Digestion, Asthma, Immune | June 5, 2018 | Author: Naturopath
When you have an upper respiratory infection you sometimes get a cough. This cough can be a good cough as it allows mucus to shift off the lung and be expelled from the body, but some coughs can be an indicator of other conditions and should be investigated.
The reason we cough is a protective reflex serving a normal physiologic function of clearing excessive secretions and debris from the pulmonary tract.
Coughing is directly induced by stimulation of a subset of bronchopulmonary C-fibres (nerves of the peripheral and central nervous system that are unmyelinated) and a reflexively sensitive, acid-sensitive subtype of myelinated airway mechanoreceptors (sensory nerve endings that respond to touch, pressure, sound and muscular contraction).  Put simply, sensory nerves that end primarily in the larynx, trachea, carina, and large intrapulmonary bronchi (in the lung), along with other bronchopulmonary sensory nerves located in the chest wall, diaphragm, and abdominal musculature, regulate cough patterning and cough sensitivity. (1).
Put more simply, coughing is controlled by nerve fibres.
It is suggested chronic coughing occurs because there are more triggers for coughing in the airways or in other organs associated with coughing.
Most upper respiratory infections resolve in one to two weeks but some leave behind a persistent annoying cough that just won’t go away.
This could be caused by unresolved bacterial infection or can be from the cycle of coughing causing inflammation of the airways – causing irritation – causing coughing – causing inflammation.
A check up with your health care provider to eliminate bacterial infection is advised. Your Doctor may suggest anti-inflammatories to sooth the irritation.
Aspiration pneumonia occurs when food, saliva, liquids or vomit is breathed into the lungs or airways.
Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder often occurring with other more serious diseases. It is a condition where it takes more time and effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach.
Asthma is a condition of inflammation of the lung often with production of mucous. Asthma is a common, chronic condition which is often triggered by the immune system responding to inhaled substances such as pollen, house dust mites and mould spores. Asthma attacks can also be triggered by the common cold, exercising or by environmental irritants like cigarette smoke and pollution. 
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A persistent cough if you are an asthmatic, could be a symptom of the condition not under control or a more serious health disease and should be investigated by your doctor.
This is a term often used to destribe conditions of the lungs defined by airway restriction and abnormal inflammatory response. This can be from any number of causes such emphysema, chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis and chronic airway obstruction. The symptoms of this disease will often include a chronic cough.
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Acid reflux, GERD and silent reflux have one thing in common, acid. Often in these conditions the sphincter at the top of the stomach fails to close fully after eating, this then allows acid from digestion to rise up irritating the oesophagus and the throat causing pain or a burning sensation, a bitter taste in the mouth, and coughing. Check with your doctor to see if you have a reflux condition and follow the guideline for treatment. This includes:
An allergen is anything that causes a reaction in the body. This could include food, pollens, dust mite, plants or animals amonst many others.
Conditions such as hay fever will cause swelling in the sinuses and throat, excess mucous production and post nasal drip.
The drip down the back of the throat causes irritation leading to cough.
Reducing the allergens, supporting the body’s immune system and treating the symptoms will often reduce the cough.
A constant dry cough maybe a symptom of a thyroid issue such as hypothyroidism, goitre, or cancer of the thyroid. The thyroid is a butterfly shaped gland located in the neck that is like a master controller of systems in our body. If other causes of cough, such as colds and allergy, have been ruled out a check up with the doctor is important to eliminate thyroid concerns.
Coughing is most often due to post nasal drip, acid sensitivity and poorly controlled asthma.
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