Can Spicy Food Kill You?

Spicy foods are a common addition to many people’s diets. However, they are not for everyone. Some people are sensitive to spice and can experience a variety of unpleasant side effects from eating too much hot sauce. Fortunately, these effects are temporary, and most people can consume spicy foods without any long-term consequences.

The burning pain you may feel from eating spicy foods is caused by an oil-like chemical compound called capsaicin. It acts on pain receptors in the mouth, throat, and esophagus, mimicking injury. After a few minutes, the discomfort subsides. In some cases, the pain lasts longer.

People with pre-existing gastrointestional (GI) problems can have an adverse reaction to spicy foods. These conditions can cause stomach lining inflammation, which can lead to gastrointestinal ulcers. Ulcers are very painful, and can be dangerous. If you have a history of abdominal pain or ulcers, experts recommend cutting back on heat.

Some of the symptoms of eating too much hot sauce include sweating, shaking, and pain. When this happens, you should seek medical attention. Other possible side effects can include diarrhea, anorectal pain, and vomiting.

If you have a chronic condition such as diabetes or hypertension, you should not eat spicy food. This is because the increased secretion of stomach acid can irritate the walls of your stomach. Similarly, if you have a heart condition, spicy food can aggravate your condition. You should always consult your doctor if you have any GI or cardiovascular disorders.

Capsaicin in peppers has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. That’s why some experts say it can be beneficial to your health. But it’s not a good idea to eat hot peppers if you’re allergic to them. Those who are allergic to the chemical can have serious reactions.

There is also the risk of aspiration, or vomit, if you ingest too much hot sauce. This is more likely to happen to people with weak circulatory systems. If you are severely dehydrated, you could die. Fortunately, drinking water will provide momentary relief.

Another possibility is that you will develop peptic ulcers, which are sores in the lining of the stomach. Peptic ulcers are painful and can be life-threatening. Sores on the esophagus are also painful. With spicy foods, your body will increase the secretion of acids in your stomach, which can irritate the esophagus wall.

Spicy foods can also aggravate other GI disorders. These include GERD, IBS, and Crohn’s disease. Although some people who have these GI disorders may experience mild pain from spices, those who suffer from them can still benefit from adding them to their diet.

Although these spicy food dangers are real, there is no evidence that eating spicy foods causes them. In fact, research has shown that hot peppers have no negative impact on the health of most people. As a matter of fact, some experts believe that the heat in chili peppers is actually beneficial to your overall health. Moreover, if you do decide to consume hot sauce, experts suggest you choose a brand that has low levels of capsaicin.