We all remember being told about why you should never swallow chewing gum when we were children and it turns out there’s a very good reason why.
If you’ve ever felt tempted to ingest your chewed-up gum ball like you would regular food, think again, because it could lead to disgusting and painful consequences.
This exact situation happened to one couple who were left horrified when they discovered their five-year-old eating chewing gum.
And no, we don't mean just chewing the gum, he fully ate it and we must warn you, the pictures will make your stomach churn.
The concerned parents were told to monitor their son’s condition after calling the poison hotline. Six hours later, the child started experiencing diarrhoea and stomach cramps.
The youngster was rushed to hospital the day after he ate the gum and was presented to the emergency department complaining of abdominal pain and diarrhoea, according to a study from JEM Reports.
Doctors at the hospital began searching for bezoars, which are inedible materials found in the gastrointestinal tract.
Led by Dr Chizite Iheonunekwu from the Cleveland Clinic Akron General, the medical team performed CT scans on the little boy’s stomach and pelvis which is when they discovered the large mass of gum in his stomach.
Doctors discussed the best way to remove the mass over the next two days while the boy remained in hospital.
They decided to perform an esophagoduodenoscopy (EGD) because they were aware that the child had been ‘eating a large amount of chewing gum’.
All the pieces of gum he ate had reportedly blocked 25 percent of his stomach and gastrointestinal tract and there are graphic pictures to prove it.
The gum was finally removed when a metal tube was placed down the child’s throat and it wasn’t an easy process.
It too doctors ‘several passes’ of the EGD to get all of the gum out and the poor boy ‘complained of a sore throat’ before being sent home to recover.
Although chewing gum is designed to be chewed and not swallowed – it is in the name, after all – it is generally harmless if swallowed, according to Mayo Clinic.
Although folklore tells us that swallowed chewing gum sits in your stomach for seven years before it can be digested, this is far from the truth.
Our bodies cannot digest chewing gum and instead it moves relatively intact through the digestive system before being excreted in your stool.
The young boy was probably too young to understand that you have to spit the gum out after its been chewed into a tasteless ball of gunk.
With that said, don’t swallow your chewing gum... Ever!