Stuffy nose after eating

Do You Sneeze After Eating? Here Are The Reasons Why

A sneeze is a natural response to irritation in a person’s nasal cavity. Sneezing can also be triggered by eating food. Sneezing is often the result of inhaling something that irritates the nose, but it can also be caused by breathing in cold air, looking into bright lights, or eating food.

Sneeze: Eating Triggers, Gustatory Rhinitis

There are several possible causes for a person to sneeze after meals. One of them is gustatory rhinitis.

This condition specifically causes a person to sneeze after eating. Rhinitis is a general term for irritation or swelling that happens in the nose.

Gustatory rhinitis is not related to allergies, so it is known as nonallergic rhinitis. It happens when the nasal nerves are hypersensitive to environmental triggers.

Symptoms of gustatory rhinitis usually come on within minutes of eating and can include:

  • sneezing
  • a runny nose
  • nasal congestion or stuffiness

Gustatory rhinitis is especially common after eating spicy or hot foods including:

  • hot peppers
  • curry
  • wasabi
  • hot soups

There are special receptors in the lining of the nose that detect capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers. When these fibers detect the presence of capsaicin, they can trigger one or more sneezes.

You can prevent these symptoms by avoiding trigger foods. Keep a food and symptom diary to find out what foods cause this condition in you.

Sneeze: Snatiation Reflex

Some people may sneeze after eating a large meal. This is known as the snatiation reflex, which is a combination of the words ‘sneeze’ and ‘satiation.’

You experience this reflex when your stomach is full and becomes stretched. This may result in one sneeze or a sneezing fit. The cause is unknown, but there may be a genetic component.

Sneeze: Food Allergies

Sometimes when a person eats foods they are especially sensitive or allergic to, they can sneeze. Other symptoms may include itchy eyes or a mild skin rash.

In severe instances, a person may have a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis that causes extreme swelling and difficulty breathing. Some of the most common foods that can trigger allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, and tree nuts.

Sneeze: A Cold or Flu

Also, sometimes a person may have a cold or other illness that can cause them to sneeze after eating. The two occurrences, eating and sneezing, may seem related but are separate.

Sneeze: Prevention Strategies After Eating A Meal

Here are some strategies you can use. Keep in mind that you cannot always prevent sneezing after eating from occurring. However, there are some tips that may reduce sneezing. These include:

  • Holding one’s breath while counting to 10, or as long as a person can comfortably hold their breath. This helps to inhibit the sneezing reflex.
  • Pinching the bridge of the nose to keep the sneeze from occurring. This has a similar effect as someone holding their breath.
  • Avoiding foods known to cause sneezing or foods that a person is allergic to. If a person is unsure which foods trigger this response, a doctor may recommend keeping a food diary or doing an elimination diet.
  • Eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of several large ones, as large meals can trigger the snatiation reflex.
  • Taking over-the-counter (OTC) decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine, to reduce any nasal swelling or sensitivity that could cause sneezing after eating.
  • OTC antihistamine nasal sprays may also help to reduce the incidence of sneezing after eating. These sprays block the release of histamines, which are inflammatory compounds that can cause sneezing.

Conclusion

A sneeze or consistent sneezing after eating is rarely cause for medical concern, but can be annoying and distracting. It can also cause droplets to spread in the air, which risks the spread of viruses and bacteria, so you may wish to reduce the likelihood after eating.

Currently, there is no guaranteed cure for gustatory rhinitis or snatiation. In many cases, you can prevent this reflex by steering clear of certain foods or avoiding eating large meals.

A Sneeze After Dinner

Q1. For some strange reason, every time my husband finishes eating his dinner, or any other meal, he sneezes continuously. Any idea why?

– Patti, Ohio

There are a couple of possible explanations. While we tend to think about sneezing as being caused by allergies or a cold, there are many other situations that can also cause us to sneeze. Some people sneeze when exposed to bright sunlight, while others sneeze when they pluck their eyebrows. We also sneeze when nerves in the mucous membranes of our nose are stimulated. The sneeze is our body’s attempt to rid us of the cause of the irritation; it’s a reflexive action beyond our control.

In your husband’s case, sneezing can be related to food in two ways. The first is a condition called gustatory rhinitis, in which people sneeze, have a watery nose, or get congested after eating, Any food can trigger symptoms, though the most severe reaction is apparently caused by hot, spicy foods and alcohol. Many cold foods can also trigger a series of sneezes, which in the case of gustatory rhinitis is a neurogenic reflex mechanism (it originates in the nervous system).

Food-related sneezing can also be caused by eating large meals, as sneezing has been attributed to a distended stomach. I would recommend that your husband try to monitor his meals to see whether there are particular foods that cause him to sneeze. If there are, he can avoid them. If not, have him try eating smaller, more frequent meals. If those steps don’t help, ask your doctor about medication. Nasal steroids and antihistamine nasal sprays can help with nonallergic rhinitis, either alone or in combination.

Q2. Recently, while dining out, my daughter had a sudden onset of complete nasal congestion and her throat became scratchy and very itchy. We assumed this was an allergic reaction to something in the salad she was eating. We had her drink a lot of water and, obviously, stop eating the salad. The reaction settled down slightly and we started antihistamines as soon as we got home. However, she kept the severe nasal congestion for about four days before it began lessening. We first thought this was an allergic reaction due to its sudden onset, but now we wonder. Your thoughts, please?

— Margaret, North Carolina

Your daughter’s reaction could indeed have been caused by something in the salad. An itchy throat is very often part of an allergic reaction to something ingested. However, allergy is not the only possible explanation for the symptoms you’ve described. Below are some other possibilities:

  • If your daughter has hay fever caused by pollen allergies (nasal, eye, or respiratory symptoms at certain times of year), then she may also react to eating some fresh fruits and vegetables. This type of reaction is described as the “oral allergy syndrome” or “pollen-food allergy syndrome” and it arises from proteins in raw fruits and vegetables that are similar to proteins in pollen, such that the body cannot tell them apart. When susceptible people eat certain fresh foods, they develop itching of the lips, mouth, and throat, although nasal congestion is not typical. These reactions are usually mild and will not occur if the food is cooked.
  • Some people are sensitive to sulfites, which are color-preserving agents added to vinegars, wines, and occasionally to fresh fruits or vegetables to keep them from turning brown. Routine use of large quantities of sulfites in salad bars has been prohibited in this country for some years, but sulfites in smaller quantities are still used, and may have been added to some component of the salad or the dressing. Sulfites most commonly cause increased asthma symptoms in people with asthma, but they can cause throat irritation and nasal symptoms too. Other foods that contain high levels of sulfites include dried fruit (only the kind that is not brown), commercial french fries, and canned sauerkraut – has your daughter ever had problems with any of these?
  • Acid reflux, or stomach acid bubbling up in the esophagus, can cause throat irritation and nasal congestion if it gets high enough to reach the back of the throat. Perhaps a very acidic dressing or another component in the salad caused her to have some acid reflux. This problem can easily be mistaken for an allergic food reaction. She might carry some chewable antacid tablets and try those if she has this kind of reaction again. If the symptoms improve within a few minutes, then acid reflux is a likely explanation.

Sneezing when eating? More common than you think

ANSWER: I have heard about it, many times, as it is much more common than you might think. It goes by the name of “gustatory rhinitis” (which simply means that your nose gets inflamed on eating). It is classified as a non-allergic rhinitis. It is more common in the elderly, though it can happen at any age.

Your regular doctor should be able to help you. If non-medication treatments like nasal saline irrigation haven’t helped, then I usually prescribe ipratropium bromide nasal spray before eating.

DEAR DR. ROACH: I took an aspirin for a seeming heart attack and went to the hospital, where I was asked if I had taken any meds. I answered “no,” and was medicated; the result was panic for the doctors, as my heart rate slowed to a dangerous rate. With care and an extra day in the hospital, I was released. My ignorance about medicines was scary. I think that it should be emphasized that “meds” does not mean only prescriptions. Tell the doctor, “I took an aspirin!” — R.G.

ANSWER: Indeed, your doctors should know about all medications you are taking, including over-the-counter, vitamins and other supplements. Sometimes women forget to mention their oral contraceptives.

Aspirin is a powerful medicine, not to be taken lightly. That being said, I am not sure why your heart rate slowed to a dangerous rate. Beta blockers usually are given for suspected heart attack, and some people do have dramatic responses to beta blockers, and their heart rates slow way down. I can’t explain why aspirin could have made that more likely, since aspirin shouldn’t slow down the heart rate. I also couldn’t find any interaction between beta blockers and aspirin.

ANSWER: It is commonly recommended for physicians to treat very low levels of vitamin D with vitamin D-2 at the high dose of 50,000 units once weekly for six to eight weeks. However, I have seen many people who, like your husband, take the course of therapy and then don’t take any daily vitamin D and just become deficient again. In most cases, I recommend vitamin D-3 at 800-1,000 units daily, then rechecking the level. Some people need even more, especially if there is poor absorption, such as after gastric bypass surgery or in people with celiac disease.

TO READERS: The booklet on colon cancer provides useful information on the causes and cures of this common malady. Readers can obtain a copy by writing: Dr. Roach — No. 505, Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Enclose a check or money order (no cash) for $4.75 U.S./$6 Can. with the recipient’s printed name and address. Please allow four weeks for delivery.

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Dr. Roach regrets that he is unable to answer individual letters, but will incorporate them in the column whenever possible. Readers may email questions to [email protected] or request an order form of available health newsletters at P.O. Box 536475, Orlando, FL 32853-6475. Health newsletters may be ordered from www.rbmamall.com.

Why do some people sneeze after eating?

There are several possible causes for a person to sneeze after meals. These include:

Gustatory rhinitis

Share on PinterestGustatory rhinitis occurs when the nasal nerves are hypersensitive to environmental triggers.

Gustatory rhinitis is a condition that specifically causes a person to sneeze after eating. Rhinitis is a general term for irritation or swelling that happens in the nose.

Gustatory rhinitis is not related to allergies, so it is known as nonallergic rhinitis. It happens when the nasal nerves are hypersensitive to environmental triggers.

Symptoms of gustatory rhinitis usually come on within minutes of eating and can include:

  • sneezing
  • a runny nose
  • nasal congestion or stuffiness

Gustatory rhinitis is especially common after eating spicy or hot foods including:

  • hot peppers
  • curry
  • wasabi
  • hot soups

According to an article in the journal Current Opinions in Otolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, there are special receptors in the lining of the nose that detect capsaicin, a compound found in chili peppers. When these fibers detect the presence of capsaicin, they can trigger one or more sneezes.

A person can prevent these symptoms by avoiding trigger foods. They may wish to keep a food and symptom diary to find out what foods cause their gustatory rhinitis.

Snatiation reflex

Some people may sneeze after eating a large meal. This is known as the snatiation reflex, which is a combination of the words ‘sneeze’ and ‘satiation.’

A person experiences this reflex when their stomach is full and becomes stretched. This may result in one sneeze or a sneezing fit. The cause is unknown, but there may be a genetic component.

Food allergies

Sometimes when a person eats foods they are especially sensitive or allergic to, they can sneeze. Other symptoms may include itchy eyes or a mild skin rash.

In severe instances, a person may have a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis that causes extreme swelling and difficulty breathing. Some of the most common foods that can trigger allergies are milk, eggs, peanuts, soy, and tree nuts.

A cold or flu

Also, sometimes a person may have a cold or other illness that can cause them to sneeze after eating. The two occurrences – eating and sneezing – may seem related but are separate.

Here’s Why You Almost Always Sneeze More Than Once

Flickr/Josh McGinn Sneezes never seem to be lonely. As soon as you expel your first mighty “achoo,” there’s usually another sneeze lurking right behind to follow it up.

For some people, there may be two, three, or even 10 that come after that original sneeze, making for an awful lot of “bless yous” from well-wishers nearby.

So why is it that our sneezes seem to adhere to the buddy system?

It all has to do with the power behind your nose’s blows. Usually, sneezes are initiated when a foreign particle or external stimulant enters your snout, reaching the nasal mucosa.

“This triggers a release of histamines, which irritate nerve cells in the nose,” Dawn Zacharias, an allergist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, tells Popular Science. “This activates and results in the sneeze. It’s a powerful release of air, expelling what’s in the nose that’s causing the irritation.”

However, if the irritant is still lingering in your nostrils after a sneeze, your nose is going to give it another go. So typically, a second sneeze means that your first sneeze didn’t really do its job.

It explains why people with allergies seem to constantly be reaching for a handkerchief.

“We’re trying to clear whatever is in our nasal passages, so typically people with allergies will sneeze more often, because that allergen is still around,” says Zacharias. “Whereas if you’re sneezing from a cold, you typically have more time in between sneezes.”

As for the mega-sneezer—that person in your office who always seems to sneeze 15 times in a row—it may mean his or her sneezes just don’t pack the same punch as yours. “Depending on how her nerves are hardwired, it may mean her sneezes are not as forceful to expel whatever is irritating her,” says Zacharias. “If that’s the case, try to rub your nose or plug your nose. That way you can manually remove the allergen.”

Of course, a foreign irritant may not be triggering your sneezes at all. For about 18 to 20 percent of the population, staring at bright lights can cause uncontrollable sneezing. It’s a genetic condition called a photic sneeze reflex, and its mechanisms aren’t very well understood.

Some researchers believe that rapid pupil constriction may trigger the nerves related to sneezing, but no one knows for sure. So if you seem to be sneezing over and over while enjoying the great outdoors, maybe avert your gaze from the sun for a little while.

This article originally appeared on Popular Science

This article was from Popular Science and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Are you feeling stuffy, runny, achy and sneezy, with a scratchy throat, stomach ache and maybe even a skin rash? You may have an allergy to the most common grain in our diet, namely, wheat.

When you have wheat allergy, your immune system sees it as a dangerous foreign substance and takes action, fighting back with antibodies known as Immunoglobulin E, or IgE. This results in histamine and other chemicals being released into your bloodstream, an action that begins the allergic reaction, with symptoms that range from mild to life-threatening, from runny noses to drops in blood pressure and breathing difficulties.

There have been no recent studies on the prevalence of wheat allergy in North America because it is not as common as those to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, shellfish and fish. But that does not mean it is less dangerous.

If you are diagnosed with a wheat allergy, you must eliminate wheat from your diet, period. And while wheat allergies occur most often in children, the good news is that many of them will outgrow it by the time they reach adulthood.

What are the symptoms?

Wheat allergy’s symptoms are many and varied. You could have a bloated stomach and diarrhea, or you could suffer from joint pain, nausea, skin rashes and that darned runny nose. You could have psoriasis, sneezing, watery and itchy eyes, mood swings, or your throat could feel swollen.

You may be tired or have a cough, heart palpitations, eczema and chest palpitations. You may suffer from just one of these symptoms, a few or all of the above. What you must do is to consult a doctor because some of these same symptoms could indicate other medical conditions, including celiac disease, an autoimmune condition in which the body cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. But where you may outgrow your wheat allergy, celiac disease is permanent. Once you have it, it’s there for life and right now, the only cure is to eliminate all gluten from your diet. With a wheat allergy, your immune system reacts specifically to the wheat protein and you may eat products that contain the two other grains with no ill effect.

Next: Eliminating Wheat from Your Diet

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Why Does My Nose Run When I Eat?

Allergic rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is the most common form of rhinitis. Many people experience runny noses from allergens in the air, like pollen, mold, dust, and ragweed. These types of allergies are often seasonal. Symptoms may come and go, but are generally worse during certain times of the year.

Many people have an allergic response to cats and dogs. During such an allergic response, the body’s immune system reacts to a substance you have inhaled, causing symptoms like congestion and runny nose.

It’s also possible that a food allergy is the cause of your runny nose. The symptoms of food allergies can range from mild to severe, but typically involve more than nasal congestion. Symptoms often include:

  • hives
  • shortness of breath
  • trouble swallowing
  • wheezing
  • vomiting
  • swelling of the tongue
  • dizziness

Common food allergies and intolerances include:

  • peanuts and tree nuts
  • shellfish and fish
  • lactose (dairy)
  • gluten
  • eggs

Nonallergic rhinitis

Nonallergic rhinitis (NAR) is the primary cause of food-related runny nose. This type of runny nose doesn’t involve an immune system response, but is instead triggered by some sort of irritant. NAR is not as widely understood as allergic rhinitis, so it’s often misdiagnosed.

NAR is a diagnosis of exclusion, which means that if doctors can’t find another reason for your runny nose, they may diagnose you with NAR. Common nonallergenic triggers of runny nose include:

  • irritating smells
  • certain foods
  • weather changes
  • cigarette smoke

There are several different types of nonallergic rhinitis, most of which have symptoms resembling seasonal allergies, except with less itchiness.

Gustatory rhinitis is the subtype of nonallergic rhinitis that involves runny nose and or postnasal drip after eating. Gustatory rhinitis is usually triggered by spicy foods. In the past, studies such as one published in 1989 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, have shown that spicy foods stimulate mucus production in people with gustatory rhinitis.

Gustatory rhinitis is more common among older adults. It often overlaps with another nonallergic rhinitis subtype known as senile rhinitis. Both gustatory and senile rhinitis involve excessive, watery nasal discharge.

Spicy foods that may trigger runny nose include:

  • hot peppers
  • garlic
  • curry
  • salsa
  • hot sauce
  • chili powder
  • ginger
  • other natural spices

Vasomotor rhinitis

Vasomotor rhinitis (VMR) presents as a runny nose or congestion. Other symptoms include:

  • postnasal drip
  • coughing
  • throat-clearing
  • facial pressure

These symptoms can be constant or intermittent. VMR may be triggered by commonplace irritants that don’t bother most people, such as:

  • perfumes and other strong odors
  • cold weather
  • the smell of paint
  • pressure changes in the air
  • alcohol
  • menstrual-related hormonal changes
  • bright lights
  • emotional stress

Possible risk factors for vasomotor rhinitis include past nasal trauma (broken or injured nose) or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Mixed rhinitis

Mixed rhinitis is when someone has both allergic and nonallergic rhinitis. It’s not uncommon for someone to experience year-round nasal symptoms, while also experiencing a worsening of symptoms during allergy season.

Similarly, you may experience chronic nasal congestion, but your symptoms expand to include itchiness and watery eyes in the presence of cats.

7 Common Foods that Cause Congestion

One of the most common feelings of discomfort these days is when you feel stuffed, however, this is not the feeling that we associate with overeating, but it is the congested feeling in your nose or throat due to increased mucus caused generally by some allergies or cold. But if allergies or common cold is not the reason for congestion then it might be due to the foods you are consuming. Here is a list of 7 common foods present in every pantry which cause congestion:
1. Refined Sugars

Sugars, when eaten in small amounts, are harmless but when the intake is high, it not only makes you fat but also has inflammation enhancing properties. It irritates your body and causes increased levels of mucus.
2. Spicy Foods
Did you ever wonder why your nose starts running when you eat something super spicy? Now this is because of the histamine production in the body triggered by spicy foods. Histamine is a compound which is released in the body when the body undergoes an allergic reaction. This causes the nasal tissues to swell up and become watery.
3. Milk
Usually, dairy products thicken your mucus and so it takes longer for the thicker mucus to get out of your system consequently causing acute congestion. One of such dairy products is whole milk which thickens the mucus and also accelerates its production.
Same is the case with our favourite ice cream which contains ‘casein’ that results in nasal congestion.
4. Tomatoes
Despite being flavorful and nutritious, tomatoes at times can make allergies worse or increase your histamine production levels and its high acidity is also a cause of concern for the people prone to acid reflux problems.
5. Wine & Other Alcohols
Alcohols, in general, have inflammation enhancing properties. In addition, wine contains a histamine compound that can lead to swelling of the nasal tissues. Even beers and other alcohols like whiskey mostly contain gluten which is a problem even though it is allegedly wiped out during the distillation procedure.
6. Red Meat
Red meat owing to its high protein content can lead to the excessive accumulation of mucus in your body and in turn make your sinus worse.
7. Pizza
Pizza alone contains 3 foods which make the mucus worse – cheese comes under dairy products, the crust contains gluten and that amazing sauce that we love contains tomatoes. Eating a slice or 2 once in a while is all right, however, the excess of everything is bad.

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