Coughing after food

Coughing after food

Hi all, from a very wet tropical island. Rain, day in day out with a cold temperature of 24/25c/74/75f. Can't remember when i last had my a/c on.

As the title says i have found i am coughing after i have finished eating my food. Whether it is cereal, porridge, sandwich, evening meal. I cough immediately i have finished eating, but not for long. I sometimes cough when i am eating, but rarely.

The only other time i cough is when i shower and i assume that is to do with the steam.

Does anyone else experience this or know what it is?

I have googled it but the only explanation i can find is acid reflux, but i am not going to get that from a bowl of porridge.

I am hoping it will be a bit warmer in the UK this month as i am off to visit family on the 19th. Last year was the coldest August for 80 years and the coldest Bank holiday for 100 years. I had to go to M&S and buy some vests. Haha

Photo is me at the Isle of white last year. I am wearing jeans, vest, long sleeve shirt and a sweat shirt. My sons were in shorts. I just can't take the cold anymore.

48 Replies

  • Hi Swerv

    from an even colder island called Great Britain !!

    No need for AC here, I've had the central heating on several evenings this month !!

    I sometimes cough during and after eating, I find any little thing irritates my throat.

    I always have a large glass of water, next to my even larger glass of wine !! and sip it as required throughout my meal. I carry on sipping the wine afterwards whether I need it or not !! ( purely medicinal )

    I always take a bottle of water with me whenever I leave the house, as so many things start me coughing....supermarket cold cabinets...clothes shops..shops that scent their carpets...chemists, the list goes on. I have asthma as well as COPD.

    I hope you have a wonderful time, and good weather when you visit.

    Pack your thermal vest and long johns just in case !!!!!!

    Safe Trip

    Velvet xx

  • Thanks velet good to know i am not alone. Just seems to be unusual and i know now as soon as i stop eating that i am going to cough. But only a few times over a minute or so.

    I must check the long range forecast for the south of England for the last 2 weeks of August, hoping it will be better than last year. I will be packing my vests just in case.


  • Hi Merv

    Enjoy GB, Just to be on the safe side for some summer sun, I'm off to Malta for 3 weeks xx

  • Hi Velvet. That is one place i never got to.

    Have a good one.

  • Will do.

    Beautiful weather, A warm blue sea to swim in, Wonderful wine, and friendly people. Bliss. xx

  • Hi Velvet

    That sounds just like my home 50 weeks of the year

  • I'm jealous !!!! xx

  • Hi Velvet,

    Gee, if I weren't in the U.S. (the mountains of North Carolina), I could almost swear I could've written the exact same dialogue. It's an annoying problem. Is it a hard, dry cough? I often get muscle spasms in my diaphragm or stomach because I'm coughing so hard. I do have acid reflux, which is pretty under control (I think). I wonder what else could cause this odd condition????

    It's summer here now; hot and humid. My breathing isn't too good lately.

  • Hi Gemlady

    I have asthma and copd, so I guess it may be due to that. Have you been tested for it. I find there are so many pollutants in the air we breathe, some of us have become super sensitive to them. My daughter in law is a big fan of scented candles around her house. Although she doesn't light them when I'm about, I can still smell them when I am there and it starts me off coughing.

    Also changes is temperature start me off for a time until I adjust to it.

    The Mountains of North Carolina sounds as if it should have some nice clean air, better than the polluted gunk they call air, in the over crowded city streets and roads of the UK.

    Best Wishes

    Velvet xx

  • Hi Velvet,

    I hope you enjoy a warmer visit this August. I thought I heard it had been overly hot in the UK this summer???

    Well, I live in Asheville, N.C., which is the tourist capital now of the country. You would think the air was clean, but we are downwind from coal-burning factories from several states--they've cleaned it up somewhat in the past few years, but we sometimes still have a problem. And this summer was particularly hot and humid which is not so usual.

    I do have asthma and allergies. Both got worse, believe it or not, when I quit smoking almost 30 yrs. ago. I also have sensitivities to anything with fragrance, smoke, etc., similar to you.

    Seems my shortness of breath has suddenly become worse this past month. I don't know why. My oxygen levels are in high 90s at rest. I'm very concerned. Truthfully, I'm afraid to go to the asthma doctor and get a spirometer. I've been level at 67% lung capacity for the last 6 years. Had gone up from 50% originally when tested 8 yrs. ago.

    Wishing you a lovely vacation.

    Irene xoxo

  • Hi

    My mum has COPD and coughs after eating, also on change of environment, like going into a crowded room, getting on a bus. I think this is something to do with a change in oxygen levels, perhaps they go a little too low as when your eating you can't breathe as well as swollow. I am sure I read this somewhere before and it made sense to me. My mum also has glasses of water on hand to try and help.


  • I drink wine before during and after, does not help.

    But it is good to know that other copd sufferers have the same. At least it isn't something else.



  • Ha Ha, Merv, obviously not enough !!

    Serious note. Water is best xx

  • Hi swerv, I love the photo and you are certainly wrapped up well...I feel the cold much more as I get older.

    About your cough, I guess your oesophagus is twitchy like mine and easily irritated but also eating can disrupt the breathing pattern and uses up oxygen as well .

    I find it is getting more difficult to swallow some foods ....things like chips seem to get stuck.

    Like velvet lots of things set me off coughing, talking on the phone, air fresheners, even opening the frig sometimes...what joy!

    Hopefully someone will have an answer for you...enjoy your holiday, I actually saw the sun yesterday in a blue sky.

  • Hi Knitter, i will be holidaying in the UK. I go back every August to see the family. I live on an island called phuket. Been here over 18 years.

  • Hi swerv, how about ringing the BLF helpline when you are back in England and ask their advice. If you are still concerned when you get back home best get it checked out to reassure yourself.

    Let's hope the sun stays out for the rest of August....but not too hot.

  • Hi Knitter, i need it hot. It was a bit too cold for me last August.


  • great photo swerv :) i often cough and bring up phlegm whilst eating, i find drinking plain bottled water helps a little.

    if you think its cold and wet where you are,,, try scotland this summer :D its been cold and wet most times.!!! pretty rough in the winter, the answer lies in the thermals and long johns :D

    but i see where your coming from, the cold/wet/damp effects me also

    take care Merv,,, jimmy :)

  • Hi Jimmy

    Years ago i used to have a goose shoot for a week on the firth, middle of January arriving 4am That was cold.

    But living in the tropics for over 18 years i can't take the cold anymore, which is why i go to the UK in August to see family. But most years i find it too cold and last year was terrible.

    Cold out here is 24c which is about 74f. I am sitting in my office with no a/c or fan.

  • To clarify, we used to go out to the firth at 4am each morning to wait for the geese. Bloody freezing


  • im near the firth of forth , but you'll know what i mean :) ,,cold/often wet !!

    good luck on your home visit, best just wrap up warm, thermals, woolen jerseys etc.

    good luck merv. jimmy

  • Hello swerve, I find if I go out with hubbie, friends or whoever I tend to cough, I think with me its a anxiety thing. I have bronchiectacis, I'm not on oxygen so I'm not too bad in the copd department. I honestly don't know why I cough and splutter when I'm out and about, I do the inhalers etc. oh well. Take good care.

    Love Leelee from Sydney. Xxx

  • I only cough for few seconds and only after eating and showering.

    Seems afew on here have the same, so i am please it is nothing else.

    Re coughing and panic, i have copd and i am sob every morning, i think it is co2 retention during the night.

    What i find is if the sob has not gone away by lunchtime i take a valium and within the hour i am fine. So it is definitely some kind of anxiety.

    Try taking one before you go out.


  • Thanks Merv, I might have a rummage in the medicine cabinet, I'm sure there will a packet of Valium somewhere in there, good idea, thanks Leelee. Xxx Take care. 🐨

  • Hi Swerv

    I have more chance of winning the lottery than getting Vallium out of my GP . You could see him in the middle of a nervous breakdown and he wouldn't prescribe it...the same goes for sleeping pills.

    Velvet xx

  • Hi Velvet

    I can get just about anything over the counter here, no prescription needed. Valium, sleeping pills, just about anything.


  • Hi Swerve, I'm finding that over the last 6 months or so I've been coughing up gunk more after eating. It happens everytime now without fail.

    Also guaranteed when I first get up in the morning and after exercise.

    Sputum samples which are very easy to supply always come back negative.

    The gunk always seems to come from my chest and lungs, not my stomach and my breathing is always much better afterwards.

    Not sure where it all comes from, certainly doesn't seem like stomach acid and is white or clear in colour.

    I have pulmonary fibrosis, not COPD.

    When coughing I can become very dizzy and breathless which soon goes away.

    It seems there's no answer to this problem unless someone on here has found it, lets hope so eh'.


  • Hi Swerv, lovely photo of you and family. Hope the weather changes for your visit, its a little cool some days for the time of year. It is not unusual to have coughing when eating , think it is the texture of some food as well as the pressure on the lungs. Enjoy your break here later in the month.

  • I too cough after eating ! That is why we no longer eat out - I tell my consultant but he makes no comment As Nither does he regarding me telling him I bring up more and more " bubbly clear fluid " at least twice each day while coughing so I struggle to breathe !

    Any one else experience this ?

    Please tell me !


  • Hi Grace Olive, quite a few people have replied saying the same thing, but nobody seems to know why.


  • I too bring up clear bubbly fluid as well as gallons of mucus of varying colour and consistency. Most mornings I am coughing and spitting for at least an hour.

    As the day goes on it becomes less but I can suddenly cough and almost choke for no apparent reason.

    If it was just the SOB I could cope much better but this daily routine of feeling I am in danger of drowning in the stuff as well as the embarrassment of it really gets me down.

  • It seems there are very few answers for people with lung Patholoiges! So many other conditions are offshoots from the lungs

    I get so fed up at 75 and struggle with a mess of my internal bitsAnd great muscles bones and joints still mobile !!

    A little arthritis be about the hands ! Just keep moving our joints !

    If we don't use it--- we lose it

    I can still put my leg on the Ballet Barre with ease -so lucky and should NOT complain


  • I also cough whilst I'm eating I read in a Macmillan brochure that it's the phlegm that causes this and I find having little sips of water throughout my meal helps.

  • I get this as well.. any thing to do with wheat... i am not celliac but cereals bread pastry ect makes me cough after eating

  • Hullo there. It would be wise to mention this to your chest clinic nurse/doctor/ BLF helpline. Best wishes.

  • Hi, i don't have one here, but i have received many replies from copd sufferers who have the same problem. It seems to be a common thing with copd.

  • Swerv......I am about your age bracket and get the same with the intake of food especially with anything stodgy ..I cough with the first mouthful sometimes and I Have inflammation of the Airways ( due to narrowing airways ).and it may be to do with COPD....check with your doctor. I have a mild form of copd. OR just take smaller mouthfuls of food and that may work ...Maddimegan.

  • Hi, i also have mild copd stage 1 thankfully. I have received a lot of replies from copd sufferers who experience the same thing. Seems to be a side effect from copd.


  • Hi Frank,

    I used to have acid reflux when i was first diagnosed 5 months ago, terrible dry retching in the mornings. But cut out any foods which could trigger it and i have been fine for about 3 months now.


  • Sometimes you can have "silent" reflux. Unknowingly, I had that for years before I was diagnosed. This can cause asthma, coughing, voice problems, etc.

  • I am in the UK and I cough quite a lot after and during eating,even when I drink it can happen.I do not have acid reflux,my consultant has told me not to eat crisps or biscuits! However it doesn't matter what food it is I will still cough,in fact I almost choke sometimes. You are not alone.

  • Hi Swerv

    I have bronchiectasis diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago. I nearly always cough a lot after eating especially if I sit back in my arm chair and gravity 'takes a hold' as it were and quite a lot of green sputum comes up. I was tested for acid reflux but this was not found to be an issue. I, personally, think that when your stomach is given food - especially a meal (it doesn't have to be a big meal either) the stomach is distended and pushes on the diaphragm, which in turn triggers the lungs to expel gunk (technical word that..) from the lower part of the lungs.

    The diaphragm is the strongest muscle in the body, apparently. When this happens to me (daily) - I just use it as a chance to expel that nasty gunk from my lungs which might otherwise stay put and do further damage.

    As others have said, phone BLF and ask them or your consultant for advice.

    Good luck, although it looks like you have already been very blessed with a loving family.

    Kind regards


  • We are in sync. I have been coughing for years after eating and sometimes during eating. I have to keep liquid nearby. I have had reflux for years from a very large hiatal hernia. I had surgery for the hernia over 5 yrs. ago so that I could stop taking those horrible drugs like prilosec (omeprazole) and maybe feel better. It works for 6 months and the reflux came back but not as bad.

    I am a cougher. I have severe allergies to just about everything and asthma and developed COPD supposedly asthma related--they really don't seem to know. I eat very healthy, better than most, so I'm puzzled. It could be the esophagus is narrowed due to damage from reflux. I really don't want to go poking around with all kinds of tests.

    I also cough when I laugh. Have had this for years, too. I thought it was from smoking--but I quit 30 yrs. ago. Does this happen to you?

    If you find an answer to either of these annoying maladies, let me know.

    It's good to know I'm not the only one suffering from this weird condition.

  • Hi Gemlady12, i have actually stopped coughing when i eat. I followed advice form a member some time ago and now sip water whilst i am eating, i also eat smaller portions. In the evenings i eat a lot of home made lentil soups, easier to digest, plus healthy.

    I usually make a batch of chicken stock once a week, i buy 2 chicken carcasses from my local Tesco and use the stock to make a soup or a casserole.


  • Well, we sound like a team! I try not to eat dry or bulky foods like meats, bread, etc. And I keep water near me if I can. I also eat very small portions at a time. Make lots of soups: lentil is a favorite, also bone soups, veggie soups. My newest craze is butternut squash with carrots, apple, if you have it; ginger, tumeric, cayenne; sometimes add sweet potato or pumpkin. Of course use whatever else that suits your taste. Onion, garlic never hurts either. You can use a veggie stock or just water.


  • Hi Rena

    It's amazing how filling these soups can be, best thing i did was buy a crock pot/slow cooker and that is used at least once a week to make about 6 servings.

    I think my favourite is split pea, i add sausages for flavour and after 5 hours all of the fat has gone from the sausages, making them much easier to eat as i hate any kind of fat.

    Sad thing about COPD is that i live in a country that lives on stir fry's and curries but can no longer eat anything me terrible heartburn. But learning to cope with my new diet. Even my girlfriend, who is Thai, loves my soups.


  • It can be due to low potassium. Digestion uses up electrolytes.

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