She came down with liver damage after contracting hepatitis from some Chinese herbal green tea.
A 16-year-old girl in the UK who drank three cups of green tea each day has developed hepatitis, and is now turning yellow because of liver damage.
The girl began feeling dizzy and sick, and also reported joint and stomach pains a little while after she had started drinking green tea to lose weight, according to a Daily Mail report.
The tea had been purchased online, and that may have been where she went wrong, according to the report — there was an ingredient in the tea that doctors believe caused the illness.
As a result of the hepatitis diagnosis, she has begun to turn yellow and had her liver swell, a severe inflammation that was initially diagnosed as a urinary tract infection that was treated with antibiotics. But her symptoms only got worse after two doses, so she went to a hospital in Birmingham.
She is turning yellow due to a condition called jaundize, which is when her skin and the whites of her eyes start to turn that color. Her case was described in the journal BMJ Case Reports.
Her condition has gotten so bad that doctors have given her immediate attention.
Hepatitis can have a number of causes. It can either arise as a result of being infected with a virus, or from excessive alcohol consumption that wreaks havoc on the liver, or in this case where a rogue ingredient in some green tea causes the damage.
The girl, who originally hails from Yemen, said it couldn’t be alcohol because she doesn’t drink, nor has she taken any drugs, illicit or over the counter. She also says she has not been traveling abroad, nor has she gotten a blood transfusion.
It was through further questioning that she acknowledged she had ordered a Chiense green tea off the Internet, which was advertised as helping the consumer lose weight. She purchased a total of two boxes that had 100 tea bags, and said she had been drinking three cups per day for a few months now. She admitted she had no idea what was in the tea, as the ingredients were in Chinese.
After finding this out, doctors told her to stop drinking it immediately. They gave her an IV with fluids that caused the swelling of her liver to go down, and they looked deeper into the tea’s ingredients.
They found one ingredient that was suspect: Camellia senensis. The leaves and buds of this shrub are used in the drink, and doctors believe this may be the culprit.
After a few days in the hospital, she was sent home, and two months later her liver had returned to normal. A good news story for the girl, but a cautionary tale for those who turn to herbal remedies, particularly those advertised over the Internet. Many of these herbal remedies are unregulated and widely available from suspect sources, and many times the consumer doesn’t know what’s in them.
Normally, green tea is a very safe and even health drink, with antioxidants that can be very beneficial to one’s body. But one should always inspect the ingredients, particularly when purchasing online. Sometimes, as in this case, ingredients are added to the green tea that don’t need to be there.
The girl said she had lost a couple of pounds but then started to have terrible pains in her joints and felt very dizzy and sick, according to the Daily Mail report.
She said she was “very scared” and had lots of tests done when she was admitted to the hospital. She had no idea what was going on. Now that she looks back, she realizes it all started with the tea, she said according to the report. She vowed never to get tea or weight loss pills online ever again, and advised people to be careful about what they purchase and any side effects they might have.
Hepatitis is essentially a medical condition where the liver becomes inflamed due to certain destructive cells present in the organ’s tissue. Sometimes, there can be limited or no symptoms, but jaundice, or turning yellow, is often found in victims. Other symptoms include poor appetite and malaise. Hepatitis is defined as acute when it is less than six months old, and chronic when it is older than that.
Sometimes, hepatitis will heal on its own, but in more severe cases it will progress to chronic hepatitis, and will sometimes result in acute liver failure. Chronic hepatitis may have no symptoms, but it can progress to fibrosis, which is a scarring of the liver, and eventually cirrhosis, which is liver failure.
The most common cause of hepatitis is from viruses, although autoimmune diseases can cause it as well. A person can actually do it to themselves with toxic substances like excessive alcohol consumption, or certain medications like paracetamol.
Hepatitis is derived from the Greek words for liver and inflammation.