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Anyone fancy diagnosing me - my GP has no ideas...

(14 Posts)
kohl Thu 04-Dec-14 00:00:18

Anyone with any ideas - should I be pushing for a sooner referral?
Asthmatic and on inhaled steroid medication since I can remember, but well controlled for a number of years (despite 10 years of on and off smoking - given up for 5 years).
Since pregnancy with 2nd DC, for a period of a year, have had a horrible on and off (more on than off) productive cough. No bacterial infection, inflammation markers are normal, bloods are normal (apart from low vit d), chest x-ray normal. Cough can get pretty bad - pulled a muscle coughing in pregnancy, now starting to get bad again, breathless after coughing, during coughing am incapacitated. Have lost weight so I'm now under pre pregnancy weight.
Change in inhalers hasn't made a difference, oral steroids made a small difference in pregnancy. GP admits he has no idea, and suggested stopping all my inhalers (!) before upping me to a stronger dose...which isn't making a difference.
Had to fight for a referral, and now waiting - could be 2 months before I see someone. I know it's a shot in the dark and I've posted about it before, but does anyone have any ideas?
The only other odd thing is that it came on the first time after my flu jab and has got much worse again since my 2nd flu jab, though this could be coincidence...

magso Thu 04-Dec-14 09:02:08

No idea, but is your gp treating the low vit D? I've heard that low vit D is particularly unhelpful for asthmatics. I've been in a similar position and when I eventually saw the respiratory specialist he changed my inhalers and added some more, but you could be entirely different. Is your PF good? If your PF is low it might be helpful to use a ventolin a few minutes before your steroid inhaler. I also got a what felt like a low grade chest infection after this years flu jab, but have recovered now.

kohl Thu 04-Dec-14 11:35:05

Thanks Magso, I appreciate the post, vit d is being treated & I'll try the pre steroid ventolin.

Jumpinginside Thu 04-Dec-14 18:48:35

Could it be allergy related? For several winters I've had an awful cough that has lasted months. Last winter my gp put my on allergy meds at the first sign of the cough and I haven't coughed since. Maybe worth a try.

Em3978 Thu 04-Dec-14 19:00:30

I was diagnosed with silent reflux after similar symptoms. Worth suggesting?

gobbin Thu 04-Dec-14 22:28:06

My mum had something similar for over two years. She was (eventually) diagnosed with bronchiectasis. We'd never heard of it either!

She is asthmatic, an ex smoker for 35 years and had had a bout if pneumonia three years before. Her chest had cleared after this but then this persistent cough started which nothing touched.

She now takes a daily antibiotic and has physio exercises she does on herself but her chest is the best it's been since she was a teen.

divegirl77 Fri 05-Dec-14 08:16:16

See another GP for a second opinion.

Differential includes interstitial lung disease/bronchiectesis and silent reflux.

SofiaAmes Fri 05-Dec-14 08:23:15

I have asthma which is generally pretty much non-existent (I am allergic to damp molds, but live in los angeles, so not much of a problem here). However after I get a chest cold these days, it can last for weeks and weeks. The last couple of times I waited 3 weeks before going to doctor and getting a week's course of steroids which mostly cleared it up. This last time, I got the course of steroids within a week and it really cleared up much more clearly and thoroughly. I found that my asthma (and my lungs' ability to recover from colds) got much worse while I was pregnant and then as I headed into peri-menopause. I started hormones which helped, but I am now just about menopausal and am finding that things are getting a little worse the last year or so.....All of this is to say, try another week of steroids (just the bog standard prednisone) and go on the pill or hormone replacement and see if that clears things up.

kohl Fri 05-Dec-14 12:02:11

Oh thanks guys, I really appreciate all the advice.

InanimateCarbonRod Fri 05-Dec-14 12:04:42

Try coming off cow's milk for 6 weeks and see if that helps. My sister could have written that post about her DD. Exact same and doc advised giving up cows milk. Dniece is now inhaler free.


You may have had a reaction to flu jab. Have you been sent for chest x rays. That might give a clearer answer if your bloods dont show anything.

Rivercam Sat 06-Dec-14 11:28:28

An allergy was my first thought also. Also, do you have sinus problems as well? Sometimes fluid from the sinus can drip into your chest and cause a cough. I think it's called sinus drip, or something like that.

TheHoneyBadger Sat 06-Dec-14 11:48:25

have you taken a decent strength antihistamine daily for several weeks - that is definitely worth a try.

i had some really random cough, skin and nasal symptoms for ages without anything working then started antihistamines due to something else and it all stopped within a couple of weeks. no real way to know what the allergen was/is but antihistamines controlled it.

i found loratadine best for me - it's worth a trying a few to get it right.

WiIdfire Sat 06-Dec-14 11:52:43

Relux can cause a chronic cough. Try a course of Omeprazole to see if it helps.

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