Bubble Tea
Bubble Tea, also known as Milk Tea or Boba Tea, is one of the most famous drinks nowadays. However, Bubble Tea lovers should be wary of consuming too much especially after what happened to a 14-year-old girl in China. nadine / Flickr

Bubble tea, also known as milk tea or boba tea, has been gaining popularity recently. The tea-based drink is being sought after everywhere with bubble tea places springing up nearly every day. This drink comes in many flavors and usually contains tapioca ‘pearls’, which are soft, round, and chewy spheres that are usually added to the drink.

Bubble tea is known for its addictive taste, and people don’t usually think twice before they consume this beverage however, what happened to a girl in China may change your mind.

The 14-year-old girl, who hails from Zhejian Province, began having trouble when she did not have any bowel movement for five consecutive days This was followed by extreme stomach pains and a loss of appetite, which prompted her parents to take her to the hospital for a check up on May 28.

As soon as the girl walked in, the doctor noticed that her belly was bulging and found it unusual. The doctor then arranged for a computerized tomography scan of the girl’s abdomen to see what was wrong and what he saw shocked him.

The girl’s stomach was filled with unusual spherical shadows and after careful observation, doctors deduced that the shadows were, in fact, around 100 undigested tapioca pearls from the bubble tea that the girl drank.

The girl was hesitant to reveal what she drank, but after some prodding, she finally admitted to drinking a cup of bubble tea five days prior. Her doctor, Zhang Louzhen, who treated her, suspected that she may not have been telling the truth in fear of punishment from her parents. Louzhen explained to AsiaOne that for a condition to be as severe as the girls, it would take ingesting a significant amount of pearls for an extended period of time.

The girl was prescribed laxatives to help her relieve her constipation and hopefully, get rid of all the undigested tapioca pearls.

The emergency department director of Zhuji People’s Hospital said that the pearls were made with tapioca starch, which is notorious for being difficult to digest, EBC Dongsen News reported. The report also adds that to enhance the taste, many stores may add additives such as thickeners, which could cause gastrointestinal disorders.

So for all the bubble tea lovers out there, make sure to heed this warning and consume the beverage in moderation.