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Dry Cough?


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#1 Nelly

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 11:36 AM

I've had a dry, non-productive cough for over a year now. My rheumatologist hasn't been to interested in finding out the cause......says maybe it's allergies or heartburn related. After seeing the other post, I'd like to know for sure. I don't get short of breath, but I do notice shallow breathing and then the yawning starts up. What tests are done to rule out lung involvment?

#2 Sweet

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 11:45 AM

Hi Nelly,

Here is a link on Lung Involvement in Sclero. It might help you sort through some of your questions. I hope you find it helpful.
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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#3 Clementine

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 11:46 AM

Hello,
I think most doctors would begin with pulmonary lung functioning tests. They also do the 6 minute walk test.

I think my dry cough was esophagus related now that you reminded me...sorry for not mentioning that in my previous post. I had an endoscopy and there were erosions and a hernia. I started taking Zantac on top of Nexium and the cough went away.

In my humble opinion, I feel strongly that everyone with systemic sclerosis should have pulmonary lung functioning tests. It's crucial to find out if you have early in the game.

Good luck and take care,
Jennifer

#4 janey

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 11:59 AM

Nelly,
Most times a dry, non-productive cough is just part of the disease and not due to lung involvement. I've had such a cough going on five years now and I was diagnosed with lung involvement until this past September. My rheumatologist and I have discussed it many times and experimented with a few things. Yes, heartburn did turn out to be part of the problem so I doubled up on my Prilosec and it helped some. I've recently determined that post-nasal drip is part of it so I'm experimenting with eliminating dairy and so far, it's made a difference, especially in the mornings when I used to have an uncontrollable cough that went on for 10 - 15 minutes. I still have a little, nagging cough and every once in a while a coughing fit, but things are improving.

"What tests are done to rule out lung involvement?" Here's the ones I know about. I've had all except for the right heart catheter
echocardiograms (PAH)
right heart catheter (PAH)
pulmonary function tests (pulmonary fibrosis, obstructions and other stuff)
HRCT (pulmonary fibrosis)
6-minute walk

Here's our section on diagnosing lung involvement. It identifies a couple more.

I'm certainly not doctor, but my feeling is the same as Jennifer's - people with systemic scleroderma especially should be evaluated for lung involvement whether they have symptoms or not. At least they can establish a baseline so that periodic tests can verify stability or something happening. The two I had during year one were the pft and the ECHO.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
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#5 Elehos

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 12:17 PM

Hi Nelly,

On and off I do get a dry cough from irritation in the throat, like there's hair stuck on one side or the other, but no reason from the doctors as to why. I found an all natural OTC cough syrup works well--tastes a bit rough on the first try, but no doubt it works!! I can send you a PM if you would like to know the name. I might not be back on the forum again tonight, but will check back in the AM.

Take care, and good night!

Elehos

#6 peanut

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 01:01 PM

Hey Nelly,
My doctor said kinda what Jen did. A lot of my cough subsided when my heartburn was under control. I'd look into some zantac or nexium. Plus out of control heartburn can cause damage to the esophagus and irritate the lungs.

Definitely look into getting a pft or at least a preliminary spirometry from a pulmonologist.

peanut

You can deprive the body but the soul needs chocolate
my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

#7 jefa

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Posted 17 May 2007 - 08:37 PM

Hi, Nelly. I can't add much to the good information that has been given in this thread accept that I have also had a dry, non-productive cough which had worsened over the past few years. Like peanut and Jen say. however, mine has improved considerably since I started taking charge of my reflux problems. I take omeprazole (a proton pump inhibitor, Britain's equivalent to Prilosec), watch what I eat and sleep with my head raised. I also keep some antacid tabs nearby, which surprisingly work better to stop the cough than a cough drop or sip of water.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#8 scampie5

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:47 AM

Hi , I have lung involvement and went to see my rhmy on Tuesday and mentioned to him thet I have a very productive cough and was this normal he said that usally it is a dry cough that you get , again he said you have to be different but he wasn't to worried about the productive cough , I am going to have a echo in July to check blood flow in my heart and see if lungs are still not to bad Lynn

#9 Nelly

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 07:57 AM

Thanks everyone for the great information!

I don't have daily heartburn so I just take something as needed. It might be worth a try to take the Prilosec regularly to see if it helps.

#10 americanmike

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Posted 18 May 2007 - 05:57 PM

Hi Nelly--

I had a dry irritating cough with tightness irritation etc early when everything started for me. I didn't have any heartburn at all. My pulmonologist immediately suspected reflux, I went on the prilosec and within a day or two my lungs felt so much better.

Michael in Florida

#11 Lynda

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 12:44 AM

Hello Nelly, Don't wait any longer get to the doctor they will do xrays and go from there. Mine started with dry cough in the morning phlemn and I don't smoke. I have Pulmonary Fibrosis which is caused by Sclerodema.

Lynda