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Persistent cough,phlegm,burn in upper stomach.Tuberculosis?

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Hi, I am 22 years. I am a smoker. I have cough for more than 3 years. It is almost always persistent. It is mostly accompanied by flum. I want to confirm if there are any TB symptoms. I have consulted many general physicians but a single answer I get is, there is no problem. But I am worried bout my continues cough. I recently have a kind of burning sensation at the upper part of stomach. This might be due to irregular food. Could you please advice on any tests that can prove useful? Should I go for Complete health checkup? Would that help?
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 34 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

Chronic persistent cough may be due to tuberculosis but the other possibilities should also be kept in mind like bronchitis due to smoking, idiopathic cough or allergic causes.

It would be better to first rule out tuberculosis, some routine tests like chest X-ray, sputum analysis and culture, TLC, DLC, ESR, tuberculin skin test, etc. are required.

Once tuberculosis is ruled out you need to get a complete physical examination by a general physician to rule out other causes and to be treated accordingly.

You can go for general health check up along with the above mentioned tests as they are usually not included in the general health check up. These will help to come to a diagnosis for the cause of your persistent cough.

The burning sensation in the upper part of the stomach could be due to Gastritis caused due to irregular food habits and smoking.

Meanwhile you can follow these measures:
1. Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol.
2. Drinks lots of fluids like water and fruit juices
3. Consume lots of XXXXXXX leafy vegetables and fruits
4. Have meals at regular intervals
5. Drink warm water first thing every morning as this will help in reducing the mucus(flum) production

I hope this information has been both informative and helpful for you. If there are additional concerns, I am available for your followups.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Persistent cough,phlegm,burn in upper stomach.Tuberculosis? 2 hours later

Thank you for the response. I have been suffering with cough even before I started smoking. But My suspicion of TB is because my grandfather had TB. My family says it can be hereditary. Is that possible?
However, I will follow your advice and go for appropriate tests. You have mentioned several tests for TB which one do you suggest first.

I will try to follow the diet outlined by you. My major reasons for smoking is to control my migraine and sinus. Also I made the mistake of killing my appetite with smoke for about 2 years as I did not have enough time and food. I was too busy earning for my education.

Is there a way I can regain my health and appetite? Currently I eat only once a day. Now I have time and money to take proper care, so can you please suggest me something?

I get immediate relief if I smoke. I have undergone CT scan for head on advice of one of the doctors and it showed nothing about my head aches. All the doctor said was to reduce overworking but my situations do not allow me. Any suggestions in this regards?

I always have the mucus hanging in my throat near the place where nostrils vent into the throat (the place where air enters the throat). Does this help in narrowing to any particular symptom? My nose always seems to the running. I assumed that this is because of sinus. Am I correct?

I am asking you so many questions because, when ever a doctor puts stethoscope on my chest, ,he confirms that it is clear and everything is fine. But something has to explain my running nose and cough.

Thank you for your time and valuable advice.
Answered by Dr. Rakhi Tayal 3 hours later

Thanks for writing back.

I will try to answer your questions one by one.

1.Tuberculosis is an infective disease and does not run in families. One has to be exposed to the infection to acquire the disease. First of all go for an X-ray chest, sputum examination and then for blood for TLC, DLC, ESR and tuberculin test.

2.To increase your appetite you can ask your physician to prescribe some appetite boosters like cyproheptadine.

3.Overworking leads to headaches induced by anxiety. You can practice some relaxation exercises, XXXXXXX breathing and yoga for relief.

4.Running nose is mostly due infection of the air sinuses. You can take steam inhalation twice daily after adding eucalyptus oil in water for relief. You may also need a course of antibiotics if there is persistent infection.
Avoid smoking as this will also help in reducing the mucus production.

Hope this answers your query.

Wishing you an early recovery.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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