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Coughing up Flem(phlegm) After Eating
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Coughing up Flem(phlegm) After Eating

I have been reading this column and it seems many people have this problem. My husband has it. It started with a fish allergy so he quit eating fish (which was his favorite food) and his allergist gave him epi-pens. This worked for 15 years except that we had to watch for all of the things that are fried in grease where fish has been fried and all of the sauces made with anchovies. When I cook at home he is alright, but when we try to eat out or eat already prepared foods (frozen or canned) he has a problems. He coughs ups slime and sometimes cannot breath. Once he seems to get the slime out he starts breathing better. He has no acid problems.  He clears his throat after eating, coughs, etc. It just depends on what he eats. It could be related to the fact that he has been in the welding business all of his life but not a smoker.  I believe it is food allergies because I can cook food that does not affect him but we cannot trust restaurant food. He is getting worse with his reactions to eating out. He is now 60 and this started in his 40s. It could be life threatening and if you have it don't mess around. Go to an allergist and make sure you carry an epi pen with you just in case one day you can no longer breath. It does cause a swelling in his throat and we have had to use the epi-pen in the past. I do worry about the hard coughing now that he is getting older. My fear is that it could bring on a heart attack because it can get pretty violent. If anyone else has found a better way to treat this, please let me know.


This discussion is related to Excessive coughing/mucus after eating.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the same cough for several years. It's always after I eat.  I've been to all kinds of doctors and have tried all kinds of medicines but the only thing that ever helped me was Prednisone.  The problem is that it's a steroid and doctors don't like to give it because it has side effects, but I can take it for 7 days and then I'm good for a couple of months with absolutely no coughing.  When it starts again I take it for another week. So I'm not on it constantly but it does cure the cough.
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Avatar_n_tn
You may also want to check out this helpful article: http://www.healthandyoga.com/HTML/neti/affect_health.asp
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Avatar_n_tn
Actually - This is a recently understood thing - and missed by Ear/nose/throat docs because it's metabolic endocrinology.

A good place to start would be any books by Schwarzbein - good laymans terms explanations.  Consistent Mucus after eating is an insulin response.  Recent metabolic research has linked mucus production to to blood insulin levels.  Ironically acid reflux and GERD are also metabolically related to elevated insulin levels.  Again most doctors don't get this because they are not that great at metabolic endocrinology, most of the research is recent, and because acid reflux does irritate the throat, they do not look for a common metabolic cause, they just treat the acid reflux and get stumped when that doesn't clear up the mucus.

So here's the experiment - eat a big meal - you get mucus, maybe acid reflux or heart burn.

Eat a high carb meal. same result.

Eat a moderate sized meal with a protein and a fat, and keep you carb intake between 15 and 30 grams during the meal.

If you don't get phlegm after that balanced meal with reduced carbs to lower insulin response.. Congrats, you have your cure.  You are also probably insulin resistant, have excess belly fat, and fall asleep after high carb meals and suffer from acid reflux.  It all goes together.  I good endocrinologist familiar with diabetes may be able to help diagnose endocrine resistance.  However is reducing your carbohydrate intake cures the post meal mucus production, acid reflux, and even tiredness.. Then you don't need to spend money on doctors.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thank you for your information. My husband only has one kidney and one adrenal gland so it may be that he does not produce enough natural hormones. I will check this all out with our doctor. You have given me a direction to go to look for an answer. He currently is using inhalers to keep it under control and I know they do contain steroids.  He does not use it every day as the doctor prescribed. He does basically what you do. He uses them until everything seems under control then he quits. (He does have an emergency one he can use if he gets into trouble)  Then, he will do well for 4 to 6 weeks and then have to start back on the daily sprays for awhile. I am not sure but I think he uses them for about two weeks on and 4 to 6 weeks off with the emergency one available to him if needed. They are two different medications. It seems to be helping but I would sure love to find a cure.
Thanks Much
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the information. I am going to look into the Schwarzbein books. What you say makes sense. My husband is a protein eater and not a carbohydrate eater, however he has been eating more as he gets older than he used to. He has reactions to certain foods such as fish, red and black pepper, any sauces containing anchovies such as A-1 sauce, any food fried in oil used for fish frying. If I cook for him he does well; it is when he eats out that he has so much trouble. He was shot at eleven years old and many things were removed. He has only one kidney and adrenal gland and no gallbladder. I do wonder if this causes an lack of balance in his metabolism. I am diffidently going to purpose this line of thinking about metabolic endocrinology. I just left a post for another helpful person stating that he has now gotten some control of it with medications, but I want to know why and I am still in hope of finding a cause and a cure. I have no doubt that diet is a large part of the answer. I will alter his more away from the carbs but I have to keep him away from too much red meat because he also has gout and it is very painful. So, red meat and beer has been removed already. (At least as much as it can be.) Thank again and I hope there are others out there that will find help from your kind suggestions.
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Avatar_n_tn
I will look into the site, but I have to tell you my husband ,who has these food problems, is already one of the most laid back people ever. He comes from a long line of old, old people on both sides and they are all peaceful human beings. Great faith in God gives one a peace that is beyond any we can acquire on our own. However, I am going to the site to look at it. I doubt he will be able to do much. He has a frozen shoulder and other problems of a 62 year old man who has worked hard all of his life and been in a few accidents with broken bones and old age pain. Thanks for your suggestion and it will be looked into.
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Avatar_f_tn
I also had the problem of mucus after eating and have found that it is because
of a food-allergie.( eggs, diary and so on ).
When I avoid alletrgic foods I have no mucus problem.

When I have an attac ( musus and coughing  that could last for hours )
I take half a teaspoon of Baking Soda in a glas of water and have immediate relief.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have had the same problem with mucus and coughing after eating, and the problem is always solved when I take DI-AID (by Solgar, but there are a number of companies that make it).  Apparently, a lack of digestive enzymes is the main cause of my problem, and after many years and many clueless doctors, a nutritional therapist in London very confidently directed me down the right path.  You need to take a pill whenever you eat the carbs (like you would do with Lactaid pills and milk) for it to work.  Recently, the mucus and cough got worse and I thought that I had developed a new food intolerance, but after doubling my digestive enzymes (2 pills), everything was fine again.  Carbs are an important part of one's diet and you can't completely cut them out or you'll lose important nutrients (I should know - I'm gluten-free!!).  I'm sure there are a million and one reasons for the mucus/cough problem and it depends on the individual person, but a trial period of a few days with a digestive enzyme (for carbs) is quick and easy and the results, if any, are immediate.  If that doesn't work, then you can cross it off your list as the problem, but if it does, well, problem solved!  Good luck!
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Avatar_f_tn
i have had the same problem and find when i eat high fatty foods or dairy i cough up flem (phlegm).  I try to eat smaller meals with a reducing the fat and dairy intake.   I also try to stay away from anything with artificial
sweetener as well because i think it adds to it.  
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello- I am also suffering from the same problems of coughing after eating.  I have gone to many different doctors.  My problem, I have discovered, can be relieved by eating a diet that is low in carbohydrates and sugars. But when I say low- I mean really really low- basically meat, and green vegetables, nuts, and almonds, and eggs.  When I am on this diet I feel well, and my coughing goes away.  I started this diet when I read a book about candida.

Recently I went to a doctor who treats things naturally, but was also a doctor.  I had some tests done- and they said that the bacteria level in my gut was twice as much as it should have been, and my vitamin B levels were as low as they possibly could be.  I went on antibiotics, then antifungals, and started taking vitamin b shots along with other supplements.  This whole process really helped me for a short time (about a month) and just yesterday I felt that I was having major issues again.  I still believe it has something to do with processing sugar, or some sort of candida problem.  I'm going to talk to my doctor again, and see what they think.

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Avatar_f_tn
I am a patient who has brocheitasis a rare lung disease. I have severe lung damage from my CT lung scan.
However my doctors have not been helpful with the issue of my cough a;ways being far worse after I eat and drink.
Within minutes after eating I have severe cough with large amounts of phlegm and green musus. Sometime it goes into bronchical spasms where i can not breath and catch my breath. If it happens in front of people they think you are dying. It is humilating and it happens faithfully after every meal. I see an infectious disease Dr. and Lung Spealist and endo. Out of all my Drs. they have no answer for this. I feel it is a tragedy that so many people suffer from this and there is not enough research done in this area. I go to my drs. they check my vital signs give me antibotics that don't work any more and collect the money and do not care outside of that.  What heppened to Drs. that wanted to explore new cures for disease? Where are these Drs. that wanted to cure the illness and find out what it is. I know for a fact that this issue is seperate from my brocheitasis. I don't know if it is a faulty value, but it is something that is not functioning properely from my throat are esophagus,larynx closing of the epiglottis on down to my stomach, then causing secreation from my lungs to come up, as it greenish and a lot of mucus.
This is not a normal reflex don't try and tell yourself this is normal. It causes continue stress to your heart and lungs. How many times can you cough on and on, gag and throw up. What happens when the gag reflex just fails you will drown on this fluid.  I want a Dr. to get on this site and reveiw patients that cares to study cases and find the answer to the problem.   I know my body better than anyone. I had coughed for yrs. and had mucus production however it would clear up from time to time with antibotics. Now the damage to my lungs are worse. This new issue of the mucus production with food intake just started 2 yrs ago. And it is a night mare. And not one Dr. has gotten rid of this or has the answer to the problem.
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Avatar_n_tn
sorry to hear what your going through. I know it must be hard i to have phlem everytime i eat and not only that i have post nasal drip that doesnt stop. Drs say its due to an allergy need to take allergy test but i dotn think it will solve my phlems after i eat.
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