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Trouble Breathing After Eating

Trouble Breathing After Eating

Trouble breathing after eating is a common problem, which may affect people of all ages. There are a variety of causes which may lead to difficulty in breathing after eating. Read on to know more.
Ashwini Kulkarni Sule
Last Updated: Apr 23, 2018
Breathing trouble is the most common symptom of any respiratory disease. However, there are peculiar circumstances, which determine the exact cause of troubled breathing. For instance, if it occurs after eating, then the cause may not be always a respiratory disease.
Some Causes of Trouble Breathing After Eating
If you experience trouble breathing only after eating and not at any other time, then your condition is mostly due to dietary disorder rather than a respiratory problem. Given below are a few causes that should help you evaluate your individual condition.
Chronic Illnesses
Chronic illnesses such as asthma, emphysema often show triggered troubled breathing symptoms after eating. When you eat, your body needs more supply of oxygenated blood, in order to digest food. This puts more pressure on the lungs to increase the supply of oxygen in the body. The lungs of the patients suffering from these diseases are already weakened and this additional pressure worsens the condition.
Eating Large Meals
You may experience troubled breathing after eating large meals. The exorbitant amount of food in the stomach pushes the lungs in the upward direction, leading to breathing discomfort. The condition gets aggravated when the food is greasy, oily, sugary etc. This can prove to be fatal for people with emphysema, a condition where the lungs inflate abnormally. The abnormal size of lungs push the diaphragm in the stomach, leading to troubled breathing and if the stomach is overfull as well, then the person may experience attack like symptoms.
Eating Too Fast
Wolfing down large portions of food at one go, can also lead to trouble in breathing. Since, you eat hurriedly you give little or no time for your lungs to breathe. This limited oxygen is not enough for the digestion of food, you consume. The end result is shortness of breath, when you are finished with your food. Hence, it is important that you eat smaller portions of food every time and at a slower pace. Eating your meals frequently, in small portions keeps many digestion problems at bay.
Food Allergies
Allergies to certain food items is yet another cause of breathing troubles after eating. It is likely that you may not have prior experience of allergic symptoms with that particular food item. Food allergies often surface out of nowhere and get triggered when you consume an otherwise 'harmless' food item.
GERD/ Acid Reflux
People suffering from GERD or acid reflux disease often complain of breathing trouble after eating. Although, GERD and acid reflux do not necessarily mean the same thing, acid reflux often progresses to Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. These are lifestyle diseases, which can be cured by living a healthy lifestyle.
Alcohol
Respiratory trouble after drinking alcohol is very common. One reason is that, since alcohol acts as a depressant for the Central Nervous System (CNS), it affects the breathing, causing slow, shallow breaths. Another reason why people experience trouble in breathing after drinking alcohol is that some ingredients in alcohol may invoke allergic responses in some people, which includes shortness of breath.
Prevention
This condition can be controlled to a certain extent by taking a few measures.
  • If you experience persistent bouts of troubled breathing, try cutting down on fatty, fried foods.
  • Take a light meal at night, that too at least a couple of hours before going to bed.
  • Do not lie down immediately after having a heavy lunch or dinner, as this is the easiest way to invite trouble.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol if your condition is triggered especially after drinking it.
Breathing difficulty after eating can affect the quality of your life, by making you wary of eating. It can also give you sleepless nights, which in turn can lead to several health issues. Hence, it is important to identify the underlying cause of troubled breathing after eating, to avoid further complications. Also, early diagnosis can assist in proper and effective treatment, which can give you quick relief.
Disclaimer: This article is for information purpose only and should not be used as a substitute for medical practitioner's advice.