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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, June 16, 2024

Ask Ms. Scientist: post-Halloween candy hangover

Dear Ms. Scientist,

Why does eating candy give me such a bad stomach ache?

–Jennifer A.

Hopefully this Halloween you indulged in chocolate and Laffy Taffy and all things sugary, despite being too old to trick-or-treat! However, the aftermath of all those sweet, individually wrapped, “fun-sized” candies makes for a mean stomachache. When you eat excess amounts of sugar, your insulin levels rise in order to help break down the sugar you are taking in. This insulin helps get the sugar out of your stomach and into your cells, causing an imbalance of low sugar and high insulin. You feel the worst when your body tries to return to a balance! But that’s not the only reason your stomach might hate your mouth for your love of candy. Since sugar is a carbohydrate, it can cause gas. If these sugars aren’t fully digested in the upper intestine, this gas can also cause heartburn as this gas passes through your esophagus. This same gas, though, can get stuck in the lower intestine, causing painful bloating. 

Ask Ms. Scientist will now be written by Julie Spitzer. If you have a burning science question you want her to answer, email it to


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