New and looking for answers

Hello! I’m sick of coughing so I decided to try to go gluten free and possibly dairy free too. I’ve been tested for celiac disease which came out negative and I think I was even tested for dairy when I had skin testing done and had no allergies to anything. I hurt a lot - feet, legs, back and now starting in my arms - so I’m pretty sure I’m full of inflammation. Has anyone here had a cough go away after changing their diet and if so, how long did that take? Thanks!

35 Replies

  • I'm not medically trained, but I take it your doctor has ruled out a virus? Many things can cause a persistent cough, have you had recent blood tests? I understand that Thyroid problems, vitamin D deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency are amongst them, which could also cause the aches and pains you mention. Your doctor could test your rheumatoid factor too. You should go back to your GP and ask for more blood tests, that's what I would do.

  • I’ve had extensive testing for this cough that I’ve had for over two years. Viruses don’t last that long lol. I was diagnosed with “cough variant asthma”.... basically a name for “we don’t know why you’re coughing”. So now I’m just trying to figure out on my own if maybe what I’m eating could be causing it. I can’t afford anymore medical bills 😬

  • I have asthma, and a persistent cough, but I've had it since a child. Have you ever had inhalers? I would get copies of any blood results and have a look at just what exactly has been tested. Vitamins are sometimes overlooked, and believe me, they can truly affect your health.

    Do you have good/bad days? Maybe keeping a food/symptoms diary would help if you think it's diet related.

  • Yes I have an inhaler but it doesn’t seem to have any effect on my cough. Thank you.

  • Any chance you are taking any other long term medication? I know certain bp meds can cause a persistant cough

  • I do take a blood pressure med that has a low incidence of causing a cough, unlike Lisinopril. My Dr said it would be unlikely 😕


    Quite a lot on the web about Low B12 and a persistent cough. The above link will take you to one of many articles. If you want Research papers then ADD PubMed to your Search words :-)

  • Thank you, I will look into this. I haven’t heard of this one!

  • Did you read the link above ? Don't expect your Doc to know 😊

  • I just read it! And I’m going to supplement to see if it makes my cough go away AND the tingling I keep getting in my hand - I saw that tingling in extremities is also a symptom 😳

  • I don’t have much faith in doctors at this point. I’ve been through so many specialists and had so much testing done and all I get is “cough variant asthma”...

  • I have been on the Thyroid UK forum for six years - here on Health Unlocked. So am wondering if you have had your thyroid tested correctly. Often the Docs/Labs test the TSH which is only part of the story. Blood pressure can be linked to the thyroid and is usually a symptom of something else happening in the body rather than a condition in isolation.

    Are you able to have Private Testing done at home ? - that way you can have all the required tests that would reveal what is going on. Medichecks have Special Offers on Thursdays :-)

    The above link takes you to the Testing information. Also on the same website you can check out the Signs and Symptoms of Low Thyroid - Hypothyroidism. When the Thyroid is low we see daily in posts that the B12 - Folate - Ferritin and VitD are also Low and very badly neglected at GP level.

    Not a good idea to supplement B12 until tested - as there could be other issues that need checking. Do you have any other Auto-immune issues in the family ?

    Scroll down in the above link to read the neurological signs of B12 Deficiency and everything you need to know about B12.

    I am not a Medic - I have Hashimotos - Crohns and a B12 issue requiring weekly injections - you can click on my name above in blue and read my Bio in a couple of minutes.

    Happy to help .............

  • My thyroid tests always come back normal... my sister has graves disease. There’s something wrong with me. I don’t feel well. Very frustrating. We’ve had a lapse in health insurance due to a job change but we’ll be covered again at the end of the month. We moved to a new state so have to find a new dr. Hoping to find someone more thorough. I will check out the home blood tests. Thank you for the links!

  • P.S. My ferritin levels were normal when tested but I do struggle with low D levels so my Dr put me on prescription D periodically as needed. I have diabetes. And I have damage to my esophagus from a lap band that was removed 2 years ago. I’m a mess 😕

  • Sorry did not realise you are in the US.

    From being with Thyroid UK I have come to understand that *normal* is an opinion and not a result 😊 Docs are trained that being in range is fine - but for optimal health it is where we are in the range that is important.

    So what were those normal thyroid results and what was tested ?

    These are the Thyroid tests required - TSH - FT4 - FT3 - & Anti-bodies TPO & Tg.

    Ferritin should be mid-range for healthy thyroid hormone conversion.

    How much VitD are you taking ? 5000iu's is a reasonable dose if low.

    Taking control of our health by monitoring results can be empowering 😊

  • Yes, I am in the US... I have always felt that same way, about where you are in range! Years ago my iron was “on the low end” but further testing by another dr showed that I was extremely anemic!

    Here in the US only testing tsh is part of regular testing. Because of my sisters Graves’ disease I asked my dr for more extensive testing so he ordered it but because one part was normal they (the lab) wouldn’t do the extra tests! I was so mad! I’d have to look it up but one of my tsh was “on the low end” - but still considered “normal”!

    My prescription D is 50,000 units once a week.

  • Your Sisters Graves is auto-immune and for that reason tell your Doc you need the FULL testing done to include the anti-bodies mentioned above to rule out Hashimotos - also auto-immune. This could be the link to all your other conditions. Please look at the link below for more information about Hashimotos.

    I am not a Medic - but I do have Hashimotos - a B12 issue - Crohns. Click onto my name above and you can read my Bio - it will only take a couple of minutes. It has been quite a journey !!

  • my mother had a persistent cough and once she changed her blood pressure meds it went away!

  • That’s great! We’re pretty sure it’s not my med (Losartan) but when I was on Lisinopril a few years ago I had to stop it because it gave me a cough.

  • Acid reflux can cause a long term cough due to irritation. Check Google "GERD coughing" - easier than me showing the link.

    If you are coughing constantly it may start to have an effect on your circulation too.

  • I’ve seen a gastroenterologist and had an EGD, barium swallow tests, motility tests... you name it! I do have acid reflux and have been on meds for it for a long time now. He definitely could tell me that the issues I was having as far as pain was caused by acid reflux but not the cough. But nonetheless meds and getting it under control didn’t fix it :-(

  • Check out the Vagus Nerve. GABA under the tongue works apparently. 😊

  • What is GABA?


    I googled it and came up with the above link. There are course many others - so take your pick !

  • I went gluten (and grain) free for hypothyroid reasons. As a side effect persistent cough (over 6 months) disappeared in a few days and acid reflux (which i’d had for years). Cough comes back day after eating accidental gluten without fail.

  • Wow! It’s worth a try! Thank you

  • As they say ‘just do it’. Tests etc are unreliable, time wasting, expensive. Don’t wait for them. You are your own laboratory. Grain free is the best start to see if it’s a food reaction.

  • I had a dreadful cough for 20 yrs, had all the tests going but they didn't know what caused it & since it was getting so bad where my diaphram would go into spasm & I couldn't breathe, I decided to be my own health detective. Eventually realised it was gluten that was causing it, persuaded the drs to test me & hey presto I had coeliacs! It took a couple of months for it to go completely & only comes back now if I have too much dairy. However my lungs are my nemesis so take extra vit c, nac & enterosgel in the Winter. A year after being off gluten, my joints would ache like buggery at night - did a paleo auto immunity diet using a book written by Sarah Ballyntyne as my guide for 4 months & then slowly reintroduced foods to see which bothered me. It is mainly grains ie rice, tapioca & nightshade foods & dairy. Kept off all those foods for a year to heal my gut & now I can eat small portions of them. If I have too many, it is my cough it now effects.

    It could well be that you are Non Coeliac Gluten Sensitive, so become your own health detective, keep a food diary, have a look at that book I mentioned, there is also a great website called purehealthclinic & trulyglutenfree run by Micki Rose which was also really helpful & fingers crossed, yu may well find out the cause.

  • Thank you so much! Is coeliacs the same as celiacs? I’ve been tested - blood and biopsies - and all were negative. I’ve had this cough for two years now. I can’t even imagine having it for 20 years! I’m glad you figured it out! I’m planning to do some experiments on my own. After Thanksgiving (ha ha) I’m going to eliminate gluten for a month and then dairy.

  • Yes they are the same, I think one is an American spelling. Just bear in mind NCGS doesn't come up in the blood tests etc. Good luck & I am sure you will figure it out.

  • My sister has had a persistent chronic cough for almost a year now. Muscles all over her body often go into painful spasms and she is very weak and weary with it all. She is gluten sensitive just like me, but is also diabetic and asthmatic. She thinks her condition started when she got a cough virus earlier in the year. The virus eventually went but the cough stayed.

    After many tests, the doctors have told her that the cough is most likely due to a combination of things. There is a distinct narrowing of her oesophagus towards her stomach, a hiatus hernia, a lack of peristalsis in the lower oesophagus and constant acid reflux. It's not clear what caused what, but the doctors now think that they can make her condition better by doing a procedure that inflates a small balloon in the part of her throat that is constricted, in order to get it to expand back to its proper width.

    I don't know if this is of any help to you, or whether it is worth asking about?

  • Your sister sounds exactly like me! My whole body hurts sometimes and it’s an effort to get up and off the couch some days. I am also diabetic and asthmatic. I went through all that testing and have a hiatus hernia, acid reflux, lack of peristalsis... my damage is from a lap band which had to be removed two years ago. But I wasn’t ever told that I have a narrowing causing my cough. In fact, my GI doc said that in spite of all these tests and diagnosis he doesn’t think any of it is causing my cough :-( I’m glad your sister found an answer and I hope it works for her!

  • I'm sorry you're going through this too, as I know my sister is having a really rough time. Your situation sounds extraordinarily similar. My sister hasn't had this balloon procedure yet but is hopeful it will help. I will try and keep you posted.

  • Thank you... it does sound very similar. I can sure relate to how she’s feeling right now. I will keep her in my prayers and I would love to hear how things go for her after her procedure!

  • Hi again. My sister went to have the procedure done but the doctors found the constriction in her oesophagus was just too stubborn. It couldn't be expanded using the balloon method. They've taken some more biopsies and have told her they will get back to her. They've also told her that there are more options to consider yet, so she's trying to stay positive. I'm guessing some sort of surgery is on the books, but I don't know for sure. Hope you are managing to stay well despite your own cough.

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