Why does my stomach hurt after I eat spicy food?

In this article, we are going to answer why does my stomach hurt after I eat spicy food, what is spicy food, what is capsaicin, what can damage your stomach by eating spicy food, and what can help you with stomach pain after stomach pain, and when you should stop eating spicy food. 

Why does my stomach hurt after I eat spicy food?

The main cause of your stomach hurting after spicy food is capsaicin, a chemical that is found naturally in peppers and spicy food. 

Capsaicin has the ability to bind to pain receptors in the stomach which cause the feeling of your stomach being in pain. 

Another cause is that if you already have gastritis or ulcers, spicy food can exacerbate these problems because if the stomach is already damaged and with inflammation, it will be worse after eating spicy food. 

If you have acid reflux, spicy food can worsen it too. Acid reflux occurs when the acid of the stomach flows back into the esophagus causing gastritis and heartburn symptoms. If you have IBS, it can also worsen symptoms. 

What is spicy food?

According to the dictionary, spicy food is considered as any comestible marinated that contains chili peppers, curry, or any spices that provokes a spicy feeling in your mouth or evokes an autonomic nervous system response that can cause arrhythmias and the feeling of heat in your mouth. 

Some examples of spicy food include

  • Salsa
  • Jalapeños
  • Serrano peppers
  • Hot sauce
  • Stir-fry recipes made with peppers
  • Dishes prepared with cayenne powder
  • Fresh garlic

What is capsaicin?

Capsaicin is an active component that is found in peppers that belong to the genus Capsicum. The chemical can cause irritation to humans and other mammals. It also causes a sensation of burning in the stomach because it binds to sensors of pain. 

Capsaicinoids are a group of capsaicin and other alkaloids that are produced as a secondary metabolite by chili peppers.

Capsaicin is found in the highest quantities in the white pith of the inner wall where the seeds are attached. Food that contains capsaicin is usually used to bring ‘heat’ or add spices to food. The degree of how hot or spicy food is is measured by the Scoville scale. 

How can you damage your stomach by eating spicy food?

Spicy food can cause irritation and inflammation of the lining and mucosa of the intestine because capsaicin binds to receptors on the stomach to provoke pain and might start a reaction in the body. Spicy food can damage your stomach and cause:

  • Heartburn
  • Acid reflux
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating

If you already have any of these symptoms, spicy food will definitely worsen them.

What can help you with stomach pain after eating spicy food?

If you overate spicy food and need something to neutralize capsaicin acting in your stomach, follow the following remedies to help with the discomfort

  • Medications such as tums or maalox.
  • Nonfat milk binds to capsaicin and helps reduce the effects. Just avoid whole milk because if you eat fat, you might have worse effects. 
  • Water
  • Chewing gum, especially fat-free gum, can neutralize spicy food. 
  • Ginger in capsules or tea can help soothe the stomach. 

Peppermint and beverages with gas can worsen spicy food effects. 

When should you stop eating spicy food?

When spicy food is causing too much discomfort and you suffer from the pain caused by spicy food, it is the moment to stop eating spicy food. If you have any of these symptoms, you should stay away from spicy food 

  • You have diarrhea after eating spicy food
  • Spicy food is causing insomnia
  • You have signs of acute gastritis or ulcers
  • You feel nauseous or have been vomiting

Follow this link for more information on the dangers of eating spicy foods, according to science.

Conclusion

This article answered why does my stomach hurt after I eat spicy food, what is spicy food, what is capsaicin, what can damage your stomach by eating spicy food, what can help you with stomach pain after stomach pain, and when you should stop eating spicy food. 

Citation

https://www.insider.com/signs-stop-eating-spicy-foods-2018-10

https://www.livestrong.com/article/286244-stomach-pain-after-eating-spicy-food/

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