The Link between your Thyroid and your Cough

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Thyroid-related coughs can be a lesser-known symptom of thyroid dysfunction. Learn about the causes, symptoms, and natural remedies for managing thyroid-related coughs.

The thyroid, a small butterfly-shaped gland nestled at the base of your neck, is a powerhouse of hormone production, regulating everything from your metabolism to your energy levels.
But did you know that this seemingly innocuous gland can also be the culprit behind a persistent cough? Yes, that’s right!

While a cough may not be the first symptom that comes to mind when you think of thyroid issues, it’s a lesser-known yet significant sign of thyroid dysfunction.
So, if you’ve been battling a stubborn cough that just won’t go away, it might be time to turn your attention to your thyroid.

In this article, we delve into the intriguing connection between thyroid health and coughing, exploring the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for a thyroid-related cough.

What does a thyroid cough feel like?

A cough linked to thyroid issues can resemble a typical cough but often has distinct traits.
These include:

– Hoarseness or changes in voice pitch
– Difficulty swallowing or a sensation of something stuck in the throat
– A persistent, chronic cough that doesn’t improve with standard treatments
– A cough that worsens when lying down
– A cough with symptoms like fatigue, weight changes, or insomnia, which are common in thyroid dysfunction.

Is a thyroid cough dry?

A thyroid-related cough can be either dry or productive.

A dry cough, which lacks mucus, is more frequent when thyroid issues cause throat and airway irritation or inflammation.
This type of cough may result from an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).

A productive cough, which produces mucus, is less common with thyroid conditions.
However, if a nodule or goiter applies pressure to the trachea or esophagus, it can lead to mucus buildup and a productive cough.

thyroid and coughing at night

Do thyroid nodules hurt when you cough

A thyroid nodule, a growth on the gland, is typically benign (non-cancerous).

Although they usually don’t cause pain, some individuals may experience discomfort or pressure in the affected neck area.

While it’s uncommon for nodules to be painful when coughing, coughing can lead to muscle fatigue in the neck.
Large nodules may cause discomfort or pain when coughing or even when moving the head.

Causes of a thyroid cough

A thyroid cough can stem from various factors associated with thyroid dysfunction.

One common cause is the enlargement of the thyroid gland, known as a goiter.
When the thyroid gland becomes enlarged, it can exert pressure on the trachea (windpipe) and surrounding structures, leading to a persistent cough.

Another potential cause is the development of thyroid nodules, which are growths or lumps that form on the thyroid gland.
These nodules can also compress the trachea and cause coughing.

Additionally, thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism can lead to changes in the throat and airways, resulting in a chronic cough.

In some cases, the cough may be a symptom of an autoimmune condition affecting the thyroid, such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis or Graves’ disease.

It’s crucial to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment if you’re experiencing a persistent cough related to your thyroid.

Thyroid cough treatment

Treatment for a thyroid-related cough depends on the underlying thyroid dysfunction.
The most effective approach is to identify and address the thyroid issue.

For hyperthyroidism, medications can be prescribed to slow hormone production.

In the case of hypothyroidism, replacement therapy can correct the hormonal imbalance.

In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove part or all of the thyroid, particularly if a nodule interferes with swallowing or causes coughing.

hashimoto cough

Natural remedies for thyroid cough

Natural remedies can be a helpful addition to medical treatments for thyroid-related coughs, offering potential relief from symptoms and supporting overall thyroid health.

  • Ashwagandha (Indian Ginseng)

Ashwagandha, also known as Indian Ginseng, is a widely used herb in Ayurvedic medicine.
It is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and immune-stimulating properties, which can be beneficial for thyroid health.

Studies have shown that Ashwagandha can help regulate the thyroid gland and reduce symptoms of dysfunction.
Therefore, it can be a valuable addition to the treatment regimen for thyroid-related coughs.

Dosage: 300-500 mg of ashwagandha standardized extract, 1-2 times daily (ad)
Precautions: Avoid if pregnant, breastfeeding, or have autoimmune conditions

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  • Holy Basil (Tulsi)

Basil, or Tulsi, is another herb commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine.
It possesses anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and immune-stimulating properties, making it a potential aid in managing thyroid issues.
Basil has been traditionally used to support thyroid health and may help reduce inflammation in the throat and airways, which can alleviate cough symptoms.

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Precautions: Avoid if pregnant, breastfeeding, or have blood clotting disorders

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  • Ginger

Ginger is a well-known herb with various medicinal properties.
It provides anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial effects, which can be beneficial for thyroid health.
Ginger has been used traditionally to support thyroid function and may help reduce inflammation in the airways and throat, improving cough symptoms.

Dosage: 250-500 mg of ginger root extract, 1-2 times daily (ad)
Precautions: Avoid if pregnant, breastfeeding, or have gallstones

These natural remedies can complement medical treatments for thyroid-related coughs.
However, always consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

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Essential oil for dry cough

When managing a thyroid-related cough, essential oils like Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Lemon can be valuable allies, offering expectorant properties that help clear airways and reduce cough severity.

  • Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus essential oil, with its cineole compound, is renowned for its expectorant properties.
Inhaling this oil can clear airways, enhance breathing, and alleviate the intensity of a cough, making it particularly effective for managing dry coughs associated with thyroid disorders.

  • Peppermint

Peppermint essential oil, rich in menthol, is another potent expectorant.
Inhaling it can open airways, ease breathing, and soothe coughing.
Its anti-inflammatory properties also help reduce throat and bronchi irritation, making it a suitable remedy for dry coughs related to thyroid issues.

  • Lemon

Lemon essential oil, containing limonene and citral, is a powerful expectorant.
It can alleviate cough severity, especially dry coughs associated with thyroid problems, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Additionally, its high vitamin C content and antioxidant properties offer a detoxifying effect, beneficial for thyroid health.



Some additional tips

When dealing with a thyroid-related cough, implementing certain lifestyle changes and home remedies can help alleviate symptoms and support overall thyroid health.

1. Stay hydrated: Drinking enough fluids can help thin mucus, making it easier to clear your throat and reduce coughing.

2. Humidify the air: Using a humidifier in your home can add moisture to the air, which can help soothe your throat and reduce coughing.

3. Gargle with salt water: Gargling with warm salt water can help reduce throat irritation and soothe a cough.

4. Avoid irritants: Try to avoid exposure to smoke, pollution, and other irritants that can worsen your cough.

5. Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs that can cause respiratory infections and coughing.

6. Manage stress: Stress can weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to coughing and other symptoms.
Practice stress-reducing techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.

7. Consider allergies: Allergies can sometimes trigger or worsen a cough.
If you suspect allergies are contributing to your cough, talk to your doctor about allergy testing and treatment options.

8. Avoid cough suppressants: While it may be tempting to reach for over-the-counter cough suppressants, these medications can actually make a thyroid-related cough worse by preventing your body from clearing mucus from your throat.

9. Seek professional help: If your cough is persistent or severe, or if you have other symptoms like difficulty breathing, chest pain, or fever, it’s important to see a healthcare professional for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.

10. Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Eating a balanced diet, getting regular exercise, and getting enough sleep can all help support your immune system and reduce your risk of coughing and other symptoms.

Dr Eric Berg: Fixing a chronic cough

Dr. Eric Berg discusses how to fix a chronic cough, particularly one where you’re constantly clearing your throat.
The most common cause is a calcium deficiency, specifically in the larynx, which creates tension and irritation.
The best remedy is calcium lactate, which absorbs quickly in the body compared to other forms like calcium carbonate.
Calcium lactate is also beneficial for canker sores, fevers, and sleep issues in children and infants.
Other potential causes of a chronic cough include acid reflux, adrenal fatigue, and a B12 deficiency.
However, calcium lactate is an inexpensive and effective solution for many cases of chronic cough.

          → Download Dr. Berg Free Guide: Fixing a Chronic Cough

Managing thyroid-related coughs

A persistent cough can indeed be a lesser-known yet significant symptom of thyroid dysfunction.

Whether it’s due to an enlarged thyroid gland, the presence of nodules, or thyroid disorders like hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, understanding the connection between thyroid health and coughing is crucial.

By recognizing the signs and seeking proper diagnosis and treatment, you can take proactive steps towards managing your thyroid-related coughs and overall thyroid health.

Remember, your thyroid is a vital gland that plays a crucial role in your body’s functioning, so it’s essential to listen to your body and seek medical attention if you notice any concerning symptoms.

Explore 78 Natural Remedies for Common Ailments

Hashimoto’s thyroiditis cough – FAQ

Can the thyroid cause discomfort in the throat?

The thyroid can sometimes lead to a sensation of discomfort in the throat, particularly in cases of goiter or thyroid nodules. They can exert pressure on surrounding tissues, causing a feeling of tightness or discomfort.

How do I know if I have thyroid nodules?

To determine if you have one or more nodules on the thyroid, you should consult a doctor for a physical examination of the thyroid gland as well as blood tests, and possibly imaging tests such as an ultrasound.

What kinds of pain can be felt with the thyroid?

Pain associated with the thyroid can vary from person to person. It typically includes pain in the throat region, neck pain, or diffuse pain in the thyroid region.

What signs indicate a thyroid problem?

Certain signs may indicate a thyroid problem such as persistent fatigue, sudden weight gain or loss, mood changes, sleep disturbances, concentration problems, fluctuations in body temperature, as well as changes in skin, hair, and nails. If you experience these symptoms, it is recommended to consult a doctor for an accurate diagnosis.

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"Natural health is essential to me; I've always relied on natural remedies alongside traditional medicine."

"The content of this article is not intended to replace medical advice or any treatment."

1 thought on “The Link between your Thyroid and your Cough”

  1. Thank you for the valuable information. I have finally determined that the cough that I have had for the past three years is because of my hypothyroidism. My doctors just keep saying “I don’t know” when I ask them about my cough.

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