Continued from page 1
Chronic Cough -- Causes and Top 10
Natural Remedies
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Last updated April 16, 2017, originally published October 30, 2012

By Alison Turner,  Featured Columnist

6. Elderly and ACEI and Chronic Cough: Sigh

For those of us with parents, grandparents, or grandkids of
our own, we know that growing old is…hard.  There are
medical conditions, then medication for those conditions,
and then side-effects from the medications.  Recent studies
in China suggest that chronic cough may fall into the latter
category: it may be a side-effect from taking ACEIs (see

Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (known as ACEI,
for short), are medications prescribed to treat heart, blood
vessel, and kidney problems.   ACEIs work by lowering the
blood pressure so that the heart does not have to work too
hard, which is just fine for many people who need this help
– however, ACEI’s also may come with side-effects, such
as lightheadedness, loss of appetite, an upset stomach,
joint pain, and cough.

In 2009, Chinese experts led by Dr. Zhongmin Qui with the
Department of Respiratory Medicine at Tongji University in
Shanghai,  investigated how taking ACEIs affected the
chronic cough of 104 elderly patients with chronic cough.  
Results showed that ACEI showed a “frequent incidence”
of induced cough in the elderly, especially when compared
to non-elderly patients with chronic cough.

If you have chronic cough that significantly impacts your
quality of life and take ACEIs, consider talking to your
doctor about other options to lower your blood pressure.

D.I.Y. Cough-Suppression Therapy?

For those of you who would rather not take drugs to treat
medical conditions, but want to say goodbye to your
chronic cough, there’s hope!  British researchers have
developed and tested a natural remedy that is prescription

In 2011, a team of researchers in the UK, which included
Surinder Birring with the Division of Asthma at King’s
College London,  analyzed the effectiveness of “cough-
suppression physiotherapy” against chronic cough.  The
team applied the physiotherapy program to 23 patients
with chronic cough, a program that included education,
counseling, breathing “retraining,” and vocal hygiene.  
Results showed a “significant improvement” in cough-
related quality of life, as well as a “significant reduction” in
cough frequency and sleep disturbance.  The team
concludes that “cough-suppression physiotherapy may lead
to a clinically significant improvement” in cough-related
symptoms in patients with chronic cough.
Don’t let anti-cough drugs get you down – try the natural
way to treat chronic cough!

Do You Have Chronic Cough?  Let’s See Your FeNO

One way that all those experts out there measure airway
inflammation (
asthma), is to measure a patient’s fractional
exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) content .  While measuring
FeNO content has been used to diagnose asthma for years,
Chinese researchers have recently found a new use for the
procedure: chronic cough.

In 2011, a large team of Chinese researchers including YM
Zhang with the Peking Union Medical College & Chinese
Academy of Medical Sciences in Beijing,  evaluated how
exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) affected the chronic cough of
106 participants with chronic cough.  All subjects were
given a FeNO test, the results of which revealed that FeNO
levels were associated with different kinds of chronic
cough, reaching the conclusion that a “marked elevation of
FeNO level helps to make a final diagnosis” of chronic

While a FeNO test may be difficult to take in the comfort of
your own home, its growing use may (we can hope) help
to reduce the cost of testing in treatment centers.

Do You Suffer From a Too-Responsive Larynx?  

While it may be that you’ve never called your chronic cough
“laryngeal hyperresponsiveness,” it could be that the
issues are overlapping.

In 2011, a large team of researchers in Turin, Italy,
including Dr. Caterina Bucca with the Department of Clinical
Pathophysiology at the University of Turin,  looked into the
details of “laryngeal hyperresponsiveness” in 372 patients
with chronic cough.  

Results showed that “an irritable larynx is common in
patients with [chronic cough] and indicated upper airway
involvement.”  “Upper airway involvement,” the study
found, could be rhinitis/sinusitis, gastric reflux (see
above), or idiopathic sensory neuropathy.  

If you have chronic cough (or feel irritation in your larynx,
a feeling that might just feel how it sounds), consider
asking your doctor about upper airway conditions to begin

Morphine: Not Just for Pain Anymore

Morphine is a drug that is generally prescribed to relieve
moderate to severe pain.   However, a few years ago some
researchers found another possible use for morphine: the
mitigation of chronic cough.

In 2007, a group of scholars at the University of Hull at
Castle Hill Hospital in East Yorkshire, U.K., including
Professor Alyn Morice with the Department of Academic
Medicine,  tested whether or not morphine sulfate would
reduce cough frequency in patients with chronic cough.  
Twenty seven patients were treated with 5 mg of slow-
release morphine twice a day for four weeks.  Data showed
a “rapid and highly significant reduction by 40% in daily
cough scores.”  The team concludes that “morphine sulfate
is an effective antitussive in intractable chronic cough” – at
the dose of 5 mg twice daily.

If you do end up taking morphine for chronic cough, make
sure to use the drug only under the direction of a
physician, as incorrect use could result in serious health
problems, even death.

Learn more about the causes of common conditions and
remedies for them:
Sore Throat -Causes and Cures /
Stop Night Time Congestion /Swollen Ankles-Causes and
Cures /Tight Bras and Briefs-Health Dangers /Night
Cramps/ Night Sweats/ Snoring Raises Your Risk of
Stroke/ The Importance of Drinking Enough Water

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Eating smaller meals can help reduce chronic cough
caused by GERD.