This text initially appeared on Spoon U and was written by Colleen Hanson. It has been given minor edits earlier than re-posting.
I think about the pearly gates slowly opening and gleaming upon the Heavens in the identical approach the doorways to my fridge unveil twinkling jars of salsa and glossy bottles of scorching sauce. In highschool, I stored a bottle of Frank’s RedHot in my locker always. Each night time, I sleep in Sriracha boxers and an identical t-shirt. Eggs are incomplete with no beneficiant scoop of habanero salsa on high.
But, the remainder of my physique doesn’t react as pleasantly to spicy meals as my tastebuds do. Abdomen acid creeps up my esophagus whereas my lips tingle and my nostril runs. Shortly after, my insides cramp up and it hits me: I really want to poop. The query is, why does spicy meals make you poop?
Why the heck does this occur?
It begins out with a compound known as capsaicin. Capsaicin is the element in peppers that makes them spicy. It is also an irritant, which is why you are feeling a burning sensation once you eat one thing spicy. Particularly, capsaicin binds to and prompts your TRPV1 receptors. TRPV1 has a number of capabilities in your physique, however considered one of its major duties is regulating temperature. When TRPV1 detects excessive temperatures – like from capsaicin – it alerts to your mind to stimulate ache.
TRPV1 receptors aren’t simply positioned in your mouth. They’re scattered all all through your physique, together with your gastro-intestinal (GI) system. When capsaicin triggers the TRPV1 receptors in your intestines, it makes your GI system cramp up. Principally, your GI system is stimulated greater than regular and will get issues going quicker – making that you must poop ASAP.
Furthermore, your anus really has TRPV1 receptors too. No matter capsaicin is just not absorbed by your physique throughout digestion is later pooped out. That is why it might have burned final time you pooped out spicy curry.
In case you’re planning on ingesting spicy meals, I like to recommend finding the closest restroom in preparation for a fast digestion. Additionally, keep in mind that your anus has TRPV1 receptors too, so no matter you are feeling getting in, you’ll really feel going out. Be sort to your butt.
Thanks to Christine Dones, GI Endoscopy RN at Advocate South Suburban Hospital, for setting the file straight on why spicy meals makes you poop.