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Why you shouldn't swallow chewing gum: explanation of the prohibition rooted in childhood

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Chewing gum is not inherently dangerous when ingested, but it can potentially lead to intestinal blockage

Since childhood, we all remember the horror story about the potential dangers of swallowing gum. Many of us may have accidentally done it once or twice without experiencing catastrophic consequences. So, is the warning about why you shouldn't swallow gum just a myth?

As OBOZREVATEL has found out, the cautionary tale does have some serious grounds. Although gum is entirely safe in its composition and won't transform into something toxic if it enters the digestive system, its shape and size present a potential danger.

Unlike food, chewing gum isn't broken down into separate substances and passes through the human body in a nearly unchanged form. This can lead to intestinal obstruction, especially in children whose intestinal lumen is much narrower. Symptoms may include constipation, nausea, vomiting, and severe headaches.

Another risk associated with swallowing gum is the potential for it to get stuck in the throat, causing suffocation. This is a life-threatening situation, so it's better not to experiment with whether you can swallow gum.

What to do if you swallow gum

First of all, don't panic. There's no need to call an ambulance or demand urgent surgery to remove the gum. Monitor your health carefully, but do not intentionally look for symptoms. Initially, you may feel discomfort in the throat because an unusually large object has just passed through the esophagus. Later, you may experience some unpleasant sensations in your abdomen. These will likely disappear on their own - in 2-3 days, the high alert regimen can be canceled completely. Seek medical help if you have pronounced symptoms of obstruction.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you why you should limit your popcorn consumption.

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