Asthma UK community forum

Eating as a trigger?

Is there anyone here who finds that mere eating functions as a trigger, causing coughing and shortness of breath? I don't mean reflux or food allergy, but just eating anything. What kinds of experiences do you have with it? Have any idea how usual it is?

My asthma began with massive coughing right after or even during eating - at any time of the day and with any food. Now, as I have medication, I still suffer this annoying thing, more or less every time I eat. When I'm otherwise well, I cough just a little during the meal/right after it, (if the meal is real small in duration and amount, like one fruit, then it usually doesn't happen). And if I'm bad, I may cough and cough - untill I take some reliever. Yesterday I had a bad day, and at one time I didn't dare to take even a little cookie though I was hungry.. I mean I wanted to avoid going even worse..

Is this familiar to anyone here? My doctor hadn't heared of this kind of a trigger before ;)

9 Replies

I guess no-one has, exept me.. that's what I thought. Well, it was worth of asking, though.



I do have problems with food,most days can eat peas but others i cant.They wont let me eat them in hospital! also biscuits any thing with crumbs,hot/cold drinks can trigger.

Others might be along theres a lot in hospital.

What tablets you been put on? do they help?



usually I don't have any pills, only now I've been taking prednisolon. Havent noticed any help on this issue, yet. The problem isn't any specific food, ig peas, that I couln't eat. But I do cough more over things that you can also 'breathe in' such as bread.. Haven't notice difference between hot/cold drinks. Some spices my affect, though, in some days ;) It's just eating in general - it has the same effect as doing exercise or breathing smoke or perfumes.. All my friends already know that I'm the one who always coughes after dinner - a nice habbit, isn't it ;)


It might be worth talking to your GP about something called 'reflux cough'. Typically this causes coughing with food - this is because the entrance to the oesophagus opens so the food can go down BUT sometimes the stomach contents come back up into the opening to the lungs and act as an irritant - hence the coughing. The treatment is high dose antacids, something like omeprazole twice daily and ranitidine at night for 2-3 months. You can get reflux cough with much lower levels of reflux than you need to get heart-burn. I found the antacids very helpful, but I had to take them for weeks before seeing any benefit. Also be warned that just stopping the antacids abruptly means the reflux (and coughing) comes back with a vengence, I did better decreasing the antacid dose very gradually.


Hi Niccia

I sometimes find I cough after I have eaten. Quite often I notice my lips have gone blue after a meal too.



Thanks for your answers! I don't know about reflux - when my Asthma was initially studied at the hospital, they also tested the reflux, this is, I had to live for couple of days with a refluc-meter going thru my nose to stomach.. and there was no unusual reflux. But maybe that was a wrong diagnose, since at the same time the docs 'found out' I had no asthma neather - which I still did have.. So maybe I'll talk about this to my specialist... Thanks!


katybarstool - Eek! That sounds ominous. Three magic words: see your GP!!


Thanks Steve, but I don't think it's anything serious - it's been happening too long for that - and I have had an ECG in the meantime. It's probably to do with the bronchiectasis. Oh, and I was diagnosed with a heart murmur about 10 years ago, but apparently, that's not important.



I find that my asthma gets worse quite quickly if I eat too much. Not sure if its to do with stomach pushing on lungs. I am on esomeprazole so wouldnt have thought I had reflux symptoms. moral of the story! I shouldn't eat too much!!! Might help me lose more weight aswell!!


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