A teenage girl thought she had a typical stomach ache, but doctors found 100 undigested bubble tea balls in her system

Brent Hofacker/ShutterstockBubble tea.
  • A 14-year-old girl from China had extreme stomach pain.
  • Her parents brought her to the hospital, where she told doctors she had been constipated for five days and had little appetite.
  • Her emergency room doctor called for a CT scan.
  • The results showed that she had 100 undigested bubble tea balls inside her stomach.
  • She was prescribed a strong laxative.
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It started with a stomach ache.

Xiao Shen, a pseudonym for a 14-year-old girl from China, complained to her parents about severe stomach pains and constipation, according to Shaoxing News, a Chinese media outlet.

So her parents brought her to Zhuji People’s Hospital in Zhejiang Province where doctor Louzhen Zhang called for a CT scan upon seeing her bloated, “bulging” stomach, according to a translation from News.com.au.


Read more:
Over 100 bubble tea balls got stuck in a teen’s digestive tract and made her constipated for nearly a week. Here’s how that’s possible.

The results showed that the teen’s digestive tract was lined with “granular shadows.” The shadows could be seen in her stomach, intestines, and even in her anus, Shaoxing New reported.

Zhang asked Shen if she had recently eaten anything that might cause the shadows to appear. Shen told the doctor that about five days beforehand she’d consumed bubble tea.

Zhang said the teen had likely amassed around 100 undigested bubble tea balls inside her stomach over a period of time in which she drank the beverage frequently.

Bubble tea, for the uninitiated, is a sweet beverage usually made with iced tea and sweet milk. The “bubbles” are small tapioca balls, which are sometimes called pearls.

Zhang said the bubbles are difficult to digest because they’re sometimes made with “food additives, thickeners, and preservatives,” according to Shaoxing News. He prescribed the teen with a laxative and sent her home.

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