Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Chronic cough for one year

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 0 Replies
  • Posted By: utopian
  • June 5, 2010
  • 07:20 PM

Hi there,

I'm just going to explain my story. I feel stupid coming online for help but I'm at my wits end about this. To explain before I tell the story.. My cough is a chronic cough. It is worse at night than it is during the morning. I cough to the point of throwing up, and when I throw up the issue does not relieve itself. I have a hard time breathing and doing my job because of this. I don't get any sort of acid feeling. And when I do talk, my voice seems very hoarse all the time and I am constantly clearing my throat.

About a year ago, I went to my best friend's graduation, and ended up getting sick because someone else there had bronchitis. I ended up getting the same symptoms... bronchitis, but it was different than any other time I had it. I had this really terrible cough that would just not stop. I went to the doctor, got antibiotics, and also an albuterol inhaler, but it didn't help. The "cold" like symptoms of the bronchitis went away, but the cough persisted. I coughed to the point of throwing up almost every night, and I ended up going to the ER.

When I was at the ER I was told I might have pertussis, and was referred to a lung specialist. I went to her and followed up, because I was still not better, and I found out the pertussis test was negative. But my cough still wasn't gone.

She had me tested for asthma using a methacholine challenge, which came back positive. I had a spirometry done which was negative, as well as a blood gas? test. I wasn't surprised about this because I've gotten bronchitis a lot in my life. So she put me on an asthma inhaler.

Regardless of this diagnosis, the cough has not stopped. I still cough most days to the point of throwing up. She referred me to numerous doctors--gastroenterologist, ear-nose-throat doctor, allergist, etc.. No one seems to be able to figure out what's wrong with me. So after all of this, I came back to her, and she told me to seek another opinion.

I found another doctor and we went through the same steps. He did another asthma test and the results came back that my asthma is not in any way severe enough to cause my coughing. And he told me that we're going to do a bronchoscopy and he can't help me after that, that I would need to seek a third opinion.

The ONLY thing that has stopped my cough was a small dose of prednisone I was on for a week. It went away completely but after I stopped taking it the cough returned. However because of the side effects associated with prednisone no one is going to put me on them again.

What should I do? Anything anyone can recommend?

Below are the tests I have done so far and the results of each:
Methacholine challenge: positive for asthma
Spirometry: Negative for anything wrong
Endoscopy: Nothing found, even after several areas were biopsied, no evidence of acid reflux
Barium swallow test showed no evidence of acid reflux
Scope down throat did not show any issues
Blood tests show normal blood levels for white blood cells
CT scan of chest and nasal cavity were clear
Xray of my chest was clear
Blood test by allergist showed no problems
Allergy test showed no major allergies to common issues for asthmas (ie pollen, trees, cats, dogs, etc)

Here are medications I've been on:
Amoxicillin, Zithromax, albuterol, advair inhaler (all strengths), prednisone (only thing that made the cough go away), symbicort, promethazine, nasacort, rhinocort aq, singulair, claritin, zyrtec.. I might be forgetting a bit.

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