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17-Year-Old Loses Gallbladder After Eating Spicy Cheetos

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A lot of people enjoy spicy food. And depending upon who you ask, that might not be such a terrible indulgence.

In fact, according to SELF magazine, various studies suggest that spicy foods have a few hidden benefits. This research shows that cultures consuming the spiciest dishes actually have improved heart health, and a lower incidence of stroke.

But sometimes, perhaps, you can have far too much of a good thing. And in the case of a Tennessee teenager, that may have led to something called a cholecystectomy.

“Cholecystectomy” is the official medical term for gallbladder removal. Your gallbladder is a pear-shaped organ that sits just below your liver, high on the right side of your abdomen.

Your liver produces bile, and your gallbladder collects and stores it. This process aids in overall digestion.

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Unfortunately, 17-year-old Rene Craighead of Memphis began experiencing digestive distress recently. CBC affiliate WREG-TV reports that she was rushed to the hospital, where the surgery was deemed necessary.

The girl’s mother, also named Rene, contends that the issue is connected to her daughter’s love of spicy snacks including Hot Cheetos and Takis. But before you throw away your stash of favorite snacks, it’s important to hear the whole story.

Rene and her mom reckon that the teen was consuming roughly four bags of these hot-and-spicy munchies around the time she began feeling unwell. “She loves them,” notes the girl’s mother.


Rene’s mom also told WREG-TV that her daughter was eating “big bags,” and would even take them along when she went to school. “Every time I go out she says, ‘Bring me back some Hot Takis, bring me back some Hot Chips,” recalls Rene’s mother.

Most medical experts emphasize that multiple issues often contribute to gallbladder problems, including overall diet and heredity. For example, the National Institutes of Health observes that “being overweight or having obesity may make you more likely to develop gallstones, especially if you are a woman.”

The NIH cites research showing that the bile of obese individuals may carry higher levels of cholesterol. This, in turn, can sometimes lead to gallstones.

Nonetheless, as a result of Rene’s recent medical intervention, an official public response was shared by Frito-Lay. This is the company that makes and markets Cheetos.



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The statement reads as follows: “At Frito-Lay, food safety is always our number one priority, and our snacks meet all applicable food safety regulations as well as our rigorous quality standards. Some consumers may be more sensitive to spicy foods than others and may choose to avoid spicier snacks due to personal preference.”

Similarly, in a statement on behalf of Takis, Buchanan Public Relations reassures consumers that “Takis are safe to eat, but should be enjoyed in moderation as part of a well-balanced diet.”

This latter statement also notes that “Takis ingredients fully comply with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations, and all of the ingredients in each flavor are listed in detail on the label.” According to WREG-TV, the statement advises consumers to “check the serving size before snacking.”

Dr. Cary Cavender, a gastroenterologist at Memphis-based Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, agrees that noshing on extreme levels of spicy snack food may indeed be unwise. “We do see tons of gastritis and ulcer-related stuff due to it,” he told WREG-TV.

So if you’re a huge fan of Takis, Hot Cheetos, and other sizzling tidbits, it’s likely safe to continue savoring them in sensible portions. But if you’re ever tempted to go way overboard, just remember that a burning tongue could turn out to be the least of your worries.

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Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children.
Mary Bittel is a professional writer, marketer, and published author. She's produced content for several respected media organizations, and dozens of major industries including education, animal welfare, healthcare, finance, non-profit, technology, and entertainment. As an accomplished musician, she's also worked in a therapeutic teaching capacity with developmentally disabled children. Additionally, she's an avid animal lover who has spent much of her life rehabilitating abused rescue canines.
Books Written
"The Hidden Treasury: Stories of Wonders and Wanderings"
Location
Illinois
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Music, Marketing, Nutrition, Fitness, Pet Care/Behavior, Cooking, Entertainment




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