*cough* Help *cough* me! *cough*

A couple years ago I started the Atkins diet. I stuck with it for a year and lost 45 lbs. Then, while on vacation, I broke diet. There was no looking back after that, and I’ve regained that 45 lbs. D’oh!

My question has nothing to do with weight loss, though. For about 10 years I’ve had an occassional but persistent, and sometimes nasty cough. Docs put me on all kindsa shit (pills, puffers, you name it) until one really smart doc gave me Zantac and poof, gone. He suggested I take Zantac 3x/day for… ever!

It seems the cough was a response to acid reflux. Once he pointed this out, I did note that certain foods (or combinations of foods) caused the cough. I tried to determine exactly what caused it with little success. I know if I have a breakfast of bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, toast, coffee I’m in for a coughing fit later. But I can eat a ton of each of these items individually with no problems. There are many such combinations - some I’ve discovered, some I haven’t.

I didn’t like the idea of having to take (read: buy) Zantac all my life, so I went back to just living with it (and stopped seeing docs altogether). When the cough starts, I pop a couple of Rolaids and it helps greatly. If I know I’m going to have the bacon,eggs,etc. combo, I pop a Pepcid or Zantac ½-hour before and I’m fine.

To my surprise, though, when I went on Atkins I not once experienced the old cough. When I dropped Atkins, the cough came back within a month.

It was a nice respite, and I intend to focus a bit more to see if I can determine what Atkins cut out of my diet so, even if I don’t resume Atkins (unlikely) I can at least avoid whatever it is that causes this cough (I had pasta for lunch today and I’m coughing up a storm as I type)

Does anyone have any insights on how I can get to the bottom of this?

Sounds like carbs are somehow related to it. Try cutting down on your carbs and see if the coughing goes away or at least is reduced.

Another thing to consider is volume of food. On atkins you tend to eat smaller volumes because, well, proteins and fats are denser/drier than most carbohydrate foods.

I also didn’t have acid reflux while on Atkins, although I’ve also had it occasionally since. I’d go with **groman’**s idea, from my experience, too.

Often GER (Gastric-Esophogeal Reflux) is initiated by, not necessarily what we eat, but how much at one time.
The cardiac sphincter which separates the esophogus and the stomach, isn’t a true sphincter. As we age, it weakens, allowing stomach contents to rise in the esophogus. If the stomach is chronicly over filled, the same thing happens.
Is it possible while on Atkins, you ate smaller more frequent meals?

Look it up and you will find lifestyle fixes, like raising the head of your bed a few inches with blocks under the top two legs of the frame. Prevents the reflux from occurring while you sleep, which irritates the esophagus and makes it more sensitive to whatever.

Acid reflux is also aggravated by caffeine and certain other substances as well as volume.

Anyway, I’d look up Gastric-Esophogeal Reflux for more info.