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Coughing/Wheezing/Congestion
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Coughing/Wheezing/Congestion

I have been having this cough/wheeze and congestion for a week now. I have Eosinophilic Esophagitis and GERD.
I just had an Endoscopy yesterday, the doc said it looked good, but I do have a small Hiatal Hernia and they took biopsies but those will take weeks to come in. The doc just increased my Omeprazole to taking two 40mg twice a day. They tell me the cough/wheezing can last for months, as it will take time for my increased meds to help the situation. I'm coughing so much, of course it is worse at the evening and early morning. I have missed 3 days of work this week alone. I have never had this happen as a result of my Esophagus issues. Is there any other remedy that can help eliminate or lessen the amount of wheezing and congestion and coughing I have??  I have gotten back on track with my eating habits, so I am taking small baby steps but this coughing is just killing me.
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17 Comments Post a Comment
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1268057_tn?1399131913
Perhaps you could request a MDI/inhaler/puffer for the wheezing/coughing.  I have had the same problems as you off and on and find the inhaler helps.  I use it once/day and it works like a charm.  When the wheezing/coughing subsides, I stop using it.
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Avatar_f_tn
what us an MDI inhaler? I have Asthma, I went to the doctor and he said that it is not Asthma related and my Albuterol has not worked.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
GERD can cause "asthma-like" symptoms; doesn't mean it is asthma; that's true.  It is unfortunate in our cases that we have asthma and GERD.  I know when my GERD flares up I start having problems with wheezing and coughing.  Reflux is nasty to your airway; irritant.

MDI=Metered Dose Inhaler OR in layman's terms a "puffer."  

Albuterol....hmmm....I would recommend asking your physician for a steroid-based inhaler, i.e. Symbicort.  

Have you been following dietary changes to the letter?  Eating small meals throughout the day and not before bedtime?  No alcohol or caffeine?  Smoker (I would think not)?

I just started having problems with wheezing when my GERD flares up this year.  I have had GERD since I was 13.  Plus, I have a Hiatal Hernia.    

EE is usually r/t food allergies.  Do you have food allergies that you know of?
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm not a smoker, I have many food allergies (Epi Pens). I avoid those as well as the food that causes me to regurgitate with the Eosinphiliac  I have never had a flare up like this, I was diagnosed with GERD and Eosinphilac about 4 years ago. I had the Endoscopy (my 3rd one) doc said we'll call you with Biopsy results and only told me to 'up' my Omeprazole intake per day. I admit I've been slacking on good eating habits. Albuterol was prescribed by my Asthma doctor, whom I went to thinking it was Asthma related which he said it was not as my breathing tests showed I was breathing at 96%. He gave me the Albuterol refill anyway.
Since the wheezing/coughing started, I got back on track ASAP, in fact I've lost 5 pounds this week alone, no caffeine, no alcohol. I also suffer from IBS w/ Constipation and I've not had a BM all week, so I'm just plain miserable. Since this is my first bad flareup, I'm kinda in a panic I suppose. I've missed work a lot this week, just can't control the coughing and sound like death, folks are asking me if I have whooping cough or croup! I know there's no easy fix that it will be a gradual recovery, but I was just wondering if there was anything else that I could try to lessen the cough/wheezing throughout the day.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
The only thing I know that works for me is the steroid based MDI.  Your physician could also ordered a corticoidsteroid based oral slurry or solution to take to help with inflammation thus decreasing the coughing/wheezing. Any way you cut it you NEED something to address the cough/wheezing.  I would reconsult the GI Specialist about this.  

If you are carry any extra weight, lose it.   Do not drink one drop of caffeine or alcohol.  If you stay overweight and keep drinking caffeine and alcohol this is guaranteed to get WORSE.  

As you age, I am not sure how old you are, these things tend to get worse IF you don't do what you should be doing, thus you will start having new problems, i.e. wheezing.  Just do what you are supposed to do.  
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks for the advice. I am 34 years old, I lost 55 pounds last year and gained 10 back this Summer. I was doing the Clean Eating Lifestyle, but this Summer I resorted back to eating anything and everything. Just last week alone I lost 5 pounds. I am 5'10" and weigh 175 pounds.

I went back to the Digestive Center on Friday basically begging for something to relieve my coughing and they basically told me tough it out! I was like WTH? They said with the increased Omeprazole dosage and following the eating rules, etc, I should see a difference slowly in 1-2 months. No other advice was offered except that they will call me with the biopsy results in about 2 weeks. So here I cough 24/7 basically with night time and early morning being the worst. Going to try to go to work tomorrow and see how that goes. Again, I have NEVER had a flareup like this, never had the coughing/wheezing before.

I am a hot tea gal, can I drink decaffeinated tea? Otherwise I've just been drinking water since this crud started and eating very small bland meals. I'm going by the what to eat with GERD diet and I see no changes with cough/wheezing, I think it has gotten worse. I'm on day 10 of the coughing and am beyond frustrated and exhausted.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
I love tea as well and stick with the herbal ones without caffeine.  Even the decaffeinated teas have small amounts to traces of caffeine.  I would recommend drinking ones without any caffeine.  

Please consult someone who will investigate the coughing/wheezing.  I would be requesting imaging (chest xray) and medication for this.  This may or MAY NOT have something to do with the EE/GERD.  I mean, what kind of "medical facility" would tell you to "tough it out" and not treat this or at least tell you to follow up with someone about this?  
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm going to our local CentraCare Health Center, I too was shocked that they didn't do an xray when i went to the Asthma specialist. Although, what I'm spitting up is just white and foamy, no color to the 'congestion' at all. I just broke down today telling my husband that I can not go through another month or possibly more of this coughing and wheezing, this is the 10th day of hell I call it. This cough sounds productive and not dry at all, even though its not congestion that would come from Sinus cavities or other. I'm going to be stalking my doctors office that's for sure.

I went to the store and picked up some Zantac and some Maalox. I couldn't find Mylanta, is Maalox the same thing?
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Avatar_f_tn
I also have IBS with Constipation and have not had a BM all week, so I'm feely just peachy all around.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
Yes,  you can use Maalox in place of Mylanta., however, this CAN worsened the constipation.  The operative word is "CAN."  

Are you drinking plenty of water dear?  If not, increase your water.  Eating veggies and fruit?  I am sure your concern about this coughing and wheezing is NOT helping your IBS/you are stressed out about this.  

Geez, the Asthma Specialist did NO imaging?  Please find someone ASAP to sort out this coughing/wheezing.  Sounds like you have alot of respiratory inflammation going on and perhaps there might be yucky congestion in the upper airway not coming up.  I would think if it were the EE/GERD only it would be resolving by now especially since you have increased the Prilosec.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I'm drinking lots of water, moderate veggies, only eating Apples right now.

I am very stressed out about this as I just applied for a new job and am thinking WTH will I do if I am called for an interview and coughing like this still! I'm a high anxiety person in the first place, I know I need to calm down but it just isn't happening right now.

Yes, I was suprised they didn't do an xray, I know if I went to the Urgent Care facility, I'd get an Xray and then probably a referral elsewhere. Second guessing my choices of doctors now. The only thing that has me thinking it is stomach related is that I've got know color to the congestion I'm bringing up.

I just want to be able to sleep soundly for a few hours and that has not happened in 11 days. I cough so much at night and I'm elevated.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
I just think if you are coughing that excessively a chest xray wouldn't be a bad idea to have done.  Yes, in the end this could be just your EE/GERD, but would definitely recommend ruling out something respiratory going on.  

11 days and still coughing.....hmmm....try the urgent care.  Get the chest xray done and something for that cough dear.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you for the advice, I am going to try to get a 2nd opinion. I am actually heading to the chiropractor tomorrow just to get an adjustment to see if that helps anything. I did some reading and saw that getting a few adjustments can help reduce the GERD symptoms. It is worth a try I say!
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746512_tn?1388811180
The teniative diagnosis for me at the moment is acid reflux causing all my lung issues.  .....Thus the 2-3 years of "Asthma" symptoms, including about 4 rounds of prednisone are all due to my stupid stomach.  I don't cough 24/7 but I have, so I feel your pain.

Albuterol doesn't normally help me at all either but I found that another short acting bronchodilator did - atrovent.  Atrovent they add during a bad attack to help increase the airways even more - however it tends to work on the larger airways than albuterol.  This was the clue that my respiralogist used to lead us away from asthma and more towards the stomach as causing issues.  

Hang in there!!  Gaviscon has really helped me too - ever tried it?  It tends to loose my stools up so maybe a double help ;)
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Avatar_f_tn
I went to the chiropractor the other day and had an adjustment and did acupuncture and I have been sleeping much better at night since then. I go for another chiropractor visit tomorrow. I'm still coughing, just not as bad, but when I do cough it still sounds downright horrible. I'd say maybe once or twice during the day do I have a really bad coughing jag and have to step to the side or go to the bathroom.

I got a letter in the mail with my biopsy results. They said pretty much my (EE) isn't flaring up, that it is just my Acid Reflux and to continue taking Omeprazole twice a day 40 mg until further instructed by my doctor. ... grumble, grumble.

I only have two more prescription refills of Omeprazole and I'm sure it will go much faster than that since I'm doubling my dosage. Obviously Omeprazole wasn't working in the first place, so why do you think doubling it will matter?

So I've had this going on for almost 2 weeks now, and I've had a total of 3 BM's the entire 2 weeks, yet I have lost weight due to not eating much due to my coughing. I feel horrible from the minute I wake up to the minute I fall asleep, my next thing to do is to buy some Miralax. If I can get one area of my digestive system working correctly I'd be happy.
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Avatar_f_tn
Now I've got Pneumonia... nice. On Antibiotics, have a much more horrible cough, wheezing and crackling going on. Spitting up yellow/green gunk. It never ends.
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1268057_tn?1399131913
I thought it could possibly be something respiratory.

Hope you get better soon dear.  
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