Frequent causes of chronic cough include post-nasal drip and esophageal reflux (GERD). Frequently a nidus of mucus or phlegm builds up in the back of the nose (nasopharynx) and drops on the throat, irritating it and causing cough. Why does such mucus build up? The most common cause of sinus congestion / mucus buildup is the food you eat. Foods rich in preservatives, dairy, and processed chemicals trigger an immune response in the throat, leading to the buildup of mucus in certain areas. Stick to eating vegetables and lentils (see FOOD section) prepared deliciously and soon you’ll see the mucus disappear. Also consider using a nasal rinse or neti pot to wash out the mucus sitting in your nasopharynx.

Also esophageal reflux (heartburn) can cause chronic cough. Acid travels back up the food pipe (esophagus) while you sleep and irritates the throat. If you notice worse cough in the morning and have heartburn, this may be the cause. The best treatment for reflux is addressing stress and eating a plant-based diet.

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