Swallowing Gum

@carolbee (16231)
United States
October 6, 2008 10:43pm CST
I know someone who chews gum and then swallows it. This person is an adult and has been doing this for years. I wouldn't think the body would like this on a regular basis. Does anyone know the effects of swallowing gum on a constant basis and if it does any harm to the system?
1 person likes this
7 responses
• India
7 Oct 08
Ofcourse it does harm to the body. If the gum is big enough it can obsruct the bowel and could lead to serious complications. Once in a while if swallowed accedentally it can be pushed out by eating more of bananas. But if it is done continuously there is always a risk.
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
7 Oct 08
There are two links above in one of the responses that claim it's ok to swallow gum. Could be confusing here. Thanks for responding.
1 person likes this
• India
7 Oct 08
I feel its just a common sense to know what would happen if you swallow a gum. A gum cannot be digested, well some could be but majority of them are not digested and hence will cause obstrcution in the intestine. Dont you think so?
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@carolbee (16231)
• United States
7 Oct 08
I always heard when I was a kid it wasn't safe to swallow gum. The links above mention it's ok and won't cause problems.
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@lilybug (21145)
• United States
7 Oct 08
I sometimes swallow my gum if I do not have access to a trash can or even a piece of paper to put it in. It just goes right through me. Here is what I found on the subject though. Although chewing gum is designed to be chewed and not swallowed, it isn't harmful if swallowed. An old wives' tale suggests that swallowed gum sits in your stomach for seven years before it can be digested. But this isn't true. If you swallow gum, it's true that your body can't digest it. But the gum doesn't sit in your stomach. It progresses relatively intact through your digestive system and is excreted in your stool. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/digestive-system/AN01006 In rare cases, swallowing a large mass of gum, or many small pieces of gum over a short period of time, can block the digestive tract. Blockages in the digestive system are most likely to happen when gum is swallowed along with other indigestible things (like sunflower seed shells). http://kidshealth.org/teen/question/dieting/swallow_gum.html
@carolbee (16231)
• United States
7 Oct 08
This person does chew alot of gum, the smaller squares and swallows them all. This is done in a short amount of time also. Very interesting articles. Thanks for responding and sharing the information.
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@lilybug (21145)
• United States
7 Oct 08
Hopefully he does not swallow enough for it to ever become a problem for him. I looked it up once before because my son asked me if gum stayed in your stomach if you swallowed it. Someone had told him that after he swallowed some when he was a little younger. Thanks for best response.
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@whittby (3072)
• United States
13 Oct 08
Well, this was an interesting question. Made me look and see what was said about it. The Mayo Clinic had this to say: "Although chewing gum is designed to be chewed and not swallowed, it isn't harmful if swallowed. An old wives' tale suggests that swallowed gum sits in your stomach for seven years before it can be digested. But this isn't true. If you swallow gum, it's true that your body can't digest it. But the gum doesn't sit in your stomach. It progresses relatively intact through your digestive system and is excreted in your stool." I still wouldn't swallow it. I don't even like swallowing a pill - gag......
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@carolbee (16231)
• United States
18 Oct 08
I learned something during this discussion. I always heard it wasn't safe to swallow gum. Guess it doesn't hurt! Thanks for responding.
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7 Oct 08
Hi carolbee, That is disgusting, but I wouldn't like to look inside his body, I don't know what it will do to his insides. Love & Hugs. Tamara
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@carolbee (16231)
• United States
7 Oct 08
I always thought it was something we shouldn't do so I never did and spit it out when I was finished chewing or when it lost the flavor. Thanks for responding.
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@stephcjh (32303)
• United States
7 Oct 08
I have always heard that it is not good to swallow gum. Your body does not digest it like regular food. It can also make you constipated also.
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@carolbee (16231)
• United States
7 Oct 08
I grew up with this theory also. Thanks for responding.
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@sedel1027 (17851)
• United States
7 Oct 08
Nope. Unless they have some sort of medical problem it will just pass through like all other "food".
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@carolbee (16231)
• United States
7 Oct 08
I guess small amounts won't hurt anyone. Thanks for responding.
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@tyc415 (5706)
• United States
7 Oct 08
I know when I was little that my mother always told me not to swallow gum because it would stay in my system for years and I believed it. I heard one day someone asking a doctor about that because their child swallowed gum and they had heard the same thing as I was told and the doctor said that it does not stay in your body and your body digests it just like it does anything else. I am not sure what show I saw this on.
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@carolbee (16231)
• United States
7 Oct 08
This is good to know. I never knew this information so thanks so much for responding.
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