1/2 of all chronic illnesses are a result of Lyme.
4. Although you may attribute the Vicodin for clearing up your cough after surgery, I would suspect that they gave you antibiotics after your surgery to prevent infection....if it were Lyme, the antibiotics may have "battled the enemy" for a short period of time only to lose the war because the immune system ran out of ammo.

Good luck and keep us posted. And do your own research as I'm sure a number of the people on these boards believe the many myths that are out there...

Last edited by bethsheba; 02-20-2009 at 05:28 PM.

 
Old 02-28-2009, 01:41 PM   #8
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Re: Chronic Cough

Deb, I found your story very interesting. I have had a chronic cough for 2 1/2 years. In December, I had a tongue base reduction surgery because my ENT doctor said that my epiglotis was hitting on the back on my tongue. The cough went away until I went off the pain med and startiing eating normal foods again. I am now having surgery this coming Friday, 3/6, to have my uvula trimmed because it's rubbing on my tongue. I can certainly feel this and hope this is the answer to my cough.

Lynn

 
Old 04-20-2009, 03:45 AM   #9
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Re: Chronic Cough

I would get straight to your doctor and have blood tests for Mycoplasma and Chlamydia Pneumonia.

 
Old 04-21-2009, 07:13 AM   #10
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Re: Chronic Cough

Angela, why do you say this? What are the tests for?

 
Old 04-21-2009, 09:27 AM   #11
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Re: Chronic Cough

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Originally Posted by angelaanaconda3 View Post
I would get straight to your doctor and have blood tests for Mycoplasma and Chlamydia Pneumonia.
I agree wholeheartedly as these conditions can accompany Lyme disease...but I would encourage anyone with similar symptoms to pursue this possibility as your doctors most likely will not!

Bethsheba

 
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