Newcomer here! Looking for advice on how to ease burping and cough.

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inou
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/18/2010 12:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone,

I'm so glad to have stumbled across this forum. I've skimmed numerous threads here, and the knowledge, kindness, and support that I've glimpsed in the comments give me hope that I've finally found a place that can help me better understand and deal with my health issues.

It's been a long road for me. It started roughly 5 years ago with what I thought was just chronic cough and post-nasal drip. Truth be told, I didn't give the cough and PND much thought, initially. I was a sophomore in college, and so I diverted all of my energy to studying and maintaining my GPA. I thought they were just lingering symptoms of a respiratory tract infection I had contracted during the winter quarter. Needless to say, months passed, then years. I graduated from college. Still my cough and PND remained.

This was about the time I became concerned. I went to numerous doctors and explained my situation. Fearing chronic sinusitis, some of the doctors threw antibiotics my way. These treatment methods yielded no results. Fearing allergies, some of the doctors threw antihistamines my way. They suggested decongestants. Expectorants. Nasal steroids. They suggested nasal irrigation. None of these treatment methods yielded any results. If anything, these treatments only made my cough and PND so much worse. I went to a Pulmonologist. All of the tests and the X-ray said my lungs were fine. I was beginning to feel depressed and hopeless, like the doctors would never find out what was wrong with me.

Then finally, I went to an ENT. This was about a month ago. Again I was treated for chronic sinusitis. To make a long story short, it ended up with me getting a CT scan and having the results show that my sinuses were completely normal. Apparently I didn't have chronic sinusitis. I didn't have allergies. I didn't have lung problems. So the ENT asked me if there were any other symptoms aside from cough and PND that I was experiencing. Anything at all.

Burping, is what I said. I burp all the time, but it had never occurred to me until that moment that burping could have anything to do with my cough. I guess it's because I had been burping for so long (even prior to me developing a cough) that I had mentally filed it away as normal. The ENT looked down my throat and said that, when considering a diagnosis of acid reflux, there are certain signs of irritation (I don't remember what they all are) that they look for on the voice box and that I exhibit all of them. She put me on a two week course of Nexium, of which I am on my fifth day.

Since this is just a trial run, I cannot say for certain that I have GERD, or a different type of reflux. But I've been reading up on the subject and I can't help but to have a niggling feeling that says it would make sense, if I did. Here's a list of what I experience:

- chronic cough, which gets worse during the evening and right after meals
- excess mucous production/PND
- constant burping. Sometimes the burps are dry, but other times they feel, well, I don't know how to put this, but wet. It feels like they get stuck in my throat and that they won't go back down because they are being held up by liquid.
- difficulty getting food down. Sometimes when I swallow food, I'll feel it rise back up my throat moments later.
- feeling like there is something stuck in my throat, like a lump that never goes away. I always thought this discomfort was from the PND, but perhaps it is also from stomach acid. This would make sense to me since the lump is lower in my throat, whereas the PND discomfort is up in my pharynx area.
- noisy and uncomfortable stomach. I find that my stomach gurgles a lot, and for lack of a better term, just doesn't feel "right". When it gurgles a lot, the burping/regurgitation and coughing are just terrible.

My question is, where do I go from here? I'm on the Nexium… and I know it may take awhile before I notice any difference, if I ever notice any difference, but are there other measures I can also take to calm my stomach/burping and coughing some? So far the Nexium hasn't done anything aside from give me insomnia. A couple hours after I take it, I feel a little better, but then my stomach roils worse than usual later in the day. (I take it in the morning, otherwise I literally cannot fall asleep at night.)

Do you guys have any suggestions for natural remedies? I'm willing to try anything. If there is even a slight chance that some good old fashioned natural remedies or dietary changes will ease my discomfort, I'm willing to give them a go. There's just one more thing, I'm extremely underweight, so I'd have to keep my caloric intake up. (I'm actually starting to wonder if being underweight is contributing to my acid reflux, or the other way around. Hmm. Has any literature been written on this?)

Oh, my. I seem to have written a small novel. Woe. Sorry about that! Thank you in advance to anyone who had the patience to read it all!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 10/18/2010 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi inou!
Welcome to the GERD forum at Healing Well! You're DEFINITELY in the right place. The things you're describing are classic reflux sumptoms. An ENT scoping your vocal chords can make a very good diagnosis, as the reflux you're experiencing creates inflammation that is easy to see.

The symptoms you describe--burping, food getting stuck, gurgling stomach, excessive mucous production, the feeling of a lump in your lower throat--are all things that are associated strongly with GERD.

The Nexium you're on will take 2 weeks to become fully effective. Your symptoms indicate that you're further along in your reflux issues than you might think. Your underweight condition isn't the cause...being overweight is the issue, as things the fat causes things to push up and puts pressure on the stomach, thus creating a situation where reflux is more likely.

It seems to me that whether or not you feel your symptoms relieved by the Nexium, it would be a good idea to get a referral to a good GI Doc, so he/she can listen to what's been bothering you and try to get to the bottom of your problem.

I'm so glad you've joined our group! I'm sure others will be by to weigh in on your issues, and try to help.
Best wishes in finding answers and relief quickly!
Take care,
Denise turn

inou
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/18/2010 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Denise!

Thank you so much for the quick response. :-) I have to say, as unfortunate as it is to discover that I probably have GERD, in a way it is a relief because at least I finally have a diagnosis. Having treatment after treatment fail on me while I still had no idea what was wrong was really beginning to chip away at my emotional wellbeing. Now at least I can focus on what is ailing me, and try my best to get healthy again.

I think getting a referral to a good GI sounds like a good idea. I'm sure the doctor will have his/her own preference on how to go about the testing and what not, but are there any tests in particular that I should bring up with the doctor, to see if they would be beneficial in my case? I've lost a bit of trust in doctors... In my experience they were always so willing to just hand out drugs without doing any sort of diagnostic test. turn

Thanks again!
-inou

Ritchg
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 43
   Posted 10/18/2010 2:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Inou you can ask the G.I. to do a upper endospy also called a E.G.D. they can also do a barrium swallow, motility study and a p.h. test to see if you have acid reflux or G.E.R.D.. Then you will have to decide what option you want to take after that whether you want to continue on with Meds. or have surgery done to correct it.
Ritch

Gerd
High Blood Pressure, High Choleterol
Chrons Disease

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/18/2010 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
inou,
You sound like me in my journey to get a solution to a constant cough I had.
My final solution, when the medicine stopped working, was to have the surgery. I've been very happy with it.
Give the Nexium time to work and google gerd diets to find some good food for you.
Joy

inou
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/20/2010 1:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Ritch,
Thank you for the test information! I'll be sure to look into them.

Joy,
I'm sorry to hear that you also had to deal with a Curious Cough. Did it take you a long time to figure out it was acid reflux, as well? The cough is so irritating! I wish the doctors had suggested tests to diagnose the cough earlier on, rather than just handing me meds for the most common causes all the time. I've been looking into some GERD diet books to see if I can find anything that will work for me.

Thanks,
inou

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 10/20/2010 3:07 PM (GMT -6)   
It took three years of running from one doctor to another being treated for allergies, then asthma, then finally an answer from the GI.
All while coughing my head off constantly. I had to get aggressive with them to get answers.
Joy
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