DETROIT (WWJ) – A 47-year-old Detroit woman is recovering after an extreme addiction to tea.

Henry Ford Hospital Bone & Mineral Research Head Sudhaker Rao says the patient drank the equivalent of 100 cups of tea a day for 17 years.  He says she lost all her teeth and doctors at first thought she had cancer, but as it turned out,  she was suffering from a fluoride overdose.

“Among the beverages that contain fluoride, tea actually contains the highest amount of fluoride, however, it is a small quantity in each bag so we don’t drink that many. So if you overflow your system … the kidney is unable to excrete this load of fluoride from this many bags of tea,” said Rao.

“I should give due credit to her – she actually tried very hard and gave up tea and within a few months she started noticing signifacant improvment to her symptoms. However, the good thing is her bones are very strong, she will probably never break them,” he added.

Dr. Rao says the patient is doing much better — but she still has a high bone density– that leaves her bones heavy and sore.  He says she is now hooked on another beverage: Diet Coke.

How does tea come to have fluoride in it? The tea leaves absorb the fluoride through the soil.

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