There may be several causes for chronic coughing by dialysis patients. These include post-nasal drip, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary edema, and use of ACE inhibitors or beta-blocking medications. However, research has found gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) to be a primary cause of chronic cough in peritoneal dialysis (PD) patients; especially continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (CAPD). This is a disease that affects the stomach and intestines in which the stomach contents back-up into the esophagus; better known as heartburn and acid reflux.
Because intra-abdominal pressures are increased by peritoneal dialysis, PD patients may experience severe acid reflux. In order to control GERD, exchange volumes (intraperitoneal) should be reduced. KidneyBuzz.com recommends that, in addition to the above remedy, you should consider adopting the below lifestyle changes as applicable to your treatment plan.
Maintain a healthy weight to avoid excess pounds which put pressure on your abdomen and pushes up your stomach, causing acid to back up into your esophagus.
Avoid tight-fitting clothing that fit tightly around your waist, and put pressure on your abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter.
Avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn since everyone has specific triggers. Common triggers such as fatty or fried foods, tomato sauce, alcohol, chocolate, mint, garlic, onion, and caffeine may make heartburn worse.
Avoid overeating by eating smaller meals.
Wait at least three hours after eating before lying down or going to bed.
Don't smoke because smoking decreases the lower esophageal sphincter's ability to function properly.
Although there are a variety of contributing factors, the primary cause of chronic cough in peritoneal patients appears to be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you are experiencing chronic coughing then discuss with your healthcare team, the various options available to you including reduction of PD exchange volumes, lifestyle changes, medication, and surgery.
Staff, Mayo Clinic. "Definition." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research