I have had the same symptomology for about four years. After my GP ruled out all of the obvious things, I was referred to a pulmonologist. It hadn't occured to me that the coughing might be related to my MS. He ran a series of tests-breathing into a machine with and without broncho dialation medicine to rule out asthma, a swallowing study, chest x-ray (that is all I can recall) He then said since all of the things like asthma, allergies, lung cancer were ruled out, I have an MS related condition called laryngal spasm-where the vocal chords have intermittent paralysis that causes several things. I also have a slight affect of my swallowing ability where saliva builds up in my throat and I don't swallow automatically. If this is happening, when I cough the fluid can get into my lungs. I also can choke on liquids (solids don't seem to be a problem, because so far the swallowing is subtle).Choking is an ongoing issue-so my pulmonologist had me get a medic alert bracelet (to alert folks that if I am choking or having trouble breathing it is my spasming vocal chords--not something lodged in my throat)
Also, this is one of the 'rarer' MS symptoms, even with the pulmonologist's diagnosis it was difficult to get my neuro and GP on board (it doesn't help that I am a fat chick-so both docs suggested my shortness of breath and coughing came from a lack of excercise). So, I talked with my MS Society chapter and did some of my own research and found articles that I gave to them. I understand that this can be treated with a botox injection, but haven't looked into it yet.
WOW!! I was looking for more information on a news article about games for MS and your profile was listed. First, I have to admit that I rarely take the time to look at the many items listed on a web page along with the article the item I searched for...I'd never get anything done!
I have always struggled with a cough following a cold or flu, sometimes for a month or more. Last August I started coughing...as a first symptom, followed by sinus symptoms. The cough was worse than ever before and the sinus symptoms persisted. I've had trouble choking on liquids for years...since before I was diagnosed with MS in 2001.
This time though, I began to have episodes during coughing where I was unable to breathe in or out... I told first my GP, then an ENT, a pulmonologist, allergist, MS doc, hematologist/oncologist and ER doc over the next 4 months...it's like breathing through a straw and then the straw closes up while coughing. Then add fluid build up in my eyelids about 4 months into this...every test in the book left docs insisting this was not allergies and not MS related but I was diagnosed with asthma, vocal chord dysfunction, sinus infection. The inhalers did help my breathing and cough and speech therapy helped me avoid the slamming shut of the vocal cords while coughing. Antibiotics didn't help the sinuses much...and steroids helped temporarily. Finally my GP tried 30 days of steroids with a very slow taper and an 'anti-inhaled-mold' pill daily for the same 30 days. I felt about 80% relief of symptoms and now have occasional bouts of mild persistant cough and sinus...tolerable. Choking on liquids is about the same frequency as before the 8 month nightmare.
My MS specialist does not believe this is MS related. My bloodwork seems to prove it's not an allergy. The only 2 explanations I was left with are another wacky immune response or something hormonal since my period stopped abruptly at the same time all these symptoms started...and returned last month!
Your question and the responses you received put MS back on my list of possible explanations!
On an unrelated topic...I'd like to talk to you because of your expertise with non-profit organizations.
take care of you,
My mom has had MS now for over 20 years. She is almost bedridden but still in good spirits but about 1.5 weeks ago now, she had either a small stroke or a MS episode so she currently is still in a hospital bed in Illinois. They did all the tests etc. and no indication of a stroke, but the results now is she cannot swallow. We have the pathologist come in twice a day, but she still can't swallow. We are thinking now of putting a trach in to relief the pressure and make it easier to breathe. Its a very very tough situation right now, and if you have any advice, please reply, thanks.
Hi Denise, I have been suffering with a horrible cough, asthsma, wheeze, and severe pneumonia since April of this year. My CT is clear & I don't smoke. I was DX with MS in 2008 after 12 years of symptoms. The pneumonia put me in the hospital for 14 days in August. My Neuro tells me it's not MS related, but I'm having swallowing problems & I think he's wrong. A pulmonolgist put me on long taper prednisone, strong antibiotics, and a vibrating vest to loosen lung secretions. I am still on these drugs. This is only the latest course of treatments this year. I'm worried about the condition returning after I finish this current treatment. It has returned before. I am also a professional singer. This breathing disorder has made my life quite miserable. I'm also experiencing blurred vision & extreme lethargy. I am going to be treated with IgG infusions starting this month. This was precribed by a Hemotoligist because my numbers are so low. I'll let you know how or if this works out. God Bless us, Katkan
I was looking up M.S. and cough because my Mom has these coughing spells nose runs coughing hard and loudly. there is no real time but she get these spells in the middle of the night or while eating where her nose runs like a sieve, spell last for a couple minutes at a time. she gets them frequestly then nothing for a couple weeks then she starts getting them again! Mom is 82 and has had M.S. since she was about 29yrs old. discovered it in her 40s. She is quadriplegic with slight movement in right hand to control her moude for computering!!!!
I was amazed to read this question and the number of responses that you received. I have had remitting/relapsing MS for the past eighteen years. About 10 years ago I started to have some issues with severe couging. All my doctors (internist, alllergist, pulmonolgist, and neorologist) thought it was allergy related. My last visit with the pulmomolofist ended with him telling me that he had tried every mecication that he could think of and was "stumped". Now I have something to take back to him. Thank you! I pray that you and all involved will find answers and relief. Pamela
Hope you're doing well.
My wife suffers from MS and has the same EXACT symptoms. Our neurologist can't seem to find a cure for this either. We too have found some relief with the use of steroids in the past but didn't seem to help much during her last episode. I took notice that your last post was in 2009. Have you found any answers to relieving this cough as we are despirate for an answer as well. Please feel free to reply by contacting us through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me through FB by searching Rod Pabst.
We hope you find this general health information helpful. Please note however, that this Q&A is meant to support not replace the professional medical advice you receive from your doctor. No information in the Answers above is intended to diagnose or treat any condition. The views expressed in the Answers above belong to the individuals who posted them and do not necessarily reflect the views of Remedy Health Media. Remedy Health Media does not review or edit content posted by our community members, but reserves the right to remove any material it deems inappropriate.