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Wednesday, 19 Jun 2019

A teenager sent to hospital after 100 bubble tea pearls found in her bowels

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Doctors noticed the small circular shadows after taking a CT scanDoctors noticed the small circular shadows after taking a CT scan

News24xx.com - A teenager sent to hospital after five days of constipation was found to have more than 100 undigested bubble tea pearls in her bowels. 

The girl, 14, who lives in the Zhejiang province of China, told her parents she was unable to eat and was suffering from stomach pains. 

She was taken to hospital in the evening of May 28, after experiencing five days of the bowel troubles. However, doctors at the Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital were unable to immediately identify the cause of her issues. 

A CT scan was later performed which showed over one hundred small spheres throughout her colon and stomach, which doctors realised were undigested tapioca pearls from bubble tea.


The pearls were found throughout her digestive system including her stomach and in both intestines. Bubble tea, or boba, is a popular milk or fruit drink in Asia which has grown in popularity in the UK in recent years. 

The drink first became popular in Taiwan in the 1980s and has since spread worldwide. One of the hallmarks of the beverage are the chewy tapioca balls with either a milk or fruit tea base, which is usually served cold.

The 14-year-old girl told doctors that she had only had one bubble tea five days before her trip to hospital. Doctor Zhang Louzhen, who treated the teenager, said she must have been eating lots of the pearls for an extended period of time to cause the build up seen in the scans. 

He believed the girl may have been hiding the scope of her bubble tea habit from her parents in case she was punished.

The patient was given a prescription for some laxatives to help remove the pearls from her body. The doctor warned the pearls are made of starch and can be difficult for the body to digest. 

Some bubble tea stores may add extra coatings or preservatives to the tapioca pearls which could cause problems if eaten excessively.


 

 

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