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Chronic stress cough ? (Page 1)

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Hi there,

Im female and 24 years old. For the past 10 years (at least) I have, on average, 2 or 3 times a year developed an awful dry cough that can last up to a month or so at a time. Its difficult to explain how bad this cough can get - I have coughed up mucus on occassions, I keep my family awake at night and during bad phases of it my whole body shakes and eyes tear up its so violent. It is as if I can constantly feel something at the back of my throat (when I have the cough) like a hair that is making me cough to try and bring it up.

This cough has led me to having to walk out of exams, miss class, work etc therefore as you can imagine I have totally had enough.

The cough usually comes about after I have had the cold, or when I am in stressful situations - therefore it bascially happnes when I am most vulnerable. Although for the past few years, I take loads of vitamins etc to build a strong defense system.

I have been to my doctors literally dozens of times for this, and have tried things like inhalors, antibiotics and allergy sprays - nothing has worked.

A few months ago I demanded I get referred to the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist - however, when my appointment came along, I did not have the cough at the time (therefore could not feel something at the back of my throat), the specialist put a camera up my nose and down my throat to have a look and said everything looked normal...nightmare! I wished she seen something...I convinced myself I had a growth on my throat that could be chopped off and I would be normal! She said she thought it might be a stress cough, but I don't think so as I also get it when I just have the cold and am not stressed at all.

I really don't know what to do now, but one thing is for sure, I can't go on with this cough....I am in the final 6 months of my Masters degree and can't afford to continue to suffer from this, therefore any advice or help would be MUCHLY appreciated!

Many, many thanks,
Ali
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First Helper alibalibee
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replied February 1st, 2010
Stress Related Cough
Hi Ali,

Fascinating question. I've been suffering from Chronic Fatigue for the past 2 years, and I've just come to the conclusion that it's all stress-related. My main symptom is the cough. I've visited doctors, ENT's etc. Similar story to you, except I have debilitating fatigue as well.

I suggest you listen to what your body is telling you. Get some therapy to get to the bottom of the emotional stress you're experiencing. Take time off. Rest. Allow yourself to get better.

I had a persistent cough that lasted for 3 months about 2 years before I came down with full-blown Chronic Fatigue. The chest specialist said it was just a "post-infection cough", but I now realise it was the first warning sign that Chronic Fatigue was on the way if I didn't slow down. If we don't listen to what our body is telling us, it ramps up the pain until we do. Rest now while all you have is an annoying cough; or else it may get worse until you really start paying attention to dealing with the stress more constructively.

cheers,
Graham
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replied July 6th, 2010
I've had a cough for 8 years. So bad I've thrown my back out on a number of occasions and can't walk for days. Right now my ribs hurt so bad I can barely breath, but I'm still coughing and it's not fun. I have seen every specialist from ENT, to lungs, to chest, esophagus, etc., no one can find anything wrong with me. My GP has suggested acupuncture - not going there as I feel that's a cop out. I am now on codeine pills because GP thinks broken ribs are next, but codeine doesn't seem to help either. Otherwise very healthy - 5'5" 115lbs, healthy eater, no junk food, no fried food. I'm getting desperate as I can't live like this forever. Thanks for any suggestions!!!
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replied March 1st, 2011
Chronic Stress cough
I have had the exact same symptoms as all of you on and off for 14 years. I have been to the top hospitals in the country... University of Chicago, Northwestern, National Jewish- #1 Respiratory hospital in the country. I have had 24 hour ph balance test, 4 methacoline challenges. All negative. Have tried accupuntcure and chinese cupping (sooo painful). The longest the cough has been with me was 1.5 years. I have been symptom free for almost 2 years. Now, it's back. Ahhhh! The Dr.s have come up with nothing. Most thought I was crazy when I said I believe it is a stress cough. I seriously don't know what else it could be.
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replied April 24th, 2011
Hi guys. I am 18years old boy.
I am also going through the same problem.
I think we all should have a conference in messenger chatting?
What you say?
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replied September 8th, 2011
I had a cough for many years that come to a head after a bout of whooping cough. They said I was not asthmatic but had allergies (post nasal drip) and reflux. Reflux has been fixed through operation and allergies are better since my dog died. Occasionally I still have bouts of coughing - usually caused by pollution, pollen, or stress. Codeine, 1st generation antihistamines (e.g Polaramine) and valerian assist at these times because they relax me.

Get tested for reflux, asthma and allergies - if you have any of these get them treated - if you have none then avoid walking in pollution, and have a valerian or other herbal medicine (any time of day is okay) to relax. Also don't work too hard
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replied September 8th, 2011
cough
I had a cough for many years that come to a head after a bout of whooping cough. They said I was not asthmatic but had allergies (post nasal drip) and reflux. Reflux has been fixed through operation and allergies are better since my dog died. Occasionally I still have bouts of coughing - usually caused by pollution, pollen, or stress. Codeine, 1st generation antihistamines (e.g Polaramine) and valerian assist at these times because they relax me.

Get tested for reflux, asthma and allergies - if you have any of these get them treated - if you have none then avoid walking in pollution, and have a valerian or other herbal medicine (any time of day is okay) to relax. Also don't work too hard
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replied October 3rd, 2011
i am 21 yrs, male and having the same symptoms for the past 4-5 years...i have noticed that the cough shoots up during my most STRESSFUL periods,like during my project submissions or during exam time.... but the day my exams get over i am fine...i also went to ENT's and did all kind of allergy tests and they said everything was fine...now recently i do meditation during the "STRESS PERIODS" and it really has reduced my coughs drastically...and try to boost your immunity by eating right...it will give your SUB-CONSCIOUS mind the feeling that you are strong from within and in turn suppress your cough(WORKS FOR ME)
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replied December 3rd, 2011
Temp solution
Hello all - I'm a male and 48. I have had the same symptoms for a couple of years. I only connected it to stress in recent weeks (I'm changing jobs after 24 years!). Cough medicines etc do not help, but I have noticed that a painkiller (I use Solpadine here in the UK) will give me a few hours of relief, almost stopping the coughing totally. Hope this works/helps one of you guys. Peter
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replied January 16th, 2012
Chronic cough when under stress
I also tend to hang onto a chronic cough months after recovering from a cold. I notice my coughing is worse when I'm under stress or speaking to someone in a stressful conversation. A few times I've had this symptom while at a trade show where I have to speak most of the day to people visiting our booth in a noisy environment. I found chewing gum gives me as much relief as any medication (including codeine). I also found an over the counter spray at the local health food store designed for singers/entertainers to be helpful.
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replied February 7th, 2012
My occasional chronic cough IS due to stress
I have decided that my cough is due to stress. I have had this chronic cough happen 2 or 3 times in the last few years. I had just gotten rid of it and bam, our new supervisor at work turns out to be a jerk in training....and wah-lah, my cough is back. I know, now, that it is stress related. I plan to change jobs as soon as possible and if that isn't possible I will go back to my local doctor and see what she suggests.
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replied March 4th, 2012
Stress related cough
i am having what most of you guys are having now, dry cough and i have done every thing xray and i went to like 3 different doctors, it seams that there is nothing wrong with my lungs it was as the last Doctor has told me he is one of the best in Egypt, this is something related to stress it has nothing to do with your lungs.
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replied March 5th, 2012
Hi All

Like many of you, I've suffered from a chronic cough that gets worse when I am stressed. The initial trigger for the cough is a cold or infection. Once the cough starts, nothing really helps but I am on inhalers that helps my breathing. When I am stressed, the cough gets so bad that I can actually start to vomit and pull muscles.

I do not have asthma and I've been through every test the doctors can think of. I was finally diagnosed with Bronchiectasis. http://www.lung.ca/diseases-maladies/a-z/b ronchiectasis-bronchiectasie/index_e.php

I have to say that I do not experience some of the more severe symptoms like coughing up blood as listed in the discription on the website. For many years the cough just seemed like a dry cough but this latest flare-up has me coughing up some mucus so I guess I am getting worse.

Good luck trying to find your diagnosis. It was a relief to find mine after 5 years but it still doesn't make the cough go away any faster.
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Users who thank jessicajulie for this post: Slhiaz 

replied March 24th, 2012
Stress cough
This may be weird for some to hear, but I am so glad that I found this forum. I have had a stress cough for about 15 years now and it comes and goes. I have also been in a stressful job for the past 4 years where my co-worker became my supervisor a week after I took the job and she walked into it with no supervisory experience - made my life impossible for over a year (I'm even coughing as I write this!). But this isn't my only reason for coughing - it's definitely stress related. I always get sick in the winter, no matter how well I take care of myself and then the cough hangs on for months. My personal life and my job are stressful at this time, but I have to find a way to calm this (prescriptions help, but I am trying to keep the recommended dosage to a minimum). It doesn't help that it's stressful to cough, which makes me cough, etc... Aside from quitting my job and moving to an unknown island Smile If it is psychosomatic, are there doctors out there that research this?
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replied May 15th, 2012
stress cough
I also have had a cough that comes and goes over the last 10 years.The cough will go as suddenly as it comes and I will be cough free for a few months then its back and lasts anything from a few days to weeks. I have been to doctors and sent to ENT nothing found and was also told it maybe due to stress. The main problem is if the cough is stress related worrying about why this cough is being so persistent stresses me more. I have tried relaxation classes, different medicines but nothing really helps.
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replied May 31st, 2012
Chronic Cough
As you all, I have had this for the last twenty years. It ALWAYS starts with a cold then it will last 4-6 months believe it or not for me. Do not spend your money on doctors. There is no treatment. You can try to isolate the symptoms, by taking anthistimines for the drainage, and something for the reflux. I have a hiatal hernia so I can't change that. I am a healthy 50 year old that works out and eats healthy. Tea's relaxing properties provide some relief during the work day. I am not bothered at night at all. However, I am chronically fatigued when I have it, my back and neck pinch as the cough as you all know is a very hard cough. Believe it or not beer will help, but then it is the relaxing properites of alcohol that is really doing it. The one person that took a muscle relaxer may have hit on something. Conceptually, if you can be relaxed and NOT TALK, like that is going to happen the better you will be. When asked a much younger co-worker whom I mentor what will happen to me when I am 80 as this cough is so hard I don't want to have a heart attack..her response was I will probably crap my pants all day. Now that made me start to laugh and of course cough! SO I am once again at the end of month two of this cough after not having it for 1.5 years. I wish us all stress free lives!!!
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replied June 20th, 2012
chronic caugh
hi guys even i was facing the same problem that you people faced , almost for 4 years that too during rainy season , for gods sake i left smoking and it had helped me this year i didnt get that back and i suggest you people to do some pranayama and yoga it helps a lot
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replied October 5th, 2012
Im not alone!! had my cough on and off for 6 years now. Had all the testS, steroids, inhalers, x rays and scans. I have even been admitted to hospital for a suspected heart attack and clot on the lung- all was clear. I start with a cough, which steadily gets worse, this makes me tired and suseptable to any other infections etc. I end up with a cough and usually a chest infection which leads to a bout of pluerisy, which is so painful its impossible to go to work.
I have kept the NHS afloat with the number of prescriptions I ve paid for over the years for stuff that has never worked. The latest doc has recommended I take Iron tablets- done that many times before doesnt work !I also have yet another peak flow meter to use for a month recording my results. I have found on a more positive note, not to over do things, not to lift heavy objects and to keep my chest, and myself warm. I do worry about this cough as I get older, Im only in my forties at the moment but in another 30 years time im sure it will finish me off.
Stress must factor into it somewhere, but im not sure i suffer anymore than the next person. If I find a cure I'll be sure to let you all know !
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