I ate a water bead. Am I going to die?

Patient

Q: I am 17 and I ate a water bead (you know those beads that expand in water) for a dare. Now I am probably going to die. Hey, at least I'll make it into the papers.

Doctor

A:   Thank you for your question. We are not certain what type of 'water bead' you ingested. If this substance was a desiccant made of silica gel, then this may cause gastrointestinal irritation. If you ingested a very small quantity, then it is likely you will not experience any severe reaction, however, because we are unsure of what you ingested, we recommend that you go to your nearest emergency department or family doctor and to be examined and tested for any life threatening poisoning. Please seek medical attention immediately.

Thank you for consulting AskTheDoctor.com

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