Why do I cough after I eat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “Why do I cough after I eat?” We will also discuss some of the most common causes of cough after eating in detail.

Why do I cough after I eat?

Some of the reasons why you cough after eating are acid reflux, asthma, food allergies, and difficulty swallowing. Don’t worry if you start coughing right after you eat as it is your body’s way of keeping irritants out of your respiratory system. 

You could be getting those coughs for several reasons so it’s best to consult with a doctor to determine the exact cause of your cough. Only then you will be able to take measures accordingly. The majority of these causes can be treated by altering your diet and eating habits or by taking medication.

Let us discuss some of the most common causes of cough after eating:

Acid reflux 

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter is a loop of muscle that wraps around the bottom of your esophagus which relaxes when you eat or drink. 

This enables the food and liquid to enter your stomach. It may not completely seal when you eat or drink, enabling the acid from your stomach to flow up into your esophagus. All these activities irritate your esophagus, causing you to cough. 

Sore throat, heart burns, and nausea are some other common symptoms of acid reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) are also closely related to acid reflux, which might also be responsible for your coughs.

Food allergies 

You might have allergies to a few food items which can cause you to cough or feel nauseated upon consumption. Your food allergies are likely to be developed from childhood, so it is good to determine the foods you are intolerant to very early to avoid any kind of inconvenience such as coughing. 

When a person develops a food allergy, their immune system overreacts to what it perceives to be a toxic material. Wheezing, shortness of breath, a runny nose, and anaphylaxis are some of the common reactions to food poisoning. 


Asthma is a lung condition that can induce coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulty. Asthma normally begins in childhood, but that is not to say that it cannot happen if you’re an adult. It can arise at any age. Asthmatic coughing is typically worse late at night or early in the morning.

Sulfites, which are typical additions in beer and wine, as well as dried fruits and vegetables, and soft drinks, are just a few of the many ingredients that might cause an asthma attack. Coughing after eating or drinking any of these could be caused by asthma.


Dysphagia is the medical term used for conditions when you’re having difficulties swallowing. When a person has dysphagia, their body has a difficult time transporting food and liquid from their mouth to their stomach which can cause pain or discomfort.

It makes a person feel as if food is stuck in their throat. This sensation may cause gagging or coughing after eating something as the body attempts to eliminate the felt blockage from the throat. Dysphagia is frequently caused by conditions such as acid reflux or GERD. 

Respiratory infections 

Respiratory infections are also responsible for your cough most of the time. Although most of these normally go away in two to three weeks, a few of them stay for a longer time. Any cough that lasts 8 weeks or more is chronic. A prolonged cough after eating could be the result of an infection that never fully healed.

A cough induced by infection has a loud, dry, and persistent sound. It may also cause inflammation in the airways, which can lead to increased coughing. Infection-related coughs are difficult to treat because the recurrence of inflammation and coughing hinders recovery.

Aspiration pneumonia

Sometimes you may inhale small pieces of food or drops of liquid into your lungs when you’re eating. This can make way for the bacteria. Coughing is how healthy people eliminate these particles from their lungs. Sometimes the lungs aren’t in good enough shape to clear the microscopic particles. 

When this happens, microorganisms from the food might get caught in the lungs and cause aspiration pneumonia. If you have acid reflux or dysphagia, you are more likely to get aspiration pneumonia. For more details on aspiration pneumonia, please click the link here.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “Why do I cough after I eat?” We have also discussed some of the most common causes of cough after eating in detail.




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