Some people may find that when they eat certain foods, spicy or hot foods in particular, their nose starts to get congested and runny. You might be thinking that this is an allergic reaction to the foods, but it actually isn’t. This condition is called “gustatory rhinitis,” a very common condition that is highly correlated with the presence of seasonal allergies, but it is not an allergy. For a long time, I have wondered “ why does my nose run when I eat? Am I allergic?” and it can be understood why having a dripping nose during mealtimes can be embarrassing. Let me tell you all about this condition and how to treat and cure it.
What is Gustatory Rhinitis?
When you hear the word “rhinitis” you usually correlate it with some sort of allergy like in “allergic rhinitis.” However, the root “rhin” comes from latin meaning it has something to do with the nose or sinuses.
Another misconception is the “itis” which usually means there is an infection. But there is no infection in your nose; gustatory rhinitis is simply a reaction to certain foods. Many people will start to tear or sniffle when they eat very spicy foods like curry or hot foods like soups. Others may eat a fresh fruit or vegetable and experience the same reaction.
These reactions would all be characterized under the condition of gustatory rhinitis.
This has nothing to do with an allergic reaction in the body, it is simply an exaggeration of the vagal nerve in the nervous system of the person eating the food. The sensory nerves near the face will react in a way that causes your nose to drip a clear liquid that is sometimes accompanied by congestion and watering eyes. (1)
Gustatory rhinitis can be common in babies or adults and the condition is exacerbated by smoking.
Studies seem to suggest that children and adults that suffer from seasonal or food allergies are more prone to the symptoms of gustatory rhinitis. (2)
Which Foods Cause Your Nose to Run?
This type of rhinitis is usually a reaction to consuming hot or spicy foods, but pretty much any food can trigger these symptoms. Fresh fruit or well-done meat can exacerbate problems for gustatory rhinitis sufferers.
Studies suggest that people who are not allergic or intolerant to dairy are likely to experience gustatory rhinitis when they consume raw dairy. (3)
In my case, I know that I am not allergic to dairy, but I experience a runny nose or congestion sometimes when I drink milk or eat yogurt.
Alcohol and prescription drugs also seem to be a trigger for gustatory rhinitis.
Non-foods that can trigger this reaction include some food preservatives, artificial flavors and colorings, pesticides and polishing residues.
Foods that Cause Mucus Build-up
If you have a chronic cough or wake up with crusty eyes and lips in the morning, it is likely that you have a diet high in mucus-producing foods. These foods can also cause congestion and runny nose, but are not related to gustatory rhinitis. Symptoms usually show at least an hour later.
Certain types of foods, which happen to be very common in the standard American diet, can tickle the histamine response of your immune system and cause a chronic mucus problem in your entire body. (4)
Food items that can generate excess mucus in the body include:
- Dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese, ice cream, etc.)
- Deep fried food
- Canola oil
- High fructose corn syrup
- Red meat
Health Issues from Excess Mucus
Excess mucus production will result in a sluggish digestive and lymphatic system, which could lead to even more mucus.
Our intestinal wall is lined will villi, tiny appendages that absorb nutrients, and when we have too much mucous, the villi can be blocked. This can lead to malnutrition.
When mucus builds up in the intestines, it creates a glue-like buildup that layers over the intestinal wall. A person suffering from excess mucus production can have up to 10 pounds of mucus inside their digestive tract blocking nutrient absorption.
You may experience these symptoms:
- A chronic cough that won’t subside after medication
- Frequent colds
- Crusty and puffy eyes in the morning
- Bad breath
- Chronic stuffy nose
- Senses are dull
- Brain fog
Excess mucus can be a result of allergies, of course, but the major cause of it is from your diet.
Foods That Reduce Mucus Build-up
Getting rid of mucus-producing foods from your diet is essential for achieving optimal health and wellness. You can also incorporate mucus cleansers that can help your lifestyle reduce the damage of the unhealthy food that you’ve eaten.
Foods that cleanse mucus include:
- All leafy green vegetables
- Cauliflower and broccoli
- Turmeric and other spices
Why Does My Nose Run When I Eat Certain Foods?
Gustatory is completely non-allergic and is simply a reaction of the nervous system to the physical nature of some foods that you eat. Since soups are hot, you may have a runny nose due to the heat of the soup. If the food you are eating is spicy, it just might be the reaction to the sensory nerves in your face that causes gustatory rhinitis symptoms.
Treatment of Gustory Rhinitis
The best way to treat this condition is to obviously avoid the food and drinks that cause it in the first place.
People like myself, however, love spicy food and want to eat it still. Some doctors will advise you to use a nasal spray before eating but I’ve found that this actually makes my nose even more runny.
Since this condition isn’t cause by your immune system releasing histamine, taking an over-the-counter antihistamine will do nothing to prevent these symptoms.
What has been found to be most effective for treating gustatory rhinitis is mucolytic drugs and anticholinergic agents.
Homeopathic drugs that can help with your annoying and embarrassing symptoms include:
Boiron Pulsatilla Works Great for Me
This is a very interesting cure for gustatory rhinitis sufferers. It can be found in one of those sorted medicine tube things that says that it has unique benefits on each. This Boiron Pulsatilla is great for runny nose before, during or after meals and it’s cheap and natural.
Allium Cepa is a Wonder Treatment for Gustatory Rhinitis
This is a really effective runny nose, cold, and hay fever treatment that is natural and inexpensive. Natural and organic Allium cepa cures your gustatory rhinitis symptoms and it’s an effective tool against future colds and allergy days.
Taking these a little while before you eat something that causes a reaction will allow you to eat the food normally. The treatment may also help taper your symptoms so that it can be treated permanently. You should ask your doctor before you try to do so if you are not confident in what you are doing.
Natural Remedies for Gustatory Rhinitis
If you ask “why does my nose run when I eat” and prefer natural teas you can also try these remedies that are great for controlling the symptoms of gustatory rhinitis.
- Mint: This herb is very beneficial for those that suffer from gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Mint relieves the lining of the intestines and soothes the symptoms of rhinitis. It’s great used in a tea before or after meals.
- Ginger: This root herb contains gingerols in its root, which can act as an anti-inflammatory. Reducing inflammation in your sinuses will ease the reflux to sneeze. It will also prevent congestion. It’s great as a tea with honey before or after meals.
- Cardamom:This spicy tea is great for treating rhinitis. It will prevent sneezing, nasal dripping and congestion. You can drink it as a tea with honey or milk
- Basil and Honey. This is a great combination that can boost your immune system to cure the symptoms of rhinitis. The honey will soothe the sinuses and throat.
If you suffer from gustatory rhinitis, do you have to completely avoid the foods that cause your symptoms? The answer is definitely NO because they are not causing damaging inflammation to your body like an allergic reaction would. However, it is understandable that these sympoms are annoying and embarrassing while eating with others.
Luckily, there are treatments that can prevent the symptoms and even cure the condition. Let me know what works for you, please! I am curious because I still suffer from mild gustatory rhinitis.
I am always here for you, so if you have a question or something to add about your nose running during eating, please leave me a comment!
Talk to you soon,