HOW HOT IS TOO HOT: SPICY FOODS & YOUR KIDS
A Memphis mother found out the hard way about the dangers of spicy chips. Her daughter’s fervor for spicy-hot chips like Hot Takis and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos landed her in the doctor’s office for stomach issues. Rene Craighead, the mother of the child, said that she was surprised when the doctor said her daughter would have to have her gallbladder removed (or a cholecystectomy).
Doctors say it’s quite common for patients to come in the ulcer or stomach related issues due to eating spicy food. The makers of Flamin Hot Cheetos say they stand by their product, but some customers might need to abstain.
“At Frito-Lay, food safety is always our number one priority, and our snacks meet all applicable food safety regulations as well as our rigorous quality standards. Some consumers may be more sensitive to spicy foods than others and may choose to avoid spicier snacks due to personal preference,” a company spokesperson said.
Cases like the one experienced by the mother in Memphis are common. Doctors get a dozen of these cases a month in some places. It’s like they say, if it goes in hot, it is going to come out hot as well. Sit with that one for a minute.
Many patients come to the emergency room with symptoms of intense pain in the upper abdomen, nausea, discolored stools because of these snack foods. The symptoms I just described are the effects of gastritis.Gastritis is when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or swollen. This condition is caused by irritation due to excessive alcohol use, stress, stress and other factors like eating the wrong foods.The discoloration in the stools could be blood, but also a result of the red dye present in these chips. Many parents have been sent to the doctor’s office with false alarms because of their child’s seemingly “bloody” stools. Wrong. Many foods such as beets, red peppers, candies or other items with red dye can make stools appear red. Physicians say you only have to worry if you eat a large consumption of hot chips. To see if you are bleeding doctors can perform a fecal occult blood test to determine what’s going on. If you are bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract (stomach, duodenum, small bowel, esophagus) your stools will be black in color. Bleeding from the lower gastrointestinal tract (small intestine) causes bright red or maggravating to the stomach in some people. Spices such as capsaicin, an ingredient found in chili peppers, is a well-known irritant. It can cause irritation to the eyes, skin, lungs or stomach in large quantities. Even in smaller quantities, it can cause gastritis, or irritation of the stomach lining.”The combination of drinking acidic drinks like soda and juice with hot chips is dangerous. Imagine eating this on a daily basis as a staple of your diet. Your stomach is sure to be torn apart before lunchtime hits.If your child is totally resistant to the idea of going cold turkey on these chips, start making them lunches with tortilla chips and salsa. Tortilla chips are healthier and salsa gives them that kick they like.The best-selling author of “Whose Bad @$$ Kids Are Those? A Parent’s Guide to Behavior for Children of All Ages.” Doctor Jarrett says you don’t have to throw those bags of Hot Crunchy Cheese Kurls away just yet.“As with many things, eating chips in moderation does not have significant health concerns as long as there are not severe reactions such as severe stomach pain or allergies. Typically, spicy chips can be eaten safely with the majority of people.”Representatives for Hot Takes and Cheetos issued a statement regarding stools.Doctor Jarrett Patton adds, ”Foods that are high in spice can be the consumption of their products.“We assure you that Takis are safe to eat, but should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet. Takis ingredients fully comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, and all of the ingredients in each flavor are listed in detail on the label.”“Always check the serving size before snacking.”