Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

chronic phlegm cough...please assist...

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 3 Replies
  • Posted By: ckanaan
  • April 4, 2010
  • 07:47 PM

I've had this productive phlegm cough for approximately 17 months now and I cannot get a diagnosis! Sometimes the phlegm is thicker than other times. Sometimes the problem goes away, but most of the time, I am coughing or clearing my throat..right from the first thing in the morning to the last thing at night. Actually, it is strange that after I have had a coughing fit before I fall asleep at night, the coughing subsides and for the rest of the night, I am not bothered by it. It also doesnt ever wake me at night. Also, I have never had a fever accompanying it and feel great otherwise.
The phlegm is clear with no signs of blood in it. I have had almost every test in the book...gastroscopy, bronchoscopy, cat-scan, barium swallow, heart checks, blood tests...they've put me on medications like acid blockers and still no difference!
I do know that in the past, I was diagnosed with gastro esopohagael reflux disease, and I have a constricture in my throat that makes for difficult swallowing when eating dryer foods like chicken breast...and I have told the different doctors about these issues...but apparently, these issues have nothing to do with the condiiton they feel.
Although the problem is driving me crazy in that I have had to alter my lifestyle to attempt to deal with the problem, like no more exercising at the fitness center, I have almost given up all hope in finding a diagnosis. The thing is...I cannot picture myself having to live with this problem for the rest of my days!
Any input from anybody out there just may help me in finding the cause. I have put my concern on here before but have not had as many tests as I have now. Can anybody assist or have any ideas as to how this thing can be diagnosed??

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3 Replies:

  • Do you have any other symptoms jaw pain, etc? From what you have said it sounds along the lines of what is called LPR. Take a look at it and I suggest going to an ENT. Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)There are two sphincter muscles located in the esophagus: The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the upper esophageal sphincter (UES). When the lower esophageal sphincter is not functioning properly, there is a back flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. If this happens two or more times a week, it can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. But what happens when the upper esophageal sphincter doesn't function correctly either? As with the lower esophageal sphincter, if the upper esophageal sphincter doesn't function properly, acid that has back flowed into the esophagus is allowed into the throat and voice box. When this happens, it's called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, or LPR. Can you suffer from LPR without experiencing any heartburn or other GERD symptoms? Yes! Many people with LPR do not have symptoms of heartburn. Why? In order for refluxed acid to cause heartburn, it has to stay in the esophagus long enough to cause irritation. Also, the esophagus isn't as sensitive to irritation as the throat is. Therefore, if the acid passes quickly through the esophagus but pools in the throat, heartburn symptoms will not occur but LPR symptoms will. Symptoms of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux are:•Continual throat clearing •Chronic throat irritation •Chronic cough •Hoarseness •Excessive phlegm the throat •Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) •Constant sensation of something in the throat •Swallowed food comes back up •Post nasal drainage •Weak voice •Cracking voice •Blockage of the breathing passage •Spasm of the larynx (voice box) •Wheezing •Heartburn http://heartburn.about.com/od/gastrictractdisorders/a/whatis_LPR.htm
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Do you have any other symptoms jaw pain, etc? From what you have said it sounds along the lines of what is called LPR. Take a look at it and I suggest going to an ENT. Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (LPR) There are two sphincter muscles located in the esophagus: The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the upper esophageal sphincter (UES). When the lower esophageal sphincter is not functioning properly, there is a back flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. If this happens two or more times a week, it can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. But what happens when the upper esophageal sphincter doesn't function correctly either? As with the lower esophageal sphincter, if the upper esophageal sphincter doesn't function properly, acid that has back flowed into the esophagus is allowed into the throat and voice box. When this happens, it's called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, or LPR. Can you suffer from LPR without experiencing any heartburn or other GERD symptoms? Yes! Many people with LPR do not have symptoms of heartburn. Why? In order for refluxed acid to cause heartburn, it has to stay in the esophagus long enough to cause irritation. Also, the esophagus isn't as sensitive to irritation as the throat is. Therefore, if the acid passes quickly through the esophagus but pools in the throat, heartburn symptoms will not occur but LPR symptoms will. Symptoms of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux are:•Continual throat clearing •Chronic throat irritation •Chronic cough •Hoarseness •Excessive phlegm the throat •Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) •Constant sensation of something in the throat •Swallowed food comes back up •Post nasal drainage •Weak voice •Cracking voice •Blockage of the breathing passage •Spasm of the larynx (voice box) •Wheezing •Heartburn http://heartburn.about.com/od/gastrictractdisorders/a/whatis_LPR.htm Chad.."thanks so much" for the reply. In the 17 months of having this condition and the coughing and hacking which I went through and still dealing with, do you think that just "one" doctor could have told me that I might have this LPR condition?? The answer is NO!! Somehow, I am starting to lose all confidence in the doctors (in my area anyhow)...or maybe they're just too overworked and underpaid... Anyways...although I dont have "all" the symptoms of LPR which you listed, I do have 75% of them! I am going to see one more doctor; an ear, throat and nose specialist in about 2 weeks and I will certainly throw this 3 letter word; (LPR) to him! I dont have any other symptoms like jaw pain (thank goodness). Hopefully...I say hopefully, this is the condition which I have (not because I like the condition, but only because I finally will get a diagnosis). Thanks so much for giving me your opinion..I will keep you posted and will read up on the LPR condition...and meanwhile, I'll attempt to return the favor by possibly seeing about offering my 2 cents to many other folks on here with undiagnosed conditions...
    ckanaan 33 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi my name is Kathy and I have been going through similar problems for a long time as well. At first I thought it was allergies, but I had this problem all year last year. It is nice to hear I am not the only one out there. It was very frustrating because no one understands how I feel. It is a little embarrassing when I'm at a friend's house or in public. I just found this site by accident, and I'm not sure if I will come back but if you want to contact me please email me and maybe we can work together to figure this out. I have a lot of ideas and would like to talk to you about them...for example have you noticed if anything you eat or drink effects it? Have you tried gargling with warm salt water? A few things to check on would be COPD or try making a paste of ginger and honey and taking a spoonful several times a day. If you want to email me my address is www.katanimator@yahoo.comThanks and good luck
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
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