Does your nose run when you eat?

I hiccup after I’ve been eating for a bit, does that happen to anyone else?

When I am almost finished with my meal, I sneeze. It happens every time! Is something wrong?

After my bariatric surgery my nose runs when I eat!

Runny nose, hiccups, sneezing … it’s your NEW alarm! You are not alone, it is very common, post weight loss surgery, to have one of these things happen while you are eating.

After surgery the Vagus Nerve, an important sensor that runs from your brain to your gut, is easily stimulated due to our altered anatomy. This nerve regulates digestion, detoxification, our “fight or flight” response, various aspects of heart rate and blood pressure and more. When it is stimulated you may have repetitive or single hiccups, sneezing, and or a runny nose.

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY as this is your new warning system telling you that you are getting really close to being full! Pay close attention to not over eat past this point.

This action is NOT a cue for you to take a break and then go back and finish. It means you are done.

I personally make a single hiccup when I am right about to be too full. It’s my signal to stop. This has happened at supper every night for sixteen years! What is your sign?



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48 thoughts on “FAQ: Does your nose run when you eat?

  1. Maryanne says:

    I get both the runny/stuffy nose and sneezing. Every time and I am 7 years post op.

    I just thought I was wired wrong as the surgeon that did my surgery said he never heard of these symptoms. Thank you for posting.

    • Debbie says:

      omg I am so glad to hear this happening to other people, I thought something was wrong with me. I am 1 yr and 5 mos. out. I get a stuffy nose sometimes and I hiccup at least 1 time just about when I have had enough to eat, that is my sign that I’m done.

      Has anyone had any issues with any of their eyes running. It seems ever since I had my surgery my left eye runs. I have been to 2 different doctors and no one can find out whats wrong with me.

    • Karla M Jones says:

      I had roux en y in 2003. I have maintained a 130 pound weight loss because I LISTEN to the congestion. The awful part is when I have stopped eating when I am satisfied, well before fullness and the mucous fills my pouch then causes me to vomit.

      Happens more with starches, bread, pasta, pizza.

      • Suzanne Shaw says:

        That’s why starches, bread, pasta & Pizza aren’t wise choices for people who had surgery. Too much space that needs to be filled with GOOD calories from protein and veggies.

      • Rosanne Bianco says:

        I had roux en y in 2002 and I continue to get the sneezing and runny nose. I know what foods trigger vomiting, so I avoid them. Occassionally, I’ll get sick more than an hour after eating. After 17 years, I’m used to it and still very thankful these “warnings” still work.

    • Arldean Alejandro says:

      My nose and eyes run constantly since my surgery. It has nothing to do with my eating. Why did no one talk abt this before the surgery? I am almost 4 yrs out. I keep handkerchiefs everywhere.

  2. Kristi says:

    This actually started 12 years ago when I was pregnant with my son and never stopped. I was sleeved 18 months ago. I assume the pressure of my son on my stomach works the same way as the sleeve. I am short-waisted and he had little room to grow. Doctors were concerned that he could crack my ribs!

  3. Irene Menchaca says:

    Thank you, thank you it has been eleven years since my gastric bypass. I lost seventy-five pounds which have stayed off but now I am inspired to continue my journey to loose another forty pounds. Yes I sneeze at least ten times after I eat so now I understand it is an alarm.

  4. Karen says:

    Mine is the sneezing. My family thinks it’s funny so they say – I guess your done eating! I’m 10 + years out.

  5. penny mcdaniel says:

    Thank you!! I get the runny nose and no one else in my support circle had ever heard of it so I was feeling odd.

  6. Candy Griswold says:

    Since my surgery my nose is ultra sensitive to the point of burning inside. The smells that I use to love is all to strong and makes my nose super burn. Is this common with the surgery too and what can I do for it as it is like you have suck up water up your nose 24/7.

  7. Derin says:

    I too get a runny nose when eating but sometimes only after the first 2 or three bites! I never thought of it as a possible cue for fullness.

  8. Judy Shrader says:

    I have a runny nose as soon as I start eating. Very embarrassing when you are dining with others in a restaurant. I also get very loud hiccups at least five times a day. After breakfast every day I have a ten sneeze spell. I have never had the surgery, am overweight, have an eroded esophagus and a hiatal hernia. Could my problems be the Vagus nerve and what type Dr would I see? My Endo, GP and gastro all act like they have no idea what causes any of them.

  9. Andrea says:

    I too sneeze. I eat and three or four bites into it, I start sneezing. Then the runny nose. I feel like if I’m getting sick, that’s how miserable I feel when….so I stop eating. It’s so annoying. My daughter always says to me, “time to stop, mom.”

  10. Ann says:

    My nose runs constantly but always has. So I really wouldn’t
    , know if this is my fulness sign. I do hick up now. I would say hick upping is my sign. I like this site and have learned more from you ladies than my barriatric team.

  11. Kimmy Spencer says:

    I hick up 2 or 3 times after I eat, sometimes even after I just have a big drink. And just like everyone else, my doctor’s had no idea why it was happening. This support group is super amazing and I love how open and honest people are in here. Also, I love how no one judges you no matter what we say or ask!!

    • Alison Garcia says:

      I wouldn’t think that would cause rib pain, but a call into your doc wouldn’t hurt things, just to be sure all is well.

    • Camille says:

      Are you getting enough calcium, vitamin D and protein?
      Your skeleton doesn’t shrink but the bone can become malnourished and more brittle.

  12. Veronica Ryan says:

    Does anyone react to smells? I am 13 month
    after sleeve opp and react to smells of ra
    meast, meat fats and onions allso som dairy products? It hetta so bad sometimes that I have to stopp breathing through mye nose.

    • Janice says:

      Yes, my sense of smell has gotten way more acute and certain smells (like cigarette smoke) can make me vomit. I tried to go support my sister at a karaoke contest and ended up having to run out after her performance to puke in the parking lot. I thought to myself “jeeze, if I used to puke in a bar parking lot, at least I’d had some drinks and fun before that…” now, just smells do me in for the night. It’s still all worth it but my nose is very sensitive now.

  13. Lisa says:

    Almost 3 years out from rny. Sometimes I sneeze 2 or three times. Get runny nose. Thought it might be some kind of allergy. Glad to know I’m not the only one.

  14. Amy says:

    Omg I sneeze too!! I told My daughter and husband that I think I was sneezing everytime i was full and they laughed. kept saying it was mental because how could fullness cause a sneeze, right?? but apparently I am not a weirdo. Lol. I am 6months out, down 65lbs.

  15. Amy says:

    Omg I sneeze too!! I told My daughter and husband that I think I was sneezing everytime i was full and they laughed. kept saying it was mental because how could fullness cause a sneeze, right?? but apparently I am not a weirdo. I sneeze anywhere from 2-5 times or so. Lol. I am 6months out.

  16. Joseph Moerder says:

    I have been sneezing and runny nose all the time since my gastric sleeve. I am 4 months post op! Went to an allergist and they said that some ENT surgeons can do a procedure where they freeze the nerve up in the nostrils. Not many Providers do this procedure yet but it is becoming more common. It is called Clarifix. My ENT does it and I am considering because this is getting crazy and embarrasing for me. I care tissues everywhere I go. Blow my nose like a hundred times a day. was tested for food allergies. None. It was since gastric sleeve only. there is a nerve from stomach to brain, and I bet this has been triggered by surgery. On me at least!

  17. Laurie Mastrodonato says:

    My nose runs constantly and I go thru 6 boxes of tissues a week. I had surgery (Rougen Y) 18 years ago and it’s getting worse. Can anything be done to fix this?

  18. Linda Ferris says:

    I am looking into this since I just had the worst cold ever 6 months after my sleeve. I had noticed the nose running a bit in the last few months since my sleeve when I eat too much or too fast (and yes I definitely see hiccups as a sign to stop). So now I am thinking that the combination of the sleeve and the cold caused much more congestion in my sinuses. Has anybody else felt that since surgery they either get more colds or feel worse?

  19. Cindy says:

    Hello,I had gastric bypass almost 10 years ago and when I’m finished eating my noes runs a lot and then I get what I guess is close to a dumping sendrom hot and nauseated ,it last about fifteen min I have figured out to stop about five bites early and I avoid the to full feeling but my noes still runs.i really don’t mind because my sinuses don’t drain like most folks and if I get stopped up and I eat I get a real bad headache and nose don’t run,as long as nose runs no headaches.i also used to take a decongestant every morning to keep from getting stopped up but sence have started to spray my nose every morning with Flonase or the generic brand from sams no more sinus issues.Even when taking the decongestant I would still have to go to doc about every 4 months for antibiotics and steroid shot, all I do now is spray in the am and I haven’t been to doc in over a year. It really really works.

  20. Patti says:

    I get the runny nose, never understood it until today. I am almost 3 years post Duodenal Switch. My nose also runs when I am having a bm, explains it all. Smells do bother me, hot ketchup and hot oil smells bother me really bad as well. That being said, I have no regrets, I’ve lost 210lbs since surgery!

  21. Susan Ditz says:

    I get a runny nose if I’m over full. It’s usually a sign of tummy troubles to come and I might vomit. Sometimes I don’t get it until too late. I just signed up to try to lose my 32 lb regain from 2002.

  22. Debbie N says:

    My friend, who is a Dr., told me my “issues” were probably due to the vegus nerve. After searching, and reading this forum, I have concluded she is correct!

    I had my stomach stapled in 1984, probably long before many of you were even born. When I’m full, my nose starts to run, and I start to sneeze, sometimes uncontrollably. I know that’s my sign not to eat any more, and if I do, it will all come up .

    Glad to see I’m not the only one, but boy, do I wish I knew about this long ago.

  23. Carol says:

    I sneeze, sometime many, many times. It can be annoying, especially when in a restaurant. My nose seems to run quite a bit too.

  24. Anon says:

    If I eat too quickly or food that is particularly dense, I get a blocked and runny nose and it feels like the food is stuck halfway down. other times I feel like I need to burp but can’t.
    Sleeve gastrectomy 2.5 months ago, 19kg down.
    Not once during the entire process have I vomited. I’m very thankful.

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