A forum for people who suffer from chronic or persistent coughs to share ideas... these don't have any sort of official approval so you try any of them out at your own risk. I've consigned some of the more unusual ones I received to the Oddities bin on the left. I've also listed very simple remedies separately. If you're a sufferer, good luck, and please report back by commenting on the particular posting if you find success. Or just comment to the most recent posting and I will pick it up.

Friday, October 24, 2008

And more from Saturday Live...

Just a note for Nigel Peake, the person who has coughing problems to see a Bowen Therapist. That will sort him out.
Dear Saturday Live 

I am a researcher, and cognitive behavioural therapist , working at Newcastle University, researching using cognitive behavioural therapy

(CBT) to treat "medically unexplained" voice and speech problems. It struck me, listening to Nick talk about his problem, that a CBT approach might be useful. He said that there could be an element of habit involved, that there are times that are easier than others, and that some strategies help. This all suggests, to me, that taking a pragmatic CBT informed look at how he manages his coughing might at least be able to give him a bit more control over it.

It could be he has already tried this. CBT is more and more being used to help people manage physical symptoms, particularly ones, like Nicks, which are chronic, and where there is no clear medical explanation.

Changing how you manage and respond to symptoms doesnt necessarily make them go away, but it can improve them, and improve general quality of life. This is how I have ended up working with voice patients. If Nick is interested, feel free to pass on my contact details. I work within the university sector and see clients within the NHS, (just to let you know that I have no monetary or other vested interest!) 

great programme by the way
all the best
Hi Fi
I was just listening to your coughing interview. I had a cough all through secondary school. No one knew why. I was given an asthma puffer, despite being told categorically by the doctor that I didn't have asthma. If your man does find out what is causing his cough I'd be curious to know.

I think the general assumption with my cough was that it was psychosematic. I found it puzzling that your man had gone to the extremes of demanding morphine, but hadn't explored psychiatric treatment.


take it that Nick Peake, who was on your programme, contacted Professor Alyn Morice of Hull York Medical School? He has done a great deal of research into coughing and is the founder of the International Society for the Study of the Cough. Coughing caused by oesophageal reflux is a particular interest of the Professor.


To Nick, the poor man with the chronic cough. Have you seen a speech and language therapist? 

There is a behavioural technique, developed in Toronto, which has helped to alleviate or eliminate chronic cough/throat clearing for thousands of people. I personally have 'cured' several people who have suffered with the condition for up to fifteen years. Most have been for ENT, respiratory and gastro-enterology investigations with no relief. Many GPs and consultants are unaware of this simple, drug-free, non-invasive technique. Believe me, this method really works. It is not a gimmick - It just replaces a 'bad' behaviour with a good one, in order to break the cough cycle. I am a speech and language therapist working in the NHS.

Please contact me - I can help! 

Hoping to hear from you soon, 

Best wishes, 



Nick Peake and the cough 

Here are some ideas for Nick to try. 1st of all, he has had this cough for a long time, so he may need to have this habitual behaviour dealt with through hypnotherapy. The amount of time he would have to have treatment for is in proportion with the number of years. He should get someone to look at his face and neck posture whilst he is giving a lecture. He might be holding his head up too far, rather than looking straight ahead - someone who teaches the Alexander Technique could help here. It think Alexander himself had problems with his voice and developed the technique to help himself. There are also some homeopathic remedies that could help. Drosera ( 6c or 30c) is very good at suppressing a tickly throat and the cough that comes with it. As Nick has had this for a long time it might be a good idea for him to see a homeopath for constitutional treatment. The other remedy is Sootha, which is a cough syrup - although it has a baby on the package now, it is for all ages.

Seeing a speciliast of one or more of thses therapies is probably a sound idea due to him having this cough for such a long time.

all the best - Alida 


Re Nick Peake and his 15-year cough 

Having failed to find Nick's blog, I thought I would write to you with another suggestion. I suffer from a similar thing although my cough is usually only for 30 mins in the morning (also with a morning cup of tea and chat) and sometimes at night when I go to bed. One of my GPs came up with the suggestion that it was probably due to acid reflux (which is the most probably cause) and suggested I put bricks under the head end of the bed (not mattress!) so that the body is sloping slightly downwards. More pillows is not the answer as the body is then not straight. Perhaps you could pass this on to him. Many thanks.


Nick Peake - coughing remedy/management 

He's probably already heard these one but ... 

Try rolling a blob/teaspoon of thick/opaque honey in a saucer with a fair amount of dry ginger powder in it 'til it's like a soft lozenge, then put on tongue and suck gently for as long as possible...

2. Has he tried holding off coughing for as long as humanly possible and seeing if he can increase the time he can hold off the cough for (to try and change the habit, which may be part of the problem). He could try the blob of honey while trying to hold if off...

Also, distraction - is there something that he would find distracting enough (music/craft/making something) that would take his mind off it for a while first thing in the morning, just long enough to show that the habit could be broken ?

All the best, good luck with it. 

Sue E.


Re:programme 26/4/08. Featured a chap from Manchester, a uni lecturer I think. His story was of his persistant tickly cough. I know it is very unlikely that the medical staff to whom he has been refferred haven't considered the possibility but I felt I would just offer this in case! There are some prescribed drugs that can cause this problem, the one I know of is taken for HYPERTENSION but I can't recall it's name.

Has Nick Peake tried Rescue Remedy for his cough? If I have a tickle/irritation in my throat it always works! Mary 


Dear lecturer with tickle in throat,
Great show, keep it up!
I had a nervous tickle in my throat for 20 years, very difficult to get rid of! Try herbal Marshmallow capsules, any good herbal shop will sell them.

This is a message for Nick Peake:
I had the same cough problem and after extensive tests failed to provide a diagnosis, I trawled the internet and came up with "Post-nasal drip". This sounds dreadful, but it's an accumuluation of mucous in the sinuses that slowly drips down the back of the throat causing coughing. Some of the things that cause excessive production of mucous are dairy products (which I love), so I cut out all butter, yoghurt, cheese, cream, chocolate etc from my diet. I couldn't cut out milk altogether, so switched to semi-skimmed goats milk which is lower fat than cows milk. It worked. Every now and again I succumb to eating cheese or butter and then suffer the cough 24 hours later - but its a trade off. The cough hasn't completely gone, but its usually just in the morning and very occasionally thereafter. 

Another factor I think is Manchester's damp climate (I'm from Manchester too, and also a teacher). I heard that a lot of people have sinus problems in Manchester and as the sinuses are involved in post-nasal drip, this leads me to conclude the weather may be involved.

Anyway, I hope this is of some help - cutting out dairy products for a week or two as a trial is less extreme than some of the remedies people suggest. Good luck!

Kath Fry


I was just responding to the gentleman last Saturday who had a very bad cough and couldn't get rid of it. My sister suffered from a similar problem, read somewhere that it could be related to heartburn/indigestion, got Omsoprezole (? spelling) from her doctor and the cough has gone. It may well be that the gentleman has explored this, but if not maybe this could help.


ref. Nick Peake's persistent cough 

Further to my last e-mail sent earlier this week. 

I have continued to send absent healing to Nick Peak each evening. I would love to know if he is getting any better. 

If not, I will keep trying! 


Jordan Heal 

Name: Jenny Pioli

I too have an irritating cough and throat clearing-habit that is very difficult to shift.

Many years ago, a friend who was a consultant specialising in asthma, told me it was an asthmatic cough.  I went to my GP who rejected the idea because I had no problem with the standard "breathe into this tube" test.  But he did prescribe an inhaler for me to try and said, "If the cough is not gone in 3 weeks then it ain't asthma"

Disappointingly there was no change at first. But some time later, I cannot remember how long exactly, I realised I was no longer coughing.

So I think it was an asthmatic reaction to something and I think I have an easily inflamed respiratory tract.  It seems possible that this is similar to your condition - smoking may have left you with a sensitive respiratory tract and something inflames it too readily.

So the next consideration is what inflames it? Like you, I do not cough at night and only start when I wake up and become upright. This makes me think the irritation comes from "nasal drip" or allergic rhinitis. 

So what cause this "nasal drip"?

I have recently retired from the local University where I worked in close proximity with students, so that is a possible source of infection that you share.  Since retiring 4 months ago, the cough had almost gone but last week I returned for a week's contract - and now the problem has returned. I clear my throat, my voice is croaky and I cough.

So why did it improve when I retired?  I have three possible theories which could all be partially contributing.

Mixing with so many different students, traffic fumes from my journey to work or the hot, stuffy atmosphere of my office where the air-conditioning is a disaster.

I don't know if any of this matches your experience, but one thing I would say is that your condition probably does not stem from a single cause which is why it is so difficult to cure.

Name: Dr. Robert Heath

Like Nick I suffered a continuous irritating coughing for nearly 20 years.  I had been an intermittent non-inhaling smoker, and had countless chest x-rays, all of which were clear.  I tried asthma puffer inhalers, but they just made me cough even more. Every year I would get one or two chest infections and end up on antibiotics.  But the greatest irritation was that concerts, theatre, and even cinema visits were a nightmare - eventually I resorted to buying container-loads of throat pastilles.  Then five years ago a new doctor suggested a steroid powder asthma inhaler called a Turbohaler.  Since starting it years ago my coughing has vanished and I've not had a chest infection for three years. 

For the cough, try Jala Neti.

for example see http://www.jalanetipot.com/

No comments:

Top Blogs