A recent health hews story has raised Americans’ awareness regarding the consumption of ice tea. A man from Arkansas experienced a catastrophic kidney failure because of excessive ice tea drinking. This made the hold country think about their drinking habits.
The man went to the hospital last year claiming that he suffered from weakness, fatigue, nausea and aches. After the medical investigations the doctors found huge amounts of Ca salt crystals in his urine. The patient neither had any case history of kidney stones nor had he previously suffered from them.
The 56-year old man admitted that he was usually drinking 16 glasses of ice tea daily, meaning over 100 glasses every week. Dr. Umbar Ghaffar of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock said that this is the only possible cause of the problem and they could not find another reasonable explanation. Dr. Ghaffar together with other two doctors presented the case in New England Journal of Medicine.
The kidneys of the patient were clogged and inflamed by oxalate, a food chemical. Dr. Ghaffar said that the man will probably be on dialysis for the rest of his life.16 cups of tea daily means that the man consumed more than 1500 mg of oxalate, which is 3 to 10 times higher than the average American intake.
Tea is known to be a positive product, but only when consumed moderately. The level of oxalate in it can lead to kidney stones when tea is consumed in large quantities. Oxalate can also be found in rhubarb, nuts, spinach, chocolate and wheat bran. It seems like the man had diabetes, but this was not the cause to his kidney problems. It was not known whether the man drank ice tea sweetened with sugar.
Kidney specialist Dr. Randy Luciano, of Yale School of Medicine considers this case to be very unusual. He had treated people with kidney problems caused by too much oxalate, but he never told his patients to stop drinking tea. The problem with this case was that he drank far too much tea.
Experts say that there should not be any concern about kidney damage as long as you are cautious when drinking tea. They do not advise people to stop consuming tea. As long as you are healthy and drink tea moderately you should not have problems of this kind. There may be problems in cases when one has a history of kidney disease in the family, but otherwise 2 or 3 cups of tea can do no harm.
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