Post-nasal Drip and Coughing

Hi, I have come to this site via the Thyroid UK website as I am looking for some answers. On their very long list of Hypothyroidism syptoms they have listed some Nose, Mouth & Throat issues and amongst those listed are Post-nasal drip (PND) and choking fits. I was wondering if anyone could shed any light on these symptoms eg why and how they are associated with Hypothyroidism.

I have been suffering with a Post-nasal drip for some years now and have been to the doctor several times and to Ear. Nose & Throat consultants at the hospital. I have had a camera put up my nose on 3 separate occasions, had chest x-rays and a ct scan. They have ruled out cancer and streptococcal reflux. On my last trip I was diagnosed with a mucociliary dysfunction and given 3 months of antibiotics (this was about a year ago).

The thing is, it goes away (but not quite completely) in the summer but comes back every winter with avengence. It's like the weather changes, I catch a cold and boom, weeks of coughing fits and this constant feeling of a running nose, but internally (as well as externally). Last night is my most recent example, I woke up at 3.35am needing to cough, I spent an hour trying to supress it as much as I could, sipping water, clearing my throat, trying to get back to sleep. In the end I had to let it all out and spent the rest of the night on the sofa trying to sleep and constantly coughing. I have to come down to the sofa as why should my husband have a sleepless night too due to the bed constantly shaking and being woken up by sudden and barking coughs. One of us needs to function in the day and I feel so guilty disturbing him!

The trouble is, it's not just the sleepless nights, the coughing is all day long too. So far this time it's been 4 weeks.

So, can my symptoms be associated with my thyroid condition or is it unrelated? Why is it on the symptoms list on Thyroid UK and when it is associated with hypothyroidism, how does it manifest itself? Is this something I have to live with for the rest of my life, or can it be treated somehow.

13 Replies

I feel your pain. I have too been suffering for about 3 weeks with the same. The dreaded coughing, blowing my noise and wondering where on earth it all comes from (sorry) every 10 minutes!!! I just want it to go away.....I hope you feel much better soon x

Thanks for your reply Orangelady1, I hope you feel better soon too! I have no answers yet that help, just here and on Facebook thyroid groups, other people suffering the same thing with no answers. Off to the GP tomorrow, I am expecting very little help, will keep you posted if I make any progress. x

I'd be very interested in your replies angelvoice as I was diagnosed with PND about 10 yrs ago and never told any connection to hypothyroidism. Cough worse at the moment but doesn't seem seasonal but possibly more stress related with me? ENT consultant offered op but said could make it better, could make it worse or could stay the same - equal odds😳 not a pleasant op so declined!

All the best

Thanks for your reply Monika53, I have lost track of how long I have actually had it but at least 5 years as I know it was a problem before my youngest was born. Interesting that yours seems stress related. Mine definitely seasonal but always there. When I suggested previously to GP about it being linked with the thyroid problem, I was told not. This is why I would like to know why it's listed on the Thyroid UK site as a symptom. Well if I ever find any answers, I will post them here! x

These are the symptoms I've had (among others) for months. A lot of people seem to think it is down to low stomach acid. Google will give you a better explanation than I can but coughing and PND can be down to that. I know mine is.

You will find quite a few here consider Neti Pots - try related posts to find more answers. Karin :-)

Yes LKA-dot, I have found Neti Pots mentioned in a few places and after your reply have looked further into it. This sounds like something I should try but will mention it at the GPs later. Thanks.

I used to have a chronic cough very similar to that you describe, and had many fruitless visits to the doctor. To cut a long story short, I had Five different coughs, each of which needed a different treatment. Only when I had got on top of all of them, did it go away. So

1. PND I've had this all my adult life and I think it is partly allergies. Particularly bad at this time of year. Antihistamines help.

2. Asthma. You may not have this, but among my meds is Montelukast, which dries up mucus. Other drugs have a similar effect.

3. Reflux. The silent type seems to be bad for coughs. I was on a bunch of drugs including ranitidine and omeprazole for a while. Omeprazole is not a nice drug and if it is possible for you it is better to tackle reflux another way.

4. Thyroid nodules irritating my throat. In my case these turned out to be cancerous and I have had my thyroid removed, but this is not the case for everybody. May not be anything you can do about these if you have them and they are benign.

5. Most importantly, I finally got a diagnosis of bronchiectasis which is a form of chronic lung damage which makes you vulnerable to infections that won't clear up. This needs a chest specialist for diagnosis with a CT scan, and is treated with long term antibiotics. (More info on the British Lung Foundation community here on Health Unlocked)

i suggest you go back to your GP, point at those posters they always have asking if you have been coughing for more than three weeks, and ask for a chest/lung specialist referral. Good luck.


Sooo... one year on and here I am again, trawling the internet for answers to same thing that's back again and I stumble across my old post. Going to the doctors today, not holding out much hope of answers. I am worried I am going to break down in some uncrontrollable sobbing fit about how this makes me feel, or rant at the poor Doctor uncontrollably about how bad I feel and how this is ruining my life!

Angel voice did you workit out? i had the same thing only my throat swells i get a nasal drip and end up throwing up multiple times a night. i was ddiagnosed with an underactive thyroid started 50mg of thyroxine a day and it was gone almost instantly.the last 3 days i have been bad again so eill have to go to the but they refused to test my thyroid comprehensively and i had to do it privately. ill post back if my thyroid is out of balance again and if changing my dose helps.

This is interesting...I came to the site after a google search for the affects of chronic and severe postnasal drip on the thyroid and saw your post first. I haven't even looked at any of the info here yet because it seems you're literally all the problems I have (at least what you listed).

I don't think it's something to be alarmed by yet. Four years ago the doctor found a nodule on my thyroid and six a year later. I have suffered some very debilitaring symptoms that fit the criteria of Hoshimotos. I went to doc three days ago because it seemed I was facing Myxedema Coma. Bad, bad, bad. BUT, if it's thyroid, its fairly easy to fix!

Maybe, the drainage after so long infects the thyroid? IDK for sure yet but maybe it goes both ways....the 'chicken or the egg' debate.

Point might be something easy to fix. Good Luck!

I forgot! what helps me to stop coughing (its worse in bed), I have used Halls cough drops and they work instantly!!!! It's risky to sleep with one in your mouth but because I have what feels like deadly Insomnia, it's riskier not to. Hope this helps!

i suffer from the same nasty condition - been getting steadily worse for years now - and have to clear my throat and cough most of the day, every day. I awoke choking this morning 4am. Leapt upright and had to try to stay calm for two minutes while I struggled to breathe. I was scared.

Time to see my GP. I'm forced to buy expensive and largely ineffective decongestant sprays as a tiny bit of relief is better than none. I hope my doc can help xx

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