Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

cough that wont go away..

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 14 Replies
  • Posted By: ckanaan
  • February 25, 2009
  • 06:18 AM

Folks, I've posted in the past regarding this issue which Im having in hopes that others can assist me to figure out what it is because until now, Im not getting much info from the doctors and my problem is getting rather intolerable.
I'm usually a healthy individual, but over 3 months ago, I started having this urge to clear my lungs of mucus. Its rather hard to cough up somtimes so I dont know if its really a cough or Im just trying to clear my lungs in one way or the other. Many times, the cough is dry and unproductive, but since Im feeling "something" in my lungs, if I cough enough..I do get some mucus out.
I thought that over 3 months ago when the congestion began, it was just a cold...but it "never" did go away. It subsided for a while but came right back. I dont have any fever and the mucus is pretty clear. I thought it might be asbestos related but tests at work showed negative results. Every night, I have to take an over the counter chest congestion syrup just to get to sleep. Im usually good then for the rest of the night, but the clearing of my lungs begins again after I get up. One doctor told me it might be related to my high blood pressure pills called "Altace 10mg". He may take me off them in a few days to see if there is a difference.
The coughing is truly getting the best of me so if anybody has ever had anything like this...please let me know your experience in hopes that I may learn something...

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14 Replies:

  • i have kinda had the same thing as well. I got a cold back in October. The cough lasted until early January. The cough went away..but i was still clearing my throat and had a lot of post nasal drip. The cough started up again about a week ago. Its odd. I'll have a coughing fit in the morning..and then it subsides and i get it again in the evening. I can normally go to sleep with nota problem. I may wake up in the middle of the night with a coughing fit, but then i can usually go back to sleep. I went to the dr three times. First time they gave me zpak. It didn't do anything. Then he gave me advair and prednizone. it didn't really work and steroids usualy kill my stomach. Went back a third time and was told i had a sinus infection. those anti biotics worked at the time..but now because i'm getting the cough again i'm not so sure.
    Babybeluga22 9 Replies
    • February 25, 2009
    • 02:56 PM
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  • Thankyou for the reply babybeluga. I have used the multiple symptom checker on this site and my phlegm issue could be one of 100's of different things!...and of course that doesnt help cause I want the problem to go away...(like yesterday)! And I have been to see the doctors a number of times and it just takes so long for a diagnosis. Meanwhile, Im coughing and hacking up a storm. Sometimes it feels like Im gonna drop! One doctor told me that it could be GERD so Im gonna get a gastroscopy soon. Another doctor told me it could be related to my high blood pressure medicine called Altace 10mg. So they're planning on taking me off that some time soon. Im kinda scared because I was always a healthy kind of guy until only 3-4 months ago when this happened to me. I thought that I could get a few ideas from others like yourself who gave me their thoughts, because sometimes it seems that the doctors in my town wait for me to suggest to them what "I would like to have them check"!! Ive gotta say..maybe I should be simply happy that Im still breathing after reading about all of the other health problems which people are having on this site!! Some of the problems surely blow my mind!! Hope you have some "goodluck" with your issue and if you got any suggestions for me...please throw them at me...Thanks again..
    ckanaan 33 Replies
    • February 25, 2009
    • 09:32 PM
    • 0
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  • Without doubt, I would have your physician change your antihypertensive drug. This type of cough is extremely common with the class of drug you mention. It would be my first choice to determine any contributory effect it's been having with regard to persistent cough. Best regards, J Cottle, MD
    JCottleMD 580 Replies
    • February 27, 2009
    • 01:19 AM
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  • Sounds to me like you may have developed some allergies. I know one day, after a cough, I began to wheeze and show signs of Asthma. Asthma does not always produce mucus. Although most of the time it does. Anyway, I can feel dry in the throat, and a constant need to clear my throat, or tightness in my chest. You may want to talk to your doctor regarding triggers. Maybe start keeping a journal. For me, cheese, milk, eggs, dust, molds, and everything else that contains these items make me react. My doctor mentioned Lycotrines ( I hope I spelled that right) which is histamines in the body suddenly reacting to agents. There are treatments that relieve this. Otherwise, have you tried mucinex(guaifensin)? This helps break up all that mucus production.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 27, 2009
    • 01:43 AM
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  • thanks so much for the info JCottleMD! I will be seeing my doctor soon to take me off this stuff! Its certainly getting the best of me.
    ckanaan 33 Replies
    • February 27, 2009
    • 01:59 AM
    • 0
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  • thanks very much for your suggestions Carrlexzi. I certainly have some ammunition to take to my doctor in my fight against this chest congestion condition.....
    ckanaan 33 Replies
    • February 27, 2009
    • 02:11 AM
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  • I agree with Dr.Cottle.
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • February 27, 2009
    • 01:57 PM
    • 0
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  • I had a cough that would not go away. Dr. sent me to an ENT who said to avoid foods with acid and take an antacid. I thought that was strange because I said I do not have acid reflux. He said I did but just did not feel it. I did what he said and the cough went away. I have not had trouble with it since taking the antacids. I will pray that yours may be this simple. Good luck.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 27, 2009
    • 07:20 PM
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  • Thanks much for your idea Richard Wayne and thanks for agreeing with Dr. Cottle. I will desparately try to get off Altace which is probably the whole reason Im gettin done in, but they wouldn't do anything for me today during the emergency appt which I made. I have to wait until I see my own doctor to do so. As far as acid refulx goes Santana...I dont know whether you read that I do have a hiatus hernia so I do get acid reflux. Sometimes it truly feels like a heart attack would probaby feel like, although Ive never had one..thank God. But taking ant-acids doesnt do the trick for me in this case..believe me..I've tried that already with the good help from the people on here including Mr. Wayne. I will let you folks know the next chapter of my story...when it happens..thanks again!
    ckanaan 33 Replies
    • February 27, 2009
    • 11:55 PM
    • 0
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  • I didn't know about your reflux.The esophageal pain can mimic a heart attack.Why aren't you on a proton pump inhibitor plus antacids?Other things to do with reflux:1.Don't eat at least 2 hours before bedtime.2.Take 2 tbsp of Mylanta or Maalox 1&3 hours after meals and a dose at bedtime.3.Elevate the head of your bed 6-8'' on blocks or bricks.Those simple things can work wonders!
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • February 28, 2009
    • 02:13 AM
    • 0
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  • I forgot to mention that reflux is a common cause of coughing,due to aspiration of stomach contents during the night.Do you ever wake up coughing?If so,it's probably reflux.Too,in case you don't know what a proton pump inhibitor is,Prilosec and Nexium are two of them.
    richard wayne2b 1,232 Replies
    • February 28, 2009
    • 02:20 AM
    • 0
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  • Well all you kind and helpful folks; the last doctor which I seen told me to take a 5 day penicillin prescription (pills). 2 pills the first day, then one for the next 4 days. Im not sure exactly what the pills were called because the box was accidentally thrown out, but I remember that they were definitely penicillin content. Well, whatever the doctor did, he did well because it killed the 3-4 month phlegm cough I had! I was definitely worried because I've "never" had anything like this which lasted over 3 months before! I guess its called getting old....Special thanks to babybeluga22, jcottlemd, carrlexzi, richard wayne2b and santana for your help folks. :)
    ckanaan 33 Replies Flag this Response
  • It also could be congestive heart failure...you cough a lot with that in the morning and at night...laying flat makes you want to cough more...and often doc's first think you have an acid reflex problem...from what I hear your mucus is clear to slightly pinkish and frothy. My husband had this and he was first given anti-acid medicines...but the problem didnt go away...eventually he was hospitalized and finally we found out he had chf.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 17, 2009
    • 01:52 PM
    • 0
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  • Well, its been a year now since this phlegm cough started and to my surprise...its still here. Of course, I've learned a million ways to live with it but it still gets to me cause it isnt diagnosed. In the last year, Ive had my blood pressure medication changed, asbestos check, gastroscopy, acid inhibitors like zantac and losec, ventilators and nasal sprays...and still the phlegm is coming on. Ive also had a catscan and breathing examination. All showed normal. The sputum continues to be clear and the need to clear myself of phlegm is still coming and going. Somtimes it disappears for quite some time, but its here more than its not. Once I get to sleep, I have no problems, but I do feel some congestion when I wake and a short time later..a need to cough out the thick phlegm. Im starting to think that I may have to live with this issue for the rest of my days! What sucks is that until last November (2008), I was very healthy until the phlegm started occurring. Its really changed my lifestyle. I cant exercise in the fitness club because of others constantly asking me whether there is something wrong and giving me dirty looks like I shouldnt be there. I also get this at work and during fishing trips. People seem to think I have a cold or flu but the reality is that I am coughing out phlegm and never, ever had a fever accompany it! I continue to see doctors and they try me on this medication and that medication but nothing seems to hit the bullseye. Maybe someday they will. I do certainly appreciate your comments and I thankyou. If you have any other comments, maybe you can help...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 18, 2009
    • 03:45 AM
    • 0
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