Saturday, 27 October 2012


Ice cubes in a glass of iced tea. Lighting con...
Ice cubes in a glass of iced tea. Lighting consisted of sunlight coming through the kitchen window, background is my kitchen table. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since we have hot weather all year round in these neck of the woods, it is not surprising that ice cold drinks are very popular choices as thirst quenchers. 

When we are out and about or just hanging with friends on a lazy humid weekend afternoon more often than not, iced tea appear to be the fave drink because of it's sweet tangy taste and the cool refreshing effect it has on our body. 

Well, here is the bad news.  Your favorite iced tea drink has been linked to a potential damage to your natural health!

How will drinking iced tea damage your natural health?

Recent medical reports published in the Journal of Urology states that drinking iced tea may increase the possibility of developing kidney stones that could affect your natural health.  Calcium oxalate is a compound that is found to be very high in iced tea and it will cause kidney stones to develop in your body.  

Frequent consumption of iced tea prevents our body from effectively removing calcium oxalate through the urine.   Because of this, it may cause the calcium oxalate to accumulate and form crystals in the body.  Over time the crystals will grow in size resulting in blockage of the kidney vessels.

When the kidney vessels are blocked, the following effects are:

1. Intense pain will be experienced at the mid to lower region of the back.  

2. Further damage to the kidney from the kidney stones may occur when the flow of urine is blocked from passing out of the body.  

3. Blood vessels of the kidney may also suffer damage as the rough surface of the kidney stone may scratch the epithelial lining of the arteries and veins.

4. Blood in urine.

What are the signs and symptoms?

You may be having kidney stones but may not be aware of it because these oxalate particles do not show any symptoms or signs that it is present in the kidneys.  You will only know they are there when you feel a sudden pain once a vessel of the kidneys is blocked by it.

The unknown factor can pose a danger as the sudden pain may come while you are driving or working with machines, resulting in accidents  

Kidney (Photo credit: Joshua Schwimmer)
The production of kidney stones occurs slowly over time and thus to protect and maintain a natural health, you have to reduce your intake of iced tea from a daily affair to occasionally. 

To drink iced tea occasionally may not have adverse affect on your natural health, but there are people who replace water by drinking iced tea to hydrate their bodies.  Knowing the risks and switching to drinking plain water or substitute with other fresh fruit juice can equally quench thirst in a healthy way.

Treatments for kidney stones

Drugs that are able to dissolve these particles in the kidney are usually adopted.  For some cases, surgery is required by using laser to blast them into smaller sizes allowing the kidney stones to pass out easily.
Localisation of pain caused by kidney stones
Localisation of pain caused by kidney stones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

How to improve your health

If you are an avid iced tea drinker, you may consider weaning yourself from the daily kick  and consider other types of beverages.  

Of course, water is still the best option but if you dislike the bland taste, you may flavor it with a slice of lemon or mix some cut fruits, fruit juices or add honey.

These are healthier options that will boost your health with essential nutrients and fiber and at the same time, get to quench your thirst.

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