In the spirit of the holiday season, many people will be treating themselves to wonderfully fatty and rich foods. Many of us will also indulge a wee bit too much. As someone who would just assume eat the entire pumpkin pie, I wondered.....
"Can you eat so much food that your stomach will literally burst?"
"Interstingly enough, you can rupture your stomach if you eat too much," says Dr. Rachel Vreeman, co-author of "Don't Cross Your Eyes ... They'll Get Stuck That Way!" and assistant professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. "It is possible, but it's very, very rare."
The human stomach can hold about one to one and a half liters of "stuff and thangs." According to some pathologists, the stomach can handle up to three liters, but you risk rupture at the five liter point.
For reference, when you eat to the point that you think you may vomit, you are probably at the one to one and a half liters level. Let that sink in. You have to power through that sensation and up your food intake to the level that will cause a stomach rupture. At some point during this feast your gag reflex should kick in, but some people either have a form of disorderd eating, or limited mental capacity.
According to Vreeman, "They have unusual eating habits to an extent that their bodies’ reflexes no longer respond as they normally do," Vreeman explains. "Their bodies’ reflexes have been ignored or abused for so long that they no longer vomit at the appropriate time. And then once the stomach gets to this extremely distended point, the stomach muscles are too stretched out to be strong enough to vomit the food out."
So what happens if vomiting is a no go? Well, all of that fluid has to go somewhere and this large volume of food is putting pressure on your stomach wall. So much pressure that the tissue will tear and the stomach contents will be pushed into the body, causing infection.
Are you at risk for rupturing your stomach at the Thanksgiving or Christmas table? Probably not. "Even if you're starting to feel a bit sick or tired and overwhelmed from eating so much at Thanksgiving, you're still far, far away from the scenario where you're going to make your stomach actually explode," Vreeman assures.
I can't help but imagine that eating until your stomach bursts may feel a bit like this.....
(Medical Information Source;BodyOdd)