Do you sometimes get a cough after drinking milk or eating cheese? If so, you’re not alone. Many people experience this issue, and the reason why dairy products can cause cough is actually pretty interesting.
Dairy is one of the most common ingredients included in various pastry products, desserts, and many more. And this type of food comes in many forms, so if you happen to eat one and then suddenly feel the urge that you want to cough, do not be alarmed. You are not alone in this predicament. In fact, this is a very common occurrence that has affected many people at some point or another.
If you’re a fan of dairy products, continue reading. This article will explore the science behind why dairy can sometimes cause a cough and what you can do to prevent it.
What are Dairy Products?
Dairy products are a type of food that contains milk and milk fat. And as mentioned earlier, there are different types of dairy food; this includes but is not limited to:
- Butter: Butter is a common type of dairy, which is often used in baking and cooking.
- Cheese: Cheese is another popular type of dairy that comes in a variety of textures and flavors.
- Milk: Milk is the liquid that is produced by mammals during the lactation process. It is often consumed by humans as a source of nutrition.
- Ice Cream: Ice cream is a type of dairy that is made from milk and cream. It is often flavored with various ingredients like chocolate, fruits, and nuts.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a type of dairy that is made from milk and cream. It often contains live bacteria, which can be beneficial for gut health.
These products come from various animals, the most common being cows. Dairy products can be made from the milk of other animals as well, such as goats, sheep, and buffalo.
Dairy products are a staple in many people’s diets, but some individuals may be allergic or intolerant to them. If you’re someone who experiences coughing after consuming dairy, it’s likely due to an allergy or intolerance.
When it comes to allergies, the proteins in milk are the most common culprits. These proteins can cause an immune system reaction, which leads to symptoms like wheezing, difficulty breathing, hives, and swelling of the face and throat. In severe cases, anaphylaxis (a life-threatening reaction) can occur.
Why Does Dairy Lead to Cough
Dairy products contain milk, which is the primary reason why we sometimes cough after eating. Milk contains a sugar molecule called lactose. When we eat or drink dairy products, our body breaks down lactose into two simpler sugars: glucose and galactose. These simple sugars are then absorbed into the bloodstream. However, some people lack the enzyme needed to break down lactose, which is known as lactase.
Lactase is produced by the cells that line the small intestine. These cells break down the lactose in milk so that it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. People who lack the enzyme lactase have what is called lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which people cannot digest lactose, the sugar found in milk, and other dairy products. This results in various symptoms, including bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea. In some cases, people with lactose intolerance may also experience a cough after consuming dairy products.
So why does this happen? Well, when people with lactose intolerance eat or drink dairy products, the undigested lactose travels through the small intestine and into the large intestine. In the large intestine, bacteria break down the lactose, and this process produces various gases and acids. These gases and acids can cause bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea.
In some cases, they can also lead to a cough. When these gases and acids are produced in the large intestine, they can sometimes rise up into the esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach). This can cause a reflex that causes you to cough.
How to Prevent Coughing After Eating Dairy?
There are several ways to prevent this from happening. One way is to take Lactaid pills before consuming dairy products. Lactaid pills contain lactase enzymes that help break down lactose.
You can also take probiotics, which are live bacteria that are found in yogurt and other fermented foods. Probiotics help increase the number of good bacteria in your gut, which can help break down lactose.
And lastly, you can try consuming dairy products that have been treated with enzymes to break down the lactose. These include Lactaid milk, Lactaid ice cream, and Lact-O-Lac cheese.
Dairy products are a part of many people’s diets. And while they can sometimes cause a cough, there are ways to prevent it from happening. By taking Lactaid pills or consuming probiotics, you can help reduce your chances of coughing after eating dairy.
Benefits of Eating Dairy
While eating dairy sometimes causes a cough, there are also a lot of benefits you can gain from eating dairy products.
Dairy products are a good source of calcium, which is important for bone health. They also contain vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Dairy products are also a good source of protein and potassium.
Moreover, dairy products can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. They can also help lower the risk of type II diabetes.
So while dairy may sometimes cause a cough, it’s still an important part of many people’s diets. Just be sure to take precautions to prevent it from happening. And if you do experience a cough after eating dairy, see your doctor to rule out any other underlying causes.
Eating dairy can sometimes cause a cough, but there are ways to prevent it from happening. By taking some preventive measures, you can help reduce your chances of coughing after eating dairy. Dairy products also have a number of health benefits, including calcium, vitamin D, protein, and potassium. So while dairy may sometimes cause a cough, it’s still an important part of many people’s diets. Just be sure to take precautions to prevent it from happening.