2

votes

Why do I get briefly congested when I eat very spicy foods?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 02, 2011 at 5:44 PM

I just ate carnitas with some nice and spicy salsa verde. If the dish is spicy enough my nose will run and I will even suffer from some brief chest congestion. Clears up in about 5 min and I'm back to normal. Is this an inflammatory response? Should I stay away?


742ff8ba4ff55e84593ede14ac1c3cab

(3536)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:28 PM

I have the same reaction with nightshades except potatoes.

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:10 PM

but folks, peppers are nightshades, so those that are avoiding nightshades shouldn't be eating chili peppers; cayenne is a chili pepper too.

F1b39d4f620876330312f4925bd51900

(4090)

on September 02, 2011
at 07:10 PM

sounds like a histamine reaction.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on September 02, 2011
at 06:04 PM

I'd love to see a decent answer for this. I had the same reaction with cayenne pepper.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 02, 2011
at 06:03 PM

you should just trial a month without it and see if your health is different and then add it back in if it isn;t

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 02, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Yeah I love love love spicy even with that effect. I would really hate to eliminate but I can live without.

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3 Answers

2
559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:06 PM

That's a totally normal reaction to spicy food! If it's not happening, one has built up a tolerance. The active component in hot peppers is called capsaicin, and it stimulates mucosal membranes, but it isn't causing congestion, it's actually clearing it. It gets things moving, so to speak. You can use this to your advantage when you're sick!

Capsaicin is actually ANTI-inflammatory. It's even sold as a supplement for joint pain. It's said that it can help prevent ulcers too, and i recently saw a study about an actual nasal spray!

Spicy food is healthy! and YUMMY! Eat it! :)

559aa134ff5e6c8bcd608ba8dc505628

(3631)

on September 02, 2011
at 11:10 PM

but folks, peppers are nightshades, so those that are avoiding nightshades shouldn't be eating chili peppers; cayenne is a chili pepper too.

0
427c8cbb9c2492d74b887fc5cf7a8ce0

on September 02, 2011
at 05:54 PM

You could have an allergy to a certain herb or spice. Try to eliminate the suspected culprit(s) for a few days and then reintroduce it/them.

0
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 02, 2011
at 05:53 PM

IMHO it's a very direct localized and transient type of inflammation based on capsaicin. Whether or not the long term effects of it are positive or negative is pretty debated. Some people don't get that reaction and Gary Nabhan has theorized it's due to genes and that people who have a long ethnic history of eating these foods react differently. I'm planning to do a month without spicy which will be horrible since I put hot sauce on everything and I love it to death, but I've noticed it makes my gums bleed.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 02, 2011
at 06:03 PM

you should just trial a month without it and see if your health is different and then add it back in if it isn;t

6229cd9a7ca9882590259fae022e2647

(3209)

on September 02, 2011
at 06:00 PM

Yeah I love love love spicy even with that effect. I would really hate to eliminate but I can live without.

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