Tea Image Credit: Flickr/rieh

A 47-year-old American woman who consumed tea equivalent to 100 teabags every day for 17 years has lost all her teeth and has been diagnosed with bone disease.

The woman from Michigan has been diagnosed with skeletal fluorosis - a rare bone disease caused as a result of excessive fluoride in the body.

The woman's first symptoms were pain and stiffness in her, back, arms, legs and hips, following which she visited a doctor at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detriot, Mail Online reported.

Also, the woman's teeth had become very brittle and had to be removed.

With the help of x-rays, it was found that some areas of the woman's spinal vertebrae were abnormally dense while there was calcification in the ligaments of her arms.

When tested, it was found the woman's fluoride levels were four times higher than the required normal level in the body.

Very few people from UK and US are diagnosed with skeletal fluorosis while it is very common in countries such as India and china where the water naturally contains very high levels of fluoride. Apart from water, fluorides are also found in tea.

The recommended amount of fluoride in water is 4 mg per liter whereas the Detroit woman had been consuming about 20 mg of fluoride per day.

The woman initially was thought to have cancer and was referred to Dr Sudhaker Rao at the Henry Ford Hospital. However, he was able to recognise the condition as skeletal fluorosis, because he had come across it in his native country, India.

Rao told Livescience.com that normally, the human body flushes out excess fluoride through the kidneys. But too much consumption of the mineral settles down on the bones as deposits.

He also added that there have been other cases of the same condition in US and that most of the people with this condition have been drinking at least a gallon of tea a day.

With the cutting down of tea intake, the Detroit woman has seen improvement in her condition and is expected to make full recovery as the bones repair themselves and the fluoride deposits are slowly flushed out of the body, the report said.