A 47-year-old woman from Detroit has developed the rare bone disease Skeletal Fluorosis and lost all of her teeth because of tea.
The woman had been drinking a pitcher of tea made from 100 tea bags every day for 17 years. She went to Henry Ford Hospital after developing pain and stiffness in her back, arms, legs and hips.
Her symptoms were caused by excess consumption of fluoride. After testing, doctors discovered that her fluoride levels were four times higher than is normal. The condition had made her teeth so brittle that they had to be removed, reports The Daily Mail.
Skeletal Fluorosis is rare in the U.S. and in the UK but in some parts of India and China, where there are naturally high levels of fluoride in the water, the condition is more common.
One of the people who treated the woman, Dr Sudhaker Rao, said that she was initially referred to him because it was suspected that she had cancer. He had seen Skeletal Fluorosis before in his home country of India, so he was able to identify the condition when he saw it on the woman’s X-rays.
According to the doctor, excess fluoride is usually removed by the kidneys but, if someone consumes too much of it, then the mineral forms deposits on the bones. The woman has been told to cut down on her tea drinking and is expected to make a full recovery as the fluoride deposits will slowly disappear as her bones repair themselves.