Chinese girl suffers constipation for 5 days. The cause? Bubble tea pearls

PHOTO: Pixabay & Weibo

Consider this fair warning for the bubble tea-obsessed.

A 14-year-old girl in China landed herself in hospital, after not being able to move her bowels for five days. 

The girl, who lived in Zhejiang province, complained of being constipated, not being able to eat, and was suffering from stomachaches. According to Chinese media reports, her parents finally sent her to the hospital on May 28.  

Unable to find the cause of her digestive issues, a CT scan was performed, where doctors found many unusual spherical shadows in her abdomen.

Photo: Screenshot from Weibo

Doctors deduced that the shadows were actually around a hundred undigested tapioca pearls from bubble tea she had consumed.

Initially reluctant to reveal what she ate, the girl finally spilled the beans, but insisted that she only drank a cup of bubble tea five days before this incident.

However, Doctor Zhang Louzhen, who treated her, suspected that she may have been hiding the truth for fear of punishment from her parents. He said it would take ingesting a significant amount of pearls for an extended period of time for her condition to be this severe. 

The girl was prescribed some laxatives to relieve her of constipation. 

Another doctor interviewed also issued a warning that bubble tea pearls or boba, which are made out of starch, are actually hard for the body to digest.

In addition, some stores may add thickeners and preservatives to the pearls, and continuous consumption of such ingredients can lead to gastro-intestinal dysfunction. 

As they say, all things in moderation.

kimberlyfoo@asiaone.com

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