A TEEN was hospitalised after not having a poo for five days because her stomach and intestines were full of starchy bubble tea balls.
Zhu Li, the 14-year-old treated at Zhuji People's Hospital in East China's Zhejiang Province, is said to be fond of the sweet drink – also known as pearl milk tea or 'boba' tea.
The drink, originally from Taiwan, typically contains dozens of starchy pearl-like tapioca balls, which are notoriously difficult to digest.
The constipated teen was taken to the hospital complaining of severe stomach pain, and told docs she hadn’t been able to do a poo for five days.
Doctor Zhang Louwei ordered scans of the girl's stomach which revealed vast quantities of undigested tapioca balls bunging up her entire digestive system.
The medic estimated there to be hundreds of the starchy spheres, which are the key ingredient in the teenager's favoured beverage.
The girl, who only admitted to having one cup of bubble tea recently, was prescribed with laxatives to help flush them out.
Doctor Zhang said: "She must be hiding the true number of pearl milk tea she had. So many undigested tapioca balls can't all be from just one cup. She must've had quite a few over a short period."
He Yuling, chief of the hospital's emergency department, said: "Bubble tea pearls are made using tapioca, which is already not easy to digest.
"Some companies add thickeners such as gelatin to make the balls more 'al dente'.
"Drinking too much bubble tea can easily lead to gastrointestinal dysfunction."
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