PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Flaming hot snack chips is a trend that’s currently on fire. Hot chips and Cheetos are having their moment as some people can’t seem to get enough, but doctors say these snacks aren’t so good for your insides and might be too hot to handle.
Spicy, flaming, jalapeno, hot — that’s the name of the game when it comes to the popular chips.
“Spicy chips are currently a cultural phenomena,” said Dr. Manisha Raja of Parkland Hospital.
Doctors across the country are seeing another trend as hot-chip lovers are complaining of agonizing stomach pain.
“The numbers are quite high, that’s what I have been seeing,” said Raja.
Doctors warn that eating too many spicy treats can irritate stomach lining because of their high acidity levels.
“Leading to gastritis, which can lead to upper abdominal pain that rises in the chest, nausea and vomiting,” explained Raja.
Alarmed parents are also taking kids to the emergency room as the red dust on those treats doesn’t just turn fingertips red.
“Slimy, blood-tinged appearing stool,” said Raja. “It’s not actually blood, it’s the food-coloring in the chips.”
Rene Craighead’s 17-year-old daughter was eating about four bags of hot chips a day.
“She was eating big bags and would take them to school with her,” said Craighead.
The teen had to have her gallbladder removed after feeling sick to her stomach. Her mom believes the spicy chips were to blame.
“I was very surprised my daughter was feeling sick like that,” said Craighead.
Doctors say there are a number of factors that contribute to gallbladder removal.
“It isn’t directly related to chips, but more the lifestyle and eating pattern,” said Raja.
For some people, the spicy snacks can trigger feel-good brain chemicals.
“They can be addictive. Your taste buds’ pleasure centers react to them in a very positive way,” said Raja.
Raja’s recommendation is stick to the serving size.
The makers of the hot snacks stand by the quality and safety of their producing, adding that consumers who are more sensitive to spicy foods should probably limit consumption or avoid them altogether.