Too much of a good thing can become bad. But one doctor wasn’t prepared for what she discovered when a girl came in complaining of constipation. On May 28th, 14-year-old Xiao Shen (a pseudonym) went into Zhuji People’s Hospital in Zhejiang Province complaining of abdominal pain. After further investigation, it appeared that the young girl had constipation from pearl milk tea.
Screenshot: The Paper
A CT scan revealed hundreds of tapioca pearls were found throughout her gastrointestinal tract, lining along her stomach and throughout the colon. The doctor, identified as Zhang Lou Wei, asked Xiao Shen what she ate recently. She confessed to drinking pearl milk tea five days ago. A laxative was given to help relieve the discomfort and expel the hundreds of tapioca balls.
Constipation from pearl milk tea
Image Source: Shutterstock
Dr Zhang suggested there may be more than meets the eye in this highly unusual case. Xiao Shen may have hidden the fact that she drank so much from her parents in case they scold or embarrass her. And in fact, the sheer number of tapioca balls in Xiao Shen’s body could have accumulated over a longer period of time.
Zhuji City People’s Hospital advised Chinese newspaper The Paper that tapioca pearls aren’t easy to digest. Not only is the starch difficult to break down, merchants include additives to thicken the pearls and enhance the taste. This can lead to gastrointestinal disorders when they can’t be digested.
Screenshot: The Paper
There is doubt amongst the public that the cause of this girl’s unfortunate ordeal is solely down to drinking too much pearl milk tea. A WeChat screenshot shows a user implying the scans indicate traces of heavy metal residue in Xiao Shen’s body. Dr Zhang also suggested that the symptoms shown by this young girl are indicative of heavy metal poisoning. However, no further investigation has been carried out at this time.
Mums and dads, your kids love trying all sorts of sweet stuff, especially pearl milk tea! However, there are underlying reasons why these drinks and snacks are so moreish – there may be additives or extra ingredients that can be harmful to your children’s bodies! Keep an eye out for how much your little ones consume and help them have a balanced diet. Ensure they’re eating enough protein, fruits and vegetables, and drinking enough milk! Your child might get a bit cranky, but his development will thrive and he will thank you for it when he grows up!