Back when we have been kids, our parents warned us not to swallow chewing gum. Some of us still keep in mind those horrible prophecies: 'It'll live in your belly forever!' 'It'll clog up your butt!' Well, the time has finally come to dispel these lingering fears. Here in this article I will tell you what exactly happens when you swallow a chewing gum accidentally.
Chewing gums are sticky and elastic. You can chew them for hours, but you may not witness any changes in their size. It is because of this it is believed that it will stay in the stomach lining and will even cause blockage in the intestine. Indeed our body cannot digest chewing gums, however the belief that it would stay in the digestive tract for seven years isn't true at all. The gum base is insoluble, just like the fiber present in vegetables and seeds. Our bodies do not produce digestive enzymes to break them and so it stays intact even in our belly. But just like any other meals that we eat, it moves through the digestive system and is removed from the body through the stool.
Chewing gum can also additionally lead to blockage of the intestine, but this happens in a very rare case. If someone swallows a large amount of chewing gum and is even suffering from the problem of constipation, it can cause intestine blockage. This mostly happens in the case of kids and for the same reasons they're discouraged to swallow chewing gum frequently. This can lead to extreme pain, vomiting, and constipation. Besides, swallowing chewing gum can also increase the chance of choking.
It takes around 40 hours to several days for the digestive tract to get rid of the gum from the body. It takes more time than meals because it moves slower than different meals in our digestive tract.
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