Here's What Happens When You Eat Too Many Flamin' Hot Cheetos

Who knew Chester Cheetah was being serious when he described Cheetos as "Dangerously Cheesy"? According to medical experts, the Flamin' Hot variety is just as dangerous as the Cheetos mascot claims in every commercial, because they can easily land you in the hospital if eaten in excess (via CBS News). 

As it turns out, that burning sensation you get on your tongue after eating Flamin' Hot Cheetos is nothing compared to what it can do to your insides. "If it's hot and spicy, it's going to stay hot and spicy the whole way it goes through your system," pediatrician Dr. Eric Higginbotham told CBS News. As the Chief of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Dell Children's Medical Center, Dr. Higginbotham sees Flamin' Hot Cheetos-related health emergencies every single day, often multiple times a day, and it's not just over a simple stomach ache. 

Flamin' Hot Cheetos aren't the easiest thing for your body to digest as it is, so when it's consumed in quantities more than one bag, it can cause gastritis, "an inflammation erosion or irritation of stomach lining." CBS reported. In addition to having reflux and food poisoning-like symptoms, Cheeto-induced gastritis can also lead to ulcers, which can be serious when left untreated.

Red cheeto dust is a red flag

It's not uncommon for spicy foods to cause an upset stomach or a bout of heartburn, but in the case of Flamin' Hot Cheetos, it's not just the spice that's to blame. Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency room physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told ABC News that the signature red Cheeto dust is just as bad. This flavor coating causes the stomach pH to change, thereby contributing to the digestive distress that ultimately results in gastritis. 

Dr. Higginbotham also pointed out to CBS that this red Cheeto dust also makes it difficult to determine if there's blood in your stool, and therefore how serious the gastritis is. Red stool is a side effect of eating Flamin' Hot Cheetos, and it's either due to bleeding caused by a severely irritated digestive tract, or due to the red food coloring passing through the system. Either way, it's a literal red flag from your stomach telling you to slow down with the Flamin' Hot Cheetos. If you want to save yourself a trip to the ER, both Dr. Higginbotham and Dr. Glatter agree: it's best to consume your Cheetos in moderation.