Surprising find inside teen’s stomach

A teenager addicted to bubble tea was left in agony after drinking too much of the flavoured East Asian milk drink.

Her obsession led to her hospitalisation, and doctors were stunned to find more than 100 bubble tea "pearls" accumulated inside her and stuck to her digestive tract.

Like many people around the world, the 14-year-old girl, known as Xiao Shen, loves a sweet, milky bubble tea.

But the Chinese teen's love of the popular East Asian drink caused her more trouble than it was worth, leaving her in an emergency department bed surrounded by stunned physicians.

Bubble tea, originally from East Asia, comes in many different flavours.
Bubble tea, originally from East Asia, comes in many different flavours.

Bubble tea comes in many different flavours and is usually filled with a large spoonful of tapioca balls called "pearls" or "boba".

These black, chewy pearls are made from the cassava plant and are often used as a food thickener.

Bubble tea 'pearls' are made from tapioca, a starch extracted from the cassava plant.
Bubble tea 'pearls' are made from tapioca, a starch extracted from the cassava plant.

A report by Chinese media outlet Shaoxing News claimed Xiao Shen complained to her parents of extreme stomach pains late last month.

The teen - who was showing signs of severe bloating - also revealed she hadn't experienced a bowel movement for five days and was struggling to eat.

Her concerned parents raced her to the emergency department of the Zhuji People's Hospital in Zhejiang Province.

Doctors ordered urgent CT scans of the young girl. Picture: Shaoxing News
Doctors ordered urgent CT scans of the young girl. Picture: Shaoxing News

According to the report, Xiao Shen's doctor, Zhang Louzhen, ordered urgent CT scans of her abdomen, and what he found left him completely speechless.

The physician discovered more than 100 tiny "granular shadows" dotted throughout the teenager's digestive tract - from her stomach, through her intestines and down to her anus.

What Dr Zhang found inside his patient left him stunned. Picture: Shaoxing News
What Dr Zhang found inside his patient left him stunned. Picture: Shaoxing News

Dr Zhang also noticed his patient had a "bulging" stomach and asked her what she had been eating recently.

A very sheepish Xiao Shen claimed she drank a bubble tea "five days earlier", but Dr Zhang concluded this significant mass of pearls stuck inside of her was the result of prolonged consumption of bubble tea.

Xiao Shen was prescribed a strong laxative and was able to pass the pearls.

Dr Zhang urged the public not to consume bubble tea pearls as they can be extremely difficult to digest.

He claimed many pearls contain "food additives, thickeners and preservatives", making them toxic for consumers.

 

Continue the conversation @Rhi_lani or email rhian.deutrom@news.com.au



The valuable lesson learned by the Hornets

The valuable lesson learned by the Hornets

Cudgen face Northern United this weekend in an important match.

The huge fines facing Tweed's illegal dumpsters

premium_icon The huge fines facing Tweed's illegal dumpsters

Illegal dumping hit the natural beauty of our region, says council

Terror laws see Tweed signature event cancelled

premium_icon Terror laws see Tweed signature event cancelled

'It's frightening that we have to be treated the same as Sydney'