Video here, in which a man ingests injudicious amounts of increasingly hotter hot sauces. At around 9:00 in the video, he’s in the ER, explaining to the camera about the several abdominal pain he’s experiencing; later on at home, he speaks of how the pain moved over time as the hot sauce moved downstream through his GI tract.
OK, so he went to the ER complaining of severe abdominal pain, and informing the staff there that he’d eaten a bunch of Very Hot sauce. What might they have done to treat him?
Capsaicin’s mode of action on the mammalian body is pretty interesting, and as you say, is not associated with actual burning, acidic or caustic…
Ice cream and cold milk help a lot as milk is an oil-in-water emulsion and the oil dissolves the capsaicin and help carry it through the body…
Capsaicin is also a natural laxative, so they might have given him milk and told him to stay close to the bathroom…which brings up the last fun capsaicin fact - it’s not broken down in the digestive process and comes out as hot as it goes in…
I love hot sauces, I grow lots of hot peppers, I cook with them, but when I over-partake and run for the bath room, Mrs. White always says, “Serves you right…”
In fact capsaicin cream/gel is sometimes used to treat nerve pain on the skin–the burning/stimulation counters the nerve misfires in a way I don’t really understand, though I used to use capsaicin cream for this purpose.
You have two “hot pain” receptors in your nervous system, called TRPV1 and TRPV2. TRPV1 turns on at about 45 deg C, and TRPV2 turns on at about 50 deg C. You start getting actual tissue damage around 50 deg C.
Capsaicin happens to activate the TRPV1 pain receptors.
Capsaicin does not itself cause any tissue damage, in that it doesn’t cause a chemical burn or anything like that. However, it can cause tissue swelling due to your body reacting to what it thinks is burn damage.
The bird equivalent of TRPV1 doesn’t respond to capsaicin, so birds can eat hot peppers and other things containing capsaicin and they don’t feel the heat pain from it.
I’ve always heard that, but despite eating my share of hot-peppery foods, I’ve never experienced any subsequent hot-peppery burning while sitting on the toilet. There must be some digestive breakdown going on. Or maybe dilution with all the non-peppery side dishes on my plate?
Same here. Or at least it doesn’t hurt as much as when I ate it in the first place. It’s probably a combination of dilution with other foods, dissolving in oils, as well as being spread out through the digestive tract so it doesn’t all come out in one “session.”
I want to say I’ve felt a burning sensation in the stomach after eating too many super-hot chillies. Has anyone experienced this? It did not bother me so much later, though, after everything got digested.
I’ve never been able to determine when what I eat will burn coming out of my ass. Sometimes it’s obvious, because I ate a lot of hot food and it burns the next day. Other times it’s not- I’ve had times when I’ve eaten a bunch of hot food and had no issue as it came out, and other times I’ll have had something like a bag of seemingly mild jalapeno chips with a non-spicy sandwich, and it feels like my butt has turned into Kilauea the next day. Can’t say that I’ve had a non-spicy in any way meal that’s burned on the way out though.