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Spicy Chips Can Hurt Children’s Stomachs

Update Date: Nov 18, 2013 08:03 AM EST

Spicy chips, such as Flamin' Hot Cheetos and Hot Fries can be extremely addictive for children and adults. Even though these snacks might be delicious and very tempting, doctors warn that these spicy snacks could actually be harmful when consumed excessively. In California, a 12-year-old boy sought medical care after he experienced on and off stomach pains for weeks. Andrew Medina was experiencing a burning sensation in his left side after consuming a huge amount of spicy snacks.

According to Medina, he consumes around 20 to 30 bags of spicy snacks each month. When Medina started feeling pain that was similar to a bruise, he asked his mother to take him to the doctors. Medina extreme fondness of spicy snacks caused his stomach pains due to inflammation. Medina stated that he would try his best to stop eating spicy snacks even though it will be a hard task.

Dr. Martha Rivera from the White Memorial Medical Center stated that cases of young children coming in with gastritis, which can be caused by eating too many spicy snacks, is common. Gastritis occurs when the lining of the stomach becomes inflamed or irritated. The severity of the condition can progress slowly or it can occur suddenly with symptoms that include bloating, vomiting, burning and occasionally hiccups.

"We have a population who loves to eat the hot spicy, not real foods, and they come in with these real complaints. It burns when it goes down, it burns when it comes out," said Rivera according to ABC Local. "You set up for ulcerations, erosions and so you can set up to get peptic ulcer disease in these children."

Rivera stated that at her practice, she has been encouraging children to replace spicy snacks with better options, such as string cheese. Rivera is not the only doctor that is concern about the consequences of eating spicy snacks. Pediatricians throughout the country have expressed their concerns over spicy snacks. They stated that overconsumption of these types of snacks have caused unnecessary emergency room visits. Pediatricians like Rivera stressed the importance of getting children to eat healthier in order to avoid health problems, such as gastritis.

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