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DrRussMD, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 64653
Experience:  Internal Medicine--practice all of internal medicine, all ages, family, health, prevention, complementary medicine, etc.
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I developed a minor dry cough during / after moderate

Customer Question

I developed a minor dry cough during / after moderate exercise (30 mins swimming) about five / six weeks ago. For the first two weeks it only occurred during exercise and 24 hours afterwards. I only exercise at the weekend. I don't cough too much, it's more a sense of something irritating or stuck in my chest. If I press on my chest it induces a cough. I have no wheezing or loss of breath per se. In the past two weeks, it now starts during exercise and lasts 48 hours after exercise.My GP suspected a low level chronic chest infection and prescribed antibiotics and an asthma type inhaler. However I am not convinced of this diagnosis as I have no other over symptoms. I do not therefore think antibiotics are a good idea. I tried the inhaler but it made me lightheaded.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.


Acid reflux can do this.

Aggravaged by exercise, small amounts of acid get into the lungs.

This can be the only symptom.

Early heart failure can do this. Very mild compromise of the left ventricle. You give you history to indicate this.

New asthma can do this [adults get asthma].

Environmental exposures that you are sensitive to.

Infection is the last on my list.

Just based on your description.

However, why not ask for pulmonary function testing, an EKG and a chest x ray?

That would exclude a number of problems.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
An ENT Dr once said I had evidence of acid re-flux scaring in my esophagus and prescribed Nexium (3 or 4 years ago). They caused heart palpitation so I didn't take them. I have some symptoms of GERD, although it doesn't really effect me. I drink a lot of tea and recently stopped taking milk with the tea. Does that make it more acidic? Is there something I can do before exercise that will prevent the reflux?I had problems with a pounding heart beat 3 years ago which impacted my ability to sleep, although I was told by several cardiologists that my heart was fine. I do have eptopic heartbeats, which i am told are benign.I was a smoker for 27 years, although stopped 4.5 years ago (I still still smoke on occasions). I have no history of asthma, although my mother and siblings suffer from asthma. Can you have asthma with the only symptom being a mild cough? I thought you would get loss of breath and wheezing too? What is the least interventionist treatment I can use if my problem is asthma?I am allergic to pollen and dust house mites. However I have had cough before as a symptom. I live and work in a major city, pollution could be an issue.What is the best type of specialist to see for diagnosis and treatment.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I meant "I have NOT had cough before as a symptom' in relation to allergies.
Expert:  DrRussMD replied 1 year ago.

stopping milk with the tea will make it more acidic.

You should have a holter monitor for 24 hours given your heart history.

Pulmonary function testing would diagnose mild COPD. You don't have to have a lot of symptoms.

Allergic reaction is still possible.

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