Clearing Irritants From The Respiratory System
Coughing is a reaction that occurs when the body senses irritants that need to be kept out of the respiratory system. For example, if food particles or phlegm remain in the throat, the body will initiate a cough to move these unwanted things out of the respiratory tract.
In most situations, coughing can be avoided by changing your diet, eating habits, or using medication. The best solution is to work with a doctor for an official diagnosis. Then, you can make the lifestyle changes needed to address these underlying causes.
Keeping Asthma In Check
Ultimately, the best way to keep symptoms under control is by coming up with an asthma action plan along with your doctor and exploring proven medications that are known to help. Your doctor will help you find the right combo of meds, including controller medications to keep airways less inflamed, decrease mucus buildup, and ease muscle tightening. For more severe asthma symptoms, your doctor may recommend beta antagonists and an inhaled steroid as well as quick-relief rescue inhalers to help the muscles around the airway relax.
Food Allergies & Asthma:Current Treatment Options in Allergy. Food Allergy and Asthma: Is There a Link?
Vitamin D and Asthma: Cochrane Library. Vitamin D for the Management of Asthma.
Vitamin D and Pregnancy:Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Effect of Early and Late Prenatal Vitamin D and Maternal Asthma Status on Offspring Asthma or Recurrent Wheeze.
Side Effects Of Steroid Tablets
Oral steroids carry a risk if they are taken for more than three months or if they are taken frequently . Side effects can include:
- easy bruising
- muscle weakness
With the exception of increased appetite, which is very commonly experienced by people taking oral steroids, most of these unwanted effects are uncommon.
However, it is a good idea to keep an eye out for them regularly, especially side effects that are not immediately obvious, such as high blood pressure, thinning of the bones, diabetes and glaucoma.
You will need regular appointments to check for these.
Read further information:
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Why Do I Get Phlegm After Eating
Before we talk about why some people experience an overproduction of phlegm after eating, its important to note the difference between this type of secretion and regular saliva. Unlike saliva, which is clear and thin, phlegm tends to be thick and slightly tinted. Its primary purpose is to protect your respiratory system, from your nose and mouth to your lungs.
Occasionally, though, this type of mucus can become too thick for comfort. Moreover, it may even change colors, which can be a symptom of any number of health conditions. Either way, thick phlegm tends to collect in the back of the throat. If you dont make an effort to thin it out and expel it, it even eventually clog your airways.
But why is it that this problem tends to come up so often after you enjoy a hearty meal? Well generally, excess phlegm can be caused by:
Pollutants and physical irritants Digestive conditions such as acid reflux Lung illnesses
Now all you need to find out is which of these issues would specifically act up after a meal. The most obvious answer would be food allergies or at the very least food-related issues. Even if youre not allergic to anything, certain foods can exacerbate mucus production.
But ultimately, if you want to know whats causing the spike in phlegm production, consult a medical professional.
You Might Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD is an umbrella term for two conditions that both cause chronic inflammation of various parts of the digestive tract: Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis. People with either type of IBD often experience periods of remission followed by flare-ups, according to the Mayo Clinic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that Crohns disease usually affects the part of the small intestine that meets the large intestine, but the characteristic patches of inflammation it causes can be anywhere from the mouth to the rectum and seep through multiple layers of the G.I. lining. Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, affects continuous portions of the large intestine and/or rectum, with the innermost lining becoming inflamed.
If you have Crohns disease, youre likely to deal with abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and weight loss, and might also have additional symptoms like fatigue, nausea, joint pain, and anemia, the NIDDK says. With ulcerative colitis, the most common symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea , the NIDDK notes, though you may also have issues such as fatigue, nausea, anemia, and an urgent need to use the bathroom.
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How To Get Tested
A food allergy will usually cause some sort of reaction every time the trigger food is eaten. Symptoms can vary from person to person, and you may not always experience the same symptoms during every reaction. Allergic reactions to food can affect the skin, respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract and cardiovascular system. It is impossible to predict how severe the next reaction might be, and all patients with food allergies should be carefully counseled about the risk of anaphylaxis, a potentially fatal reaction that is treated with epinephrine .
While food allergies may develop at any age, most appear in early childhood. If you suspect a food allergy, see an allergist, who will take your family and medical history, decide which tests to perform and use this information to determine if a food allergy exists.
To make a diagnosis, allergists ask detailed questions about your medical history and your symptoms. Be prepared to answer questions about:
- What and how much you ate
- How long it took for symptoms to develop
- What symptoms you experienced and how long they lasted.
After taking your history, your allergist may order skin tests and/or blood tests, which indicate whether food-specific immunoglobulin E antibodies are present in your body:
Your allergist will use the results of these tests in making a diagnosis. A positive result does not necessarily indicate that there is an allergy, though a negative result is useful in ruling one out.
Role Of Surgery In Gerd
Fundoplication surgery is the most common surgery used to treat GERD. It may be used to treat GERD symptoms that have not been well controlled by medications. In fundoplication surgery, the fundus of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus and sewn into place to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter. Some relatively new nonsurgical procedures used to treat GERD are still undergoing trials to determine their long-term safety and effectiveness. These include Stretta radiofrequency procedure, in which radiofrequency energy is delivered through an endoscope to tighten the lower esophageal sphincter and EndoCinch procedure, in which an endoscopic sewing device is used to make a series of sutures that adjusts the lower esophageal sphincter so that it blocks acid reflux more effectively.
Approach to diagnosing and managing GERD-related extra-esophageal symptoms
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Asthma Defense To Parasitic Attacks
In the case of someone who develops asthma, it is believed that the 1st attack by a specific parasite is from a small number of parasites.
Because of this, the defence uses the same 3 forms of defence mechanisms as mentioned in the Normal Defense to Parasitic Attack above, plus 1 more form of defence.
Because of the small number of parasites, the lungs decide to employ a 3rd form of defence to help remove the parasites quicker and help reduce the amount damage to the airway walls, mucus buildup and inflammation of the tissue. This, in turn, has the potential to reducing the damage from the parasitic attack in a shorter period of time.
This form of defence is known as Bronchoconstriction This is where the muscles of the airways spasm or contract, to assist in the removal of the mucus from the airways, while also assisting in amplifying the effect of the cough, in removing the parasites.
The asthma attack and Bronchoconstriction are only employed if secretions reach the skin/tissue within the organ like the lungs.
What To Know About Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the building block for a host of body functions and helps your body absorb nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and phosphate more effectively. Whats more, its super important to bone health, since the bodys only way of absorbing calcium is when vitamin D is around. As it turns out, studies show increasing vitamin D intake may help reduce the risk of severe asthma attacks by 50%. Research also indicated that pregnant moms with asthma who take vitamin D throughout their pregnancy may reduce the rates of asthma in their kids.
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The Asthma And Allergy Connection
The real risk isnt so much that your burger and fries will trigger a flare, but rather, if you have asthma as well as food allergies, asthma may make your allergies even worse. If someone has a true food allergy, then exposure to that food can cause an allergic reaction, which can trigger asthma symptoms like wheezing and chest tightness, says Payel Gupta, M.D., a New York City-based spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.
Foods To Avoid With Asthma
Foods rarely trigger an asthma attack. But the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction to some foods can mimic asthma symptoms. The first step is to know if you have a food allergy. Any abnormal reaction to a food is considered an adverse reaction. Adverse reactions can either be:
- Food allergy: When your immune system reacts to proteins in foods that usually are safe or harmless. Your doctor can do skin tests to find out if youâre sensitive to certain foods.
- Food intolerance: When your body responds to the food, not your immune system. Examples include food poisoning, reactions to chemicals in food or drinks such as caffeine, or reflux.
The most common foods associated with allergic symptoms are:
- Bottled lime or lemon juice
- Pickled foods
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Other Lifestyle Changes You Should Implement
Since weve already cautioned you against using cough suppressants, we might as well continue along that path. When it comes to medication, you should avoid taking too many decongestants while youre trying to deal with your phlegm issues.
Those pills may temporarily rid you of secretions but theyre not actually doing anything to solve the underlying problem. With that in mind, you should only take them if you catch the flu or a similar illness.
Hopefully, any medication you take regularly has been cleared by your physician. If you suspect allergies are behind your increased phlegm production, they should be the ones to prescribe you medication. Dont try to self-medicate your way out of seasonal allergies!
Even if you dont have any allergies, you should take pains to avoid exposure to pollutants and irritants of all kinds. As we have mentioned, smoking or frequent secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke can trigger mucus production. On top of that, you may want to steer clear of harsh chemicals and fragrances too.
Ultimately, those tips should reduce the production of phlegm after eating. But if you continue to struggle with this issue, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.
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What Can You Do To Prevent It
The first and foremost thing that should be considered is some dietary changes to prevent coughing after eating. Foods can play a big role in the irritation of the throat and also the production of phlegm. Eating irritant foods may cause the production of thick phlegm after eating.
Things to Avoid:
- Spicy Foods
- Citrus and Acetic Acid
Another preventive measure will be controlling your eating habits or at least having a check on them. You should check which foods are causing more phlegm production after eating. You can also reduce your chance of coughing after eating by changing your eating habits.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Overeating can increase the risk of acid reflux, so you should be proactive about managing portion sizes.
- Eat slowly and chew well before swallowing.
- Sit up straight and avoid eating while lying down.
- Take small sips of water between bites.
- Keep a food diary to see the patterns that increase the risk of coughing after a meal.
- Dont eat during a coughing fit.
- Take medications as recommended by your doctor for asthma or acid reflux.
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Having An Asthma Action Plan
You and your doctor will also put together an asthma action plan. This is a personalised set of instructions that includes a list of your usual asthma medications and doses, guidance on what to do in different situations , and your doctors contact details.
When To See Your Healthcare Provider
An occasional cough after eating is likely to be OK. However, if you cough regularly after eating a meal, you should see a healthcare provider. Additionally, if you have a medical condition such as uncontrolled GERD, dysphagia, or aspiration pneumonia, a visit to your healthcare provider is crucial. A provider can assess your condition and provide you with an individualized treatment plan.
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Why Asthma May Trigger Gerd
Just as GERD can make asthma symptoms worse, asthma can exacerbate and trigger symptoms of acid reflux. Pressure changes that occur inside the chest and abdomen during an asthma attack, for example, are believed to aggravate GERD.
As the lungs swell, the increased pressure on the stomach may cause the muscles that usually prevent acid reflux to become lax. This allows stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus.
Heartburn is the main GERD symptom that adults face. In some people, GERD can occur without causing heartburn. Instead, symptoms may be more asthmatic in nature, such as a chronic dry cough or difficulty swallowing.
Your asthma may be connected to GERD if:
- it began in adulthood
- symptoms get worse following a large meal or exercise
- symptoms occur while drinking alcoholic beverages
- symptoms happen at night or while lying down
- asthma medications are less effective than usual
It can be difficult to identify symptoms of GERD in children, especially if theyre very young. Infants under age 1 will often experience symptoms of acid reflux, such as frequent spitting up or vomiting, with no harmful effects.
In general, infants and young children with GERD will:
- become irritable
- arch their backs often
- refuse to eat
The Link Between Asthma And Weight Gain
âAs a group, asthmatics are overweight,â says Karen McCoy, MD, chief of the division of pulmonary medicine at Nationwide Childrenâs Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.
Parents of children with asthma often excuse them from physical activity if they complain of shortness of breath, she says. Although most asthma drugs, including inhaled steroids, typically donât affect appetite, oral steroids can make some children eat more than double their usual amount, she says.
Carrie Gleeksman, MS, RD, works with many adult asthma patients who are on long-term oral steroids such as prednisone at National Jewish Health, a respiratory hospital and research center based in Denver, She has seen long-term use of these asthma drugs have dramatic effects on patients.
âPrednisone has a number of side effects that impact their nutritional status,â Gleeksman says. âThe biggest one is significant weight gain, partly due to an increase in appetite from the prednisone, partly due to the way the medication works and slows down the metabolism and leads to fluid retention.â
âWeight loss in that population is no different than weight loss in any other population: balanced diet, increased activity, decreased calories — basically, the same thing that everybody knows,â Gleeksman says.
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How Do You Know If Food Is One Of Your Asthma Triggers
If you think certain foods trigger your asthma symptoms or your childs symptoms, talk to your GP or asthma nurse as soon as possible. This is important because an asthma attack triggered by an allergic reaction to food can be worse, particularly for children.
Your GP or asthma nurse can help you work out if youre allergic or sensitive to certain foods. They can:
- refer you for an allergy test to confirm or rule out any food allergies, usually a skin prick test
- help you identify foods youre sensitive to that dont show up in allergy tests by supporting you to keep a food and symptom diary, which you can review at your appointment
- support you in excluding certain foods or food groups for a while, and reintroducing them safely to see which foods trigger asthma symptoms
- confirm or rule out anything else which could be making your asthma worse, such as acid reflux
- update your asthma action plan with new food triggers, and any action you need to take if your asthma symptoms are triggered by food.
How To Clear A Phlegmy Throat
If silent reflux is causing the phlegmy throat, you can try these natural methods to get rid of the throat mucus fast:
- Do not lie down right after eating. It increases the risk of acid reflux.
- A few small sips of water might wash stomach contents back into the stomach.
- Chewing gum might also be very effective. The frequent swallowing of saliva might help to clear the throat.
Lifestyle and dietary changes can go a long way in preventing silent reflux symptoms:
- know your trigger foods and avoid them
- eat less, more frequently
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