Cough and colds

Cough after eating with sputum: causes, possible diseases, treatment methods, reviews


Coughing after eating is a common symptom that can speak not only about the gastrointestinal, but also about other pathologies. This phenomenon may indicate the following pathologies:

  • diseases of the respiratory system,
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
  • increase in intra-abdominal pressure,
  • narrowing of the esophageal opening of the diaphragm,
  • increased acidity and gastric juice,
  • body dehydration
  • excessive mental stress.

For this reason, with its development, you should consult a doctor.

The cough reflex is a protective reaction of the body aimed at cleansing the respiratory tract from foreign substances and objects. Coughing occurs with many diseases of the respiratory tract, as well as pathologies of other organs and systems. A few coughing shocks per day is the norm and can be observed in clinically healthy people. But in those cases when a person coughs every time after eating, this indicates the presence of a particular pathology. Before starting treatment for cough that occurs after eating, you should find out its cause.

You should consult a qualified specialist about the use of any medications and treatments for cough that occurs after eating.

Why coughing may occur after eating

A cough reflex after eating can occur in the absence of any pathology, for example, when eating spicy, spicy, too cold or hot dishes. Coughing causes food to enter the respiratory tract - this can happen when a person speaks animatedly while eating.

Pathological causes may be as follows:

  1. Dysphagia. Violation of swallowing can cause food to enter the respiratory tract with the need for coughing.
  2. Aspiration pneumonia, which develops when a foreign body enters the respiratory tract. Often the cause of the disease is the ingestion of vomit in the respiratory tract.
  3. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. In this case, a cough after eating occurs when the gastric or duodenal contents are thrown into the esophagus and may enter the respiratory tract.
  4. Gastritis. In this case, the cause is the increased acidity of the gastric juice, throwing the contents of the stomach into the esophagus.
  5. Infectious and inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract. The causative agents in this case can be viruses, bacteria. In the presence of inflammation of the respiratory system (pharyngitis, laryngitis, etc.), cough after eating can occur as a result of irritation of the mucous membranes of the throat (for example, due to the use of hot and cold food) and the resulting respiratory reflex spasms.
  6. Allergy. After eating, a cough may be caused by direct contact with an allergen (food). It can also develop in patients with bronchial asthma.
  7. Congestive Heart Failure. One of the common causes of coughing after or during meals is in patients with cardiopathology.

Signs and related symptoms of coughing after eating

A cough may begin during, immediately after a meal, or some time after a meal. With various pathologies, certain symptoms accompany it.

Infectious and inflammatory diseases of the throat

Pain when swallowing, fever, general deterioration of health.

Attacks of severe coughing, after which vitreous sputum is separated. A cough may develop into an attack of suffocation.

Lacrimation, sneezing, redness of the eyes, rashes on the skin, itching in the nose and / or throat. With food allergies, cough usually does not occur after every meal, but in the case of eating certain foods, most often citrus fruits, as well as dairy products, peanuts.

Possible development of complications such as pulmonary heart failure, pulmonary edema.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Heartburn, shortness of breath, hoarseness, sour belching, which is aggravated by torso, after eating, at night, dry throat, nausea, vomiting, bloating, pain behind the sternum, which gives to the neck, lower jaw, the area between the shoulder blades, to the left part of the chest. Coughing occurs 20-30 minutes after eating.

Gastritis with high acidity

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation, excessive sweating, decreased appetite, dizziness, pain in the heart, increased salivation. Symptoms often worsen at night.

Cardiac (congestive) cough

Dry cough, feeling of lack of air, swelling, pain in the projection of the heart, dizziness.

How to treat cough that occurs after eating

Patients who often experience coughing after eating are advised to drink plenty of water (except for cough in heart failure, a doctor’s consultation is necessary). The use of a sufficient amount of warm liquid helps to moisturize the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract, as well as thin the sputum and remove it from the respiratory tract.

It is recommended to abandon bad habits, avoid overeating (especially at night), normalize body weight, consume a sufficient amount of fluid, avoid wearing clothes that squeeze the body in the throat and abdomen.

You should regularly clean the house, if necessary, humidify the air in the living quarters. People with chronic diseases need to undergo a preventive medical examination at least once a year.

The treatment for cough that occurs after a meal depends on its cause:

  • with dehydration the patient is shown abundant drinking, electrolyte preparations may be prescribed. With a dry cough, antitussive drugs can be used. In inflammatory diseases of the respiratory system, mucolytic, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antipyretic drugs, immunomodulators, vitamin and mineral complexes can be used,
  • with infectious processes depending on the type of pathogen, antiviral, antimycotic drugs, antibiotics, mucolytics, coughing agents can be used,
  • in case of ingestion of a foreign body into the respiratory tract hospitalization is usually required, surgery may be necessary to retrieve the item,
  • in case of gastroesophageal reflux disease patients are shown a sparing diet; drugs that reduce the production of gastric juice and improve motor skills may be prescribed. Surgery may be required,
  • with allergies antihistamines are prescribed
  • with dysphagia it is recommended to eat softened food in a warm form, to limit or exclude the use of spicy, spicy and other irritating foods.

How to treat cough folk remedies

In addition to the main treatment for cough that develops after eating, folk remedies can be used. Use medicinal herbs in the form of infusions, decoctions, alcohol tinctures.

Often used on the basis of ivy, plantain, licorice root, coltsfoot, chamomile, marsh ledum, sage, eucalyptus, marshmallow.

Here are some popular folk recipes:

  1. Honey dissolved in warm water (1 teaspoon per glass of water). Also, honey can be dissolved in warm milk, a little butter can be added to the drink.
  2. A mixture of black radish juice and honey. For its preparation, the ingredients are mixed in a 1: 1 ratio and taken 1 tablespoon (adults) or 1 teaspoon (children) 3-4 times a day.
  3. A mixture of equal parts of cranberry juice, liquid honey and aloe juice. The drug is taken 1 teaspoon several times a day with a wet cough.

We offer you to watch a video on the topic of the article.

Possible diseases: reflux esophagitis

This disease is a condition against which a reflux of contents from the region of the stomach to the esophagus occurs. Far casting of particles of undigested food and gastric juice reaching the lower respiratory tract is not ruled out. In this case, partial aspiration may occur in the form of casting contents into the bronchi or lungs.

Reflux is usually observed with belching and is accompanied by heartburn. To get rid of this, the body initiates a cough reflex. Since this is a matter of survival, the response of the body is extremely intense. This disease is often confused with gastritis, which is fundamentally wrong. These are completely different diseases. In case of suspicion of one or another pathological condition, differential diagnosis is required.

The presence of gastritis with high acidity as a factor in coughing after eating

In this case, the mechanism of cough formation after eating with sputum is generally similar to the previous case described. As before, in this case, reflux of the gastric contents into the lower respiratory tract can be observed, but if a person has gastritis, the symptoms can intensify at night.

That is, a coughing fit can occur a couple of hours after eating. In this regard, patients can not always link one to the other. This greatly complicates the diagnosis. Special informative research is required.

What causes spasm?

When eating, many organs are activated. The brain begins to work more actively, blood circulation accelerates, mucous membranes secrete a secret, and other biological processes occur. The close connection of the respiratory system with other systems in the body can lead to the appearance of a cough reflex. It appears with such pathological changes:

  • Dehydration Most often found in older people. When eating their mucous membranes secrete little secret. Due to the dryness of the bronchi, a cough reflex appears.
  • Overweight. If a person has a large body mass, then his abdominal pressure becomes too high. It can also cause bronchospasm during eating. You can fix the problem only by reducing weight to normal.
  • Ingestion of food particles in the respiratory tract. Most often, this problem is faced by babies and elderly people due to a decrease in the swallowing reflex. If a cough is detected in this category of people, it is imperative to see a doctor, as food particles can cause serious inflammation in the airways.

Sputum cough as a consequence of an allergic reaction to food

Another cause of coughing after eating with sputum is an allergy.

Allergy is a real scourge for modern humanity. During an allergic reaction, the human body produces a large amount of a special substance (histamine) that destroys cells at a generalized level. It causes itching along with coughing, sneezing and other symptoms. An immunological response may occur after a few minutes from the time of eating foods that are allergenic.

Cough in this case is especially intense, it can be accompanied by shortness of breath, sputum, suffocation, and in addition, pain behind the sternum. In especially severe cases, the onset of anaphylactic shock is not excluded, followed by death.

Why else does cough with sputum begin after eating?


To understand how to help the patient get rid of coughing with food, you need to go to the doctor's appointment. In some cases, an examination by an otolaryngologist is enough, but sometimes additional consultation with an allergist-immunologist, gastroenterologist is required.

Doctors conduct an examination and laboratory tests, on the basis of which a conclusion is drawn, and measures are taken to eliminate the cough itself and the cause that caused it.

To alleviate the condition yourself:

A cough that appears during eating can indicate serious abnormalities in the body. If this symptom is detected, you should immediately go to the doctor.

In most cases, timely treatment helps to quickly eliminate the violation. If for a long time you do not pay attention to spasm, then this can cause complications up to the appearance of malignant neoplasms. Do not ignore the difficulty in breathing and do the examinations on time.

Bronchial asthma

The appearance of cough with sputum after eating can also contribute to bronchial asthma. This disease is a chronic infectious, inflammatory or allergic illness, during which severe obstruction may occur in the form of narrowing of the lumen of the bronchi. This condition is a potentially incurable disease that can cause death in patients. If available, systematic treatment is required. But it is worth noting that the identification of asthmatic processes is not an easy task.

After eating, a cough begins with sputum discharge for various inflammations.

The effect of an infectious inflammatory process

In this case, there is no direct connection between the appearance of cough and the intake of products. Here the place has a lesion of the lower respiratory tract by bacterial agents. Often we are talking about the secondary involvement of the nasopharynx and throat in the pathological process. Food can only irritate these anatomical structures, against the background of which an intense cough can occur.

Absolutely every person who has had a cold has probably met this condition. In this case, urgent treatment is required so as not to provoke the onset of pneumonia or other diseases.

If a cough occurs after a meal, then it is more likely that food is ingested in different quantities in the respiratory tract. The respiratory anatomical structure of a person is structured in such a way that when foreign objects enter, the ciliated epithelium immediately reacts and provokes an intense cough reflex.

Often there is also a cough after eating without sputum.

Concomitant symptoms

It will be possible to suspect a certain pathology or condition not only if you diagnose a problem such as coughing after eating. Additionally, you can focus on the symptoms. In addition to sputum, cough after eating can also be accompanied by such manifestations:

  • The appearance of shortness of breath. This phenomenon involves an increase in the number of respiratory movements per minute. It can intensify during physical exertion and remain even in a state of complete rest.
  • The occurrence of suffocation. This develops due to intense airway obstruction. As soon as the bronchi narrow, the lumen is smaller, respectively, not enough air comes in. In addition, gas exchange may be disturbed, and the patient begins to suffocate. This is an extremely dangerous condition, fraught with death.
  • The appearance of heartburn. This condition is accompanied by a burning sensation localized in the area of ​​the pharynx. This is explained by the release of a small amount of acid from the stomach beyond. Doctors usually explain this to a sphincter weakness.
  • The appearance of belching. In this case, we are talking about the discharge of gases from the stomach. Problems with this hollow organ are very easily recognized. Diseases of the digestive system are accompanied by the presence of an acid burp odor, or one can take on the smell of a rotten egg, which will indicate intensive production of hydrogen sulfide.
  • The appearance of severity in the epigastric region. Such a symptom very often accompanies a digestive system pathology.
  • The occurrence of reflux. Against the background of this accompanying symptom, the digestive system is released beyond the anatomical limit. Such a condition is dangerous with possible asphyxiation.

Next, find out what kind of diagnosis is being done to determine the diagnosis.


Diagnosis of coughing is usually done by specialist pulmonologists. True, in view of the multiplicity of possible causes of this symptom, it is possible that consultations with specialists such as a gastroenterologist, allergologist, cardiologist and otolaryngologist will be required. At the initial appointment, complaints are assessed along with a medical history. Next comes the turn for objective research:

  • Radiography of the chest in order to exclude problems with the bronchi and lungs as well.
  • Radiography of the stomach in order to assess the condition of the digestive system and its initial departments.
  • Conducting an immunological study and a stress test aimed at identifying allergies.
  • Spirography and cardiography.

In addition, other studies are conducted at the discretion of the doctor. The most important thing is to identify the root causes of the cough.

Pathology treatment

When a strong cough with sputum is observed after eating, therapy should be aimed at eliminating the main provoking factors. Symptomatic treatment involves the use of antitussive medications of central and peripheral effects. Конкретные наименования медикаментов в зависимости от основной причины подбирает специалист.

Стоит отметить, что кашель, возникающий после еды, является весьма распространенным симптомом, причины которого бывает порой не так-то просто выявить. В любом случае для проведения правильного лечения потребуется тщательная диагностика. And treatment, in turn, should be timely. This will certainly help to quickly relieve the patient from excruciating discomfort, and probably from serious health problems.

Based on the reviews, it can be said that many people encounter in their life such a problem as cough with sputum that occurs after taking food. Some say that the cause of this is bronchial asthma, while others complain of a reflex disease or an immunological reaction of the body.

People write that in order to combat this symptom, it is first of all important to determine the main cause that provokes its appearance. Depending on this, doctors prescribe one or another treatment.

In addition, as described in the reviews, in this case, symptomatic treatment is necessarily carried out, in which antitussive medications are used to help patients.

We examined why cough with sputum begins after eating.

The causes of coughing can be very different, for example:

  1. 1 subcooling,
  2. 2 foreign bodies falling into the throat,
  3. 3 breath of gases or toxins,
  4. 4 diseases (colds, SARS, pneumonia, asthma, lung cancer, tuberculosis, pharyngitis, tracheitis, pleurisy, atrial tumor, allergy),
  5. 5 sore throat,
  6. 6 too emotional conversation.

To determine a particular disease, they look at such characteristics of a cough as:

  • force (coughing or jerking cough)
  • duration (less than two weeks - an acute cough, from 2 to 4 weeks it is considered a prolonged cough, from a month to two - an infectious cough, if a cough torments more than two months - it is classified as chronic),
  • timbre (short, sonorous, muffled, husky, in the form of "barking", chest),
  • highlight (dry or wet cough)
  • amount and component of sputum (mucous, serous, with blood, pus),
  • frequency and time of occurrence (spring-summer is mainly an allergic cough, nocturnal - with asthma, evening cough is often with bronchitis and pneumonia, morning is observed in smokers).

Useful foods for coughing

Basically, a cough occurs with colds, when the body's defenses are lowered. Therefore, the main role of nutrition during coughing is to help increase immunity, relieve bronchopulmonary spasms, defeat germs and viruses, and fill in the deficiency of vitamins (especially groups A, C, E), minerals, and proteins (this is due to the fact that large expectoration occurs during expectoration protein loss, if not replenished, then protein deficiency may develop). For this, the patient needs to eat foods:

  1. 1 animal origin: nonfat varieties of meat, fish (preferably fatty, omega-3 lubricates the throat, which removes sore throat and makes it easier to expectorate), cod liver, dairy products (will help relieve temperature and heat, and the calcium that is contained in them will help remove inflammatory process),
  2. 2 plant origin: legumes, sprouted wheat, pumpkin, sunflower, sesame (and oil) seeds, olives and olive oil, nuts, cereals and cereals (rice, hercules, buckwheat, oatmeal, wheat), vegetables (tomatoes, carrots, any cabbage, beets , onions, garlic, pumpkin, radish), fruits and berries (bananas, citrus fruits, strawberries, raspberries, ginger, melon (musky), papaya, peaches, avocado, currants, apples, figs, grapes), greens.

To dilute sputum and help its outflow, the body needs a lot of fluid. Preference should be given to hot drinks: natural linden teas, raspberries, boiled milk with honey, cocoa. Also, vegetable, fruit juices and lemon water will be useful.

The number of meals should be 5-6 times a day, and the amount of fluid consumed - not less than one and a half liters.