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Acid Reflux / GERD

Why do I cough after I eat?

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Published: Sunday, 11 March 2018
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Table of contents
  1. Causes
  2. Seeing a doctor
  3. Treatment and bar
  4. Takeaway
It is not uncommon to cough after feeding. Coughing is a typical reaction of the body trying to clear thorns from the airways. Irritants are sometimes introduced into the body when feeding, and this can lead to coughing.

If coughing after feeding happens often, people should consult a doctor to determine a cause. Once the cause is best-known, a person can make some life style changes or take medications to treat it.

Some of the most common causes include the following:

Causes of a cough after feeding

There are galore potential causes of coughing after feeding:

Food allergies

Food allergies may cause shortness of breath and coughing after feeding.

Allergies are a common cause of coughing after feeding. They can develop at any age but atypically develop during childhood.

When person has a food allergic reaction, their body's immune system is overreacting to what it believes is a harmful substance. People may besides experience:

  • asthmatic
  • shortness of breath
  • a fluid nose
  • anaphylaxis

Common foods people are allergic to include:

  • milk
  • soy
  • peanuts
  • tree nuts
  • eggs
  • shellfish

People can have an allergic reaction to one or more foods. If a person coughs because of a food allergic reaction, it is essential that they find out what foods trigger the coughing.

A doctor can help pinpoint the foods causation the reaction.


Asthma affects the airways and develops after exposure to an thorn, which can include food.

Sulfite is a common additive found in galore drinks and food that often cause asthma attack symptoms. Foods that contain sulfites and should be avoided include:

  • beers
  • wines
  • dried fruit
  • pickled onions
  • soft drinks

nevertheless, any food that causes a person to experience an allergic reaction may trigger an asthma attack attack as well.

In addition to coughing, a person may experience:

  • asthmatic
  • tightness in the chest
  • trouble breathing
All about coughs and their causes
Coughs have galore triggers and galore methods of treatment. Learn more about coughs as a whole here.
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Dysphagia causes difficulty when swallowing. When disorder occurs, a person's body has great difficulty moving food and drink from the mouth to the stomach. It can result in pain or discomfort.

Dysphagia may make a person feel as if food has become lodged in the throat. This feeling can lead to gagging or coughing after feeding as the body tries to clear the perceived blockage from the throat.

Conditions so much as acid reflux often cause disorder. A doctor can determine the underlying cause.

Acid reflux

Acid reflux may irritate the food pipe, causation coughing after feeding.

Acid reflux occurs when acid from the stomach travels up the food pipe. The acid may make its way into the upper food pipe or throat through the opening of the stomach, best-known as the lower passage anatomical sphincter.

When a person is feeding, the anatomical sphincter relaxes to allow food to travel to the stomach. In some cases, the anatomical sphincter does not close entirely. The consequent gap allows acid from the stomach to travel upward.

The acid can irritate the food pipe, causation coughing. People may besides experience:

  • a sour or bitter taste
  • a sore throat
  • burning sensation in the chest

More frequent acid reflux can be caused by:

  • gastropassage reflux illness (GERD)
  • laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR)

GERD is a degenerative condition that causes a more severe form of acid reflux. When person has GERD, they are very likely going to experience a cough as well as:

  • trouble swallowing
  • asthmatic
  • nausea vomiting
  • reflux occurring two or more times a week
  • excessive stomach gas

LPR does not have the same symptoms of GERD. When it occurs, stomach acid may travel as far up as the nasal passages. likewise to GERD, it can cause coughing as well as:

  • post nasal drip
  • hoarseness
  • need to clear throat

A doctor can treat these two conditions with medications. A person can besides control these conditions with diet modifications. nevertheless, there is no cure for them.

Aspiration metabolism disease

It is possible to inhale small particles of liquid or food when feeding. In healthy people, the respiratory organs will expel these particles through coughing.

Sometimes, the respiratory organs may not be healthy enough to remove the bantam particles. When this occurs, bacterium from the food may become at bay in the respiratory organs, consequent in aspiration metabolism disease.

People are at an accrued risk for developing aspiration metabolism disease if they have acid reflux or trouble swallowing.

Symptoms of aspiration metabolism disease include:

  • a wet or asthmatic cough following feeding
  • painful swallowing
  • extra saliva
  • shortness of breath
  • fatigue
  • congestion after feeding and drinking
  • heartburn
  • fever shortly after feeding

When person experiences these symptoms, it is essential they speak to a doctor. Aspiration metabolism disease can cause serious medical problems, so much as metabolism failure or respiratory organ abscess.


People mightiness experience a cough caused by an infection in the upper metabolism system. If a cough does not clear up properly, it can lead to a person coughing instantly following feeding or drinking.

This type of cough is difficult to treat as it irritates the throat, causation the person to cough more and preventing healing.

It is possible to develop an infection in the food pipe or voice box. This type of infection may be caused by a virus, plant, or bacterium. The throat may become inflamed and annoyed when septic. The inflammation causes a person to cough, particularly following meals.

Trfeeding the infection will stop the coughing.

When to see a doctor

A cough that persists for over 2 weeks or has no apparent cause should be assessed by a doctor.

Not everyone who experiences a cough after feeding will need to see a doctor. nevertheless, it is a good idea to see a doctor for a post-feeding cough when:

  • it occurs often
  • it lasts thirster than 2 weeks
  • the reason for the cough is unbest-known
  • there is blood in the mucus
  • the person experiencing the cough is an active smoker
  • coughing worsens
  • the person experiencing the cough experiences other symptoms

Treatment and bar

Treatment will vary based on the cause. Treatment may be as simple as avoiding trigger foods or trfeeding the condition with medications.

Treatment often focuses on bar. Steps to prevent coughing following feeding or drinking include:

  • slow down when feeding
  • drink more water during meals
  • track foods to help determine which cause coughing
  • take all prescribed medications
  • stop feeding during a coughing attack
  • use a humidifier to prevent a dry throat
  • try supplements to aid digestion


People can often avoid coughing following feeding with some simple bar strategies.

Avoiding foods that trigger coughing is often a good first step. nevertheless, people should remain aware of changes in their cough, other symptoms, and how frequent and long the cough is lasting.

People should see a doctor if they have any concerns or doubts.

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Why do I cough after I eat?
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