View Full Version : nagging cough

05-20-2008, 02:14 AM
I've had this silly little nagging cough for a few days. I haven't had a cold or flu or any of the normal things that cause a cough but every now and then I have this slightly tight sensation in my chest. I really can't call them chest pains cos they're not that bad. But its there.

When I was first DXD I had a lung function test which revealed that for my age, it was still within the normal range. I'm so afraid of appearing to be a hypochondriac and over reacting to every little twinge.

My ANA tests came back with a titer of 1:320 so my GP sent me to a see a rheumatologist recently and I was so intimidated by his (the Rheumy's) manner! . He told me I didn't think I had SLE because I don't have the butterfly rash on my face. He gave me Celebrex and told me "not to believe anything anyone says about these drugs because they're very good! " Well of course that set the alarm bells ringing. They do help the joint pain but make me quite nauseous at times too. But I can live with the nausea.

Just these silly chest pains which aren't a physical inconvenience as much as a concern because of the possible implications.

Also, while I'm here, I get the most painful foot cramps at night. Anyone have this? Or is this old age?


05-20-2008, 05:39 AM
If you don't mind me asking, how old are you? I'm 34 and have wonder at times what's due to age and what's not normal. I believe only 70% have the butterfly rash. Not everyone gets the facial rash. I'm sorry that you too seem to have gotten a crappy rhuemy. Makes me wonder how my new rhuemy's going to be. I have FMS and get that mild chest pain at times and that annoying little cough that tickles my throat. I use throat spray and honey for my throat. Please be careful when it comes to chest pain, call your doc if it gets worse. I do hope you feel better soon :D .

05-20-2008, 06:36 AM
Hey there Coleen,

You should tell your Rheumo that I have had active SLE with constant flares for almost five years now, and never once have I had a butterfly rash on my face. I get funny little "twinge" things in my chest, and I have a strange cough quite often. My voice is also hoarse quite often as well. It's not like the cough I get with a cold/flu. It's kind of an odd sensation and unlike a "normal" cough. Don't know what it is. I've learned to trust my instincts with all the odd little pains and twinges I get. You know yourself, if you think something is wrong, you have every right to talk to your Rhemo about it. Some Dr's like to use the label "hypochondriac" to cover their own butts, and to protect their ego, when they cannot find a diagnosis. If the Rheumo intimidates you, you might want to consider having someone go to your appts with you. A friend or family member who understands can really even the odds for those of us who feel intimidated and marginalized by an overbearing Dr. Remember, they work for you. Let me know if you figure out anything with this cough, and I'll do the same if I get some info. I have a couple of Dr appts this week, and I'll be asking about it. Someone else here may also have some good info as well.

05-20-2008, 07:09 AM
Hi Colleen,

I have a little story to share. My first Rheumy was wonderful, but he retired. So I needed to find a new one. (I did, but he was not at all like my first Dr.) He re-tested me because he too was not sure I had SLE. Finally he said to me, "If you get two Rheumatologists together to talk about one patient, you will have three diagnoses, especially when it comes to Lupus!" So, through all of this I keep that in mind at all times.

I too do not show the "typical" symptoms of SLE. I have never had the butterfly rash and my ANA titer rarely shows Lupus activity, yet I have Lupus.

Colleen, do not ignore your cough! I did and ended up in the hospital for a week and off of work an additional week because I ignored the annoying little cough. I know SaySusie would be able to supply much better information about this. But what my Rheumy and the Pulmonologist told me is that Lupus can effect the lungs 7 different ways. One is an Asthmatic type effect, that annoying "little cough" I had since November was the indication that something was happening, until finally my lungs started closing up and I could not breathe. (It creeps up on you very, very slowly.) X-rays and CT scans showed the extent of the effect. Get yourself checked! I learned my lesson; do not ignore any of the signs your body is giving you!

05-20-2008, 07:13 AM
Morning Colleen...

Bully for him, for causing you to feel intimidated...shame, shame.

Malar rash is one of the 11 criteria for diagnosing IT. If you have four of the 11 criteria at one time or individually over time, you probably have lupus. Your doctor may also consider the diagnosis of lupus even if you have fewer than four of these signs and symptoms. The criteria identified by the ACR include:

* Face rash, which doctors call a malar rash, that is butterfly shaped and covers the bridge of the nose and spreads across the cheeks
* Scaly rash, called a discoid rash, which appears as raised, scaly patches
* Sun-related rash, which appears after exposure to sunlight
* Mouth sores, which are usually painless
* Joint pain and swelling that occurs in two or more joints
* Swelling of the linings around the lungs or the heart
* Kidney disease
* A neurological disorder, such as seizures or psychosis
* Low blood counts, such as low red blood count, low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), or a low white cell count (leukopenia)
* Positive anti-nuclear antibody tests, which indicate that you may have an autoimmune disease
* Other positive blood tests that may indicate an autoimmune disease, such as a positive double-stranded anti-DNA test, positive anti-Sm test, positive anti-phospholipid antibody test or false-positive syphilis test.

I've been misdiagnosed, diagnosed, then undiagnosed and rediagnosed...in that order...

Arm yourself with knowledge, it will equipped you better when encountering those type of doctors...Like Rob said..We hire them for service, not the other way around...

Feet cramps? Are you taking in enough liquids? Low on potassium?

As per the FDA..

This is a summary of the most important information about Celebrex. For details, talk to your healthcare provider.

FDA ALERT-[4/7/2005]: Celebrex has been linked to an increased risk of serious cardiovascular (CV) events (such as heart attack or stroke) which appears to be a risk shared by all medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) (excluding aspirin). FDA has requested that the package insert (labeling) for all NSAIDs, including Celebrex, be revised to include a “boxed” or serious warning to highlight the potential increased risk of CV events, and the well known risk of serious, and potentially life-threatening, stomach bleeding. FDA has also requested that the package insert for all NSAIDs be revised to state that patients who have just had heart surgery should not take these medicines.

What is Celebrex?

Celebrex is used to:

* relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis (the arthritis caused by age-related “wear and tear” on bones and joints)
* relieve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis in adults
* manage acute pain in adults (like the short term pain you can get after a dental or surgical operation)
* treat painful menstrual cycles
* reduce the number of colon and rectum growths (colorectal polyps) in patients with a disease called Familial Adenomatous Polyposis (FAP). FAP is an inherited disease in which the rectum and colon are covered with many polyps. Celebrex is used along with the usual care for FAP patients such as surgery and exams of the rectum and colon.

Who Should Not Take Celebrex?

Do not take Celebrex if you:

* have had an allergic-type reaction to sulfa medicines.
* have had asthma, hives or allergic-type reactions after taking aspirin or other NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) medicines. If you have asthma, you may have aspirin-sensitive asthma. If an aspirin-sensitive asthmatic takes aspirin it can cause severe narrowing of the airway (bronchospasm), and even death. Since this type of reaction also has occurred after taking NSAIDs Celebrex should not be given to aspirin-sensitive patients.

Some examples of NSAIDs are ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam), and ketoprofen (Orudis). You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list of these medications.

* are pregnant, especially during your last 3 months

What are The Risks?

Celebrex and other NSAID medicines can cause serious problems such as:

* Stomach ulcers that bleed. The chance of this serious problem increases the longer you take Celebrex, but it can also happen suddenly. Stop taking Celebrex and call your healthcare professional right away if you get a burning stomach pain, black bowel movements that look like tar, or vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds.

* Liver damage. Some of the warning signs of liver damage are nausea, vomiting, tiredness, loss of appetite, itching, yellow coloring of skin or eyes, “flu-like” symptoms and dark urine. If this happens, stop taking Celebrex and call your healthcare professional right away.

* Kidney problems that include sudden kidney failure or worsening of kidney problems that you already have.

* Fluid retention (holding of water in your body) and swelling. Fluid retention can be a serious problem if you have high blood pressure or heart failure.

In addition to the serious side effects listed above, some common, but less serious side effects with Celebrex may include:

* headache
* indigestion
* upper respiratory tract infection (a "cold")
* diarrhea
* sinus inflammation
* stomach pain
* nausea

What Should I Tell My Healthcare Professional?

Tell your healthcare professional if you:

* have heart problems or high blood pressure
* have liver or kidney problems
* have or had stomach ulcers or stomach bleeding
* have asthma
* are allergic to aspirin or other NSAID medicines
* are trying to become pregnant, are already pregnant, or are breast-feeding

Are There Any Interactions With Drugs or Foods?

Tell your healthcare professional about all the medicines you take, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Some medicines may affect how Celebrex works or Celebrex may affect how your other medicines work. Your healthcare professional may have to adjust your dose or watch you closely if you take any of the following medications:

* certain blood pressure medicines called ACE inhibitors
* furosemide
* fluconazole or ketoconazole
* phenytoin
* warfarin
* aspirin

Keeping searching for your wellness.

05-20-2008, 07:18 AM

The nagging cough. Is it a productive cough or a dry hacking cough? A smoker?

Medicines drying you out? GERD? Pluerisy? Cardia?

If it was me, I would go to my GP and ask for a chest x-ray to start with....

No pain is silly..it is your body sending a signal something is wrong.


05-20-2008, 11:55 PM
Hi Everyone,

Thanks so much for your replies and the advice accompanying it! Its funny how one does sort of know what to do but getting confirmation from others is so reassuring!! I tell my husband most things - and he is incredibly supportive. But the reason I don't talk about every ache and pain (and also why I've decided to keep my Lupus to myself and not tell friends, for the moment) is that I don't want Lupus to become my persona. Oh blast, I am complicated!!!

Hi Cheryl, I'm 48. Will try the throat spay. I eat a lot of sugarfree chewing gum because of my Sjoren's dry mouth symptoms. Hugs! :)

Hi Rob, I lost my voice last year (drama is my business) and had to go for speech therapy. My voice is much better but I've taken a big step back from my active drama. Been thinking about you, Rob, and been reading all your posts. Hugs! :)

Hi Lynn, Oh you made me smile with the Rheumy diagnoses! So good when one meets a humble rheumy who admits to being human! And as for your warning, I'm going to see if I can rustle up an appointment with my GP today! Hugs! :)

Hi Oluwa, Thanks for all the trouble you went to gathering all that information for me. My cough is a bit like a smokers cough (I don't smoke) I cough one or two little coughs and then do the ugh ugh ugh thing after the cough (know what I mean? :wink: ) I'd better go and have it checked out with my GP! I'm going to make a concious effort to drink a lot more today and see if the foot cramps go away. Its only on my left foot though - so strange. Hugs! :)

Its a beautiful day here and I'm going for a walk on the promenade. I hope I spot some dolphins today!

All the best

05-21-2008, 07:30 AM
HI Colleen,

You are welcome...

I get spasms in my right left, sometimes the whole leg, or just the calf or foot w/toes. I noticed my spasms correlate with insufficient fluids consumed or when I was having bouts of diarrhea from digestion issues.

I do have sciatica in that leg, due to two failed lumbar surgeries..

With losing your voice, dry cough could it possibly be your Sjorgrens Syndrome or Gastric Reflux Esophagus Disease (GERD)? I have both. I get a dry non-productive cough. I lose my voice.

With GERD I never felt the burning up in my throat, neck part but my Gastro thought the acid was irritating my vocal cords which results in my voice getting raspy or lost. I think it is because I don't have enough lube, saliva.

I run out of voice especially when I am talking loud to my Auntie who has hearing problems,.or when I have long conversations. Drying out I think...from the inside out..

For your SS have you tried sugarfree Ricola cough drops? I also use prescription artifical saliva...Aquoral..

Hope you get to the bottom of it..the reason...

Keep looking..

05-21-2008, 02:16 PM
Hi ColleenT

How's the tightness in the chest today? You should hustle down to the doctor's and get that listened to.

I dont want to freak you out, but that's how my pneumonia started out. So dont mess around with it. Let your doct have a listen.

I chew alot of gum as well, not because of dry mouth but because I quit smoking 2 yrs ago and I switched my addiction.

I'm trying to cut back on the gum too because I read an article recently about a chemical in gum that's not good for us. Sigh, ya just cant win.