Referred to lung specialist

Hello all

After numerous visits to the GP with a chronic cough (started Feb 2016) went away and then started again Jan 2017 and has now persisted - been tested for asthma, PND, allergies but unfortunately I am not responding to any treatment - A chest xray was done 2016 and Mar 2017 which was both clear - my spirometery test and reversibility was normal too and my Peak flow reading was 400 yesterday (same before I started the brown preventer inhaler).

The GP is baffled as to what is causing this cough - seems to be more throat irritation and night time cough than anything else, most days I feel choked up just in my upper voicebox area.

GP has referred me to a Respiratory Specialist so basically just wondering what some of you have experienced going to this type of respiratory clinic?

I suffer quite badly with health anxiety and I am quite petrified at the prospect of someone looking deep into my lungs and finding something very sinister.

I am 36 female, ex smoker (leading up to 7 months given up), fairly overweight & tend to find that I am quite breathless when walking up stairs or anything with an incline, so I am putting all this together and coming up with the C word.

Anyone offer some advice on what to expect at the clinic to calm my nervous it would be appreciated.

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13 Replies

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  • Hi there could be many reasons for this and the least likely is lung cancer. If you had this you might have clubbed and thick nails, lose weight, cough up blood (dark red) etc.

    One thing which might help but is not medical is to try cutting out dairy food then reintroducing it one by one to see if you are intolerant to any of it. Whilst dairy doesn't make more mucus it makes it thicker and stickier so drink more water as well

    My sister did the tolerance test coz she had a bad cough for years and it turned out she was intolerant to ice cream and cows milk. Since cutting these out of her diet her cough has stopped completely.

    I have never been to a respiratory specialist so can't help there, but I would imagine they would give you a CT scan as this would show any problems including the big C.

  • Thank you for your message - I will try the no diary approach and see if that subsides the cough a little or all together.

    Thank you, hold thumbs all goes well for me

  • Hi Kayanne1980

    Sorry to hear you're feeling anxious. I asked the nurse team at Asthma UK, and they said it's reassuring that your CXR, peak flow and spirometry all normal.

    One thing that might be worth asking your GP if you haven't already is about any indigestion and acid reflux as a cause of chronic cough and has your GP prescribed a trial of tablets to treat this, there's also information on vocal cords here: bit.ly/2rr2NW2

    There's some more information here on stress and anxiety here: bit.ly/2qVOIzO

    If you would like more advice and support then please feel free to give our nurses team a ring on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

    Let us know how you get on in your appointment.

    Take care,

    Dita

  • Thank you so much for your advice and support its so nice of you to have a chat to the nurse for me!

    I have tried reflux meds and been in a strong dose for the last 6 weeks and its not helped sadly.

    Been put on strong antihistamines now since yesterday as I have 2 cats

    I am very anxious as everything i have been given I have not responded to so it makes me believe its sinister

    Thank you again very much appreciated

  • Hi. A visit to the respiratory clinic is no big deal. They will probably get you to do more in depth lung function tests, blood tests etc.

    I just wondered if your GP has tested your Thyroid?

  • Im just very anxious even the thought of blood tests and results makes my heart race now! Dr has not tested my thyroid but i had a thyroid blood test back in Aug last year and it was normal. I have always thought could it be my thyroid also but there is no swelling so im guessing its not?

  • Are you always anxious, or just about this?

    I have thyroid issues as well as asthma, that's why I asked. Do you have a copy of your thyroid blood test result?

  • No always anxious im on anti anxiety meds but i have health anxiety and this is freaking me out, i also suffer with phobia of getting cancer so its making me more terrified.

    I can check the results online of the thyroid, do you want to see them?

  • That would be good.

    I used to suffer with anxiety all the time. So I understand.

  • Serum TSH was 1.6 and dr marked it as normal

    Thanks for understanding this is so hard for me. I keep asking the dr is this lung cancer and he says i am too young, cancer does not discriminate with age!

  • Yes thyroid seems ok. Try not to worry, your doc is right and has referred you to the specialists and they will help you.

  • Thanks appreciate it

  • Anxiety can cause brwathlessness. Please look upl breathing exercises and try them. Your mind and thinking affects how u feel. Change your thinking and it will help u. Good luck with respiratory consultant. Usually do breathing tests , bloods, xray and may ct scan or bronchoscopy. U wont get all these it depends on yr doctor. Keep saying and believing " i will be ok with proper medication after seeing my consultant. Take care x

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