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Swallowed Gum Takes a Long Time to Digest

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posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 05:59 PM
Remember being told when you were young not to swallow gum because it takes months to digest it?

The Claim: Swallowed Gum Takes a Long Time to Digest

For generations, parents have told their children never to swallow chewing gum, lest it sit undigested for days, weeks or even years.

This is, for the most part, an old wives’ tale. Swallowed chewing gum typically passes through the digestive tract without harm and is eliminated at the same rate as other foods.

But, there are rare occasions when gum can cause digestive problems.

The medical literature contains several case reports of people, mostly small children, who developed intestinal obstructions because they had a habit of swallowing their gum. A 1998 study in the journal Pediatrics, for example, described three children who came to a clinic with intestinal pain, constipation and other symptoms, and were found to have small masses of chewing gum in their guts. One was a 4-year-old boy who “always swallowed his gum after chewing five to seven pieces each day.” Another was a 4-year-old girl.

Three other studies, including one in The American Journal of Diseases of Children, describe similar cases. In most, the young patients were fine after removal of the obstructions. The phenomenon is rare, the studies noted. But they might also serve as a cautionary tale for the parents of small children, particularly those with a strong fondness for gum.

So there you have it. Swallowing gum is for the most part passed thru the body like any other food, BUT, on rare occasions can cause digestive problems!

So I guess it's, swallow at your own risk.

[edit on 28/8/07 by Keyhole]

posted on Aug, 28 2007 @ 07:21 PM
I think it's best not to swallow gum. We've all done it but it's best not to I think.

intestinal blockage.

posted on Oct, 20 2007 @ 08:21 PM
true true, i have on occasion swallowed my gum but its real hard too, might get it lodged in ma esophogus.

So i guess it is ok once in a while, but still not very good for some people.

Thanks for the tip!

posted on Oct, 22 2007 @ 05:10 PM
Gum doesn't take years to digest, but a lot longer than 'normal' food.

I usually don't swallow it, because it can take a week or more to digest, and isn't just easier to throw it away outside or the thrash can? That's what I do.

posted on Nov, 10 2007 @ 03:36 AM
My mother always made me paranoid telling me that if I swallowed gum it would take 4 years to digest..not that that stopped me, I just got really paranoid after I did.

posted on Jan, 25 2008 @ 12:46 AM
I've swallowed my gum since i was small even though i was told not too, figured it was better there than the bottom of your shoe.

posted on Jan, 25 2008 @ 02:35 AM
Whew! That is sure one good news. And I thought I was still 'stuck' with that one and only gum that I swallowed whiles I a child. I guess I know better than not to believe everything told to me.

[edit on 2008-1-25 by pikypiky]

posted on Feb, 18 2008 @ 02:52 AM
so what happens if you swallow nicarette gum?

ok seriously, good research! i was always told it took longer, some people tried to get me to believe that it took 7 years to digest gum... i was wondering why I never felt full after swallowing so many pieces.

posted on Dec, 9 2008 @ 04:08 PM

posted on Dec, 9 2008 @ 04:44 PM
reply to post by Methuselah

I always used to swallow my gum, and once when I was chewing nicorette I accidently swallowed it. Damn it hurt. I only puked twice, but the stomach ache was crippling. I still can't chew the stuff, had to go with the patch.

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