Truth about what happens to your body when you swallow chewing gum
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Learning all about the potentially lethal dangers of swallowing chewing gum is one of those shared moments that pretty much everyone had in their childhood.
According to the logic of the playground, if you swallowed gum it would stay in your body for seven years, and if you swallowed too much gum then you were absolutely a goner.
Luckily you can file this one down as nonsense alongside the idea that you can tell if someone likes butter by holding a buttercup under their chin.
As it turns out that the playground is shockingly not the font of all wisdom in the world, those kids who said you'd die if you ate that slightly differently coloured crisp did not have the medical know-how to make that judgment.
While we wouldn't recommend that you take this as licence to swallow all the gum you want, it might help to know exactly what your body does to chewing gum after you gulp it down.
Obviously if you accidentally swallow chewing gum then the first place it's going to go is into your stomach, where the body's internal vat of acid does the crucial job of breaking down the food you eat.
However, the acid can't dissolve the chewing gum so it continues its fantastic voyage through your innards pretty much intact.
Stuff in your stomach eventually receives marching orders whether it's been broken down by the acid or not, and the chewing gum continues its merry way along your digestive tract.
The gum then gets squeezed through your small intestine, which is really not all that small considering it's about seven metres long, and steadfastly continues not to be digested on account of being indigestible.
It then ends up in the large intestine, which is only about a metre and a half long but is called large because it's significantly wider.
This is where your body turns food waste into turds, and normally your swallowed chewing gum will get stuck in the middle of one of these constructed coils of caca and exit your body through the normal way, and preferably end up in your toilet.
Then again, if you swallow loads of gum at once it can build up together and cause a blockage though it must be stressed that this is an incredibly rare.
There have been cases where children have swallowed multiple pieces of gum in a single day and it's ended up blocking their intestines so there are some risks associated with swallowing chewing gum, but if you're sensible about it you'll be fine.
It's probably for the best if you just take our word for it and don't go digging through your poo for days after swallowing chewing gum to make sure it's gone for good, as that's just a bit weird.
It was creepy when Gillian McKeith did it on You Are What You Eat and it would be creepy for you to take it up as a hobby now.