So you’ve managed to eat some Orbeez (aka water beads). Not the brightest idea, but you’ll probably be fine. There are a few factors you should consider, such as your age and the size of the water beads. You’ll also need an idea of the number you consumed, as well as whether you aspirated any (this means whether you got any of them into your lungs).
Your Age Matters
For the majority of people, your age correlates with the size of your digestive tract. Babies and toddlers are small, and they also have a small/narrow digestive tract which makes them high risk when it comes to eating water beads. Children and young teenagers have a more robust digestive tract and they’ll most likely be fine. Adults should have no trouble passing orbeez, so long as they are normal sized and not of the ‘giant’ variety.
Please note, for this article we will only discuss what happens with teenagers and adults. If you are interested in what to do if your baby/toddler/child has eaten water beads then please check out our article here.
The Size Of The Orbeez Matters
Most orbeez are about half an inch in diameter when enlarged in water. This is good news as pretty much anyone who isn’t a baby or toddler can pass them safely. Some orbeez can get much larger. Often these larger balls are referred to as ‘giant orbeez’ or ‘giant water beads’ and they are a danger to everyone if consumed.
Thankfully, extra large orbeez are rare so we won’t go into detail about them here. However, if you have eaten one, or more, then you should visit the doctor immediately.
Did You Eat Dry Orbeez or Enlarged Ones?
This matters quite a bit as small dry water beads will effect you differently than ones which have already been enlarged in water.
If you eat them enlarged then they are a choking hazard, albeit not a serious one due to their shape. Being small, round and slippery they are quite easy to cough out if they get lodged in your throat. You also won’t be able to eat that many before you start to feel full.
If you eat them small and in their dehydrated form then they aren’t really a choking hazard, unless it’s a baby or perhaps small child eating them. However, they do become a slight risk factor when it comes to passing them through your digestive tract. You can potentially eat dozens, if not hundreds of Orbeez in their dehydrated state. Once inside your stomach they will swell in size over a period of a few hours. Thankfully, they won’t become fully sized as your stomach is full of acid which is not conducive to the growth of Orbeez. Still, even if they only grow to a 1/4 inch, that’s enough to full up your stomach and cause vomiting.
Did You Aspirate Any Orbeez?
The serious danger with consuming small and dehydrated Orbeez really comes from aspirating them. Getting them into your lungs can become a big problem if they get stuck there and enlarge in size from the surrounding moisture. You could suffer from pain, localized swelling or even slight difficulty in breathing. See a doctor immediately you believe that you have aspirated Orbeez or their generic counterparts, water beads.
What Is The Process Of Passing Orbeez Once They Have Made It To The Stomach?
Any Orbeez that aren’t vomited out will pass through you over the next 48 hours or so. Thankfully, Orbeez are non toxic and won’t react with anything in your body. Furthermore, they don’t stick together which mostly eliminates the chance of a blockage. As the Orbeez pass through your intestines they will shrink even further as liquid is drawn out of them. They will safely leave your body in your stool.
Can You Eat Obeez To Lose Weight?
Well, you can but it isn’t a good idea. I realize that we have spent most of the article telling you not to worry too much about eating them, but that doesn’t mean you should.
Water beads have no nutritional content. If you eat them on a regular basis to make yourself feel full then you’ll be starving yourself of the nutrients you need. It’s much wiser to simply go on a diet and fill yourself up with healthy low calorie vegetables.
If you eat too many then you may find yourself vomiting them up 4 or 5 hours later after they have expanded. Embarrassing to say the least.
The main reason though, as mentioned above, is the risk of aspirating them if you eat them in their dry state. Now this is very dangerous, so keep Orbeez out of your mouth!
For the majority of people, eating Orbeez is not a serious issue and won’t require medical intervention. However, there is some risk from aspirating them in their dry state.