Help! Chronic cough and conflicting findings on all GERD testing

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 4/19/2012 10:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Guys!
I have gotten so much helpful information here since I began my journey to find a cure for my chronic coughing and losing my voice. This has been going on for over two years now and I feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest and I can no longer breathe.

I have had every scan and scope you can imagine and "acid reflux" is only showing up in a biopsy of my esophagus tissue from an Upper GI (EGD). I have esophagitis based on those findings and my vocal cords appear to have nodules and folding with lumpy things underneath. Before I can even look into repairing my vocal region, I have to find the cause of my coughing that causes me to lose my voice. To top it off, I am a Kindergarten teacher and I need my voice.

My esophogram, barium swallow study, nuclear scans, and others that I can't even remember all show "no acid". I am doing the Bravo monitor next week. I am concerned that it will show "no acid" as well, and I will be back to square 1. I really feel like it is acid causing all of this damage. I have no quality of life anymore and can barely walk without being totally winded. My pulmonologist says I have no asthma and my lungs look fine. He writes it off as "sinus issues". However, I started with my ENT and even had surgery last summer on my sinuses and repaired a deviated septum in an attempt to give me relief. I actually got worse after all of that. I have gained about 40-45 pounds during the last 18 mos. because I have no energy and can no longer do much.

Can someone give me some hope that despite other scans showing "no acid", the Bravo monitor may show that acid is actual the culprit. I am so desperate to find the answer so I can find a treatment plan that works. By the way, I have been on Zegrid 40mg in morning and 20mg at night for the last 18 months with no real help.

Thanks for any help!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/20/2012 9:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Have you tried a non acid diet? eating small meals every 4 hours? Is working for me, so far.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 4/20/2012 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Have you tried a non acid diet? eating small meals every 4 hours? Is working for me, so far.

about 6 years ago I lost my voice for 6 months. Went to ENT and he said I have LPR and also gerd.
Voice box was fire red. Nexium cleared it up in 2 weeks, but continued gerd/lpr because of my terrible diet.
Pop, candy bars, cake, cookies, beer, fried foods, et. Changing that has helped me tremendously.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 175
   Posted 4/20/2012 10:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Have you had a manometry test to determine if your LES valve is functioning properly? That would help determine if this could be from reflux or not.

I've heard anecdotal evidence that the Bravo test doesn't always spot reflux problems, but it's still a good test to have. The more information you get the better.

If the problem is reflux, you should try hard to lose the extra weight you've put on. That will only make things worse.

I would flip your medication around to take the heavy dose before dinner and the smaller dose in the morning. Most likely the acid damage is occurring during the night when you are laying down and not during the daytime when you are upright. I assume you have elevated your bed as much as possible, as that will help keep acid from the lungs and sinuses at night.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 4/20/2012 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
The Kaufman diet is directed at LPR, involving throat issues. Search back a few pages hereand you will find the thread on this topic. This diet has helped me a lot, in reducing my throat symptoms including coughing. The coughing was so bad I couldn't sleep much, I just coughed.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 4/20/2012 4:27 PM (GMT -6)   
PJess, I had the exact same problem going on. When they did the manometry it was discovered I had a 3rd unproductive movement in my esophagus (normal esophagus has two movements) and an irregular Z-line causing a rather large hernia and poorly functioning spinctor. A loose wrap helped me.
Be sure to have everyone of these tests:
Barium Swallow
Stomach emptying
PS. I'm a first grade teacher so I know how valuable your voice is to you.
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