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Help and advice needed....

Hi everyone,

I am a 31 year old female who has never smoked but was exposed to second hand smoke for 24 years of my life (from living with my Mum).  For as long as I can remember I have always had a cough, which I never seemed to notice as it just became part of my everyday life.  After a few recent prompts from my husband however, I decided to seek medical advice and recently attended the doctors to try and sort this out.  As such, I have now started to pay attention to my symptoms: excessive mucus production with a need to cough/clear the throat to loosen this.

The first time that I attended the doctors I did a peak flow test and got prescribed a brown inhaler (approximately 10 weeks ago).  The second time (approx 6 weeks ago) I attended the doctors, a blue inhaler was added for times when the mucus gets particularly bad.  The third time I attended (approx 3 weeks ago) I was prescribed Beconase nasal spray to take in conjunction with the inhalers.  Despite all of these medications, I still experience symptoms which start as soon as I wake up in a morning.

On waking, whether I stay lying down or get straight up, I start to have mucus form in my throat (I am not sure if this drops down from the nose or comes up from the chest) – I am then forced to cough at various intervals for the for the next 30 or so minutes before my symptoms starts to calm down.  I find that if I suppress the need to cough, the mucus will travel much further into my chest and is then harder to loosen.  Throughout the course of the day at various intervals, I will have the feeling of mucus accumulating/stuck in my throat area - I can fel this when I breath and often have a wheeze sensation or the feeling that something is irritating my throat.  I find that in order to try and clear this, I will need to keep clearing my throat or coughing.  When I talk, I sometimes have a wet sounding voice that ‘breaks’.   I do not experience any mucus symptoms during the night but do find that I occasionally wake myself up with a slight dry cough.  I have the mucus/cough problem each and every morning (same intensity) but the day time issue can vary in severity.

I have been using a cool mist humidifier in the bedroom during the night time to see if this alleviates the problem but this does not seem to help.   I do not have itchy/watery eyes or any sneezing problems, or a bunged up nose although on occasion I can feel a slight accumulation of mucus behind my nose. I have tried nasal rinsing (for a few days) but I did not like the sensation that I was feeling for the remainder of the day ( slight burning, salty taste).

At present, we have floorboards in our bedroom and experience a great degree of dust as our house is over 100 years old.  We are looking at getting a carpet fitted to see if this may help.  I am unsure about whether this will help however, as I still have the same issues throughout the day time whilst at work. 

I have a further appointment with my GP later this week but have the feeling that I will just be given further medication to try, rather than determining the actual cause of the problem. 

I am hoping to gain some advice from others with similar symptoms, to try and determine what is likely to be causing my symptoms and what I can do to try and reduce the mucus production.   I am currently 16 weeks pregnant so I am not sure if this will be adding to the problem.

Thanks for taking the time to read x

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I’ve been there – done that for many years. I’ve seen 4 different doctors without any positive results and tried MANY - MANY Rx’s. I’ve been tested for allergies, asthma and GERD and I’m not a smoker. I not knocking the medical community but they seem to have tunnel vision when it comes to this condition. With the help of some on-line postings and some research, I’ve come upon some promising results.

 

Antibiotics seem to be a common denominator.  When a doctor prescribes an antibiotic it kills all the bacteria [good and bad] in your system – this is good when you are ill since it eliminates what was making you ill. However the elimination of the good bacteria has consequences. [Please note that I’m not a medical professional so my descriptions/explanations may not be stated well but this is what I’ve pieced together with some research] There is a relationship in the body between mucus and good bacteria. If the good bacteria are not adequate, the body produces mucus as protection.

 

With my condition, I separated it to a mucus problem and a post-nasal drip problem. First the mucus - Probiotics are designed to replace the good bacteria. They are not new and have been around for a long time and there is a lot of information available on them – doing your own research is recommended. In my case, I’ve been prescribed antibiotics many times over the years but never replaced the good bacteria. So I started with a low dose of Probiotic and worked up. [I was taking 3 capsules 2X daily and then backed off] This has reduced the mucus in my throat a lot – maybe 80% or more. [I’m reluctant to say that I’m cured]

 

Next the post-nasal drip. This is still a work in progress. Over-the-counter decongestants aren’t a solution for me – Sudafed-like compounds mess with my blood pressure but I still use Flonase. So thanks to another on-line posting, I use lemon water to cut any drip. The best addition has been the use of Quercetin [a supplement which is an natural anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine] So far, so good! It seems to be working.

 

I hope this information works. Good luck.

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Hi.

Thanks for your post, much appreciated.

It was very interesting what you wrote about the antibiotics as I did continually take them a few years ago (for approx 5 years) to deal with a mild acne problem. I will definitely look into taking probiotics...and hopefully this may help :)
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