Unproductive cough after eating

Unproductive cough (I guess that is what you'd call it)...looking for people experiencing the same...and how you deal with it... I seem to have the urge to choke every time I eat. I really need to cough but I can't. Not sure if that even makes sense to somebody who hasn't experienced it. I can't get any "umph" behind it. I'm not really afraid of choking. It's just the feeling that is so frustrating. Does anybody else have this problem? If so, have you found a way to get any relief?

14 Replies

  • This started for me in the hospital in May some times I choke. I eat slowly and take sips of liquid between bites. It also helps to tip your head, chin to chest when swallowing liquids they get me the most, liquids and fruit with high water content. The ST also suggested swallowing hard twice with every sip.

  • Thanks for the suggestions. That is the same for me...I am more sensitive to liquid or fruit than an English muffin with peanut butter on it! I've actually noticed it seems to help when I tip my head forward, too. I will have to try the swallowing twice as well. Thanks, again!

  • I have had problems with swallowing and the choking feeling. It seems to happen more when I'm rushing, eating too fast or really tired. I don't know if there's a 'cure' for it or any medication that could help but I've found that it helps to stop, re-center, breathe and slow down... be very conscious of your food and how good it tastes, relax and enjoy it. It also helps me to sip water or juice in between bites (NOT mucous-causing drinks like milk or shakes). It would be a good question for your doctor - is there any medication or behavior that would help? Good luck with this problem! :-)

  • Thanks! I'd certainly rather not have any medicine if there is ANY other way to deal with it. Just being more aware as I eat really does help to some extent. Good luck to you as well!

  • Talk to your doctor you might need a swallow eval

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah...another test... I do know you are right. Thanks!

  • Tinker Belle, I wanted to say hello, I'm Fancy1959. Do not think you are alone in swallowing difficulties you are having. It progressively got worse for me. Talk to your doctor because I believe you are experiencing eusogheum spasms. Fun, aren't they! Mine got so bad it didn't take much to trigger them. Sometimes it was food, especially meat. I learned to cut up my meat in little bitty pieces. Sometimes, I would start coughing and then choking out of the blue. When ii got to the point that I would stretch myself out on the floor to prevent myself from passing out and falling over I finally went to the doctor about it. (Did I mention I was hard headed?) After going through 2 swallow studies they saw the spasms occur. I was immediately put on a medicine to basically tranquilize my esophagus. Please, please go to your doctor and let them know about them. Don't ignore them thinking that eventually they ease up and go away. Because they are a spasm, there are no guarantees that eventually the choking will stop. Don't stop talking to your doctor until he/she orders a swallow study done on you. Then, be smart and tske foods along with you to swallow study that you know have triggered choking episodes for you in the past. It worked for me and I believe it will help you to show the swallow study techs s first hand what is happening to you. Remember you are not in this alone. Information is good for all of us. And together we are stronger! Don't give in, don't give up. MS will not beat us no matter where or how it attacks our bodies! Fight on MS Warriors, fight on!

  • Ugh. I know you are right and I will talk to my doctor when I see him later this month. I am pretty stubborn, too. I am so tired of tests and more doctors and having to deal with things, in general. Sigh. I know that is my problem and I need to work on that. Thanks for your input. So I can get really excited about this, can you describe what happens during the test? Thanks for your help!

  • Tinker Belle, The swallow study test is relatively very simple. Take foods that trigger you're choking episodes in with you. Steaks in big chunks if you have them or roast in big chunks rice is another trigger for me strong taste like pungent salad dressings exedra. I didn't have any chunks of meat I could take it so I took in some roast beef . I warned the techs that choking was on its way when I stuffed a big portion of the roast beef into my mouth and only chewed it 3 or 4 times before I swallowed it. Before they allowed me to swallow it the techs. simply put a dye on the foods so it would show up better on their machines. Then they monitor your swallowing. Nothing tough about it so don't worry about taking it. Please just get it done ASAP. If you have any other questions feel free to shout at me. Fancy1959

  • Hey, Fancy1959. Thanks! i don't eat meat...other than poultry and fish....so that is not the trouble spot for me. It's more little things like berries or cold things...or pasta...softer or colder things, I guess. I need to pay more attention. Thanks for the tips. I will follow up with my doctor. Have a great day!!

  • Yes, I have this reflex, and it is part of the MS cervical damage interfir with the automatic pulse,swallow waves. I have that with my salive only and also with pills that seems like stay forever in my troat without going down. I need to drink more water and do not turn my neck when eating or swallow. The esophagus reflex with larynges does not work well all the time. It is MS.

  • Yes, I figured it was MS. Just wish there was a magic solution to a lot...well, all...of these things. I'm not sure I even explained what happens to me well. I'm not really choking. I'm just needing to cough after I eat and can't. I'm sure it's just all part of the fun. I will follow up with my doctor, though. Thanks for your help.

  • I just had an 'aha moment' from this post, so thank you to each of you! A few years ago I went for the swallow study and the techs actually did it several times. Just like an awful toothache doesn't hurt at all when you finally get to the dentist, I had absolutely no trouble swallowing. Argh!

    Fast forward months later . . . I was at my volunteer job when I suddenly felt strange. Sort of like the feeling of having way too much coffee. I was shaky and weak, but added to that my back and chest hurt so badly, I thought I was having a heart attack. Driving was not an option, so my friend called an ambulance.

    Long, boring story short, esophageal spasm was the diagnosis. So that is also the culprit that contributes to choking??? Bugger!!! Prior to choking, is there any discomfort?

    Again, thank you so much! At my age and mental status, it feels so good to be able to have an aha moment!!! LOL!

  • Since I don't know if what I experience is Esophageal Spasm or not, I really can't answer that question. Hopefully, one of the folks who mentioned having it will answer. As for my problems, yes, I will often, but not always, have a little discomfort. Generally, for me, though, I just start needing to cough (and can't do it very well) after I eat or drink. I also will get very hoarse. Good luck getting helpful answers and here's to more aha! moments!! :)