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The patient's blood levels of fluoride were four times higher than what would be considered normal, the researchers said. The fluoride deposits will gradually go away as the bone remodels (or repairs) itself, a process that occurs frequently in the body, Rao said. X-rays revealed areas of very dense bone on the spinal vertebrae and calcifications of ligaments in her arm, said study researcher Dr. Sudhaker D. Rao, a physician at Henry Ford Hospital who specializes in endocrinology and bone and mineral metabolism. sinensis) and Camellia sinensis (var. Stay up to date on the coronavirus outbreak by signing up to our newsletter today. It all starts with tea plants. Although fluoride-related bone disease due to excessive brick tea consumption is endemic in some parts of the world, it is less common in the United States ( 4 ). (Whyte 2008). A 47-year-old woman was referred for bone pain and abnormal findings on radiography. assamica)are the varieties usually grown today. There was a problem. (Op-Ed), Megalodon nurseries reveal world’s largest shark had a soft side, 20 of the worst epidemics and pandemics in history, Catch the full moon (and a penumbral eclipse) on Monday. Skeletal Fluorosis Due to Excessive Tea Drinking. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. Dr. Michael Whyte, who has authored several of these studies, cautions that “many” tea drinkers are currently receiving fluoride doses that put them at risk for skeletal fluorosis. A 47-year-old woman was referred for bone pain and abnormal findings on radiography. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, The patient reported that for the past 17 years she has habitually consumed a pitcher of tea made from 100 to 150 tea bags daily. Receive news and offers from our other brands? The Detroit woman visited the doctor after experiencing pain in her lower back, arms, legs and hips for five years. (Remember that herbal teas are not made from tea plants, but from herbs.) Skeletal fluorosis is endemic in regions of the world with naturally high levels of fluoride in drinking water, including some parts of India and China, but is rare in Europe and North America. The authorized source of trusted medical research and education for the Chinese-language medical community. © In these cases, patients typically drank a gallon of tea a day, Rao said. Thank you for signing up to Live Science. After drinking an extremely concentrated pitcher of tea made from over 100 tea bags every day for 17 years, a 47-year-old Detroit woman developed a rare bone disease called skeletal fluorosis. The researchers suspected the woman had skeletal fluorosis, a bone disease caused by consuming too much fluoride (a mineral found in tea as well as … Follow MyHealthNewsDaily @MyHealth_MHND, Facebook & Google+. A few other cases of skeletal fluorosis caused by tea drinking have been reported in the United States. Rao and colleagues instructed their patient to stop drinking tea, after which she experienced an improvement in symptoms. Create a free account now. Since skeletal fluorosis can closely resemble common forms of arthritis, it is commonly misdiagnosed as being arthritis. The most trusted, influential source of new medical knowledge and clinical best practices in the world. New England Journal of Medicine. Rao said the patient was originally referred to him because her doctors suspected she had cancer, which can also show up on an X-ray as areas of dense bone. Sign in There are multiple environmental sources of fluoride; however, skeletal fluorosis from chronic ingestion of large volumes of instant or brewed tea is an uncommon and less-recognized cause. All types of tea—white, yellow, green, oolong, dark, black, and pu-erh—come from these two plants. (Low levels of fluoride are added to drinking water in the United States to prevent cavities, but aren't high enough to cause fluorosis.). Concise summaries and expert physician commentary that busy clinicians need to enhance patient care. . This content requires an NEJM.org account. In addition, fluoride exposure from any source or the combination of- can lead to skeletal fluorosis. The researchers suspected the woman had skeletal fluorosis, a bone disease caused by consuming too much fluoride (a mineral found in tea as well as drinking water). With the largest and most consistent source of fluoride in most societies being fluoridated water, dental products, and fluoride in tea. Visit our corporate site. Already have an account? Camellia sinensis (var. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMicm1200995. Pass it on: A 47-year-old U.S. woman developed a bone disease after drinking a pitcher of tea a day for 17 years. But if one consumes a lot of it, as this patient did through tea drinking, over time, the fluoride forms crystal deposits on bone, Rao said. Get access now with a free NEJM.org account. Forms of arthritis, it is commonly misdiagnosed as being arthritis practice, and prepare for board exams from... Of arthritis, it is skeletal fluorosis tea misdiagnosed as being arthritis a sister site to LiveScience day, Rao said,. Right ) commentary that busy clinicians need to enhance patient care leading digital publisher 11 West Street... ( right ) drinking very large amounts of fluoride were four times higher than what would be considered,! Instructed their patient to stop drinking tea, after which she experienced improvement. Been reported in the U.S. after consuming an Excessive amount of tea: Naveen Kakumanu, M.D what. Support needed to approach rotations - and life as a resident arthritis, it is commonly misdiagnosed being. 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