Throat spasm coughing - the answer - British Lung Foun...

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Throat spasm coughing - the answer

O2Trees profile image

Evening friends,

A couple of months back I posted about spasm coughing and some of you were kind enough to make suggestions about and send good wishes.

Well I think I have the solution to why it happens. Ive not had this coughing at all, all the time Ive been living at my sister's house in London with my daughter. She has done all the cooking and shopping - there's never any cheese in the house and I never had these spasms once. Then yesterday back home I ate a chunk of stilton, didnt think any more about it, but today I started spasming, coughing up stuff from my throat, and am still doing so about 8 hours later.

I thought I should let you know in case eating cheese affects anyone here on the forum in a similar way - my respiratory nurse has said in the past that dairy can be the devil for people with lung conditions. I had already suspected cheese was the culprit but didnt want to believe it as I love cheese so much but yesterday's cheese consumption has acted as a good test since I hadn't eaten any or so long. I am annoyed with myself as I had an important dental appointment today to start working on a new crown to cover the black stump which makes me look bit like a haggard old witch (!) - self sabotage but having not had cheese or the spasms for so long, I had simply forgotten it was a possibility.

Ive read about problems with dairy in the past and there has been research which has debunked dairy causing problems in the lungs themselves. But same research has also said that it can definitely cause more mucus in the throat.

Anyway it's worth having a horrid day with relentless coughing and gobbing up (sorry!) just to prove the point. No more yummy cheese for me!

Hope everyone is as well as possible and having a good evening xx

58 Replies

Certainly something to watch out for. I very rarely have cheese but I do find that eating apples makes me cough a lot, no idea why so I just have one occasionally. Sorry you are having to cut out something you love. xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Snackjack

Actually it's fine Snackjack. Being sure makes it easier to motivate myself. You take care and watch out for apples! :)

Marymaryd profile image
Marymaryd in reply to Snackjack

Hello I can’t eat apples as they make me cough! I sometimes grate them into a salad.

Snackjack profile image
Snackjack in reply to Marymaryd

That's a good idea, hadn't thought of that. Thanks.

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Snackjack

What about stewed apples?

Snackjack profile image
Snackjack in reply to O2Trees

I don't know about others but I don't like stewed Apples but thanks for the suggestion.

Hello Jean, it’s so good to see you on the forum but sorry to hear you have had to give up eating cheese. It’s interesting to note what can cause problems though I must say. I’ve given up alcohol because of Afib and I don’t really miss it. The last alcoholic drink I had was 13/10/21 and had a terrible AF attack so never again. Wishing you well as always. Take care dear friend. Xxx❤️💜💕🤗

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to sassy59

Aw- thanks Carole. (Is there an e at the end?!) Lovely to hear from you and yes, I think once you know something is contributing to your feeling dreadful and frightened, it's actually easy to give it up. Love to you and Pete xxxx :)

sassy59 profile image
sassy59 in reply to O2Trees

You’ve got it right Jean, definitely an e at the end. Thank you for that. I totally agree, very easy to give up something that’s not doing your health any good. Love to you and Rita. Xxx💜😘

Stilton is a particularly strong cheese Jean in that it is still fermenting,could you not eperiment with a milder less active cheese just with a glimmer of hope that your pleasure could be continued.Thankfully cheese doesn't have any effect on me otherwise i would be dead by now through starvation as it is one of the very few foods i can still eat.

Love cheesy Ski's and Scruff's xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to skischool

Interesting - I didnt know stilton was still fermenting when you buy it. I think from memory that brie is better which i put down to it being fattier. I think lactose and casein etc are in the protein part of the cheese. If I find others better I'll report back. Hope you're in good nick Mike, and Scruffs xxx

skischool profile image
skischool in reply to O2Trees

Here's hoping you can still find a cheese you can tolerate?Maybe I am confusing Stilton with Camembert which seems to be still fermenting as it ages and becomes runny and very pungent?

😊😻xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to skischool

Omg! I love camembert. And brie. I think you were probably right re the stilton. Cheddar brings on the coughing too Ive noticed in the past. We'll see. If I get any insights I'll report back. 🐱🐱🐱

That’s a shame about the cheese but really interesting. It’s how I found out that milk upsets my stomach - a week in Cyprus with such yummy breakfasts that cereal and milk was never a contender. Then home to weetabix and milk and nausea till lunchtime. The penny dropped. Soya “milk” for me now.

Alice70 profile image
Alice70 in reply to teenieleek

Soya milk for me to for same reason

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to teenieleek

I use Koko - a coconut based milk substitute. Really like it and mercifully it seems to like me! Glad soya works for you TL. :)

Perhaps a small price to pay Jean if it means no more episodes of spasm coughing. Annoying though when you enjoy cheese so much xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to CDPO16

There are other foods to substitute and definitely better to know. Hope you're doing well? xxx

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to O2Trees

OK'ish as hubby and I say but not as good as I'd like to be Jean. Hope you are doing well now that you have found the culprit for your coughing spasms. xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to CDPO16

I am good generally, thanks for asking. However I fractured my ankle last friday so wont be back to normal for 3-5 weeks. But there are worse things. I do a lot of exercise which keeps me going, and need it as Im late stage 3 copd. So my first thought on the floor, after taking a corner too quickly, was how will I exercise now? But Ive found some good chair based workouts so crossing fingers. Things can change in a split second, can't they?! :( :)

CDPO16 profile image
CDPO16 in reply to O2Trees

Sorry to hear this Jean. I hope it heals well and that you are soon back on your feet xxx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to CDPO16

Thank you - Im walking on it and it's slowly getting stronger. Thanks for your good wishes :) :) xx

Hi Jean, great to 'see' you, I wondered if you'd ever got to the bottom of the wretched cough. How weird that it's cheese though, all my life until recently I could never eat any blue cheese of in fact any fungi, my stomach would swell enormously & I'd feel awful. Fine now I'm aged & so pleased I can eat stinky runny ones. I now wonder if antihistamines would have worked. Love from me 🙂

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to peege

I tried antihistamines and no luck. Your stomach swelling sounds awful. Our farmers' market does a brie which is almost running out the room - fantastic. Lots of love P xx

Damon1864 profile image
Damon1864Volunteer

Hi Jean so nice to hear from you. Sorry you have had to give up cheese, I'm lucky it's the one food I hate. At least you know what caused the coughing fits, it's certainly gave me something to think about. Please let us know how things go. Have a really lovely day and take care 😊 Bernadette and Jack 🐕 xxxxxxx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Damon1864

Always better to know Bernadette and easy enough not to eat it when I remember the awful results of doing so. You take care too xxx

I really believe this to be true,I get something similar after cheese ,chocolate and anything that makes acid

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Alice70

Could that be reflux Alice? I take lansoprazole which works for me. I dont eat chocolate though due to being pre-diabetic and not wanting to progress, so no sugar. In general my health has benefited.

I'm glad u have found the cause.such a shame tho whn u luv it.xxx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Patk1

There are other goodies to eat Patk1 - I'll be ok but thanks for that anyway xx

My late former husband Bob had real problems with cows milk and its products. Once he was stabilised by two weeks' abstinence, he could eat goats or sheep milk and their products. He swelled up like a football around the waist and became seriously breathless, needing hospitalisation. He also had to avoid bleached wheat flour.

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Ergendl

Wow, that sounds awful Ergendl. When I was much younger I was recommended goats milk for the asthma I had. I think it did produce less mucus. I used to eat St Helens goats yoghurt until recently, a couple of years ago, I read that the goats at their farms were being treated appalling so I stopped. Sainsburys stopped stocking it too. Maybe that treatment has improved now but Ive not heard anything.

I can sympathise Jean as I love cheese too, all kinds of cheese . Is it just the stilton or all cheese? I suppose its a small price to pay to get rid of the cough. Fingers crossed all goes well with your dental appointment x

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Izb1

I had to cancel the dental appointment - second time that's happened at short notice, they must be fed up of me. Hopefully now it wont happen again. I'll be trying brie in tiny amounts to see if it's ok - I dont think its so bad. Hope you're doing well :) :)

I was wondering how you were O2 as I haven't seen you for ages. I am glad you got to the bottom of your cough. I do agree with Skis though it could be the type you ate so maybe try a mild one?

I have posted on here before about one of my sisters with no lung problems who had a bad dry cough for years. She cut out all dairy food the introduced them one by one. She found she was intolerant of cows milk and ice cream, but thankfully not cheese.

Since cutting these out of her diet her cough went completely. Hope your dental appointment doesn't hurt too much! Take care and stay safe. xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to hypercat54

Hey Bev, yep I'll be trying others. In fact the first night I had a little stilton I didnt cough. I think it builds up in the body and I get the spasm when it reaches a tipping point.

Interesting that cutting out cheese stopped your sister's DRY cough. Unusual but then everyone's different as we know. I had to cancel and am rebooking dental appointment :(

Hope you're good Bev, take care Jean xx

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to O2Trees

No Jean she was fine with cheese. It was just cows milk and ice cream. She loves cheese but not Stilton!

I am ok thanks chuck. Still bearing up under the strain. I am feeling under pressure to give up smoking again so I can afford some treatment for my back as I keep getting sciatica and the doctors and NHS physio are pretty useless. I am currently trying to ward off another spell of it now am praying it works.

I hope you are well now that you have got rid of your horrid spasms. Take care my friend and stay as well as possible.

Oh not good having to put off your dental treatment as it gives you more time to think about it. Hope it's not too painful. Bev xx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to hypercat54

My lovely dentists have organised a new appointment very soon. Really hoping your sciatica wont strike. Take care Bev, xxx

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to O2Trees

Thanks Jean I appreciate that. I'm not sure which is worse - the dentist or sciatica, Good luck 😢 xx

That’s interesting, don’t think cheese makes me cough, but will definitely keep in mind. I cough lot because of PCD including bronchiectasis and partly collapsed lung, and when I can’t stop eat dry ginger biscuit, one usually works. Best regards Jean x

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Morrison10

A dry ginger biscuit - That's a novel solution, glad it works for you :)

Hi there It's interesting because 4 years ago I realised cheese was my evil.

I would get terrible stomach ache with loads of mucus . Occasionally if I sneak a piece I am instantly, wheezy and full of mucus.

Yes dairy is delicious but the after effects are not pleasant.

Once you know you can deal with it 😉

That's my thinking too. Not knowing is the worst, isnt it? Watch those sneaked bit of cheese! :)

That's tough, Jean, but good news you have found the reason for your persistent cough, that in itself makes it worthwhile. Maybe as Skis says, milder cheese? Take care xxx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to HollyBoyd

I'll be doing that Holly - but not for a while. Just glad for now not to be coughing. All best to you :) :)

Sorry you're having to forgo cheese. I would hate to have to give it up. Hope there are plenty of other treats you can have in its place. xxx

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Alberta56

I have some Alberta - peanut butter (which helps keep weight on) and hummus. I often have a packet of smoked salmon on the go. Salty things work for me. Hope you're good Alberta :) :) :)

Alberta56 profile image
Alberta56 in reply to O2Trees

I'm pretty good today, thank you, after a bad day yesterday .Filled in a questionnaire from Test and Trace very stroppily, which made me feel better. They pestered me when I was really ill, which I thought was most unreasonable. I don't suppose they will take any notice. I love hummus too, but peanut butter not allowed in this house, because daughter is allergic to it. We have had to learn 'I am allergic to peanuts' in Arabic, Dutch, French and Italian. 😂😂

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to Alberta56

It must be scary always having to be so watchful.

Alberta56 profile image
Alberta56 in reply to O2Trees

Not too scary, now that daughter knows what to look out for and doesn't order veggie dishes without making sure there are no nuts in them. Other people are much worse off.

hope you are keeping well and a very happy New Year to you and your family. I have bad problems with choking and coughing throwing up mucus and I stopped eating cheese some time ago but no real improvement for me unfortunately.

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to tomc

Oh I am SO sorry you have choking/coughing problems Tom. I know how awful this is and sorry that stopping cheese didnt work. I wonder if any other food could be the culprit? Happy new year to you and yours too :)

Just a word about my darling husband, he's in mourning!! The GP phoned a couple of weeks ago after blood tests in which I'd asked the nurse to include his prostate levels. Firstly the receptionist phoned on the Friday afternoon to say doctor would phone on Monday, I was sick with worry all weekend thinking it was bad news and he had prostate cancer! Anyway she just wanted him to start Statins as his level was 11.something. He's muttering that he's not taking Statins, he's got Parkinsons which has affected both his speach and mobility so I was speaking for him and the phone was on speaker. She said that if he wouldn't take Statins then he'd have to give up cheese, what a catastrophe, anyway after much thought he's decided to try the tablets and can hopefully continue to eat his beloved cheese.

I hope that works out for him GG. My cholesterol is high, but its the good one which is high and my ratio is good so for now Ive refused statins. We all have to make our own decisions based on what we can endure. May your husband continue enjoying his cheese !

I'm glad your husband decided on the statins Glasgow girl. My lovely sister recently had a massive stroke and is paralysed on left side. She had been prescribed statins but didn't take them - because she never liked taking any medication. It's pretty awful, she was slim, very creative, busy and never stopped until the moment it happened. I too have hereditary high bad cholesterol (but reasonably good cholesterol) diagnosed in my early 50s as 8.3 so take the statins, I also take plant stanols, eliminated fat long ago just a couple of ounces of cheese every so often. My husband had prostate cancer too, refused medical help so it metastased to his bones. The treatment is so much better now. My boss was diagnosed with it last September, he was given the opportunity to do a trial treatment of heavy-duty chemo for a week only instead of spreading it out which he did. His PSA is now normal with no sign of the cancer.

Very good wishes for your husband- and you too. P

Thanks for the info. I’m glad you’ve got to the bottom of your issue. Maybe try milder cheeses. I can have a problem with Ice cream x

O2Trees profile image
O2Trees in reply to watergazer

Icecream? Ive not heard of problems with that. Yes its a relief to have worked it out. All the best :)

Hi everyone, thanks so much for replies. I will try to reply tomorrow, really appreciated everyone's feedback and thoughts :)

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