Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Severe Coughing Attacks- Any Diagnosis???

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 14 Replies
  • Posted By: shopclk
  • July 24, 2007
  • 02:41 PM

Summary of my Mystery Coughing Illness….

I have been experiencing severe coughing attacks where I am choking, incontinent, and sometimes vomiting. I will have one every morning when I wake up and then more throughout the day. It seems like I have them when I change positions a lot – from sitting to standing or bending over or rolling over. I have triggered one from yawning! I also used to sleep on my stomach and can’t do that anymore because of this problem.

I can go for hours without a fit or one can occur within ten minutes. Sometimes it occurs from eating. I just had a new symptom – my neck and glands are swollen.

I am out of work right now because of this - its difficult to work when you are incontinent. If anyone has any insight I would really appreciate it!

Here is the timeline of what has been done with the medical establishment:

7/5(Thu) – Started out with an irritating dry cough (had been about a week by then) and went to see family doctor. Lung/chest clear. No congestion anywhere. Currently treating with OTC daytime and nighttime cold and cough medicine. He prescribed and anti biotic in case it developed into anything else since I was going on vacation.

7/7 Called doctor because woke up to a severe coughing attack – choking, incontinent.
Put me on a steroid dose pack and started the Zithromax. (BTW – didn’t go on vacation…)

7/11 Called doctor and made an appointment. No change. Although the steroids seemed to help, still having coughing attacks. Lungs/chest still clear, no congestion. Sent me to allergy and pulmonary doctors.

7/13 – Saw Allergy doctor – took me off Enalapril ACE inhibitor High blood pressure medicine) – can cause these coughing attacks. I did try to taper down and had a really bad night. The allergy doctor’s second guess is that it is a sinus infection.

7/17 – Saw Pulmonary doctor – tested me for whooping cough (negative) and scheduled a cat scan of the chest tomorrow.

7/20 – New symptoms of Neck swelling -

7/24 I just spoke with the allergy doctor and let him know that stopping the Enalapril didn’t help and now he is putting me on an antibiotic- to treat the sinus infection he suspects. told the allergy doctor about the neck swelling.- he has prescribed Levaquin - says this sopports his sinus infection theory.

I don’t think anyone knows what is really wrong. When I used to get sinus infections – I would have severe headaches and this doesn’t seem to be occurring.

Has anyone heard of anything like this?

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14 Replies:

  • Look up laryngeal paresis or paralysis.
    rad-skw 1,605 Replies Flag this Response
  • My husband had the same thing. Finally drs realized it was from the blood pressure meds he was on and changed them.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 19, 2007
    • 11:53 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • First I must ask, how are you feeling to date? I myself have had severe coughing attacks for over 7 yrs. They have only gotten worse. Sometimes i cough so hard I feel like Im going to pass out. I also am incontinet and have to wear protection every day. I have noticed that within 5 mins of me laying down my coughing starts... If i turn over onto my other side, I cough, so anytime I change positions. I have lately been coughing up lotsa mucus (clear but thick) I gag on it and start heaving. I cough is loose and its also better during the day but I still have coughing attacks while up (days).I am a smoker and have been for 32 yrs now. Do you smoke? Here what the doctors have told me so far. Amazingly enough they dont blame my smoking. True! The first told me it was allergys (put on Allegra) then I was told it was GERD. Very well could be (Prilosec OTC is all I can afford) It does help, my reflux but not my coughing! Had a chest xray done. Clear! I have tried so so many different meds and NOTHING helps!! Im so depressed over all this and yes Im sure, I know I need to quit smoking! Im having such a hard time with it, and tried many things for that as well. I hope you are doing better and the docs were able to help you. I do feel for you very strongly. I know Im not alone in this and I wish you all the best! jaxig62@yahoo.com (incase you want to email me)Good Luck!Jaxy
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 23, 2008
    • 00:01 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • wow....so i am not alone...Since I was sick last September and got out of the hospital with pneomounia (sp) I have developed these 'attacks'. They put me on high blood pressure meds.... I can feel an attack coming on with a tickle in my throat usually and it amounts to couging hard--and it almost always makes my gag reflex react...it can last anywhere from 40 seconds to 1 1/2 or more minutes. I usually have to sneeze and always there is a thick (like never before) mucus...its all disgusting to me and really quite embarrassing..i have no insurance but am going to a christian supported medical clinic where they are great...The attacks are becoming a hindrance to me finding a job...and so i told the doctors..this last time I told them how bad it has become and she just took me off the Lisinopral (sp) so will see..I go back in two weeks because they are getting records from the hospital cause due to other conditions (hair growth, big hands, carpal tunnel acting up) they think i might have a problem with the growth hormone (pituitary gland) so heck I don' t know...just want this cough to go away...;-( pattydavis2002@yahoo.com
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • get one of those mold sample kits and see if your bedroom/house has mold. You may need additional instruction to do it correctly since their directions are not really too clear, which is top or bottom. Also, check for carbon monoxide. I think there is a toxin in your house. See if you can telecommute; try sologig.com or something like that..
    Monsterlove 2,921 Replies Flag this Response
  • Since the original posting was nearly 2 years ago, it's somewhat academic to respond, but in most cases wherein unrelenting cough is sufficient to produce voiding or sometimes even syncope, the causal factor is related to post nasal discharge as a consequence of vasomotor rhinitis. Evidence can be observed through examination of the pharyngeal tonsillar tissues, which demonstrate evulsion due to histamine response and viscous drainage can sometimes be observed. It is often misdiagnosed as allergic rhinitis but the symptoms are quite disparate. It is also misconstrued because patients complain of a non-productive or dry cough. Most often, patients with vasomotor rhinitis and nasal discharge do not have a productive cough and often spatter the area around them with clear saliva as a consequence of repeated cough attacks, typically observed on the vanity mirror, computer screen or inner car winshield. The cough produced is rather unrelenting and is often described similar to suddenly aspirating water from a drinking glass, with a constant feeling that liquid is trying to enter the lungs. Patients find themselves coughing relentlessly trying to clear the sensation and as a consequence, the chemical factors related to cough production become intensified. This results in a rather florid exacerbation of the cough, with patients demonstrating a cough related to micoplasma or whooping cough, barely able to catch their breath on occasion before the cough again ensues. Vasomotor rhinitis and drainage can often occur subsequent to either a sinus infection or viral pharyngitis, causing changes to the mucous membranes which line the sinuses and oral cavity. Because these changes lower the threshold by which the membranes can successfully deal with airborne irritants, together with resistance to changes in the condition of the air, such as hot or cold, moist or dry, the vessels become engorged with fluids, subsequently causing weeping of the membranes. It is a condition inconsistent with allergies and such medications do not typically produce a beneficial effect. Steriods typically have the most beneficial response, together with agents capable of diminishing sinus drainage. The key is preventing the drainage such that chronic irritation of the internal laryngeal nerve is reduced. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies Flag this Response
  • My wife regularly coughs in a similar way to you. She is a non smoker and has slight ashma and allergies to dust mite, wheat, rye. Last night she woke at around 3 am and coughed up something that looked quite serious. It is a dark brown colour and is approxmately 2.5 cm by 1.5 cm. The nearest thing I can find on the internet is a human lung fluke. She was much better after she coughed it up. We will present it to the doctor tomorrow to have it analysed. Unfortunately our local doctors seem to discount parasites, however with the immigration now focussing on the third world, it would appear that not only people are arriving. Check out the extensive sites on parasites. The lung fluke evidently passes through uncooked fish. Australia is importing fish from Indonesia, Vietnam and China. Who knows what problems they are farmed with. I do recall being taught at school about a worm problem in Japan. This formed a complete cycle as their custom was to eat uncooked fish. The excreta eventually found it's way into the water where the fish completed the cycle. Not very nice but it would appear that approx one third of the world's population has a considerable parasitic infection. If this is your problem then medication may remove the parasite easily?Bill
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Dr. Bastian in Chicago has an interesting theory about this kind of thing. He believes it's related to nerves in the throat becoming overly sensitive, and he uses low doses of Elavil to treat it. For me, the treatment worked very quickly, and I've sent one other person to him with the same result. Good luck.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Oh my gosh! I can't believe I found this site. These descriptions of coughing fits sound like me to a tee! I am hopeful of Dr. Cottle's advice as nothing else has helped. Thank you!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I don't know how helpful this will be considering the age of these posts - but maybe it will help someone... I have had a similar cough for about 6 years - doctors couldn't find anything. I'm a non-smoker - quite around 15 years ago - long before this problem arose. My naturopath suspected GERD/silent reflux. I have digestive problems and have taken HCL tablets for years which work wonders - and can't live (digest anything) without them. A GI specialist did endoscopy and panendoscopy and even though he found nothing specific he put me on proton pump inhibitors (acid-blockers) for reflux. (Very inconsistent with the HCL I have to take!! And in the end they didn't help. I changed brands several times but eventually stopped them altogther - they were useless!) Over the years I was also checked for adult onset asthma (which I've never had), no sinus issues or other infections present (though they kept automatically wanting to put me on anti-biotics or a throat infection - my throat was red - probably inflamed - but only because of the constant irritation from cough - no infection). Lung X-Rays clear, throat, thyroid and upper abdominal ultrasound all clear. (I am very health-conscious and apart from the cough and digestive problems - I am very healthy.) Eventually by chance talking to a friend (a nurse who had a lot of health problems with her adopted daughter) she suggested it might be a systemic Candida overgrowth. I checked google and found a lot of other symptoms (that I thought were unrelated - eg: reduced stomach acid and interstitial cystitis) consistent with this - so my naturopath did a candida test that came up positive. (Originally I thought it strange as I've never had common thrush that is usually associated with Candida - but apparently I've found that it not uncommon either. Candida is also something many doctor's will scoff at as a serious problem. Most people have Candida but it would normally be kept in check by good bacteria and a healthy immune system.) I have been on the very strict anti-candida diet for about 6weeks so far (with around 6 more weeks still to go) plus herbal supplements and targeted pro-biotics - so far about a 50% improvement in cough - so I'm hopeful I am finally on the right track. (There are drugs - but most Candida sites suggest the medical drugs are not really very effective without the diet anyway - and can have side-effects. (I'm not a fan of medical drugs at all anyway - and ironically Candida overgrowth can be triggered or exacerbated by anti-biotics, steroid medications and some other meds and also poor diet!!) If you haven't had relief otherwise - it's certainly worth checking this out - and treatment can be simple an cheap - just boring with the strict diet! If you try this, though, beware that re-bound/die-off reactions are typical - and there may be a worsening of symptoms at some point (as Candida dies off and you de-tox) before it gets better. Good luck! I know how irritating, frustrating and depressing this can be.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • wow....so i am not alone...Since I was sick last September and got out of the hospital with pneomounia (sp) I have developed these 'attacks'. They put me on high blood pressure meds.... I can feel an attack coming on with a tickle in my throat usually and it amounts to couging hard--and it almost always makes my gag reflex react...it can last anywhere from 40 seconds to 1 1/2 or more minutes. I usually have to sneeze and always there is a thick (like never before) mucus...its all disgusting to me and really quite embarrassing..i have no insurance but am going to a christian supported medical clinic where they are great...The attacks are becoming a hindrance to me finding a job...and so i told the doctors..this last time I told them how bad it has become and she just took me off the Lisinopral (sp) so will see..I go back in two weeks because they are getting records from the hospital cause due to other conditions (hair growth, big hands, carpal tunnel acting up) they think i might have a problem with the growth hormone (pituitary gland) so heck I don' t know...just want this cough to go away...;-( pattydavis2002@yahoo.com I have had this come out of nowhere cough that puts me on my knees,I cough so hard I vomit,no real flu like symptoms of any kind.It simply wont go away.I dont smoke or do drugs,havent changed my lifestyle etcc..went to the hospital last night about it and was told its allergies,it must be one ***l of an allergy!!Its been a month,so i am reffered to an allergy doc,she he can steal my money like the hospital did and fill me more full of bs,and get more of the same,maybe this,maybe that...blah blah. its not that doctors dont know what their doing,they have such terrible egos and unless your a hollywood star,your not going to get class a care,your going to get a kick in the pants and shove out the door!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • Summary of my Mystery Coughing Illness….I have been experiencing severe coughing attacks where I am choking, incontinent, and sometimes vomiting. I will have one every morning when I wake up and then more throughout the day. It seems like I have them when I change positions a lot – from sitting to standing or bending over or rolling over. I have triggered one from yawning! I also used to sleep on my stomach and can’t do that anymore because of this problem.I can go for hours without a fit or one can occur within ten minutes. Sometimes it occurs from eating. I just had a new symptom – my neck and glands are swollen. I am out of work right now because of this - its difficult to work when you are incontinent. If anyone has any insight I would really appreciate it!Here is the timeline of what has been done with the medical establishment:7/5(Thu) – Started out with an irritating dry cough (had been about a week by then) and went to see family doctor. Lung/chest clear. No congestion anywhere. Currently treating with OTC daytime and nighttime cold and cough medicine. He prescribed and anti biotic in case it developed into anything else since I was going on vacation. 7/7 Called doctor because woke up to a severe coughing attack – choking, incontinent.Put me on a steroid dose pack and started the Zithromax. (BTW – didn’t go on vacation…)7/11 Called doctor and made an appointment. No change. Although the steroids seemed to help, still having coughing attacks. Lungs/chest still clear, no congestion. Sent me to allergy and pulmonary doctors.7/13 – Saw Allergy doctor – took me off Enalapril ACE inhibitor High blood pressure medicine) – can cause these coughing attacks. I did try to taper down and had a really bad night. The allergy doctor’s second guess is that it is a sinus infection.7/17 – Saw Pulmonary doctor – tested me for whooping cough (negative) and scheduled a cat scan of the chest tomorrow.7/20 – New symptoms of Neck swelling - 7/24 I just spoke with the allergy doctor and let him know that stopping the Enalapril didn’t help and now he is putting me on an antibiotic- to treat the sinus infection he suspects. told the allergy doctor about the neck swelling.- he has prescribed Levaquin - says this sopports his sinus infection theory.I don’t think anyone knows what is really wrong. When I used to get sinus infections – I would have severe headaches and this doesn’t seem to be occurring.Has anyone heard of anything like this?Hello, I have been coughing for three years. It starts with coughing and followed with vomit of saliva. I went to many doctors and tried many meds and had several procedures done. It seems to be reflux. Reflux triggers allergies and allergies trigger asthma. I take meds for all systems. The coughing simmered down. I have to watch watch I eat, keep my house free from dust and stay away from daily products. Hope it helps.
    janice50 1 Replies Flag this Response
  • Roundworms ?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Wow just found this. I have had this problem for years now (and so does my twin sister) we do not live in the same area at all so not related to geography or location. We both have asthma. I am becoming increasingly short of breath with this and it now affects my mobility. I can suddenly wake with this and cough until I am nearly sick, I feel faint with it. I have slight incontinence during a bad attack. I take all my asthma meds etc but they dont help - wish the doctors were interested
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
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