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Can spicy food be harmful?

Created date

August 23rd, 2011

Hot and spicy foods cause a burning sensation that some people love and some people don t. But can this burn hurt you? The compound that causes the burning sensation is called capsaicin, and spicy foods are also acidic. Science has not revealed much about how these factors can affect your overall health, but for some people, eating spicy foods can have negative effects: According to the American Lung Association, spicy foods may trigger a desire for cigarettes.

  • They may cause sudden warmth in the face, neck, and upper chest (known as a hot flash or hot flush).
  • People with rosacea may experience an exacerbation of their condition.
  • Existing mouth sores can become irritated.
  • People with conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, or Crohn s disease may experience more cramping or diarrhea.
  • They can worsen reflux associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Although spicy foods do not cause peptic ulcers, they can exacerbate symptoms.
  • People with urinary incontinence may have more leakage.
  • On the positive side, people who have changes in their sense of taste or smell or a loss of appetite might find spicy foods more appealing. So if you enjoy the burn of spicy foods, bring on the heat!