Acid Reflux Coughing
Q: A couple of years ago I had a cold which developed into a chest
infection, the doctors said it was like a mild case of pneumonia.
The doctor put me on Biaxin/Klacid (clarithromycin). After a
couple of weeks I developed a very severe reaction to the tablets
and had trouble breathing, I was very dazed, dizzy and confused.
(I won't even go into going to the hospital, the doctor thinking
I had some brain disease and botching a lumber-puncture on me
After then I occasionally found I had trouble breathing. I
eventually went to the doctor who refered me to an asthma
specialist. He said that I did have asthma, I had an 11%
increase in my breathing after taking ventolin and he tested and
found I was somewhat allergic to dust mites. After trying
various combinations of things he decided that chocolate and
coffee were a problem for me and told me not to take any
I find that often when I get out of breath it feels like my
throat is very tight and I cannot breath rather than my chest and
I think he thought that might be a clue although I don't get
heartburn which was the main symptom he was looking for.
After all that I have a couple of questions:
What might it be in the coffee and chocolate that is affecting me
? - it's not the caffeine since he said I can have tea...
I tried having chocolate the other day, I had about three rows
out of a block and a cup of hot chocolate, an hour or so later I
started having trouble breathing and had to take ventolin, I was
better after that but not back to normal for about a day.
I often find after lunch in particular that I cough a fair bit
for 5-10 mins afterwards and I can't figure out why. I have
different things but it still seems to happen.. So I wonder if
maybe there is something else I am allergic to, although if so it
affects me differently.
I have found overall that since I started taking Nexium and
stopped having coffee and chocolate that my breathing is a lot
better and I don't cough all the time, I have often felt a bit
sick and for awhile my stomach felt quite cramped most of the
time, though that has eased up.
So, do I have asthma after all? Or something else? Is it likely
that I am allergic to more than just coffee and chocolate and is
it ALL coffee and chocolate?
I didn't think to ask all these questions last time I was at the
asthma specialist and he didn't made an appointment for me to see
him again as he thinks that where I am now is ok.
A:I think many of us have our own story very similar to yours. I had a reaction (acid reflux) to a prescription arthritis medication and developed a bad cough. I had many tests between a cardiologist and pulmonologist (he collapsed amy left lung during one test and I was in the hospital for a week healing that) and the diagnosis was "mild asthma". I am using Advair but I still cough quite a bit at times. I can exercise fairly well and am keeping up with that. After the arthritis med reaction (which was a prescription NSAID) I used an over the counter NSAID and I had the acid reflux thing and begin coughing a lot. Dropping the use of the OTC NSAID my coughing subsided -- somewhat. So I now use Tylenol for my arthritis and I am staying away from NSAIDs. I have had some acid reflux since the arthritis med reaction and am planning on going to a specialist to check that out. I've read that acid reflux can trigger asthma and -- I've read that asthma meds can trigger acid reflux. Which came first the chicken or the egg?
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