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Health 3 May 2019
By: Natasha Tanga

How Consuming Too Much Spicy Food Can Affect Digestion

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As a country with endless varieties of spicy food, there are definitely a lot of people who consume these dishes on a daily basis; some people might have higher spice tolerance than the others. However, do you know that some side effects may occur when consuming spicy food regularly? On this week's journal, we will be explaining a few pointers that you may want to consider before your next spicy meal.

1. May trigger gastritis

Eating too much spicy food can be a trigger for gastritis. Gastritis is caused due to inflammation of the gastric mucosa, the membrane that lines the stomach. Most people experience occasional symptoms of gastritis that are often passed as indigestion, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and headache.

Chronic gastritis can produce ulcers by allowing the stomach's own acids to eat away at the lining or aggravate ulcers in the sensitive mucosal lining, as well as in the small intestine. While it is possible for ulcers to heal with time just like any other lesion, spicy food consumption at this point is not recommended.

2. May cause acid reflux

Spicy food can also trigger acid reflux disease, as spices are a combination of acids. When too many of these acids are introduced to the stomach, which also has its own acidic contents, it starts damaging the walls of the stomach. If left untreated, this will cause chronic acid reflux and may also lead to esophageal cancer. Cutting down on your spicy food intake is a good first step to reducing this risk. Acid reflux, especially at night, can also erode teeth. Avoid combination of fried oily and spicy food as it can increase acid secretion.

3. Worsens your heartburn

Heartburn occurs when your stomach acid flows back up into your food pipe, causing a burning feeling in your chest. While spicy foods don’t necessarily cause heartburn or stomach ulcers, they can make both conditions worse. Hot peppers, spicy curry, and other spicy foods trigger a reflux of gastric juices of the stomach into the esophagus, which causes heartburn.

When your spice consumption is paired with oily foods and alcohol, you may notice your reflux acting up. If this happens, then you might want to cut back on your spice intake or reduce some the irritating effects by drinking milk or yogurt after eating spicy food. 

4. Acts as a laxative

Another inconvenient side effects of spicy foods is the trouble it causes in your gut. Since capsaicin content in chili acts as an irritant to the lining of the stomach or intestines, it can have a laxative effect as the meal makes its way through their digestive system and may cause a quick run to the bathroom.

5. Higher risk of having Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

Research has shown the capsaicin from chile peppers can worsen abdominal pain, especially in people who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This may include symptoms that includes abdominal pain and changes in bowel movements, like constipation, diarrhea or both. In fact, consumption of spicy foods in general is associated with a higher rate of IBS. Take Relief Sari Kunyit daily to help your digestive system healthy.

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