Experiencing breathing problems after consuming a meal can be anxiety-provoking. There are many reasons why you may feel shortness of breath after eating, ranging from mild to serious. Here are some of the most common reasons people visit urgent care facilities for post-meal breathing issues.
What Causes Shortness of Breath After Meals?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or heartburn, can cause wheezing after meals. You may feel food stuck in your throat because the seal between your esophagus and stomach is not strong enough to direct food correctly. The condition can also cause hiccups or temporary sore throat sensations.
2. Food Allergies
Allergies to wheat, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, shellfish, and other foods can make breathing difficult because the immune system goes into overdrive. The throat may swell minutes or hours after eating. Life-threatening allergic reactions, such as anaphylaxis, also cause shortness of breath as well as hives, abdominal pain, low blood pressure, and rapid heart rate, among other symptoms.
3. Pulmonary Aspiration
Unintentional inhalation of food particles and liquid droplets, or pulmonary aspiration, results in wheezing and breathing difficulties, especially if your lungs are compromised and can develop aspiration pneumonia. While it’s easy to cough up the particles with healthy lungs, aspiration pneumonia causes the particles to lodge inside lung air sacs, causing infection and an unexpected trip to an urgent care center.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a progressive condition typically caused by cigarette smoke. It results in chronic coughing and chest tightness in addition to wheezing. Large meals increase lung and diaphragm pressure if you have this condition.
5. Eating Quickly
Consuming a meal too fast causes the stomach to enlarge at an accelerated rate. It also causes you to swallow a lot of air. Excessive air results in bloating, while an enlarged stomach presses against your diaphragm and results in temporary shortness of breath.
If your breathing problems persist, visit the urgent care center at HDR Healthcare Network in the Bronx, NY. The family doctors at this renowned medical center offer a wide range of services, including treatments for shortness of breath. Call (718) 617-2500 for more information about their urgent care services.