Monday, April 4, 2011


Snatiation is a term coined by some very serious scientists for a very serious and rare genetic defect.  If you've ever been around me when I'm eating, you've likely had to suffer through my disorder right along with me.  It is something that cannot be cured.  I will suffer with this defect for the rest of my life.

What is this condition that I suffer with on a regular basis?  I sneeze when I am full.  Food, drink, it doesn't matter.  I could be innocently drinking a cup of coffee when, BAM, uncontrolled sneezing.  Or maybe I'm eating chips and queso at my favorite Mexican restaurant when, ACHOO, the uncontrolled sneezing attacks. On the one hand, it is a good way to keep from really overeating.  When I get to sneezing, I simply can't indulge in whatever feast is sitting on the table. Why learn portion control when my body won't let me eat more than it can handle?

For a long time, I thought I suffered alone.  I know a lot of people experience "photic sneezing" which is sneezing when you step into bright light.  I do this too, but the sneezing when I'm full thing really wierded me out.  So I did what anyone would do. I googled it.

I've googled it a hundred times, at least.  The best I can find, it is called gastric sneezing or snatiation.  Apparently it is a rare thing to do.  I don't know anyone else who sneezes when full.  I decided to marry Eugene, though, only after learning his family history (I would have likely married him without knowing this strange bit of history...)

Early in our dating relationship, I learned that my husband gets a runny nose when he is full.  He also learned that, whenever I ate a lot (or drank a lot of water or coffee or anything) I would sneeze several times.  I told him that I sneeze when I'm full and he told me he nose runs.  The next thing he told me just let me know that fate was working in our favor.  Eugene told me that his grandmother sneezed when she was full and his grandfather got a runny nose! Having never known another person who sneezed with a full stomach, I just knew we were meant to be together!  We have, of couse, been happily snotty and sneezy together ever since...


  1. Is this true??? How have I never noticed you doing this? Are you never full around me? I'm going to be staring at you the next time we eat together - just thought I'd warn you!

  2. I absolutely do this and there is no way you haven't noticed it. It happens almost every time I eat!!

  3. I just learned about snatiation. I've been having this problem for years now without knowing what it was. But guess what, in my case, I sneeze AND my nose runs. Can't go to the restaurant without making use of kleenex or having to hide in the restroom.

  4. Were you always sneezing or did it start after an age? Mine started at high school. First times I was wondering if I was always flu or got cold. Then I realized it was happening after meals. I thought it would be allergic. After maybe 8 years, I got allergic tests and made sure it wasn't so. Then, one day mom said her grandfather had it...

    I wonder if it is really genetic. If so, I wonder if we're all attached to the same family somehow. Wouldn't it be interesting? It's not impossible since it's told to be so rare...

  5. I have this too! My grandmother gets angry at me when I don't sneeze after one of her meals!

  6. OMG finally an answer !!!! I have had this for as long as I can remember, I am 46 years old now. All the hours trying to figure out what kinds of food I am allergic to, and not eating certain things that I thought were the major instigators of the repetitive sneezing, but still having them. then thinking it was endocrine / insulin type of dysfunction, but I am not a diabetic. Although I am super sad that there is not cure for it, I am ecstatic that I can eat what ever I want without thinking I am somehow allergic to it. It is an enormous weight lifted off my chest. For all the MD's that have either come up empty handed or misdiagnosed me..... lets do lunch..... when I have the flu.

  7. Wow! I am glad I'm not the only one. I don't have anyone else in my family that does this, but I am oddly grateful because I know I can't "overeat"! I start sneezing and can't eat anymore! This happens to me whether I've eaten too much food, or even had too much water or coffee! It's crazy! Almost every morning at work, while sipping away at the last few drops of my large coffee, I feel the sneezes coming. My paralegal can hear me apologizing in advance for the sneezes that are inevitable. Every. Single. Time. I wonder-does anyone have as et number of sneezes? Mine vary, but I wonder if there are patterns out there...also, I sneeze in the sunlight. Anyone else?

  8. Hello Tall Gal, I am only three days "self diagnosed" but I am absolutely sure of it now. My symptoms do not happen every time I overeat, but it does happen 90% of the time when I eat or drink excessively on an "empty stomach". Maybe 20% of the time when I eat a normal meal. I do not have a set number of sneezes, but it will be more than 8 and less than 20. I can feel it coming on about 20 seconds before it happens, and my girlfriend can predict it with 100% accuracy by looking at my eyes. Besides the itchy, glassy eyes, the only other thing is that it kills my appetite. Because I just found out about this, I am still putting together the pieces, I still don't have the answers to some of the occasions that it happens when I am not overeating and it happens anyway. When I eat something sugary, like an ice-cream cone or chocolate cake it will set it off.... not every time. I eat them anyway because I can't refuse sweets. I will continue to investigate this further now that I know what causes it, and will post my findings. THANK YOU TO ALL that lead me to this understanding. I was so convinced that it was endocrine / insulin or allergy related that I could not see the overeating part of it. ps. I also sneeze in the morning sunlight, or after moving from a dark place to a bright lit area. but I think that it is common. I will investigate this also, they may be related somehow.

  9. I just finished reading a page one article in today’s Wall Street Journal (11/23/13) with the headline: “Thanksgiving Can Be a Stressful Time for People Suffering from Snatiation”.

    When I walked into my kitchen this morning for breakfast, my wife greeted me by waving the paper in my face and commanding, “You must read this! You must read this now!”

    I never heard of “snatiation” and was totally amazed that what I had been suffering from for most of my adult life had a name and that other people had the same condition.

    I’m 74 years old and for about 50 of those years I have been getting a sneezing attack after every meal I eat. My wife and I jokingly referred to the episodes as my “post-prandial affliction” which fit in nicely with our facetious agreement that I was the “Prince of Weird Afflictions.” (Among other strange occurrences in my life, I once laughed so hard that I momentarily blacked out, fell forward off my chair and broke a tooth.)

    Since my teenage years, I’ve had mild to severe seasonal allergies and I always thought that my after-meal sneezing was just another allergy. I always described it to friends, family and doctors as my being allergic to the act of eating. My theory was that it was some kind of auto-immune reaction in which my body was allergic to chemicals produced by the digestive process, perhaps hormones or enzymes. Taking allergy meds never made a difference or stopped the attacks, whereas the meds almost always curbed my seasonal allergies.

    As far as I know, no one else in my family ever suffered from this condition although several have mild to severe seasonal or other allergies.

    After reading the WSJ article I Googled snatiation and eventually got to this page.

    Below is a link to the Wall Street Journal article. You can copy and paste it to your browser.

  10. I´ve been sneezing for as long as I can remember and I never knew the reason!! My grandma and mother sneeze and got runny nose, I just sneezed so I think Its not that bad (kind of annoying and embarrassing)! today I finally google it and Im glad theres someone else that suffer from this too! Im not a freak!!! Im from Ecuador btw so I think it doesnt matter were you are, you are not the only one!

  11. I have had this for years. Triggered by a full feeling/satisfaction. Sometimes weird things can trigger it.... like swallowing some vitamins or brushing my teeth (I know. Sounds nuts). I did read the WSJ article last November. I hate it most when concluding a business dinner and I feel it coming on. I need to run to the mens room and sneeze it out in there. Awful....

  12. I deal with this every time that I eat. It's not necessarily caused by over eating but anytime that I eat, I also have this happen when my stomach is upset or when I'm hungry. Very frustrating. I've talked to my regular doctor and gastroenterologist regarding this. The only suggestion that I received is to take a Claritin before eating, this didn't help.