night coughing help

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Hi, ive posted previously regarding my dad who has COPD, during the day he obviously has a lot of phlegm and coughs, i wonder if anyone has any tips or suggestions to help with night coughing?  It wakes him frequently and as well as coughing he kind of chokes. Thank you,  helen

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  • Posted

    Hi again peppa pig

    Hope some of the info that I sent you about a month ago has helped your dad (if he has been receptive !!!).

    I know how many older people still have (misplaced) "faith" in the medical "gods" known as doctors and that ONLY drugs will do any good.

    Something that I did not mention that might be a help is a "salt pipe".  Just Google it.

    Yes the manufacturers big them up and "mainstream" COPD sites dis them (a lot).

    BUT when you look at the feed back from customers you get something like a 40% positive result from their use.  Unfortunately that means 60% got no benefit.

    When you look at it for a (relatively) small price it is worth a try, after all unlike pharmaceuticals salt pipes are side effect free.

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  • Posted

    Hi peppa, I just wanted to mention about consuming lots of pineapple (fresh) which has bromelain in it and helps with COPD because it is suppose to help reduce inflammation. Many people who have COPD really like consuming it, and some will have some fresh pineapple, or, juice, or, canned pineapple every day.

    Another item that is good to use is a supplement called, NAC (n-acetyl L Cystein), which helps open up the passageways of the lungs. I go to Amazon and order it. They say it should be taken twice daily (1-600 mg tablet twice per day). NAC is an antioxidative supplement. According to 'Smart Publications,' an online article regarding NAC, A German randomized pilot study of adults with acute chronic bronchitis showed that 600 mg of NAC taken twice a day led to a near doubling of the rate of bacterial eradication compared with standard therapy. At the same time, NAC helped reduce other symptoms and improve quality of life. NAC also helped patients with moderate-to-severe COPD improve their physical performance on lung function tests, especially after exercise. As for myself, I only use 1 600 mg capsule of NAC per day, and it seems to help by naturally clearing out mucus by liquidizing it first. I dont use the recommended dosage, since I dont have that much mucus, but take it as a small dosage on an every day basis as a pre caution.

    Also, I go to my local Walmart store and purchase 'Mucus Relief', which is about one dollar bottle of 24 tablets, each consists of 400 mg of 'guaifenesin'. The Guaifenesin is the same chemical in the more expensive medication called Mucinex. The only difference is Mucinex has 600 mg, whereas the cheaper version called Mucus Relief, has 400 mg. I take 400 mg whenever needed, in order to help "thin" out thick mucus, or to prevent mucus from becoming too thick, since guaifenesin tends to make thick mucus become watery so it can be expelled easier. I usually find the mucus relief in the dollar bin in the local Walmart store..anyhow it beats paying about 16 dollars for the popular brand called Mucinex versus 1 dollar for a small box of Mucu Relief. Again I dont have mucus, so your father may have to double up on his...when I had an infection once, my Dr. gave me

    ve me 1200 mg two times in morning and one late at night (1200 mg tablet each time). Please ask your doctor beforehand...also may ask about NAC, but it is natural.

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  • Posted

    Hi Peppa Pig!

    I, too don't have much mucus; however, periodically I start coughing during the night.  I don't cough during the day.  When I DO start coughing, I put a cough lozenge in my mouth.  I have found that the BEST lozenges are called Olba and I purchase them at Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocers.  None of the standard cough lozenges seem to help.  Good luck Peppa Pig!


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  • Posted

    I cough at lot at night as well.  I find it helps me to have 2 puffs of my blue ventoline inhaler just before I go to bed.  I also take it with me just in case.  I always have water by my bedside as well.

    One other thing - he could be allergic to dust mites as well so he must make sure he washes his bedding in at least 60 degrees to kill them.  Oh and something else that might help if he gets another pillow or 2 so he is not lying so flat.  x

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  • Posted

    Hi Peppa,

    My uncle had a hard time with COPD, here's the information I found helpful to deal with COPD -

    Vitamins and other supplements may help ease COPD symptoms, but studies are just beginning to explore their effects. Here's what experts know so far.

    There’s no shortage of so-called natural ways to help manage COPD. But since research about the effectiveness of supplements is limited, you need to be cautious and even a little skeptical when making decisions.

    “You should look at supplements and vitamins with the same level of scrutiny that you would use with prescription drugs,” says Albert Polito, MD, director of the Lung Center and co-chief of the division of pulmonary medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. “Since there haven't been enough studies, we don't have enough data to discuss the good or bad effects of supplements.” Also, he says, supplements aren't regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. That means over-the-counter supplements might not actually contain the same active content as supplements used in the few studies that have been published.

    Read on for what experts know about the supplements most often associated with COPD, and how they do (or don’t) help.


    Bromelain is a supplement made from enzymes found in the stems and juice of pineapple. It’s thought to help COPD because it can reduce inflammation, but according to the National Institutes of Health, there’s not enough scientific evidence to support bromelain as an effective supplement for COPD relief. That hasn’t stopped scientists from looking.

    Researchers from the Health Sciences Center at the State University of New York at Stony Brook reviewed a variety of supplements for COPD and suggest that bromelain is safe to try. A daily bromelain dosage can range from 80 to 500 milligrams. Side effects may include bleeding, so you shouldn't take it if you’re using blood thinners. You also shouldn’t combine bromelain with sedatives or antibiotics. And definitely avoid it if you are allergic to pineapple.

    Coenzyme Q10

    The body naturally produces coenzyme Q10, an antioxidant that has been studied for its potential role in battling cardiovascular conditions and even cancer. Also available as a supplement, coenzyme Q10 may also have merit as a natural remedy for COPD by helping increase cell activity and ease inflammation. A small study from Dicle University in Turkey compared 45 people with COPD to 45 smokers who did not have COPD. Those with COPD, the researchers found, had especially low levels of coenzyme Q10 — it probably depleted as their bodies fought off the condition. In most studies of coenzyme Q10 supplements, the suggested dose is 90 to 390 mg a day.


    Exercise is an important part of COPD treatment, and if you often need an energy boost, you might find it in L-carnitine. The body usually produces its own L-carnitine, which it uses to burn fat, among other functions. In COPD patients, L-carnitine supplements seem to help strengthen muscles and improve endurance. One small study of 16 people published in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biology Research found that those who took L-carnitine supplements did significantly better on a walking exercise program than those given a placebo.

    A daily L-carnitine dosage generally ranges from 500 to 3,000 mg, spread out over the course of the day. A dose of more than 5,000 mg a day may cause diarrhea. You shouldn’t use L-carnitine if you are taking the HIV drug AZT, the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin, Accutane, thyroid hormones, or Depakote.


    N-acetylcysteine is another antioxidant also available as an over-the-counter dietary supplement. It’s been investigated as a supplement for COPD because it breaks down mucus that can clog the lungs, but so far studies have shown mixed results.

    A study of 24 Israeli COPD patients published in the journal CHEST found that 1,200 mg of N-acetylcysteine a day helped lung inflation, especially after exercise. On the other hand, a three-year Belgian study of 523 COPD patients published in The Lancet found that people who took 600 mg of N-acetylcysteine a day had the same amount of lung exacerbations and the same decline in lung functions as those who took a placebo. N-acetylcysteine dosage generally ranges from 250 to 1,500 mg daily. Side effects of this supplement include gastrointestinal distress, fatigue, and skin rash. You shouldn’t use N-acetylcysteine if you’re taking nitroglycerin.

    Antioxidant Vitamins

    Vitamins A, C, and E have been touted as supplements for COPD because of their antioxidant properties. Studies show that people with COPD tend to have low levels of these vitamins, and deficiencies translate to worsened pulmonary function. A recent Romanian study of 120 COPD patients found that those who ate a diet rich in fruits and vegetables — great sources of vitamins A, C, and E — had improved lung function.

    While the vitamins can help, taking supplements may not be the best way to reap the benefits. A separate review of multiple studies published in the journal Respiratory Research concluded that increasing vitamin intake through diet has merit, but taking vitamin supplements didn’t provide specific COPD relief.

    How much should you get? The recommended daily allowance of vitamin A is 3,000 international units (IU) for men and 2,310 IU for women. Men need 90 mg of vitamin C a day, women need 75 mg, and smokers should aim for an extra 35 mg a day. Both men and women need 15 mg of vitamin E each day.

    Vitamin D

    Osteoporosis can be particularly dangerous for people with COPD — compression in the spine can make breathing even more difficult. Because of the role vitamin D plays in staving off osteoporosis and because vitamin D deficiencies seem to be common in people with COPD, researchers have investigated whether increased amounts of it can naturally help COPD symptoms. A recent study of 182 people with COPD published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that vitamin D supplements did in fact help people who had severe vitamin D deficiencies, but otherwise had little direct effect.

    “I wouldn't recommend a vitamin D supplement specifically for COPD, but they could be useful as part of a regimen to prevent osteoporosis,” says David I. Bernstein, MD, a professor of medicine and environmental health at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. Both Dr. Bernstein and Dr. Polito recommend that people with COPD stick with a daily multivitamin. Taking a multivitamin ensures you’ll get all the necessary vitamins you need, cuts down on the amount of pills you have to take, and also saves you more money than buying several different types of supplements.

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