Cough driving me mad!

Hi All

Wonder if anyone can help or any advice!

About 4 weeks ago I went to my GP as I started coughing for a week (after smoking way too much, changed my brand also). He put me on antibiotics, said I had pharyngitis and ordered a chest x-ray (just in case).

My xray has come back normal. The cough disappeared whilst on the antibiotics however I have now developed the same cough again (dry, tickley cough) a strange feeling when I breathe in though, like I have been sucking on a mint! I have to admit I had 2 cigarettes over the weekend :(

Do you think this could be my thyroid? My throat aches slightly also and it feels like my heart is beating in my throat sometimes.

I am going back to the DR tomorrow and see what he suggests we do next.....

26 Replies

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  • Well done for (almost) quitting smoking. Stick with it - you can do it. There's never any harm in getting your thyroid fully tested if you think there may be a problem.

  • Thank you, no more cigs I think but this was happening even when I was smoking so I really think there is something far more seriously wrong with my throat as this is not normal :(

  • Do you eat dairy? If so, try cutting it out for a week. Often a persistent cough is linked to consumption of dairy.

  • Hi thanks for the reply, I do, I drink milk every night before I go to bed seems to take the tickle/burn away & I eat yogurt every day

  • It might be the source of your problem, or it might not. You won't know until you cut it out !! :)

  • I will try, thank you still quite concerning though for me, driving me mad thinking of sill things of what it could be

  • This is going to sound really, really out of left field but... I smoked for years and had chronic drainage. I used to get a sore throat (needed antibiotics) 1 - 3 times every year. My doc finally suggested something to help 'liquify' the drainage. I thought he was nuts. I didn't need any more drainage, for heavens sake. Well, he was right.

    When I started taking the medication, I quit coughing and constantly clearing my throat and no more infections. It has been years now since I have been sick that way.

    What the doc gave me was extended release guaifenisin. It used to be by prescription only. .. 1200 mgs in the am and 1200 mgs in the pm. I now can take just 600 mgs am, 600 mgs pm and do just fine. You do have to drink plenty of water/fluids with this. It is OTC now and called Mucinex. If you decide to try it, be sure you get the extended release (12 hr) 600 mg and make sure the only active ingredient is guaifenisin... nothing else.

    I can't take Mucinex because of the blue food coloring added to the tab so I have to get my guaifenisin compounded by the pharmacist. If the Mucinex works for you (on a trial basis), you might ck out having your doc write a script for you for 600 mgs extended release guaifenisin, lactose and dye free capsules. It is much cheaper than Mucinex and I know there are no other additives that might be harmful. I have been taking this for almost 20 yrs with no problem.

    As with all things, do your homework and research but.. maybe the guaifenisin can help? By the way, guaifenisin is in a lot of cold/cough OTC preparations but the amt of guaifenisin they contain is negligible and you don't need/want all the other junk.

    I get #1000 600 mg guaifenisin caps from the compounding pharmacy for $ 200.00 plus $ 20.00 shipping... a lot, lot cheaper than the Mucinex.

  • Hi

    Thank you. I wake with a wheeze also which is strange! Ill speak to the dr today see what he suggests. Surely if this was serious the xray would have shown something?

  • I would think the xray would reveal any problems but... it may not show all soft tissue issues. But it would have shown whether the thyroid was enlarged I would think? You might have bronchitis (sp)? or inflammation and I am not sure if something like that shows up on xrays or not.

  • Ive been to the dr he said my lungs are clear again and no visible infection in my throat. Said my cough is viral there is so much of it going around. Said my throat feels normal and given me extra strong syrup to take 3 times a day for rhe next 2 weeks. If the cough persists after that go back and we can then do lung function tests but he is not concerned about the cough. He reminded me that stopping to smoke can cause a lingering cough for up to 8 weeks. Ive taken a swig of the med this morning and coughed once. I hope its a virus and not something sinister like the big C!!

  • The big 'C' is always our first thought and our first fear, isn't it?

    If we have a virus, don't we usually feel a little sick and maybe run a temp? I think your doc doesn't know what else to call it. But strange that the antibiotics seemed to make a difference.

    You did say you changed brands. That is quite a coincidence, huh? Maybe something in the new smokes stirred something up?

    Just to throw this 'out there'. Some heart conditions can cause people to cough and some medications can do the same (cause coughing). I don't think a heart medication is your problem or it would have been bothering you before (if you are taking such medications).

  • He said it sounds viral to him but im not sure whats going on. Ive stopped smoking for 4 weeks, the antibiotics helped the cough. I didnt smoke again till Saturday just gone then Sunday woke up and the burning throat and cough returned.

    Could this still be a lung issue deeper than what the dr thinks even though the xray was clear??

  • Also my heart seems to skip beats every now and then plus a pulsing in my throat. Ive had severe croup yesrs ago then pnumonia 12 years ago. Im 35 and on warfarin for life due to PE and DVT

  • You are awfully young to have had all that going on. I am no expert about lungs. Maybe some slight scarring from croup and pneumonia? Maybe still a little infection? But that should show up, I would think. I just don't know.

    Docs love to give warfarin when afib is going on. They tried to put my hubby on that but he is a 'bleeder' so they have to be satisfied with him taking a baby aspirin every day. He has congestive heart failure.

    The only way to know for sure about the condition of your lungs would be an MRI. That would show anything that the xrays failed to show. Often, so much depends upon the skill of the radiologist tech reading the xrays, ya know?

    I just don't know what to tell you. Stopping smoking is great. I am surprised that your aren't coughing up gunk... lungs clearing themselves from all the years of smoking. But you say this is a dry cough?

    I would go along with the doc for now... stop smoking (your body is telling you it doesn't like it...lol) and if you still have the cough after 3 weeks, insist on further tests in order to get to the bottom of this. I still think the extended release Mucinex might help thin any mucus you have in your lungs.... and easier to expel. It even helps folks who have COPD and emphasema (sp).

    Have you had any thyroid tests done? If this cough syrup doesn't do the trick and you continue to have skipped beats and throat flutters (that is what I call them), time to run the thyroid tests.

  • I know so young. Im originally from South Africa and got pneumonia when i moved here, the croup was when i was about 7 till 11 years of age.

    Im very concerned that they have read

    Y xrays wrong now and i have got something serious.

    The coughing has subsided but my throat still feels slightly raw. The dr said my symptom of cool air hitting my throat is not a symptom of a serious medical condition either i hope its just not guess work!

    I had my gall bladder removed 15 years ago due to gall stones so wondering if reflux could also be an issue.

    My thyroid got tested about 12 years ago and it all came back normal.

    As you say ill go with the dr for now but if the condition continues for the next coming weeks ill have to demand further testing.

  • Sounds like a plan, my friend. And yes, acid reflux could be going on. Maybe time to see an Ear/nose/throat doctor? They can put a scope down there and see what is going on with the throat. And don't worry. Time enough for that down the road, if necessary.

  • Forgot to mention this. I have 3 cats and whenever they come close to me i.e lay on me etc i get runny red eyes, swollen lips, wheezing but if thry just around the house i dont get the allergic reaction. I moved into a house with 3 cats lol they my fiance's lol 😮

  • Even if those cats are in another room, you are allergic to them !!!! Their hair is everywhere. If they 'live' in the house, you can't escape. You need to see an allergist and see if there is anything that can be done.

  • What I find strange is that the symptoms of coughing and sore throat stays with me throughout the day so I would have thought it couldn't be the cats as I am at work for 10 hours nearly with the coughing and I have been living there for a year now and this has only just started a year after?

  • I grew up with cats and animals. Imagine my surprise when my daughter came home from college with a cat and it was like my throat was caught in a vise. As with you, my eyes teared up and head stopped up. It was awful and I couldn't escape. I had never been allergic to anything in my life.

    Daughter finally had to give up the cat but it wasn't until the cat had been out of the house for some time and we thoroughly vacuumed the whole house/walls/floors that my allergy symptoms subsided.

    This allergy may be the source of your problems. And I don't know what to tell you except to move? or dump the cats? or the girlfriend? lol.. Seriously tho, maybe an allergist can offer some suggestions.

  • This is true. I took a anti hystemine tab last night to see if it would help and elminate but no i felt the same. The syrup is working and no coughing at night where i was waking myself up with it. Ill ride it out for 2 weeks but no vast improvement and ill be knocking on the dr's door again. I hope its not life threating or fatal :(.

  • Kayanne... let me know how it goes in two weeks. I doubt one allergy tab would take care of your allergy symptoms. An allergist can give you tests to see what you are allergic to and could probably prescribe something specific to your situation?

  • I will do. Thanks for the chats and advice :)

  • You need a full cough work up - google it - they should be looking in your lungs, endoscopy, chest x ray and allergy tests too. You probably have allergic rhinitis - post nasal drip in to lungs and lungs HAVE to clear the mucus so you cough. I've had my cough 12 years!!!

  • Thanks for your reply. It makes sense what you saying. Is your cough dry and hurting when you breathe in? 12 years!! How do you cope?!

  • I have had a cough for last few years too, somebody suggested it could relate to a small hiatus hernia if one is a little over-weight, am not sure that applies to me but it is a thought. I do agree that allergic rhinitis can be a cause. It is important to have small bowls of water in rooms especially when we have the heating on in the winter as dry air can exacerbate symptoms.

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