Why Does Spicy Food Make Your Nose Run?

How many times have you noted that when eating food which is spicy or having food which has pepper in plenty, you feel water coming through the nose or in other terms have a running nose. If you have, then you are not the only one to have experienced it, as it is quite a common phenomenon and everyone once in a while experiences a running nose while eating spicy food.

Why Does Spicy Food Make Your Nose Run?

The reason for the nose running on having spicy food is because of the chemicals present in chilies and pepper. This chemical is known as Capsaicin and this is present in abundant amounts in chilies and pepper. Why does this chemical cause the nose to run is something which we will explain below along with the ways to avoid having running nose on eating spicy food.

Why Does Spicy Food Make Your Nose Run?

As stated, Capsaicin is present in abundant amount in chilies and pepper. The Capsaicin present tends to irritate the mucous membranes of the nose thus making it inflamed. Due to this inflammation, the defense mechanism of the nose is triggered and excess amount of mucous is produced so as to keep the irritant away from the nose resulting in mucous dripping from the nose. That is why we have running nose when we eat spicy food. This will be more so in people who are not used to eating spicy food and end up having spicy food. People traveling from the United States to the Indian subcontinent often at times have problems with running nose while eating as a lot of spice is used in cooking in this region.

Ways to Avoid Having Running Nose When Eating Spicy Food?

If you are not used to eating spicy food then it is always to better to avoid it. Make sure you tell the waiter at the restaurant or an eatery to be a bit soft on spices.

In case if you are not able to avoid spicy food then make sure you drink ample amount of cold water while eating which cuts down the effects of Capsaicin albeit temporarily.

The next thing you can try is eating some ice chips, some sugar, or a glass of cold milk which will immediately stop the running nose you may be experiencing due to eating spicy food.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:January 30, 2019

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