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COUGH WON'T STOP: Symptoms
A strange, almost-incurable cough is plaguing people everywhere. What are the symptoms? Basically, a cough that just keeps on bothering a person, who may be otherwise healthy.

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It may begin with a normal-seeming cold. But however it starts, the pervasive characteristic is that once The Cough starts, it will not go away.

Everywhere, people are saying, "I just can't get rid of this cough." It continues for weeks, months, or, in several cases, for years. (Mine lasted from 1999 to 2002.) Medically, it is usually diagnosed as "bronchitis" which simply means an inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Also, it can lead to a diagnosis of "asthma" due to the severity of the coughing, which can indeed produce an inability to draw breath. But these terms "bronchitis" and "asthma" tell us nothing of the root causes of the cough.

Symptoms that most people report:

1. Severe tickling (scratchy) sensation in throat, or sometimes below the throat, which is always present and cannot be ignored, which seems to have a very definite location
2. Extreme and uncontrollable spells of coughing, often to the point of vomiting and/or not being able to draw breath
3. Cough does not respond to any medication, sometimes with the exception that it responds to antibiotics, in which case, the cough often returns with equal intensity when the antibiotics are stopped
4. Cough may be severe in the day and nearly non-existent at night, or vice-versa
5. Cough may be relieved temporarily by certain things such as smoking, Coca Cola, etc. -- different things for different people
6. The Poll results show that many or most people who have the Cough are consuming sugar and white flour in enough quantity and frequency to induce B vitamin deficiency. Further, almost no-one is consuming natural food sources rich in B vitamins.
7. Nearly everyone who has taken the Poll (now closed) either works with the public, and/or has school children at home; thus the Cough must be somehow contagious. But, not everyone is susceptible.


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Coughs, of course, can be due to a huge variety of causes. Look at the medical descriptions of The Most Common Types of Coughs (below), and compare to your cough. Probably you have already done this, because something drove you to know that your cough is not anything the world has ever known before, and thus you found this website. However, it is important to rule out the known causes of chronic coughing.

At first you may cough around the clock. After some days, weeks or months, the cough may subside and just appear at certain times of the day. One bus driver in Los Angeles, a woman, reports that she only coughs during the day, not at all at night. For another person, the opposite is the case --- the cough is much worse while in bed, but the moment that person gets out of bed, the irritated feeling in the chest, along with the cough, disappears.

Some people report that the cough will not respond to any antibiotics the doctor gives them. A very few people report that they've taken antibiotics, and the cough healed up and stayed healed. Still others report that antibiotics healed their cough, but it came back as bad as before. Of course, we may not get any input from people who got totally healed by their antibiotics, since they would not have a reason to visit this website, so the picture may be much more hopeful for taking antibiotics. NEVER ADMINISTER ANTIBIOTICS YOURSELF. ALWAYS FOLLOW THE ENTIRE COURSE, TAKING THEM EXACTLY AS THE DOCTOR PRESCRIBES. Taking antibiotics indiscriminately can actually create resistant strains of germs.

In children, the cough is very noticeable, due to their unrestrained behavior. Poor little things! They just cough and cough and cough. One mother of an elementary-school-aged girl who was hospitalized for two weeks with the cough said (Feb., 2002, central Los Angeles) that the hospital was full to capacity with children with the cough, coughing uncontrollably, many with pneumonia. Her daughter was diagnosed with "severe bronchitis", she said.

While bronchitis is an infection of the air tubes, pneumonia is an infection that gets into the tiny air sacs of the lungs. Bronchitis can develop into pneumonia. Cases of pneumonia in the hospitals, according to one mother who has been there with her daughter, seem to be at a maximum. Hopefully we at this website can establish some online contact with hospitals and/or doctors. If this effort is successful (see the Inquiries page), links will be put up here, allowing people to ask about the high incidence of hard-to-cure bronchitis, pneumonia and other lung disease now manifesting, what is causing it, and how to avoid and cure it.

The Most Common Types of Coughs

From "That Pesky Cough, What Could It Be?" at www.pakistanlink.com.

Postnasal Drip Syndrome

Postnasal drip usually occurs when a person has recently had a cold, suffers from allergies, or sinusitis. It is the most frequent cause of both acute and chronic cough. Patients usually feel something dripping into their throat, [NOPE! Not us! This cough is felt as an irritating tickle deeper down in the airways to the lungs. Some may have postnasal drip for a couple days, but it does not stay for months creating the cough.] the need to constantly clear their throat, nasal congestion or discharge, and sometimes hoarseness. Treatment involves decongestants, and treatment of the allergies or the sinusitis that are causing the congestion.

Asthma

Asthma is also a common cause of chronic cough in adults and children. In fact it can be the only symptom the person has from their asthma. Others will also have symptoms that are classically associated with asthma, including wheezing, shortness of breath, and a tight feeling in their chest. A good history and physical exam consistent with asthma can be enough to cause a doctor to treat for asthma. If there is a doubt, there are tests that can be done to confirm the diagnosis, including pulmonary function tests and challenge tests that can recreate an asthma-like picture. Depending on how severe the asthma is it can be treated with bronchodilators (medicine which causes the airways to open up) or inhaled steroids. Treatment of the asthma should make the cough go away. [NOPE! Not us! The Cough is infectious!]

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when acidic contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus. [NOPE! Not us! The Cough is infectious, especially among young, non-refluxing children.]It is also a common cause of chronic cough. Symptoms usually associated with GERD include heartburn, sour taste in the mouth, or a feeling of acid reflux in the chest. Although, more than half of the people with cough from GERD don’t have any symptoms, sometimes GERD can complicate another respiratory process like asthma or bronchitis. Coughing from another cause can precipitate reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Diagnosing GERD, like asthma, can sometimes be established by a good history and consistent physical exam. If that doesn’t work a 24-hour pH test can be done. In that test a tube is put through the nose to sit in the esophagus where it meets the stomach; it monitors the pH in that area for 24 hours. If the readings show increased acidity, the patient can be diagnosed with GERD. The treatment involves anti-acid medications and lifestyle changes. If the GERD is severe, and doesn’t get better with medications, surgery may be warranted. Treatment of the GERD should stop the cough. (Refer to my prior column about GERD for more information.)

Chronic Bronchitis

Chronic bronchitis is often the cause of “smoker’s cough.” The tobacco causes inflammation, secretion of mucus into the airway, and difficultly clearing that mucus out of the airways. Coughing helps clear those secretions out. The only way to treat chronic bronchitis is to quit smoking. [NOPE! Not us!]

Postinfectious Cough

Cough that continues after a viral infection [Now yer talkin'. This is what we've got, a cough that follows an infection ~~ such as a cold. But actually, ours seems to be due to an ongoing infection.] is due to the inflammation originally caused by the virus, that won’t go away. A bronchodilator, which helps open up the airways, may help treat this type of cough. Once the inflammation clears up, the cough should go away. (I developed this type of cough last year, and was miserable for about a month because of it.) [My friend, a Registered Nurse, explains that when we have a cold, the virus causing it is gone in a couple days, and the cough that lingers on is caused by bacterial infections that settle into the inflamed places where the viral infections had been. We should try this ~~ if we can get the inflammation to go away, perhaps the whole thing will heal up. Now, where are those broncho dilators?]

Cough as a Side Effect of Medication

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors are drugs used in diabetics, heart disease, and high blood pressure. In 10% of the people who take it, it can cause them to have a cough as a side effect. [NOPE!] Stopping the drug is the only way to make the cough go away.

Psychological Causes

If there is no disease process that can be found to explain the cough [NOPE! There is a disease process.], it may be due to psychological or emotional problems. Generally this type of cough is most often seen in children. It is important to emphasize that other disease processes should be investigated.

Lung Disease

There are many types of chronic lung diseases that can cause coughing [Yes, this is "another type of chronic lung disease" which of course is the same as saying this is the Cough That Won't Go Away], the most worrisome being lung cancer. Usually these people don’t just have a cough, they are quite sick with many other symptoms.

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Conclusions: "The Cough" is seemingly not from any of the above causes

In the "post-infectious cough," perhaps the broncho-dilator would work. If one can eliminate the inflammation in the bronchial tubes, the cough might heal up. Several people have told me they have succeeded in getting rid of the cough for awhile, only to have it reappear a few weeks later. The Cough is not healing up permanently with any type of over-the-counter products currently available that we know of.

(See the Remedies section.)

My guess is the Cough is triggered by a novel group of microorganisms which can exist only within a population of people having B-vitamin deficiency conditions, possibly associated with rarely-consumed and little-known or undiscovered B vitamins.

The B vitamins must be gotten from FOODS (liver, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, flax seed meal, blackstrap molasses), not pills, as explained elsewhere in this website. Since the modern diet has eliminated almost all sources of complex B vitamins in foods, and at the same time introduced the "B Robbers" to remove much more of a person's B vitamin reserve, I think we have huge numbers of people now without enough of the vital and very complex B vitamin group in their bodies.

It's possible that as the incidence of consumption of sugar and milled grains (white flour, white rice, and all products made from them), and possibly alcohol, reaches some critical threshhold in a region, the number of deficient individuals reaches a level that enables this novel microorganism cluster to perpetuate and spread. I think it is possible that these conditions are currently global in range.

It's also possible that pills in high-dose, "stress-B" vitamin supplements may actually worsen the spread of this Cough, by bringing on deficiencies of lesser- or unknown B vitamins (due to the B's acting synergistically --- get too much of some, get deficiencies in the missing B's).

So, to sum up, the Cough can be successfully fought by (1) avoiding the B-ROBBERS and (2) focusing on the B-RICH foods.

Reminder:
Grains INCREASE appetite.
Fresh fruits and veggies SATISFY appetite.

Reducing the amount of grain you eat to a very small amount (one egg-size serving per meal, approximately), and eating all the fresh fruit and vegetables you desire, will make you gloriously satisfied, and thus help you to bring run-away appetite under your control.

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Definitions

Bacterium (Plural = Bacteria): Any of a class (Schizomycetes) of microscopic plants having round, rodlike, spiral, or filamentous single-celled or noncellular bodies often aggregated into colonies or motile by means of flagella, living in soil, water, organic matter, or the bodies of plants and animals, and being autotrophic, saprophytic, or parasitic in nutrition and important to man because of their chemical effects and as pathagens.

Bronchitis: An acute or chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes, or a disease marked by this.

Bronchial tube: A bronchus or any of its branches.

Bronchus: Either of the two primary divisions of the trachea that lead respectively into the right and left lung.

Cough: A symptom, not a disease. A reflex action that tries to clear the lungs. At least one online MD recommends getting a chest x-ray if one has a cough for 6 weeks, even if a doctor has used a stethoscope and pronounced the lungs "clear."

Epidemic: Affecting, or tending to affect, many individuals within a population, community, or region, at the same time; excessively prevalent

Trachea: The main trunk of the system of tubes by which air passes to and from the lungs in vertebrates.

Virus: Any of a large group of submicroscopic infective agents that are regarded either as the simplest microorganisms or as extremely complex molecules, that typically contain a protein coast surrounding an RNA or DNA core of genetic material, that are capable of growth and multiplication only in living cells, and that cause various important diseases in man, lower animals, or plants.