How to overcome the fear of choking on food?

Written by: Loris Vitry (holistic coach)
Validated by: Cathy Maillot (Osteopath)

Caution: If you have any medical questions or concerns, please speak to your doctor. Even if the articles on this site are based on scientific studies, they do not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

How to overcome the fear of choking on food?
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If you don’t eat, you will die!

However, did you know that for some people, eating certain types of food causes panic?

We talk about phagophobia or the excessive fear of choking on swallowing something.

It can be food, but also medicine.

By wanting to swallow it, the person fears the suffering that could be caused by suffocation, but especially death.

Do you suffer from phagophobia or just want to know more about it?

Through this article, we will help you to better understand this phobia, but also to overcome it.

What is phagophobia?

Very often confused with anorexia nervosa, phagophobia is in no way the fear of putting on weight.

On a daily basis, these people who suffer from it make sure not to eat certain foods, more precisely those which are solid, for fear of swallowing them the wrong way.

However, in severe cases, the person with phagophobia will even have difficulty swallowing their own saliva.

Which is very worrying, because beyond its vitality, the fact of eating is also a real pleasure, a symbol of conviviality, of union providing strength and well-being on condition that it is not abused.

These people are also afraid of being ridiculous.

It is a complex that has developed in them over time and which will push them to isolate themselves little by little in order to avoid situations presenting the least risk.

As a result, shame, stress, guilt and isolation can make life difficult for them.

What are the causes of phagophobia?

No one is immune to phagophobia.

Several incidents can indeed, overnight turn your life upside down to the point where you lose control.

In the majority of cases, the phobia is triggered by a bad experience with food.

Indeed, it may happen that you have once been confronted with a most difficult situation, which has engendered in you this fear of eating.

The most common causes are as follows.

A food swallowed askew

It may happen that you have once swallowed a food the wrong way and since that day you are afraid of food and this incident will happen again.

A trauma that has developed in you without you realizing it.

An unloved food

You had the opportunity to taste a new dish or a new food, unfortunately this experience was most traumatic for you.

By eating this food or this dish, it aroused bad feelings that today you do not come afraid of food.

Besides these points, it can happen that this fear occurs for no apparent reason.

Thus, overnight, it may happen that a person finds himself in this situation without knowing why.

Therefore, it is advisable to follow a treatment that will allow you to get better, because nothing happens by chance.

There is certainly a reason for this fear, but you ignore it.

Get closer to competent agents for your well-being!

What are the consequences of phagophobia?

Phagophobia can, in fact, trigger a certain number of psychic manifestations, but also bodily ones.

The consequences that this fear can have are therefore as follows.


You will not be spared from this mental disorder.

It will be characterized by feelings of worry that are sometimes very pronounced.

Anxiety can interfere with your daily activities.

Weight loss

One of the main consequences of phagophobia is weight loss.

Your body needs nutrients to thrive, so if you don’t feed yourself, you can expect weight loss.


Not feeding yourself properly makes you weak most of the time, but also tired.

Which is one of the main reasons for your dizziness.


Your heart rate remains very fast because you are anxious and stress-prone most of the time.


Phagophobia can develop agoraphobia in you, that is, you have a phobia of places or even situations.

This can cause a state of panic, a feeling of helplessness, but also discomfort.

The fear of dying

Thanatophobia is anxiety caused by exposure to an object or a situation related to death.

You, from your experience of suffocation, you have retained consequences that make you constantly afraid and think about it all the time.

How to overcome phagophobia?

Overcoming his phobia of swallowing and his fear of choking on food requires releasing emotional blockages.

Otherwise fear will be your faithful companion every time you have to eat.

Here are some tips that may help you.

Clean your brain

You will need to clear your head and clean your reptilian brain thoroughly.

Without denying your experience, this detox will allow you to overcome your fear of suffocating while eating.

Make detox emotion

Based on yoga postures of shaking, it is very easy to perform.

The program is therefore accessible to all.

It will allow you to easily evacuate all your blocked emotions.

Be psychologically followed

You should also seek psychological counseling to heal your ailments.

Based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, this treatment aims to offer you support so that you can change your thoughts and behaviors.

Have a digital food diary

From the moment you become aware of your illness, you must begin a process of healing.

The food diary can be a precious tool to accompany you throughout your healing journey.

Thanks to your notebook, you will have to track the foods and contexts that produce difficulties, anxiety and those that are a source of well-being.

By sharing your daily life with your therapeutic team, you will be able to better bear witness to your daily experience, your fears and your progress in order to benefit from more appropriate care.

Several phagophobic people first go to a general practitioner in order to be treated.

It is precisely after certain analyzes testifying to their good health that they are referred to a psychologist.

You must therefore be able to detect this fear in order to take the necessary measures.

It’s a tough time, but you have to get past it.

Do not be afraid to talk about it around you to be accompanied, but also helped.

Get rid of your anxieties by learning to breathe well : Intermittent Breathing Technique

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