In mid-march I caught a cold which lasted 2-3 days. There was no fever or body aches to indicate a flu. About 10 days after the cold symtoms went away, I started having a dry cough. The spell starts with a mild tickle which soon worsens to the point where I have to cough. If I don't, I feel like I would choke. I am forced to produce a hard, dry cough from the back and upper part of my throat. It stops when I reach the point of gagging. The coughing spell last for 1-2 mins; cough drops, syrup with codeine does not help. Between couging spells I am fine. I started taking an ace inhibitor several months before I got the cold, but stopped taking it after I learned it may have caused the cough. In mid April, my fam. doctor suspected it might have been pertussis and prescribed the appropriate 2-week course of antibiotics. No other test was done. 3 months after completing the antibiotics and not taking the ace inhibitor I still had the cough. A recen stress test was clear and so was the chest x-ray that I had last week. Sometimes I can go several hours without coughing. Lately it seems I am coughing every hour, day and night. Last week my doctor prescribed Nexium: no better, no worse. Now she wants me to try Flonase for possible alleriges (I never had allergies before). I have never smoked and I work in a smoke-free building but in Baltimore City. I do notice my symtoms worsen if I eat spicy food, nuts, or dairy products, especially soy milk. My colleagues are shaking their heads and my family is at wits end. What kind of cough is this? Is there any hope for me?
The majority of times unexplained cough is caused by asthma, post-nasal drip and gastroesophageal reflux with or without heartburn. Asthma can sometimes be triggered by a viral infection such as a cold. You might want to discuss this with your doctor. Pertussis lasts 6 to 10 weeks.
Dr. James A. Koufman, MD (a voice specialist ENT/Ear, nose & throat doc) wrote medical journal articles about how a cold (or other virus infections) can have the virus spread to the vagus nerve (or branches of the vagus nerve), and this can cause a person to first get GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease).
Coughing can be caused by many, many things. One major cause of coughing is GERD. Spicy food, milk, and soy milk can also aggravate GERD, leading to more coughing.
If I were you, I would go to see a very good Pulmonologist (lung doc), and a very good ENT (Ear, nose & throat doc), who is knowledgable about the common connection between gastric reflux and cough. These docs can help you find out for sure what is causing your cough, etc.
I'll put some gastric reflux tips into the next message, that you can run by your docs, to see if these are OK for your particular situation, if you think you want to try them.
But first, please see some expert docs. If you can go to National Jewish Hospital (NJH), in Denver, Colorado, you can get good medical help! If you can't go there, call the LUNG LINE nurses, at 1-800-222-LUNG(5864), and ask which docs are in your area, who did some work at NJH.
LPR= Laryngeal-Pharyngeal Reflux. (Larynx=voice box, containing the 2 vocal cords. Pharynx=throat, above the larynx. The larynx is above the trachea/windpipe.)
Reflux=acidic or alkaline stomach material that backs up into the esophagus (food tube), causing any of these problems: VCD/Vocal Cord Dysfunction/Laryngospasm attacks, cough, voice problems, asthma, globus (feeling of lump in throat), constant need to clear throat, worsening of sinus condition, sore throat, pre-cancerous conditions of throat &/or esophagus, etc.
SOME GER/LPR CONTROL THINGS WE DO, that we learned from the excellent book: STOMACH AILMENTS AND DIGESTIVE DISTURBANCES, by Michael T. Murray, N.D. See page 9, References, in my website: http://cantbreathesuspectvcd.com and, also see GER/LPR info on page 5, and on LINKS page.
PLEASE READ THIS GREAT BOOK. It may possibly be bought on-line, from Michael T. Murray
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