What causes Coughing after Eating in adults?

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Coughing after Eating

Coughing after eating can be very annoying for you as well as others around you. You may feel very uncomfortable if you have to cough after a nice meal with family or friends. Cough after a meal can be very painful and distracting.

Do you often think Why do I cough after I eat? Have you ever worried about cough at the dining table? Do you feel embarrassed with cough at family dinners or business lunches?

Well, if you say yes, you are not alone. There are many people out there who too often cough after eating.



Coughing after eating is a condition that has been attracting some medical attention lately. There has been a good amount of research into ‘coughing after eating’ worldwide.

As a result, researchers made significant advance in understanding what causes coughing after eating.

These researches concluded that there are many different reasons why people cough after they eat. The researches also established that the condition can be dealt with and managed easily.

By treating the underlying conditions, coughing after eating is no longer a difficult situation to deal with!

What causes Coughing after Eating in adults?

Well, if you are coughing after eating just for a bit to clear your throat after a nice meal that’s okay.

But if you are coughing constantly for a long time after eating, that is something you may want to pay more attention to.

In this article, we will try to explain you as much as we can about what causes coughing after eating in adults.

What causes Coughing after Eating in adults?
What causes Coughing after Eating in adults?

Please note that the author is not a professional doctor or an expert in coughing after eating. The contents of this article are only the findings from the research that this author did out of personal interest.


We strongly advise you to see a doctor if you think necessary rather than treating your cough after eating on your own.

Coughing after eating is generally caused by one or more of the below reasons.

Please note that these conditions may not be directly causing coughing after eating. Coughing after eating may be the side effect of one more of these conditions.

So next time you wonder Why do I cough after I eat, you can check if you have any of the below conditions.

  1. GERD or Acid Reflux

Coughing After Eating GERD

GERD means gastro esophageal reflux disease. Some doctors also call it GORD or Acid Reflux.

It is the most common cause for coughing after eating and heart burn. For this reason sometimes cough after food is called as acid reflux cough.

As the name suggests, a reflux action in the stomach area upwards causes coughing after eating.

Semi-digested food from your stomach re-enter your food pipe when the muscles at the entry to your stomach do not close as they should after eating  or re-open during digestion.

When semi-digested food comes back into your lower esophagus, it causes irritation in your throat. When this happens, your brain causes a reflux action that results in coughing.

Cough due to acid reflux generally occurs after eating but in some cases, it may also occur during eating.

Some simple tips to deal with GERD cough include:

  • Use a bed or pillow customised for GERD relief 
  • Avoid over eating; instead have smaller meals throughout the day
  • Avoid going to bed soon after eating a meal; give it a couple of hours after a meal so you do not go to bed on a full stomach.
  • Try to eat slowly at a leisurely pace and chew all food very well before swallowing
  • Identify what foods trigger cough after eating in your case and stay away from such foods
  • Try to bring your body weight to a healthy level; lose weight if needed and avoid being obese
  • Try and drink more water throughout the day and keep your body well-hydrated

Of all the above tips to suppress coughing after eating, the easiest and most effective one is the pillow customised for GERD relief

InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow is designed for patients with acid reflux, problem breathing, poor circulation, back or neck problems. It measures 25″ x 24″ x 12″ and comes with a with High Quality, Removable Cover. The InteVision Foam Wedge Bed Pillow has a two-layer-design. The pillow is made of 1.5″ memory foam layer on top of a firm base foam for better comfort. There are added built-in channels between the top memory foam layer and the base foam to enhance air circulation. This foam wedge pillow from InteVision helps with acid reflux, snoring, allergies or any other condition which breathing may be impaired in supine position. It provides a healthy, more comfortable night’s sleep. It comes with machine-washable, white cover.

If your acid reflux cough condition does not improve soon with above tips, please see a doctor and seek medical advice.

Some people also use over the counter medicines to deal with GERD cough. OTC medicines may be good but a medical consultation is highly recommended for any persistent cough.

  1. Allergy

Coughing After Eating Allergy

Have you ever wondered if your body quiet does not like certain types of food or certain kinds of cooking?

That could be a food allergy. Food allergy can make you cough after you eat. 

Allergy  could be another reason why you cough after eating. It could be that certain foods or types of foods or the way food is cooked or the temperature of the food that can cause coughing after eating.

Before you eat such food next time, you may find it helpful to know what allergy means and how to suppress a cough caused by allergy. You may be allergic to certain foods or the way food is cooked.

In simple terms, allergy is a damaging immune response by your body to some foods. When you eat an allergen, your body perceives the food as a danger and produces histamine. Histamine causes allergic cough and other allergy symptoms. Allergic cough due to food can be mild or very severe.

Your body may be hypersensitive to some foods. People of any age can suffer from an allergy but it is more common in children.

Some children find their allergy disappearing as they grow into adults whereas, some adults start to show allergy symptoms to certain foods to which they were not allergic during childhood.

Most common food items that can trigger an allergic reaction in humans are nuts, fruits, shellfish, eggs and milk. The best way to deal with an allergic cough is to keep away from such foods that may cause an allergy.

You can see a doctor and seek medical advice when you feel you are being allergic to certain foods. Doctors can prescribe you medicines like antihistamines or decongestants or steroids.

In some cases, doctors may recommend immunotherapy to deal with coughing after eating.

Immunotherapy means you get exposed to an allergen in a controlled manner over a long period of time by which your body gets used to the allergen and does not react with a severe response such as a cough.

  1. Infection of Esophagus or Larynx

Coughing After Eating Infection

Infection of esophagus and larynx can cause inflammation in the areas through which food passes when you swallow. This may result in malfunction of the parts that help you swallow food.

As a result you may cough while you eat. This may even make you cough after you eat.

Infections and inflammations of esophagus and larynx can sometimes cause more serious problems than just coughing after eating.

These include difficulty in swallowing, severe irritation or even choking.

If are coughing after eating or you see any of these symptoms or you know you have such an infection, you must see a doctor as soon as possible for a medical advice. Your doctor may offer you some antibiotics.

You cannot buy antibiotics over the counter without prescription in many countries. Even if someone offers you antibiotics without a prescription, you must avoid such use as it might harm you in the long run.

You must use antibiotics only when necessary and in the right dosage for the right duration. Only a qualified doctor can help you with how to suppress a cough with antibiotics.

  1. Dysphagia

Coughing After Eating Dysphagia

Dysphagia is a condition that causes discomfort in swallowing.

If you have dysphagia, your body tends to reject the food you try to eat. This can result in coughing after eating. In some cases, you may even cough while you eat.

Other symptoms of dysphagia include the below. 

  • choking when eating or drinking
  • bringing food back up sometimes through the nose
  • sensation that food is stuck in your throat or chest
  • persistent drooling of saliva

If you see any of these along with coughing after eating, you must see a doctor.

If neglected, dysphagia can lead to weight loss and repeated chest infections in the long term in addition to  difficulty in swallowing.

Dysphagia is generally caused by another inherent health condition such as stroke, head injury, dementia, mouth cancer, oesophageal cancer or GERD.

Treatment of dysphagia includes:

  • changing the consistency of the food and drink thus making it easier to swallow
  • feeding from nose or direct into stomach via a tube
  • placing a stent in the esophagus to widen the food passage by surgery
  1. Asthma

Coughing After Eating Asthma

Asthma is a very common condition that may cause difficulty in breathing.

It may not be a direct reason for coughing after eating. An allergic reaction or an infection of the airways that is related to your asthma is what causes coughing after eating.

If you have asthma and cough after you eat, you may want to find out if they both are related. You may refer yourself to a chest specialist.

A chest specialist would conduct some tests on you to determine if you are coughing after eating because of asthma.

If asthma is not the cause for your cough after you eat, he may look for other causes. If your cough with food is found to be a result of your asthma, doctors may do something to treat your asthma.

Common drugs used for asthma are in the form of steroids.

  1. Aspiration Pneumonia

Sometimes as you swallow food, accidentally food enters into lungs. This might happen either when you eat or drink something in a hurry or during a vomit.

In either of these cases, you may end up coughing.

So, when food or drink enters your lungs, your body responds with a cough to expel the foreign material. This is what happens in coughing after eating due to aspiration pneumonia.

So if you are coughing after eating, and you feel food or drink entered your lungs or respiratory tract, you must see a doctor to check out if it is aspiration pneumonia.

A doctor can help you with medical advice to get rid of your coughing after eating due to aspiration pneumonia.

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What is Dysphagia?

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What is Dysphagia?

What is Dysphagia? Dysphagia is a word derived from Greek. ‘Dys’ in greek means bad or disordered and ‘phag’ means eat. Thus literally, dysphagia means disorder in eating.

In medical language ‘Dysphagia’ is a term used to refer to ‘difficulty in swallowing’.  In the medical field, in a broader sense, dysphagia may refer to the sign, symptom or even the condition of ‘difficulty in eating’.



Thus dysphagia basically suggests difficulty in moving solids or liquids from mouth into the stomach. Such difficulty can be due to a lack of pharyngeal sensation or a different inadequacy of the swallowing mechanism.

Dysphagia should not be confused with other conditions like Odynophagia or Globus that too make swallowing difficult.  Odynophagia causes painful swallowing while Globus causes a sensation of a lump in the throat.

 

What happens if you do not treat dysphagia?

Sometimes, people may not be aware that they have dysphagia. This may delay or prevent proper diagnosis and treatment. A person having dysphagia may suffer from coughing while eating or coughing after eating or difficulty in swallowing.

If dysphagia is not treated, it may lead to pulmonary aspiration or aspiration pneumonia. This happens when food enters parts of respiratory system. Such food may carry bacteria into respiratory tract.


In some cases, dysphagia when not treated, may also lead to dehydration, malnutrition or renal failure.

Normally people cough and show signs of discomfort when food enters respiratory tract but some people neither  cough nor show any such outward symptoms. Some doctors call this ‘silent aspiration’.

What are different types of Dysphagia?

Dysphagia in humans can be broadly classified into 4 types as below.

Oropharyngeal dysphagia is normally associated with anamolies in muscles, nerves or structure of oral cavity, pharynx and upper esophageal sphincter.

Esophageal and obstructive dysphagia arises from a problem in the body of esophagus, lower esophageal sphincter or the cardia of the stomach. Such condition usually results from mechanical causes or mobility problems.

Neuromuscular symptom complexes.

Functional dysphagia is when a person suffers from dysphagia but a diagnosis fails to find anything that is causing the condition.

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Why do I cough after I eat?

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Why do I cough after I eat?

Why do I cough after I eat
Cough after eating

Why do I cough after I eat? Is that what you worry about at meal time? This may be making you very nervous about eating a meal.

Coughing after eating is a common problem that some of us face. But why do you cough after you eat?

To answer your question ‘why do I cough after I eat?’, you must note that there could practically be many reasons why you cough after you eat. It could be something to do with the food you ate or its temperature or how it was cooked. It may also to do something with your health.



The below may provide some possible answers for your question Why do I cough after I eat? These may also help you explain why you have phlegm after eating.

Do I need to see a doctor if I wonder why do I cough after I eat?

When you often find yourself coughing after eating, you obviously wonder why do I cough after I eat. It is important you start thinking of ways to treat the condition. What you can do to deal with your cough after eating may depend on your specific situation.

If the cough is mild and not frequent, you may try some home cough remedies. If you think the cough after food is getting worse, you may want to try some OTC cough medicines.


In cases where you find yourself coughing after eating for a long time, you must definitely see a doctor. You must see a doctor as soon as you can and ask him why I cough after I eat.

Please do not self-diagnose and treat yourself. You must see a doctor as soon as possible.

Does GERD make me cough after I eat?

Yes. GERD is the most common cause for coughing after eating.

GERD is the case where some of the part-digested food from your stomach is trying to enter your esophagus. This irritates the throat so your body responds with cough to get rid of the irritation.

GERD cough is usually accompanied by some chest pain after eating.

When you notice you have such symptoms, you must see a doctor for advice. The doctors would investigate why food from stomach is entering into throat.

Common possibilities include situations where your stomach muscles are opening up the entry into stomach after you eat or they are not closing at all.

A doctor can investigate and help you with your GERD cough.

Am I coughing after eating due to allergy?

Allergy to certain foods or the way they are cooked can be a reason for your coughing after eating.

When your body gets in contact with an allergen, it responds by triggering a cough to expel the foreign substance.

Allergy can sometimes cause constant dry cough that sounds like a post viral cough. Whatever the allergic cough sounds like, it is important to find out why you cough after you eat.

When you suspect that you have a cough due to a food allergy, the best thing for you to do is see a doctor and seek medical advice. A doctor can do some allergy tests on you to establish what allergies you have and advise you on your cough after eating.

You can also keep a food list that causes you to cough so you can avoid such food.

Am I coughing after eating because I have an infection?

Sometimes infections in your body can also cause you to cough after you eat or chest pain after eating.

If you are coughing after eating and suspect you have an infection, please see a doctor. The doctor may ask you to take some pathology tests and prescribe you the right medicine for your infection.

Sometimes doctors may give a medicine for your cough too.

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What is Acid reflux Cough?

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What is Acid reflux Cough?

Acid reflux Cough is one of the most common types of cough in adults. Acid Reflux is also known as GERD. 

GERD cough is a result of the reflux action of the body when contents of your stomach re-enter the food pipe upwards. Body makes this reflex action to ease the irritation of oesophagus muscles caused by acidic or non-acidic contents from stomach.

Acid reflux cough is very common and acid reflux is one of the top causes of cough after eating or drinking. If you have persistent cough after eating with or without phlegm and you cannot figure out why you are coughing, it is very likely ‘acid reflux cough’.



GERD cough is so common that experts say if a cough is persistent, there is 25% chance that it is due to acid reflux or GERD.

When you have acid reflux cough, you may see a doctor for a diagnosis of reflux cough. In some cases, you may also seek help from a nutritionist about foods that help acid reflux. You may want to avoid spicy and oily food to suppress acid reflux cough.

We may also see reflux in new-borns. Symptoms of reflux in babies cannot be ignored. Parents of new-borns must be aware of signs of reflux in babies.

New-born reflux causes difficult times for parents if they are not aware what GERD is. GERD in babies makes parents nervous about travel as they never know when the baby cries. Consulting a good paediatrician may help.

What causes acid reflux cough?

When you have a cough, it may be very helpful to know some common causes of cough.

Acid reflux cough is triggered when acidic or non-acidic contents of stomach re-enter esophagus or areas above esophagus. The semi-digested from the stomach irritates your throat when it re-enters food pipe. When your body notices this irritation, it responds with a cough to ease the irritation. This cough is called acid reflux cough.


A new-born can also suffer from acid reflux cough. However, new-born reflux can have its own causes and can be discussed in more detail with a pediatrician.  

Can children get acid reflux cough?

Yes children can get GERD. Usually GERD can cause acid reflux cough in children after 1 year of age and rarely in infants.

The main symptoms of GERD in babies include vomiting and refusing to eat. It may not be always easy to understand baby reflux symptoms and often, symptoms of reflux in babies go unnoticed.

When you see signs of reflux in babies, visiting a paediatrician can help to find out what helps treat acid reflux. Sometimes it is referred to as silent reflux in babies. 

Do I need to see a doctor for acid reflux cough treatment?

The acid reflux cough remains persistent unless a doctor treats it. Sometimes it may be difficult to diagnose GERD cough without a doctor’s help as it is not generally accompanied by any other related complaints such as heart burn.

If a patient has cough that cannot be explained by any other reason, doctors usually suspect GERD. A doctor’s medical advice will help you deal with Phlegm after Eating. So you must see a doctor for treating GERD.

How is acid reflux cough diagnosed?

Acid reflux Cough
Acid reflux Cough

GERD cough or acid reflux cough is not an easy one to diagnose. Common tests cannot detect GERD as it is not accompanied with heartburn etc.

There are a couple of special tests that doctors use to diagnose GERD.

One of the GERD tests is to put the patient on PPI (proton pump inhibitors) a medication for GERD for about 3 months and see if the GERD symptoms come down.

If PPI helps the person to treat GERD cough, then it is also the confirmation of GERD itself.

Popular GERD Tests
Popular GERD Tests

Another GERD test uses a 24 hour pH probe. This probe measures the pH of esophagus for a continuous period of 24 hours.

Based on how the pH varies, one can say whether the acidity in the esophagus is raised.

If acid reflux cough is the reason, then the acidic pH values confirm that.

It may be more difficult to diagnose silent reflux in babies. It is even more difficult to diagnose reflux in newborns.

Baby reflux symptoms may be difficult to figure out and may need a specialist to help you.

What are acid reflux cough risk factors in adults?

In adults, the risks factors for acid reflux cough include consumption of excessive amounts of foods that may cause acid reflux. Examples include alcohol, coffee, chocolate and fried foods.

Spicy foods and fatty foods are the common foods that cause acid reflux cough. Such foods contribute to GERD more than others.

Knowing what foods to avoid with acid reflux and taking them out of your diet helps treat acid reflux cough.

Thus, adults can see some relief from GERD or acid reflux cough by certain lifestyle changes.

It is important that you know the foods to avoid with acid reflux cough. These include consuming less alcohol, less spicy food and non-oily food as part of their diet.

Even if you like foods that cause acid reflux very much, eating less of acid reflux foods to avoid improves your condition. You can eat more of the foods that help acid reflux.

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Why do I produce Phlegm after Eating?

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Why do I produce Phlegm after Eating?

Phlegm after Eating
Phlegm after Eating

Phlegm after eating is very annoying as it can make you nervous and uncomfortable.

You might at that black-tie dinner trying to make some new friends or at your first date trying to impress your potential love. But you end up with phlegm almost every time you eat which you want to spit out.

This gets very annoying. In a room full of people, you can neither spit nor swallow. Very embarrassing isn’t it? 

Clearing throat after eating is the only thing on your mind at that moment. You just want to spit that excess mucus in throat or phlegm after eating.



So, what is phlegm and what causes phlegm?

What are the most common causes of Phlegm after eating?

Phlegm in throat is nothing but excess mucus from your respiratory tract or chest.

‘Phlegm after Eating’ is common in heavy smokers. This means smoking is definitely a major cause for phlegm in throat.

In addition to smoking, some viral infections or bacterial infections may also cause excess mucus in throat after eating.


You may feel very uncomfortable when you have phlegm in throat. Excess mucus in throat after eating can make you want to spit it out. You may want to be aware of this especially if you are a heavy smoker or have had any viral infection or bacterial infection recently.

You may want to figure out how to avoid phlegm after eating as it may not be easy to clear your throat after eating every time.

Phlegm medicine is one option that can prevent excess mucus in throat after eating.

When you are having mucus in throat frequently after eating, it is important that you get it investigated and treated by a doctor. A good doctor can do some tests and determine what causes allergy in you so you can avoid the allergens.

This may significantly help in preventing phlegm after eating.

What are other causes of Phlegm after Eating?

Some of the other causes for phlegm after eating are GERD, allergies, and side-effects due to medicines etc.

It is always wise to consult a doctor to understand the cause of your phlegm after eating. As practically there can be one of many reasons for phlegm after eating, a doctor is the right person to find the cause for your phlegm in throat and help you with treatment.

However, you may find the below useful in gaining a general understanding of phlegm after eating.

GERD or Acid Reflux

When food travels back up into esophagus after you swallow it down, acids from stomach also enter esophagus along with semi-digested food. This condition is called GERD, and can cause irritation in throat after you eat. Acid reflux is another name for GERD.


GERD normally results from the fact that your stomach muscles are not closing properly after you swallow food or they are re-opening. The acids and semi-digested food that reenter your throat etc. may lead to coughing after eating and phlegm after eating.

Constant phlegm in throat is annoying. To avoid such discomfort due to GERD, the easiest thing to do is to avoid eating spicy and oily food.

Allergy

Certain allergies you may have can also cause phlegm after you eat. When you eat a food you are allergic to, you may end up with cough and congestion from food allergy

When you come in contact with a foreign substance that you are allergic to, your body tries to protect you by rejecting or expelling the allergen. Your body usually does this by producing excess mucus to trap the allergen and cough to expel the allergen.

This is how allergy can cause phlegm after eating or makes you cough after you eat.

Allergies can cause serious disruptions in life if not treated. You may want to see a doctor if you have any allergy that bothers you with mucus or cough.

Side effects from  medicines

Some medicines that are prescribed for controlling high blood pressure may sometimes cause phlegm after eating as a side effect. It is not a good idea to accept the side effects of medicines if they are bothering you too much.

If any blood pressure medicines that you use are causing you discomfort with phlegm after eating, you need to discuss with your doctor.

Your doctor can change the medicines you take to those that do not cause phlegm after you eat. Using a different medicine for blood pressure can minimize the side effects such as phlegm and cough.

Mucus from nose

In some cases, mucus released in nose enters into throat from the back of the throat. This may lead to coughing after eating or phlegm after eating.

If you think you have mucus from nose entering throat and causing you discomfort, you must consult a doctor to get it checked. Doctor can investigate why mucus is entering the throat from nose and then help you with a good medical advice.

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What is aspiration pneumonia? What causes aspiration pneumonia?

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Aspiration pneumonia is one of the causes of coughing after eating.

As you eat your food, if you suspect the food entered into your lungs and not your stomach, that’s a problem. That can make you cough after you eat as the food in lungs obstructs your respiration.

There can be many reasons why food enters lungs and not stomach. These include poor oral health, alcoholism, dysphagia etc.

What is aspiration pneumonia?

Aspirate means inhale. When you aspirate food, drink or vomit into your lungs, it may lead to aspiration pneumonia. If you cannot cough up the food, drink or vomit that has entered your lungs, bacteria can develop on the food and cause aspiration pneumonia.

Aspiration pneumonia is an infection of lungs. When a large amount of food enters lungs, it leads to aspiration pneumonia. The food may enter lungs either from mouth or stomach. When food enters lungs and causes aspiration pneumonia, a person may develop fever and cough very rapidly. Though fever and cough after eating are common symptoms of aspiration pneumonia, sometimes it can lead to lung abscess.



Food entering lungs may not necessarily cause an an infection. But lung infection is very much possible with food in lungs as the food may contain a range of bacteria. This infection is aspiration pneumonia. But it is not the bacteria in food that causes aspiration pneumonia. Sometimes non-infectious but acidic food entering lungs can lead to a type of aspiration pneumonia known as chemical pneumonitis.

Aspiration pneumonia may present symptoms similar to other types of pneumonia such as bacterial pneumonia, fungal pneumonia, viral pneumonia or hospital acquired pneumonia. Due to this, it is not always easy to diagnose aspiration pneumonia.


What causes aspiration pneumonia?

Aspiration pneumonia is primarily caused by by food entering lungs instead of stomach. But what causes food to enter lungs? Some reasons why food enters lungs include the below.

In people suffering from dysphagia, there is always a risk of food from mouth or stomach entering into lungs. This is due to the fact that the swallowing mechanism does not work properly in people with dysphagia.

Some other health conditions like stroke, parkinson’s disease, diabetes, multiple sclerosis or advanced COPD can weaken your immune system and put you at risk of aspiration pneumonia.

Poor levels of consciousness may cause the swallowing mechanism to fail and allow food to pass into lungs.

Seizures, anesthasia, alcohol etc. can damage muscles that help you swallow and disable body’s natural mechanism to prevent food entering lungs.

If someone does not keep good oral health, bacteria can build up in mouth. Such poor oral hygiene can also lead to aspiration pneumonia.

If someone is older than 75 and has been in a care home or hospital for very long, they can get aspiration pneumonia easily.

There can be many other reasons for aspiration pneumonia. These include ethnicity, age, gender, malnutrition, side effects of medicines etc.

What are the symptoms of aspiration pneumonia?

If you are coughing for no reason with or without mucus, it may be aspiration pneumonia. You may cough after you eat if food you swallow enters lungs instead of stomach.

A strange change in voice can be experienced.

If your swallowing mechanism is damaged, you will find it difficult to swallow. Difficulty in swallowing may be an early sign of aspiration pneumonia.

If your lungs get infected after you aspire food, drink or vomit into lungs, you may have a fever. Fever is a common symptom of aspiration pneumonia.

The food or drink that’s stuck in your lungs can cause chest pain. Infected lungs can also cause pain in chest. So chest pain is another sign of aspiration pneumonia.

Poor alertness, lack of concentration, confusion and unable to think clearly are common experiences of people with aspiration pneumonia.

A person with aspiration pneumonia may lose appetite and lose weight.

Abnormal breathing is a common symptom of aspiration pneumonia. Breathing can become noisy and rapid. Sometimes the patient can feel shortness of breath.

How do you diagnose aspiration pneumonia?

If you suspect you have aspiration pneumonia, you must see your doctor as soon as you can. Your doctor can diagnose your condition. Depending the severity of your symptoms, the doctor may do some examinations on you to diagnose your symptoms.

Diagnosis of aspiration pneumonia starts with a simple physical examination. Doctor may look into your mouth and throat and listen to your chest to begin with. Doctor may want to listen to your speech to look for any strange changes in your speech. Your body vitals like blood pressure, blood oxygen etc. also play a role in aspiration pneumonia diagnosis.

If your doctor feels it is necessary, you may need to go for a chest X-ray. A chest X-ray can reveal any chest infection, inflammation or fluid accumulation in your lungs.

You may need to get your mucus tested for bacteria. To conduct mucus test, doctor may ask you to collect your mucus or extract the mucus from your throat. They look for any bacteria in mucus that may cause aspiration pneumonia.

A blood test can reveal if you have an infection. If you have a chest infection that’s making you cough due to aspiration pneumonia, your blood test shows higher white blood cell count.

A neuro examination can reveal how your nervous system is impacted by aspiration pneumonia. Your memory, level of alertness, hand grip etc. are common factors that are observed during this test.

Sometimes, your doctor may want to observe your swallowing mechanism. You may need to swallow various food of different consistency and be observed to record how well you can swallow food.

How is aspiration pneumonia treated?

Aspiration pneumonia treatment involves a combination of techniques and medicines. Any treatment of aspiration pneumonia needs to be carried out only by a qualified doctor.

If you show signs of infection related to aspiration pneumonia, you may need some antibiotics to treat the infection.

If you are unable to breathe well if your air passages have shrunk due to aspiration pneumonia, you may need steroids. Steroids expand your air passages and help you breathe easier.

If your blood tests show lower oxygen levels, you may need to take some oxygen via a  mask.

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What not to eat when coughing? Foods that aggravate cough

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What not to eat when coughing is important to be clear about.

Cough by itself is very irritating, painful, annoying, tiring and can lead to sleepless nights. Various factors like cold, infection, pollution, allergy and side effects of medicines can trigger a cough. But, if any food you eat aggravates your cough, your condition can quickly become lot worse. So you need to know what not to eat when coughing and avoid foods that aggravate cough.

Let us see what not to eat when coughing.

What not to eat when coughing?

Not eating certain foods when coughing can help overcome infection, inflammation and allergy quickly. The following are some foods to avoid when coughing, as they are likely to aggravate cough, inflammation, irritation etc.on:



Dairy based food and drinks

If you are coughing or have an inflammation or infection in your respiratory tract, avoiding dairy based foods and drinks can help relieve your symptoms to some extent.

Why not to consume dairy based foods or drinks when coughing?

Researches have proved that consumption of milk and other dairy based foods and drinks triggers excess mucus production. Milk, when digested apparently stimulates mucus production in the digestive tract. Similarly milk and other dairy based foods and drinks trigger excess mucus in the respiratory tract too.

If you already have a cough, infection or inflammation, consumption of dairy based foods and drinks can produce even more mucus making your condition worse. Excess mucus thus produced can make your cough more severe.

Consumption of diary products may also make your mucus thick and stickier, making it difficult for you to expel mucus. So, experts advise us to avoid milk, cheese, yogurt, cream, cottage cheese and any other milk based foods and drinks when you have a cough.


So what not to eat when coughing? When you are coughing, avoid all milk based foods and drinks so you feel better. You need to avoid eating or drinking any dairy based foods or drinks when you have a cough or inflammation or infection of respiratory tract.

Foods that aggravate asthma and cough

Asthma makes you wheeze, breathless and leads severe cough at times. So if you suffer from cough due to asthma, you need to stop eating foods that aggravate your asthma.

How do I know which foods aggravate asthma or cough?

You can check with your doctor if your asthma is related to your diet. If yes, you need to avoid all foods that aggravate your asthma and cough. Examples of foods that can aggravate asthma include nuts, yeast, eggs, shellfish, fish and milk etc.

You need to maintain a diary of what you eat and how your asthma fluctuates as you eat different foods. Such food diary and analysis of cough symptoms can help you understand what not to eat when coughing.

Caffeine

When you have a cough, it is important that you keep yourself well hydrated. Water is the best drink when you are coughing.

If you have a chesty cough, you need to drink lots of fluids because you need your mucus thinned. You can easily expel the mucus easily when it is thin. Your chesty cough will come down when your mucus is thinned.

On the other hand when you have a dry cough, you may suffer from a dry throat and difficulty in swallowing. To heal dry throat, dry cough etc,. you need to drink lots of fluids. Many people say you can drink any fluids you wish but coffee is not very good to hydrate you.

Why is coffee bad for you when you are coughing?

Coffee makes you pass more urine. When you pass more urine, you may get dehydrated and your cough may become more difficult to treat. So you need to avoid coffee when you have a cough.

If you are coughing after eating due to GERD, acidity or acid reflux,, you need to stop consuming caffeine based food and drinks. If you drink a hot coffee, you may feel a temporary relief from cough for an instant. But consuming coffee loosens the esophageal sphincter which allows more acid and semi-digested food from stomach into esophagus. This aggravates cough due to GERD or acid reflux.

Alcohol

Consumption of alcohol aggravates dehydration. Dehydration in turn aggravates cough.

If you have a dry cough, dehydration makes your throat dry, itchy and you cough more. Dry throat makes you feel very uncomfortable and painful to drink or swallow. This discomfort may in turn aggravate your cough.

If you have a chesty cough, dehydration makes your mucus thick and sticky, you may feel stuffy and congested. This makes it difficult for you to expel your mucus. If you cannot expel your mucus, chesty cough persists.

So you need to avoid alcohol when you are coughing. Instead you need to drink lots of water to keep yourself well hydrated.

Processed and refined foods

Processed foods and refined foods are low in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibre. So when you eat processed and refined foods like packaged snacks, white bread, white pasta etc. your body will not get the essential vitamins and minerals etc. Foods made from white sugar and white flour slow your body’s natural healing process by suppressing the immune system.

Why should you stop eating processed or refined foods when coughing?

When you are coughing, your body needs a strong immunity to infections etc. To build immunity, your body needs sufficient vitamins, minerals and fibre etc. You need to avoid processed and refined foods when you are coughing as they are very low in nutrients like vitamins and minerals. You need to eat more whole foods and green leafy vegetables when you are coughing as whole foods can get you more vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Sugar and sweets

Sugar and sugar based sweets lower your body’s immunity and you lose the ability to fight infections and inflammations. When you consume high sugar foods, at first your stress hormone levels get elevated due to adrenaline stress but soon you are depleted of these and feel adrenal fatigue. As low cortisol levels make you more susceptible to colds, coughs and infections, you need to avoid eating sugar and sweets when you are coughing.

You can go for honey and honey based sweets instead of sugar. Honey is a great natural remedy for cough so when you consume honey, your cough gets suppressed.

Cold foods

When you are suffering from a cold or cough, eating cold food or drinking cold drinks is not a good idea. Cold foods like ice creams and milk shakes make your cold and cough worse.

Generally cold foods and drinks dry out your respiratory lining and make you more susceptible to infections, inflammation and may trigger an irritation. So you must be avoiding cold foods and drinks when you are coughing.

Fried foods

Fried foods aggravate cough and digestive problems. If you are coughing, you need to avoid fried foods like french fries, chips, burgers etc. as such food may aggravate your cough and trigger digestive complications too.

Why should you avoid fried foods when coughing?

When you fry foods in hot oil, the process genrates an unsaturated aldehyde called acrolein. Acrolein is a colourless liquid with a piercing and acrid smell.

You might have noticed the typical smell when you heat cooking oil to its smoking point. This smell is caused by glycerol from the fat breaking down into acrolein when you heat the oil to smoking point.

Acrolein is an allergen that can lead to itching in throat and aggravate coughing. As fried foods contain excess acrolein, you need to avoid fried foods when you are coughing.

Mango, Banana, Citrus fruits and juices

Mango, banana, citrus fruits and juices have citric acid, aggravates throat irritation and cough. You need to avoid mango, banana, citrus fruits and juices when you are coughing.

Mango, banana and citrus fruits are very essential and healthy when you are not suffering from cold and cough. You just need to careful with such foods when you are coughing. Instead, you can go for other fruits high in water such as water melon, pine apple, pears, grapes etc.

Heavy or Late Dinner

If you are coughing after eating due to GERD or acid reflux, eating a heavy meal just before going to bed can make it worse. Eating a heavy meal makes it easier for semi-digested food and acids from stomach to re-enter the esophagus. This is more severe in people suffering from GERD because the esophageal sphincter muscle does not contract and relax properly when you have GERD.

To avoid any aggravation of coughing after eating, you need to avoid overeating at night and late dinners. You can have a smaller dinner around 2 hours before bed time.

Smoking

Smoking damages your respiratory system very badly. The damage that smoking causes to your body can start with a simple irritation in throat or dry cough and can eventually lead to bronchitis or cancer.

So if you are coughing for any reason, you need to avoid smoking if you want to recover quickly from your cough. If you are not a smoker, you need to stay away from smokers as passive smoking can be as bad for your health as smoking itself.

Foods that lower your immunity

Some common foods can lower your immunity or impair body’s natural healing ability or increase inflammation.

Examples of such foods include veal, hot dogs, donuts, ham, soda and energy drinks etc. So you need to avoid such foods when you are coughing.

If you continue to eat or drink foods that lower immunity or increase inflammation, your cough may get worse. Such foods may also aggravate GERD and acid reflux which in turn make your cough more severe.

Summary | What not to eat when coughing?

As you have seen above it really helps to know what not to eat when coughing. The above foods and drinks are just a few foods and drinks from what not to eat when coughing.

To know precisely what not to eat in your case, you need to check with your doctor. What not to eat when coughing may be different for different people. The above is a general opinion of what not to eat when coughing.

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What to eat when you have a cough?

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You will find it very helpful if you know what to eat when you have a cough. A cough can interrupt your routine and annoy you to frustration. It is very difficult to control onset of cough when you have a throat infection, inflammation or irritation. Knowing what to eat when you have a cough can help suppress cough to some extent.

You may find yourself in the middle of a formal meeting or dinner and cannot resist the need to cough or clear phlegm from your throat. Simple things can become complicated when you have a cough. If you know what to eat when you have a cough, you can prevent few disasters.

What is cough?

Before trying to know what to eat when you have a cough, it will be nice to know what cough is.

A cough is simply your body’s reflex to clear or expel an irritant or foreign material from your respiratory tract. The irritant can be dust, smoke, virus, bacteria, excess mucus etc.

Why do we cough?

When you inhale dust or smoke, bacteria or virus, you feel irritated in throat or chest. This can also led to infection or inflammation of throat and respiratory tract.

Such irritation in throat in itself can trigger a cough. You may start coughing as soon as you inhale dust, smoke, acid etc. This is mainly because of irritation in throat cause. This is dry cough.



To protect you from the irritants and to expel them, your body begins to produce extra mucus in your respiratory tracts to trap the bacteria or virus. Then your body triggers cough to expel this excess mucus. This is chesty cough.

When you have a chesty cough, you may produce mucus with cough. With dry cough, you may produce little or no mucus.

Cough can also be caused by strep throat or sinusitis or other conditions like GERD or acid reflux and more serious underlying conditions such as tuberculosis and bronchitis etc. Sometimes cough can be triggered as a side-effect of some medications.

What to do when you have a cough?

No matter what is causing your cough, you need to do something that makes you feel better soon. But what can you do when you have a cough?

There are many things you can do when you have a cough. You can start using one of the home cough remedies, or buy an OTC cough medicine and use it. If cough is persistent, you need to see a doctor.


Whatever you do to treat your cough, knowing what to eat when you have a cough is very important. Eating the right food can help ease your cough symptoms if not heal your condition completely.

What to eat when you have a cough?

Eating a proper diet is really helpful when you have a cough, cold or sore throat etc. But, what to eat when you have a cough? What is proper diet when you have a cough?  You need to eat more of foods that can alleviate infection, inflammation or pain in throat. You also need to make sure that your diet provides you with essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals and hydration.

Here are some examples of what to eat when you have a cough.

Nutritious food

When you have a cough, you need to eat nutritious food rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins etc. The food you eat should also be providing you with essential hydration.

Why to eat nutritious food when you have a cough?

When you have a cough, cold or fever, your body needs more energy and immunity to fight cough, cold, fever or any other underlying infection. You also need to keep yourself well hydrated at all times.

Your body needs vitamins, minerals, protein, fibre and fluids when you have a cough. So when you have a cough, you need to eat nutritious food and drink lots of water.

With a cough giving you irritation and pain in the throat, you may not feel like eating much but it is important to over come the resistance to eat well. Sometimes cough may cause unwanted weight loss. Eating nutritious food when you have a cough, cold or fever minimises such weight loss.

Lots of fluids especially water

Any illness can make you really dehydrated. You need to drink lots of water when you have a cough, cold or fever. Drinking plenty of water when you have a cough, cold or fever is very helpful. If you keep yourself well hydrated when you are sick, you naturally feel better quickly.

Why to drink plenty of water when you have a cough?

Drinking more fluids like water when you have a cough, dry throat, sore throat, throat pain, keeps your throat moist and thins your mucus. This will relive cough and other symptoms.

Moreover, illness such as cough, cold or fever tend to dehydrate you or make you feel very warm. If you drink plenty of water when you have a cough, cold or fever, you get well hydrated and feel better.

When you have a dry cough, you end up with irritation in throat. Drinking lots of water when you have dry cough makes you feel well lubricated in your throat and heals throat pain or irritation.

When you have a chesty cough, you may end up with thick and sticky mucus. If you drink plenty of water when you have a chesty cough, your mucus becomes thin and easy. When your mucus becomes thin and no longer sticky, you can easily expel the excess mucus. Expelling excess mucus will heal your chesty cough.

Headache and body pains are common when you have a cough, cold or fever. Drinking plenty of fluids makes you well hydrated and helps heal headaches and body pains.

Experts say an adult needs to drink 6-8 glasses of water everyday. If you want some flavour in your water, you can go for herbal tea, broth etc. which are mostly clear liquids. You need to avoid caffeine and alcohol based drinks as they make you more dehydrated.

Lozenges

Lozenges are one of the best remedies for quick relief from cough and sore throat. When you have a cough or sore throat, make sure you always have some lozenges with you. Lozenges help you suppress your cough instantly and are very helpful when you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation where you cannot suppress cough.

Why do you need to chew lozenges when you have a cough?

When you have a sore throat or cough, chewing or sucking on a lozenge or hard candy can give you quick relief from cough, sore throat and throat pain.

When you have a lozenge in your mouth, you provide more saliva that can lubricate your throat. Throat lubrication provides you relief from sore throat.

If the lozenge is medicated with anaesthetic etc. it helps relive throat pain too. So you need to consume medicated lozenges when you have cough, sore throat and throat pain. Some lozenges are medicated with anti-septic or anti-irritant substances too.

It is however, not a good idea to offer lozenges or candies to small children due to the risk of choking.

Soft foods

When you have a cough or sore throat, throat pain and irritation can make it difficult for you to swallow some types of foods. For example, crisps or toast may be difficult to swallow.

You need to eat more soft foods like mashed vegetables or soups until your throat pain and irritation come down.

Why to eat soft foods when you have a cough?

When you have a cough with throat pain and irritation, you will find it lot easier to swallow soft foods. Hot soups with pepper powder also provide you quick relief from sore throat and throat pain.

Sometimes if you have a cold or cough with an infection, the food pipe gets narrowed and may make it difficult to swallow your food. This is dysphagia. In such cases too, you may find it easier to consume soft foods or liquid foods.

When you find it difficult to swallow food, you also need to avoid eating mouth full. If you try swallowing a mouth full of food and fail to swallow all of it, excess food my enter into wind pipe or lungs and cause aspiration.

If such food gets infected, it may lead to aspiration pneumonia too. So try eating small quantities of food when you have throat irritation, cough, cold or dysphagia.

Liquid antacid

Sometimes excess mucus from the nose drips into throat causing sore throat. Such mucus is often acidic and can cause irritation in throat. Consuming a spoonful of liquid antacid can help relive such symptoms of sore throat.

Why to drink liquid antacid when you have cough and sore throat?

Post nasal drip can have acidic mucus from nose dripping into your throat and cause cough and sore throat. When you consume liquid antacid, it forms a coating on the inner linings of the throat and neutralises the acidity from the mucus. This helps to relieve the throat irritation.

Once you drink a spoonful of liquid antacid, you need to avoid eating or drinking anything for few minutes. This is to allow the antacid coating to form inside your throat and neutralise the acidity from the post nasal drip mucus. If you consume any food or drink immediately after consuming liquid antacid, it may wash the antacid away from the throat. You need to avoid this.

Honey

Honey is a popular natural remedy for cough. Honey is also a natural anti-bacterial substance so it may help you with any underlying bacterial infection causing your cough. Honey also boosts your immunity to infections.

You can buy honey from any grocery store or pharmacy or online. You can eat honey direct or mix it in your drinks. Honey tastes great on toast too.

Honey forms a nice coating on irritated mucus membranes and relives sore throat irritation. As honey forms a soothing coating over mucus membrane in respiratory tract, it is a demulcent. Any demulcent tea can help you relieve sore throat and cough.

Honey may not be safe to offer to children under certain age. Honey may lead to infant botulism in small children. If you plan to offer honey to children, please check with doctor before hand.

Tulasi

Tulasi is a holy plant that many hindus worship at home and in temples. Many people consider tulasi as the best cough medicine for adults.

You can eat tulasi leaves on their own or juice tulasi leaves and drink too. Tulasi tablets are also available to buy. Sometimes tulasi tea is commercially available in some special natural medical stores. You can drink hot tulasi tea twice a day for quick relief from cough and cold.

Many experts say if you consume tulasi regularly it improves your immunity and promotes longevity.

Honey and lemon tea

You can make a tasty and aromatic tea with honey and lemon. Drinking honey and lemon tea relieves throat pain, sore throat and helps you sleep better at night.

Why to drink honey and lemon tea when you have a cough?

Honey is a natural remedy for cough. Lemon is rich in vitamin C and boosts immunity. Drinking hot water keeps you well hydrated and helps relieve cough symptoms. When you make a lemon honey tea by mixing all these three ingredients, you have a wonderful home cough remedy.

Lemon and honey tea provides you immediate relief from cough, throat irritation. To make honey and lemon tea, add one spoon of honey and one spoon of lemon juice to a cup of warm water and mix.

You need to drink this twice a day. Once in the morning before breakfast and once again in the evening before bed. This helps you get through your day easily and sleep well at night too.

Frequent small meals

When you have a cough, throat pain or sore throat, it helps to eat small meals rather than large meals. You just need to make sure you get your daily nutritional needs by eating more nutritious meals a day but smaller in size.

Why eat frequent small meals when you have a cough?

Cough may adversely impact your appetite and digestion. As you may not be feeling as hungry, you will not be comfortable eating large meals.

Eating heavy meals when you have a cough can also trigger GERD and make you cough after eating. Instead, if you eat smaller meals more frequently, your appetite and digestion may improve.

However, you need to make sure you do not eat short of your daily nutritional requirement. If you do not eat as much nutrition as you need you risk losing weight and low immunity.

Chicken soup

Consuming hot chicken soup with lots of pepper powder has been proved by many as a great remedy for cough and sore throat.

When you have a cough and sore throat, you may get dehydrated and develop an irritation or pain in the throat. They say consumption of hot chicken soup has an anti-inflammatory effect and helps clear congestion in respiratory tracts. Chicken soup also helps to expel excess mucus and keeps you well hydrated.

You can make soup at home or buy a ready soup from a shop. Three cups of soup a day can help you get better quickly. You may add pepper powder to the soup as black pepper works great to relieve cough, cold symptoms.

Chicken gives you cysteine, an amino acid that acts as antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and breaks mucus apart. Chicken soup inhibits the action of neutrophils, white blood cells that cause coughing and stuffy nose. This is why chicken soup is great to relieve cough, cold and sore throat symptoms.

Chicken or vegetable broth

Consuming chicken or vegetable broth gets you good hydration and nutrition as well. Keeping yourself well hydrated and eating nutritious food goes a long way in quick recovery from cough, cold and sore throat. Chicken broth or vegetable broth is a great source of vitamins, minerals, protein which are very essential for you when you have cough or sore throat.

If you enjoy cooking, you can make your own chicken or vegetable broth from scratch at home. You can make a chicken or vegetable broth and consume twice a day for quick relief from cough, cold and sore throat. For a quick fix, you can buy chicken or vegetable broth from a shop.

Clear vegetable or meat broths with no oily “film” floating on top are ideal and vitamin-packed, which can help replenish you with nutrients.

Vitamin and mineral supplements

Some experts say consuming vitamin and mineral supplements gives you some relief from cold, cough, sore throat etc. However there is not much evidence of this in reality.

  • Vitamin C wold help boost your immunity and help relieve cough and cold symptoms.
  • There is some evidence that echinacea helps relieve cough and cold symptoms too.
  • Zinc lozenges is another quick remedy for cold and cough that some people try.

You may need to check with your doctor for any side effects and health hazards before you take any such vitamin and mineral supplements.

Pineapple

Pineapple gives you quick relief from congestion by loosening the mucus and healing inflammation.

Pineapples are rich in bromelain. Bromelain is a mixture of enzymes that helps suppress cough. As bromelain is good at healing swelling or inflammation, eating pineapple helps clear your throat and suppress cough. So eat pineapple regularly to supply your body with bromelain to prevent or heal respiratory problems and cough.

However, please note that eating potato and soy products can counteract the healing effects of bromelain. So you may want to avoid potato and soy when you try to heal your cough or throat irritation by eating pineapple.

Liquorice or marshmallow root tea or candy

Liquorice root is a popular home cough remedy. Liquorice helps you relax, helps expel mucus by thinning it and relieves congestion in respiratory tracts. You can drink liquorice tea or suck on a liquorice hard candy.

You can also try demulcent tea made with slippery elm, liquorice root or marshmallow root.

Garlic

Garlic is popular for its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal functions and so is considered very good for your health.

Many researches have proved that garlic boosts your immunity to cough, cold and sore throat. If you consume garlic regularly, you are less likely to catch a cold, cough etc. Even if you get cough, cold or sore throat, regular consumption of garlic means you will get better lot sooner. If you consume garlic regularly, the severity of cough or cold you get would be very mild.

You can add garlic to all your recipes. If you add garlic to chicken soup or broth, they can be more effective in treating cough, cold or sore throat. Some people eat a clove of garlic every day to boost immunity and improve overall health. But this may not be very tasty and can leave a bad breath.

Garlic clove can cause choking so you need to be careful if you want to eat a whole garlic clove.

Ginger

Ginger has many therapeutic effects. Ginger  is popular for its anti-nausea, anti-inflammatory,  antioxidant, anti-cancer properties.

You can use ginger in your recipes. Ginger tea is also very popular. Ginger honey tea is very refreshing and provides you quick relief from cough, cold and sore throat.

Fruits

Fruits can really boost your immunity with all the vitamins, minerals, fibre they can get you. Many fruits have anti-inflammatory, and anti-viral properties too.

Berries contain anthocyanins which gives them anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and immunity boosting abilities. Anthocyanins, prevent virus and bacteria from attaching themselves to cells.

So you need to eat strawberries, cranberries and blackberries regularly and especially when you have a cough, cold or sore throat. Pomegranate is another great fruit with anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory effects. Flavonoid is a common anthocyanin present in many fruits.

Avocados

Avocado is a great food to eat when have a cough. Even when you have a sore throat and cough, you can easily swallow avocado because it is very soft and bland. Avocado does not cause any further irritation or discomfort in your throat. Avocado is also rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and mono unsaturated fats. Unlike many other fruits, avocado is low in carbs.

Avocados alleviate inflammation and help boost immunity as they contain Oleic acid. So avocado is great to eat when you have a cough.

Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and romaine lettuce are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals. When you have a cough, cold or sore throat, you need to eat adequate green leafy vegetables.

You can get vitamins A, C and K from green leafy vegetables. Some green leafy vegetables also have antibacterial properties.

Salmon

Salmon is soft and easy to swallow yet rich in vitamins, minerals, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 amino acids make salmon a great anti inflammatory food. Vitamin D in salmon helps boost immunity.

Summary | What to eat when you have a cough

As we have seen above, there are many foods you can eat to help relieve cough symptoms. Food you eat may not treat your cough itself but some foods can help you feel better. While some foods can cause inflammation, certain foods can also help reduce inflammation to help ease a sore throat. Eat more foods that reduce inflammation.

  • Fruits like cherries, strawberries, banana are great to eat when you have a cough.
  • Whole nuts such as almonds and walnuts provide you the strength to fight infection, inflammation and sore throat.
  • Fish like salmon, mackarel, sardines and tuna provide you essential vitamins to fight cough.
  • Millets, Oatmeal, Brown rice, Flax seed and Quinoa are better foods than processed foods.
  • Vegetables like spinach, kale, broccoli and olives help when you have a cough. 
  • Fruits like watermelon, pears, pineapples, peaches have lots of water so they can help you keep yourself well hydrated when you have a cough.

It is one thing to know what to eat when you have a cough but you need to know what not to eat when coughing too.

You need to avoid eating any food that may aggravate a cough, cold or throat irritation. Citrus fruits may aggravate throat irritation. Spicy foods can trigger acid reflux or make GERD worse.

Other things you can do when you have a cough

In addition to eating foods that help relive cough, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself from a cough. For example,

  • Washing your hands regularly every time you risk an infection is a great way to prevent spread of virus or bacteria.
  • You can inhale steam when your cough symptoms start. If you inhale steam medicated with something like eucalyptus oil or Vicks, it may prevent a serious cough.
  • You can gargle your throat with warm salt water to get quick relief from cough or congestion or sore throat.

When to see a doctor for cough treatment?

You can try what you can to treat your cough but if your cough is persistent, you need to see a doctor as soon as you can.

Coughs that are caused by irritants such as dust or smoke generally tend to subside soon after you move out of the polluted area and begin to breathe clean air. A cough triggered by cold or virus can last a little longer. But if a more serious underlying condition such as bronchitis or tuberculosis is causing your cough, you definitely need to see a doctor immediately.

In general, if you have a cough that has been persistent for more than few days, you need to see a doctor for full examination, diagnosis and prescription medicines.

There are few cough related symptoms that require immediate medical attention. These are :

  • one side of throat being sore, 
  • swollen neck,
  • rash accompanied by cough or fever,
  • very noisy difficult breathing producing wheeze or whistle.

In summary, knowing what to eat when you have a cough will help you tremendously in getting through your illness.

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Nasal congestion after eating | Causes and remedies

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If you are experiencing nasal congestion after eating, you must be wondering ‘why do I get so congested after I eat’ . I used always wonder the same. I have asked my self what causes congestion after eating and did my research. After some research, I realised that if you have a blocked nose after eating, it is very likely that what you eat is causing it. You need to identify the foods that make you congested and stay away from them.

There could be other reasons for nasal congestion like an infection, inflammation, allergy etc.

Rhinitis

In medical terms, a stuffed nose or runny nose is called rhinitis. All symptoms like runny nose, stuffed nose, itchy nose, sneezing and post nasal drip  suggest some rhinitis.



Gustatory rhinitis

When you have a stuffy nose or runny nose after eating, it is called gustatory rhinitis. Gustatory rhinitis is one type of nonallergic rhinitis. Someone suffering from gustatory rhinitis is very likely to end up with nasal congestion after eating foods that trigger the condition.

Nonallergic rhinitis is common in adults over 20 but sometimes occurs in children too.

Nonallergic rhinitis or gustatory rhinitis is diagnosed by excluding allergies or allergic rhinitis.

When you get nasal congestion after eating, you may feel a really stuffed nose or runny nose or both. With nasal congestion after eating, you may find it difficult to breathe after eating. You may feel a strong urge to clear phlegm after eating.


When you eat something that your body does not like, your body produces more mucus to keep the inner membranes away from irritating substance. This excess mucus obviously causes nasal congestion after eating.

What causes nasal congestion after eating?

It really helps to identify foods that make you congested. Knowing what causes congestion after eating in your case will help you prevent blocked nose after eating. So ask yourself why do I get so congested after I eat and make a list of foods that make you congested.

Different foods work differently on different people. You may be having nasal congestion after eating certain foods and someone else can have nasal congestion after eating some other foods.

There are some foods that commonly cause nasal congestion after eating in most people. You may want to maintain a diary and note the foods that make you congested.

Common foods that cause nasal congestion after eating include the below.

Nasal congestion after eating sugar

Sugar is a popular food that triggers body inflammation. When your body notices inflammation, it responds by producing more mucus. With excess mucus, you may feel nasal congestion after eating sugar.

Eating sugar in small quantity may not trigger inflammation or excess mucus. So you are very unlikely to have a blocked nose after eating little amount of sugar. But when you eat too much sugar, you are very likely to have a blocked nose.

If you experience stuffy nose after eating sugar, you need to try avoiding all types of sugars like honey and maple syrup and may be some grains that are rich in sugar too. You may have nasal congestion after eating rice as rice has sugar.

Nasal congestion after eating dairy

Researches have proved that consumption of food based on dairy triggers production of excess mucus and makes the mucus thicker too. As a result you may have nasal congestion after eating food based on dairy. An episode of nasal congestion after eating yogurt, cheese, and cream is very likely too.

Skimmed milk may cause less severe nasal congestion than whole milk. Ice cream can cause severe nasal congestion it contains casein.

Nasal congestion after eating chocolate

Chocolate is rich in sugar as well as dairy. So it is double trouble of nonallergic rhinitis. Chocolate being rich in sugar leads to more yeast in your body which means more bacteria. More bacteria leads to more mucus and nasal congestion. And there is good amount of milk in chocolate. Milk also triggers excess thick mucus. You are very likely to have a nasal congestion after eating chocolate as chocolate contains both milk and sugar.

Nasal congestion after eating wheat

Wheat has gluten and gluten can stir up nasal trouble. If you are sensitive to gluten, you can have a bad reaction when you eat wheat based food or other gluten foods.

Excess mucus is a common result of eating gluten foods. As a result of excess mucus, you may have nasal congestion after eating bread. Grains like oats, wheat, barley, rye, etc. contain gluten can also lead to stuffy nose after eating.

Most gravy is made from flour. Flour has gluten that can trigger inflammation and excess mucus leading to stuffy nose after eating. If you suspect your non allergic rhinitis is due to gluten, you need to avoid gravy.

Nasal congestion after eating tomatoes

Tomatoes are popular for anti-inflammatory function. But some people experience stuffy nose after eating tomatoes or tomato based food.

Tomatoes trigger your body to produce more histamine, which in turn leads to excess mucus and swelling of nasal membrane. This leads to
stuffy nose after eating or runny nose after eating.

As some tomatoes are sour, the acidic taste from tomatoes can trigger acid reflux and lead to coughing after eating. So though tomatoes are great for health, some people may have acid reflux cough or nasal congestion after eating tomatoes.

Nasal congestion after eating pizza

Gluten, dairy and tomato can cause nasal congestion after eating. A pizza has all of these ingredients. Pizza crust has gluten, cheese is dairy, pizza sauce has tomato and all these together can really trigger serious nasal congestion after eating pizza.

Other foods that make you congested

Spicy food

Eating spicy food triggers your body to produce more histamine, an inflammatory compound. So sometimes you may feel nasal congestion after eating a spicy meal. This is because, spicy food triggers more histamine production and histamine causes your tissues to swell. When your nasal walls swell, you will have nasal congestion.

Alcohol

Alcohol can trigger inflammation very quickly and severely like sugar does. For example, wine contains histamine, beer contains gluten and both can trigger excess mucus and nasal congestion. So you are likely to have nasal congestion after eating a nice meal with alcohols like wine, beer or whiskey.

Some fruits

Fruits are rich in vitamins and minerals but you might end up with nasal congestion after eating fruits like banana, strawberry, papaya and oranges etc. Banana, strawberry and papaya can trigger your body to release histamine which in turn causes stuffy nose. Oranges can trigger hay fever symptoms as a protein in oranges can mimic grass pollen.

Nuts

If you are not allergic to nuts, nuts can be great source of nutrition. But for others, nuts can trigger histamine and cause excess mucus and inflammation. People allergic to nuts are very likely to have a nasal congestion after eating food containing nuts.

Meat

High protein in red meat can trigger nasal congestion  after eating food made from red meat like lamb, beef etc. Tuna can trigger inflammation due to histamine. So you risk having a stuffed nose after eating red meat or tuna. On the other hand chicken soup can help help heal cough and sore throat.

Summary | Nasal congestion after eating | Causes and remedies

As we have seen above, identifying foods that make you congested is the first remedy for stuffy nose after eating. Once you know what causes congestion after eating, you can stay away from them. Avoiding foods that make you congested will mean fewer episodes of blocked nose after eating or runny nose after eating.

However, if you have an episode of nonallergic rhinitis and suffer from runny nose or blocked nose, you can apply a topical rub like Vicks or inhale steam. This will help remedy a stuffy nose.

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Can food allergies cause coughing after eating?

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Can food allergies cause coughing? Yes. When you eat certain foods that you are allergic to, you may end up with a cough.

What is food allergy?

Food allergy is your body’s over reaction to certain foods which your body incorrectly sees as threat or harmful. When your body perceives an external substance or food as a danger, your immune system tries to defend and protect you.

When you eat foods you are allergic to, your immune system perceives the food as harmful and tries to fight. To defend you against the allegedly harmful substance, your immune system releases histamines. You start to show allergy symptoms when your body starts releasing histamines.



The primary function of body’s immune system is to fight infections and other dangers to health. Food allergy is when your immune system overreacts to a food incorrectly seeing it as a threat.

Food allergies can appear in people of any age but are more common in children. Some people develop allergy to foods later in life though they have eaten such foods well as children.

What are the symptoms of a food allergy? Is coughing a symptom of a food allergy?

Most of the times, food allergy symptoms are strikingly similar to cold symptoms. These include cough, sore throat, sneezing, nasal congestion, runny nose etc. A food allergy can also cause itchy skin and eyes.


Food allergy symptoms can sometimes be mild but severe at other times. Sometimes food allergy symptoms can show up as mild initially but turn severe later on. It is hard to predict how severe can symptoms to a food allergy can be.

There is no solid evidence that food allergies are hereditary. In some cases, allergies appear to show up in various members of the same family. However it is not possible to predict an allergy in a future generation.

Can food allergies cause coughing?

Some times, eating a big piece of dried fruit such as dried papaya or dried pineapple can trigger a fit of dry cough. Dry cough after eating dried fruit can be caused by the specific fruit or a preservative used in the dried fruits.

Food allergies can cause problems with digestive system, skin, respiration etc. Common respiratory problems a food allergy can cause include cough, wheeze, stuffy nose, runny nose, itchy nose, sneezing or extreme difficulty in breathing.

Most common food allergens include

  • Dairy like milk, cheese cream
  • Sea food like fish or shellfish
  • Nuts like peanuts, tree nuts
  • Mustard seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Wheat
  • Eggs
  • Soy

If you suspect you have food allergy and keep coughing when you eat certain foods, you need to consult your doctor for a detailed examination. Your doctor may refer you to an allergy immunologist or specialist who can identify any allergies you may have.

To avoid allergic cough, you need to avoid eating foods that you may be allergic to. If you continue to eat food that you are allergic to, you risk having a range of allergic reactions some mild and some very severe. The most adverse reaction a food allergy can cause is anaphylaxis.

What is anaphylaxis?

Allergy can sometimes lead to anaphylaxis which can be life threatening. Anaphylaxis is the most severe allergic reaction. Common foods that trigger anaphylaxis include nuts and seafood.

Anaphylaxis  symptoms include the below:

  • flushed skin
  • hives or nettled rash
  • feeling low
  • swollen throat or mouth
  • impaired speech
  • asthma attack
  • swallowing difficulty
  • nausea with stomach pain
  • low blood pressure
  • breathing difficulty

These symptoms can appear within few minutes or hours after eating the food you are allergic to.

Sometimes a food allergy can produce symptoms similar to a cold or sinusitis. These include runny nose, blocked nose, sneezing or coughing etc. A cold is generally caused by a virus and a sinus infection is caused bya bacteria. It is interesting to notice how virus, bacteria and food allergy can cause similar symptoms.

Virus | Bacteria | Food Allergy

Unlike cold symptoms, mild allergy symptoms normally fade away when you stop eating the food you are allergic to. However sometimes allergic reactions to foods can be severe and may require immediate medical attention.

Though allergy can cause symptoms similar to a cold, allergy not contagious whereas a cold be highly contagious. If you have a food allergy you may be more prone to catch a cold than others.

As cold symptoms are caused by a virus, no medicine can treat a cold though some medicines can help alleviate cold symptoms. However, allergy can be treated with medicines. Most common medicine to treat allergy is antihistamine. Antihistamines block histamine reactions and prevent you from showing any allergy symptoms.

Sometimes doctors advise use of a decongestsant when a person suffers severe congestion due an allergic food. Saline sprays and humidifiers can also help alleviate allergic congestion after eating.

A sinus infection caused by bacteria can sometimes produce symptoms similar to a cold or allergic reaction to food. A doctor can establish if your symptoms are from bacterial infection. If the doctor confirms you have a infected sinus he may offer some antibiotics to treat bacterial infection. Antibiotics cannot heal cold or allergic reaction though.

Food allergy | GERD or acid reflux

Food allergy can cause coughing after eating just like acid reflux makes you cough after you eat.

Acid reflux makes you cough after you eat because semi digested food enters your esophagus. Food allergy makes you cough after you eat because your body’s immune system produces histamine when you eat an allergen.

The mechanism of cough due to food allergy is different from acid reflux or GERD cough.

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