Q: Dear Dave,
I am 18 years old and have eaten hot food my entire life, thus my tolerance is quite high. Lately, however, I find myself eating very spicy foods and sauces, and suffering later for it, when it hurts the whole way down! It seems my digestive tract just isn’t as tolerant of the capsaicin as my mouth is. Is there something I can eat with it to help this problem, or any other way to help? Or do I just have to tough it out to enjoy my spicy food?
A: Hello Rick:
If, by "the whole way down," you are saying that you suffer from "jaloproctitis," or painful elimination, there is really not much that you can do for it. As with an allergy sufferer, your body is sensitive to capsaicin. You could try eating ice cream for dessert, as the casein in dairy products has a tendency to neutralize the capsaicin. This works in the mouth, but whether or not it works for the bowels, I just don’t know. But it’s worth a try. There is also pain-relieving creams for the anal area.