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Cough, irritation in throat, vomiting mucous. X-ray and blood test done. How to get relief?

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My husband feels like there is something stuck in his throat constantly and several times daily he gags and vomits mucous . It usually starts with an irritating cough which is always there. His family doctor has given him an X-ray and bloodwork but nothing further when this showed nothing.
He also has pain in his kidney area particularly when he lays down. He has 3-4 bowel movements every morning and 2-3 more throughout the day. He gets up to urinate at least twice through the night, usually more often. He wakes up coughing and gagging several times through the night and sometimes vomits then too. He has been told it is acid reflux, hiatus hernia and stress but none of the treatments have helped. Where should we turn now?
Posted Tue, 22 May 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 2 hours later

Thank you for your query.

1. The source of the mucus must be examined. It may be a post nasal drip from chronic sinusitis. It may be due to acid reflux or arise from the lungs due to chronic bronchitis, emphysema or air pollution.

2. If he does not get breathless on exertion and if on auscultation by a physician, there are no abnormal chest sounds, then there is less cause for worry. However the following additional tests are recommended:
a. Lung Function Tests
b. Sputum (Phlegm or Mucus) examination and culture.
c. Abdominal Sonography (also include the Kidneys and Bowels / rule out IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chron's Disease).
d. Flexible Oesophageal Gastro Duodenal (OGD) Endoscopy. Rule out Schatzki's rings , varices and Barrett's Esophagus.
e. HR CT Scan of the Chest (to rule out Asbestosis)
f. Rule out Alpha 1-Antitrypsin deficiency.

3. Based on these test results, further treatment options can be discussed.

I hope that I have answered your query. If you have any further questions, I will be available to answer them.

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