Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Chronic Undiagnosed Cough

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 5 Replies
  • Posted By: jamilynn
  • June 21, 2007
  • 00:44 AM

I am a 34 yr old nonsmoking female. I started coughing in late March of this year. It is a dry, hacking cough that is made worse by laughing, getting overheated, and lying down. I do not produce anything with my cough. I saw my family doctor and was prescribed antibiotics and sent on my way. A week later I returned with the same cough, no improvement. This time i was given a Celestone (sp?) shot, an Advair inhaler and codiene cough medicine. After 6 weeks, I was referred to a Pulmonary specialist who gave me prednisone. I returned a week later with no relief. I was eventually admitted to the hospital where I was given IV solumedrol (sp?), antibiotics, tesalon pearl, breathing treatments (which aggravated my cough), Spiriva Handihaler, Protonix, and codiene cough syrup. I should say that I have never had a fever or any other indications of any infections. I had a scope done to look in my sinuses and down to my vocal cords, which were in "terrific" shape, especially since I had been coughing for 2 months at this point. CT's were done of my sinuses and chest, all completely normal. A bronchoscopy was performed in the hospital and was completely normal. The washes that were done also came back with no indications of why I am coughing. After 7 days in the hosppital, the ENT determined that "it must be reflux because nothing else was wrong with me." I had been on IV Protonix for a week at this time, and was sent home with Nexium and Protonix. After using both for almost 2 weeks, there was no improvement in my cough. I was sent to a GI, who has now scheduled an Upper GI endoscopy to rule out reflux. I am currently taking:
Advair inhaler (again)
Antibiotic (again, though still no sigh of any infection)
Allerga - D
Nasonex nasal inhaler
Codiene Cough Syrup

The only relief that I get from any medication is the Celestone shots, and that is only for 24-36 hours. I was tested for Pertussis and that was also negative. My white counts have been high, but I stopped all the steroids and my levels returned to a normal range. Every doctor has told me that my lungs sound great, no problems at all. I do not take High Blood Pressure meds, as I am told this might cause a cough.
I am very discouraged because all my doctors seem to be doing is sending me to other doctors to "rule things out". I cannot get to sleep at night because I cough so hard, even propped up in bed.
If you have any ideas or suggestions, I would appreciate your time to contact me via email!
Thank you!


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5 Replies:

  • Wow, your docs are really thorough! My sister had the reflux-caused cough and had it treated by taking Prilosec. AT least you can rest easy that most of your other organ systems are o.k.
    rad-skw 1605 Replies Flag this Response
  • Sounds like the cough I had during a month long trip to a foreign heavily polluted (air) country. Nothing helped. It was a nightmare. Maybe you should go away somewhere for a couple weeks and see if it is in your environment.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Jami-Lynn, I know you posted this question several years ago, but I am curious if you ever found a diagnosis. If yes, please explain and what type of doctor figured it out for you. I am a 44 year old female and I never had this same problem until I got pregnant when I was 41 years old. I have been to several doctors who did all the same things that your doctors did...and none have solved my cough. I find that it gets worse if I get hot or overheated, so I try to stay cool and always have water with me. This has been driving me nuts and I would love any updates or advice you can offer. Hope you are finally cured!
    luv2travll 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • My experience is:When nothing is "visible", then it's muscle spasms or cramps in "smooth muscles". Why? Because muscle cramps are not visible., and doctors repeatedly overlook this as an explanation.I have them in my throat and experienced pain that've ruined my life. I found something on the subject on the internet (paid 1000$ in private hospital) and finally was referred to an neurologist. She gave me muscle-relaxing medication. Now the pain is away, but are not diagnosed. So now the depression comes. Will I ever get the help to get this totally away. The cramp must totally relax, but no doctor has yet been able to give me the method. I think it's a kind of try and fail, because, you don't know when the cramp has calmed down properly.I may be wrong in your case, but muscle spasme/cramps in smooth muscles clearly is a misunderstood topic in medicine amongst "ordinary" specialist.I've heard about other severe cases, like muscle cramps in stomach. The person was lucky. A doctor understood the problem. I don't know what he gave the person, but next day it was gone.I've had this for 10 monts, "growing", and God knows how long it takes to calm down cramps spread to related muscles around.Before I'm properly diagnosed, I feel like experimenting with my own body. Still the doctors give different messeges about what to do before the next examination: shall I stop taking the medication - getting the terrible pain back - or should I continue take the medicine and perhaps get no results on the examination and hoping the doctor "will understand".Please. Let me soon come in contact with a specialist who can give a proper answer. I've came so far...
    stigmatisert 2 Replies Flag this Response
  • I'm still looking for a diagnosis. I have had a chronic cough for 5 years. Yes, I am happy that many things have been ruled out and I'm apparently healthy as can be except for this constant cough that rules my life. No COPD, no asthma, no bronchidist, no lung disease, no cancer of the lung, no allergies. I asume that earlier posters have not found an answer since they didn't post. I have spent thousands of dollars trying to find a cause. I carry water at all times. Any environment, new or old , may set off a coughing fit. I frequently cough till I throwup. I avoid meeting new people because they kindly suggest cures that have already been eliminated. Group sisuations such as yoga class or church have become things of the past because I'm disruptive. Please, if you know of some cure let me know.
    dsheain 1 Replies
    • September 23, 2012
    • 04:28 PM
    • 0
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