And it burns burns burns...
November 12, 2012 7:48 AM   Subscribe

Any tips for reducing/nullifying the ring of fire after eating spicy foods?

(Trigger warning for scatophobes!)

I've always enjoyed spicy foods, and lately I've been steadily increasing the spiciness by using hot-sauce, sambal, cayenne, etc. I'm talking going through a jar of Sambal Oelek in about a month.

I absolutely love the burning sensation in the mouth, and the rush from eating something really incredibly spicy is close to a drug. I love the eye-watering, the snot production, the stomach burning, everything!

BUT, and this is a big but, the resulting ring of fire 12 hours later is almost incapacitating. It's painful, it's constipating and it can really ruin my day. Whereas a normal bowel movement for me happens like clockwork and is over in 3 minutes, during an intense ring of fire session it can take over 30 minutes, with false-starts and copious TP usage. Even after I'm done, there's an afterburn that's highly disturbing and can take upwards of an hour to leave. This seems to happen whether I eat the peppers raw or cooked, regardless of the particular form of spice used (hot sauce, cayenne pepper or straight up peppers).

So, in this mildly unpleasant vein, does anyone have any tips for reducing the ring of fire? Maybe a pill or a substance I could ingest before or after consumption that would denature the capsaicin molecules in vivo?

(N.b.: In case any confusion remains, the "ring of fire" is the distinct and unpleasant burning sensation around one's rectum when passing a stool following the consumption of spicy foods. I'd guess that it's a simple mucous membrane reaction to undigested capsaicin in the stool, but I'm no doctor so what do I know)
posted by Mons Veneris to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You would probably enjoy Tucks Pads (any generic equivalent will be just as good).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:54 AM on November 12, 2012

posted by beagle at 8:00 AM on November 12, 2012

Best answer: Psyllium husk is your friend. Two dessertspoons mixed into your breakfast cereal will make your poo far more cohesive than adhesive, while leaving it soft and voluminous enough that constipation just won't happen. It's good for your health and it more than pays for itself in reduced toilet paper consumption; you'll even have enough left over for moistened baby wipes.
posted by flabdablet at 8:01 AM on November 12, 2012

I have no cure for you but I thought you'd like to know that we Koreans have a name for your condition, it's called BDS or "Burning Dong-go-mong Sensation". Dong-go-mong is butt hole. So now you know! :)
posted by cazoo at 8:31 AM on November 12, 2012 [14 favorites]

That "previously" above is specifically NOT about the ring of fire. The last sentence of the post is "3) I'm not concerned about the ring of fire here, that's a different phenomenon."
posted by valeries at 9:07 AM on November 12, 2012

There's a very easy and effective solution to this. It involves your index finger, a tub of vaseline, and a motivation to perform an embarrassing insertion of a finger joint first thing in the morning.
posted by Gordion Knott at 3:24 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I eat spicy food to the level of where I can feel the inflammation in my bowels. The ring of fire is almost an afterthought to the preceding day of cramping.

I can support the earlier recommendation of a few tablespoons of unflavored psyllium to a large glass of water. It binds the capsaicin rather effectively and really enhances your overall quality of life.

Nothing else really works that well unless you want to give yourself calcium poisoning with Tums (NB: calcium poisoning from Tums is not a real thing).
posted by hobo gitano de queretaro at 5:41 PM on November 12, 2012

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