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Chest Congestion & Dairy Products

author image Diane Marks
Diane Marks started her writing career in 2010 and has been in health care administration for more than 30 years. She holds a registered nurse license from Citizens General Hospital School of Nursing, a Bachelor of Arts in health care education from California University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in health administration from the University of Pittsburgh.
Chest Congestion & Dairy Products
A young girl is drinking a glass of milk. Photo Credit: Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images

Chest congestion occurring after ingesting dairy products is most likely related to allergic asthma. Diary products have been blamed for increased mucus production, but according to the Baby Center, there have been no conclusive studies that prove that belief. Chest congestion that forms consistently after ingesting dairy products may be connected to a milk allergy. Talk with your doctor if you suspect you may have a dairy allergy.

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Dairy Allergy

A dairy allergy is considered one of the most common food-related allergies, according to Kids Health. A dairy allergy occurs when the immune system fails to recognize the proteins in milk as safe. The immune system quickly begins to defend the body by producing antibodies and histamine. Many chemical reactions then cascade, leading to common food-related allergy symptoms. Chest congestion is a common symptom related to a milk allergy.

Chest Congestion

If you experience significant chest congestion after consuming dairy products, you are most likely experiencing an allergic asthma attack. Allergy-induced asthma is very common among people who suffer from asthma. About 50 percent of asthma sufferers experience allergic asthma, according to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America. During an allergic asthma attack, increased levels of histamine cause lung tissue to swell and become inflamed. The airways become restricted and the ability to breathe normally is reduced.


Common symptoms of allergic asthma include shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, coughing, chest pain, chest tightness and wheezing. Wheezing is a high-pitched sound caused by air being forced through the small opening of the swollen top of the airway. Allergic asthma attacks after consuming dairy products can lead to more serious complications, and suffers need to be evaluated by a medical doctor as soon as possible.

Other Symptoms

If chest congestion is the result of an allergic reaction to dairy products, other symptoms accompany the asthma. These include rhinitis, skin rashes and gastrointestinal complications, according to Rhinitis symptoms include runny nose, nasal congestion, throat irritation, and watery and itchy eyes. Skin symptoms that can develop include eczema, general itching and hives. You may also experience bloating, cramping, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting from an allergy to milk.


Severe chest congestion, along with hives, a sudden drop in blood pressure and increased heart rate may be a sign of anaphylaxis, an extreme and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Call 911 if these symptoms occur.

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