Eat To Your Heart’s Content Without A Runny Nose

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Have you ever experienced a runny nose when eating?

You know how it gets that way when you are eating spicy foods, right? However, if it occurs just about every time you eat, then something may be wrong.

The truth is runny noses occur for a variety of reasons. It can be due to infections, irritants, or different types of allergies. Rhinitis is the medical term for runny noses. Other symptoms that go with a runny nose are congestion, nasal itching, sneezing, and post-nasal drip.

What are the Causes of Rhinitis While Eating? 

If you are experiencing a runny nose when eating spicy food, you may be suffering from Gustatory rhinitis. Hot and spicy food are common triggers. This non-allergic rhinitis occurs because the spicy foods you eat can aggravate the mucus glands, especially if you have a nasal problem.

This problem is more typical in older adults. Oftentimes, it occurs with senile rhinitis, which is also a non-allergic rhinitis. Both of these sub-types present with too much watery nasal discharge. Spicy foods such as garlic, curry, hot peppers, chili powder, and other forms of spices can cause gustatory rhinitis to act up.

Food allergy may also be the culprit Allergic rhinitis is the most common of all types of rhinitis. Allergy triggers are everywhere – from pollen, dust, mold, and ragweed. Most types of allergies come and go, depending on the season. Many have allergies to certain animals or dust mites causing itching. What happens when you have an allergy? Well, your immune system will try to fight off the substance that you have encountered. As a result, congestion will occur, followed by a runny nose.

Going back to food allergy, some people experience mild or severe symptoms. However, it is more than just having a runny nose or nasal congestion. Symptoms may also include shortness of breath, wheezing, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, hives, or swelling of the tongue, or dizziness. Foods that can possibly cause these are dairy, eggs, peanuts or other forms of nuts, fish, or shellfish.

But did you know that the number one reason for food-related rhinitis is the non-allergic kind? The immune system is not involved in this reaction. It is mainly triggered by irritants. Non-allergic rhinitis is often misdiagnosed. Some of the most common reasons are weather changes, some foods, smoke, and annoying smells. The key difference between this type of allergy and allergic rhinitis is that there is minimal itchiness involved.

Now that you know what is up, how can you solve the problem?

You will be doing yourself a favor if you’ll choose to ask for a diagnosis. If you think you have a food allergy or allergic rhinitis, tell your physician. He or she will probably conduct a few tests, such as:

1. A patch test or a skin prick test will help identify the allergen by waiting for your skin to react when pricked.

2. In an intradermal test, your skin will be injected with an allergen to check if it will have any reaction.

3. RAST or ELISA are the blood tests that can help identify which antibodies are related to your allergens.

If it happens that your symptoms are not caused by any allergies, then you may have gustatory or non-allergic rhinitis.

After knowing the cause why  your nose gets runny when eating, you now have an upper hand on finding solutions to the problem. It will be much easier for you and your physician to come up with a treatment that will stop you from experiencing a runny nose when eating your favorite spicy foods.

Treating your Problem with Runny Nose when Eating

Understanding the whole condition or any accompanying medical issues can stop you from doing things that can stimulate your mucus glands.

Allergic or non-allergic rhinitis will improve greatly when treated with one or a combination of these medications:

  • Decongestants are one of the go-to medications to aid in blocked or stuffy nose. Not only are these helpful with allergic rhinitis, these are also great in treating sinusitis. Unfortunately, decongestants are restricted to some people. If you have a glaucoma, high blood pressure, hyperthyroidism, and heart disease, this is a no-no for you.
  • Nasal sprays may contain corticosteroids or decongestants. This provides immediate relief for a runny nose and other issues related to the sinus.
  • Antihistamines are for people with allergic reactions. These are available in many forms, like nasal sprays, tablets, creams, and even eye drops.
  • Immunotherapy is the last resort. This is intended for people who suffer from severe allergies. For constant severe allergy or asthma attacks, most patients survive by bringing epinephrine shot.

Diet and Lifestyle Changes Recommendations

Tiny tweaks or adjustments to your diet and environment can also be a clever move to ease up your rhinitis when eating food. Here is a list of foods you should load up on your grocery cart to steer clear of your runny nose attacks.

1. Green Tea

Green tea is filled with flavonoids that can help with inflamed sinuses. Additionally, the antioxidants can boost your immune system. Not to mention the warmth can help relax your sinuses. Drinking tea is a great way to prevent dust mite or pollen allergy.

2.  Fruits That Are Rich in Vitamin C

These will give your mind and body a healthy boost. Adding some strength to your immune system will do wonders for your health. Get some papaya, orange, or berries and eat them for snacks or desserts.

3. Honey

Honey contains antibacterial properties. This fights off potential diseases. Add some warm milk or a warm water before bedtime.

4. Essential Oils

Tea tree and eucalyptus are both known to help relieve dermatological conditions and congestion.

Cleaning your environment regularly is one sure way to get rid of irritants like dust mites. Make sure that you keep yourself protected with a mask when doing household chores, so your airway will not be compromised. Learning to take care of yourself and sticking to a routine away from irritants and allergens will go a long way. Put an end to a stuffy or a runny nose when eating right away to enjoy your meals even more!


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