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Avatar universal

Is my cough really from reflux?

I developed a chronic, severe (so severe I lose bladder control and can't work at my teaching job) cough after hospitalization for a viral illness last July. At the time I was diagnosed with ileus, pancreatitis, tachycardia and muscle weakness in my extremities. I had an NG tube for 10 days. The day after it was removed I started coughing. I felt a sharp pain like a raw nerve in the right side of my throat going up into my right ear. 7 months later I still have the same symptoms. No cough medication helps. I have been on Aciphex 80 mg. a day for several months and still have the cough. The DR now wants to do a Nissen procedure, but is concerned that it won't stop the cough. Does this sound familiar to anyone? I don't have heartburn and don't want to do the Nissen if it isn't going to stop this cough.
4 Responses
251132 tn?1198082422
Gastroesophageal reflux is the back flow of stomach contents and gastric acid into the esophagus or food tube.  Reflux is one possible cause for your cough.  You should be tested to be sure that you have reflux.  The most common tests for reflux are an esophagoscopy, looking into the esophagus and a pH probe, measuring the acid in the esophagus.  After taking a drug for reflux like Aciphex
Avatar universal
Do NOT have a Nissen unless you are absolutely sure you have reflux!  Any good surgeon will insist you have several tests prior to surgery:  manometry, upper endoscopy, maybe 24 hour pH and maybe barium swallow.  

Get a 2nd opinion from a GI (if your doctor isn't a specialist) and speak to some surgeons as well.
Avatar universal
Someone recently told me about a very interesting article that you might want to read, called "Vagal Neuropathy After Upper Respiratory Infection: A Viral Etiology?", by Milan R. Amin, MD and James A. Koufman, MD, in the American Journal of Otolaryngology, Vol 22, No 4 (July-August), 2001: pp 251-256.

The article's conclusions are that "Respiratory infection can trigger or cause vocal fold paresis [partial paralysis/weakness], laryngo-pharyngeal REFLUX, and neuropathic pain."

If you are interested in some holistic ways that my husband and I treat our gastric reflux, and some holistic ways we treat our sinus problems, please email me at ***@**** and then, please have your doc check out the tips that I would be happy to share, to be sure they are OK for you, before trying any of them.

It would also be good to be seen by a pulmonologist and ENT doc, etc. to find out what might be other possible causes of your symptoms. Reflux is one cause of cough. There are other causes, also.

Concerned lady
Avatar universal
Thanks--I read the article and found one of the cases sounded just like my symptoms, and the man had had them 10 years. I was hoping they would go away on their own, but now I'm not so sure. I will email you for the holistic info. I have also had a hoarse voice and sinus pain for the last 6 months. I saw an ENT and he says the vagus nerve involvement would be his diagnosis. He thinks reflux surgery would be my best solution at this point, but wants me to see a pulmonologist to be sure.
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