Near-death by chocolate. Not a joke!

Hi gang, I had a terrible experience last night at our film night. Someone had brought some chocolates and while eating one some of the juice ran into my throat and I started choking. I had the good sense to take the chocolate out of my mouth but honestly I could not breath at all… was very scary. Someone banged me on the back and someone else got me a glass of water… by this time I was doubled up trying desperately to breath! A sip of water did the trick thank God… although by that time I think I was taking in some air. It left me and everyone else a bit shaky. I remember this happened once before with a toffee… and another woman said it had happened to her with sweets. So this morning I googled it… Apparently human beings are made to eat when hungry… put food in your mouth, chew and swallow. Sweets are relatively new to humans (only been around a few thousand years)… so holding something in our mouths to enjoy the flavour is something we are not made to do. If the juice goes near the air-tubes the vocal cords automatically shut… cutting off the air-tubes… hence you cannot breath. Apparently if you can relax the throat the vocal cords will open and you will breath… but not an easy thing to do when you think you’re choking to death. Worst case scenario is you would pass-out, and at that point the vocal cords would open and you would breath! The important thing to do when you start choking is to take the sweet out of your mouth (obviously to stop it slipping into the throat and causing you to really choke). Sorry for long post… but it’s quite a common thing and when it does happen is extremely frightening… so thought I would share the info. Did occur to me while I was choking to death (so I believed) was that it would be so typical of me to have death by chocolate!!! Oh the irony… and I’m sure will amuse those of you who are not chocoholics! Hope that didn’t put you to sleep… Pat xx :slight_smile:

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I did that with chocolate when I was walking through town one day a few years ago, embarassing to say the least! I’m glad you’re ok though, choking is possibly one of the worst feelings ever.

The big question though, is has it put you off chocolate?! :wink:

Dave xx

Oh Pat what an awful experience for you. I do hope you are ok now. Take care when you have next choc… Lindax

Thanks… Yes ok now. No won’t put me off chocolate I hope… though I didn’t eat another last night! Pxx

This sounds really awful Pat. Glad you are OK! Hope it doesn’t put you off chocolate, that would be a disaster! Teresa xx

I have always regarded chocolate as little more than saturated fat and sugar, with no food value, but wouldn’t seek to deny anyone a little bit of pleasure. Needless to say, I hope you are fully recovered from the dreadful experience and normal comforts can be resumed (perhaps with a glass of water to hand).

Oh Pat sounds awful and would imagine shakes you up, good job water was to hand.

Hope you have a good day today, take care.

Pam x

Thanks for the info Pat. Very interesting.I had no idea.

Typical isn’t it? A little morsel of pleasure bites back. I’ve been caught out a few times and had to endure a whole symphony of coughing and spluttering. It can certainly be distressing. Hope you’re not too disconcerted by it. Steve. x

Phew, glad you’re ok and not off the choc for too long!

I found the choking bit of the St John’s ambulance course one of the most useful bits, I’ve only really used it at home but it’s one of the things I easily remember despite my certificate expiring

Sonia x

Hi Pat,

I’ve had many similar experiences, and it’s the most frightening thing I’ve ever known.

I get it most of all with chilli, which I now refuse to eat: I have re-classified it as devil-food. Other culprits are chocolate, especially chocolate with minty filling, which has to be eaten very carefully; and nuts. I don’t choke on whole nuts, I choke on those tiny bits which get left behind when you think you’ve swallowed everything and suddenly there’s a grain of nut in your throat and your throat locks up and you’re fighting for your life (or so it seems).

Occasionally my throat locks up in exactly the same way even without any food or sweets or treats whatsoever. It has taken me years to realise that when this happens, it’s because I’m tense, and my neck and face and head are tense, and all that tension has also penetrated right into the inside of my throat. When I feel one of these non-food choking attacks coming on, I immediately drop my shoulders, relax my face, and start singing. For some reason singing distracts all the muscles and they relax again.

Take care,


Hi, Interesting Chris and absolutely terrifying for you! It really is the worst feeling in the world. Do bear in mind what I read… that if there isn’t actually something blocking the throat, and it just locks because of saliva or like with you for no obvious reason, the worst that can happen is that you would pass-out and then would start breathing again. Not a pleasant thing I know, but you would not die. The one MS symptom that I’ve had for years is distressing in similar way… sometimes when I’m eating I swallow the food and it just gets into my throat and everything stops!!! I’m not choking… I’m just on the verge of choking. The food is sitting there and nothing is happening! Like you, over the years I have taught myself not to panic, to stay as calm as I can, not to breath in as that might actually move the food into the air tubes… and then to either touch my throat which will ‘wake up’ the swallowing reflex, or to take a sip of water that will do same. When I say ‘taught myself not to panic’ what I really mean is to control the panic so I don’t make thing worse. Inside of my head there is still a terrible panic. It is very scary and only those who suffer the same know what it’s like. Glad to see you have a relaxation method that works… and wonderful that singing helps! Thanks for reply, Pat xx

Glad you’re okay Pat. It is scary, I remember the same thing happening to me a few years ago with a fruit chew, haven’t had one since. It’s good to know I wouldn’t have died, thanks for that xx


OH Pat I am so glad you are ok so so scary, l have had a few similar coughing fits when eating sandwichs l think its because of the dry bread, not done it with choc or sweets. We should all go around singing.

You take care regards Jan xx

Yes maybe singing is the trick! I’ve never had a good singing voice and now go through periods of ms messing about with vocal cords… sound like Larry the Lamb (for those of you ancient enough to remember Larry!). I have great difficulty eating dry food… need everything swimming in gravy or sauce… or washed down with water. Hope you’re ok Jan. I am over my near-death experience (which wasn’t really near-death but I like a bit of drama). Yesterday I ate a chocolate muffin… washed down with tea… and survived without mishap. Pat xx :wink:

I had a similar experience at my staff`s christmas lunch…ie me and my lovely 3 golden girls.

But mine wouldve been death by brussel sprou..yeh, it was quite terrifying at the time and it was the worst choking episode Ive ever had.

I also cough and the like when eating chocolate and ice cream…I am defo not giving either up!

Glad you survived your awful experience Pat.

luv Pollx

Nice to see you on here Poll. Glad you survived the brussel sprout incident! Bit is very scary isn’t it. How are you doing hon? Pat xx :slight_smile:

glad you are OK neer had that happen but I tend to chew rather than suck even with boile sweets, I am the impatienct type

Forgive me, but it almost put my ribs out laughing but maybe it would be more pleasant than what is in store.

Yes, I had the same experience x 2. not a nice experience.


I’ve properly choked now twice and it’s very scary. The first time was on a bit of parsnip that I hadn’t chewed properly, the second on a big chunk of carrot that I swallowed whole by accident. My mouth was too full and I swallowed the wrong stuff. Now I take ages to eat - small chunks and thoroughly chewed.