Q. I have a colostomy and was advised to get plenty of fluids. I began drinking quantities of Earl Grey tea, my favorite.
Since I started drinking this tea, I’ve suffered many painful finger and foot cramps at night. I didn’t connect the two until I read in your column that the flavoring in Earl Grey can affect potassium and cause muscle cramps. I switched to regular black tea.
The cramps have mostly stopped and my lab results are better when it comes to potassium and indications of kidney function. Thank you!
A. A cup or two of Earl Grey tea should not cause most people any problems. Too much, however, may affect the movement of potassium in and out of cells. This could lead to muscle cramps (The Lancet, April 27, 2002).