Cough

Question
Posted by: Darren | 2017/10/07

Q.

Chronic cough symptoms.

In September 2003 I caught a very bad cold, or some other respiratory ailment, like the flu or pneumonia. As I was getting over it, I developed a persistent cough that lasted weeks, accompanied by an itchy larynx. Then as the cough subsided slightly I got up one day to go to work. Upon leaving my apartment I have to walk up a hill which is only about 100 meters long, but with a relatively steep incline. As I walked up this hill it felt as though someone tied lead weights to my legs and by the time I reached the top I was out of breath like I had climbed Mount Everest. I had literally lost my stamina overnight, and since that morning I’ve experienced a progressive worsening in my weakness which now makes just walking an effort. Even shaving and brushing my teeth tend to become tiring for my arms. I haven’t worked out in years because physical recovery is greatly compromised. I can experience D.O.M.S.(Delayed onset muscle soreness) if I walk to far on a given day. And D.O.M.S., along with strains or minor injuries that I used to get over in a couple days now take weeks to heal, and only then if I’m careful. Also, I now tend to get “Charley Horses”(cramps) in just about any muscle, which include the fingers, serratus, lats, adductors, ect. Not just the normal places, and especially in the morning when I am still unsteady after waking up. (It now takes at least a few minutes to get up). And my sleep requirements have gone up to as much as 10 to 12 hours. (It used to be 6 to 8 max when I was on my vegetarian diet and before my chronic fatigue problem started). Several years ago I attempted light jogging for 5 minutes and it always resulted in a coughing bout 20 minutes later. (This is besides the normal chronic cough which subsided, but never completely went away). And lastly, lately I've been getting chest pains. I can't run 30 feet to catch the bus without feeling a dull ache in the middle of my chest. I don't know if it is my lungs or diaphragm. I've had my heart tested, so I'm hoping that is not the problem, but it is a muscle. I was thinking that some sort of sinus infection may be the underlying cause of my problems, but visits to an ENT and subsequent saline washes and medication like Olopatadine Hydrochloride, Azelastine Hydrochloride and Fluticasone Propionate have done nothing to alleviate the cough. Any advice on what to do next would be appreciated.

Expert's Reply

A.

Cough Expert
- 2017/10/17

Dear Darren,

 

Your problem sounds very complicated.  However, the dominant features seem to be muscle cramps and muscle weakness, especially in your upper limbs.  I think you should see a neurologist to make sure that you don’t have some kind of chronic muscle problem.  Another thing that can cause chronic fatigue and tiredness which is often missed is hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone).  Has your B12 been checked?  If the neurologist finds that there is no muscle problem then sticking with a trusted and experienced physician is the next step.

Good luck and best wishes!

 


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