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Student Left Fighting For His Life After Energy Drinks Caused Heart Failure

Student Left Fighting For His Life After Energy Drinks Caused Heart Failure

He was drinking four cans per day

Amelia Ward

Amelia Ward

A man who developed heart failure after drinking four energy drinks per day over two years is warning others against them.

The 21-year-old, who is unnamed, was drinking two litres of caffeinated drinks a day, before he eventually ended up needing hospital treatment, according to the BMJ.

Doctors wrote the case report on the uni student after he sought medical guidance when he was suffering from shortness of breath and weight loss.

He also had experienced indigestion, heart palpitations and tremors for four months.

Tests showed that he had heart and kidney failure.

Every can he had been drinking contained 160mg of caffeine, meaning he was consuming 640mg a day.

In the UK, the Food Standards Agency says 300mg is considered a safe limit, but the BMJ suggest less is better.


Doctors at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust concluded: "Energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity was felt to be the most likely cause."

The patient was in hospital for 58 days, with doctors considering organ transplants at one stage.

He returned to normal after nine months, but is still likely to need a kidney transplant.

Adding his own story to the report, the patient said: "When I was drinking up to four energy drinks per day, I suffered from tremors and heart palpitations, which interfered with my ability to concentrate on daily tasks and my studies at university.

"I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drink; this also restricted my ability to perform day-to-day tasks and even leisurely activities such as going to the park or taking a walk.

"I was eventually admitted to the intensive care unit. This experience was extremely traumatising.

"I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks and the effect of their contents.

"I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children. I think warning labels, similar to smoking, should be made to illustrate the potential dangers of the ingredients in energy drink."

Cardiff University academics did a survey looking at 176,000 children in Wales, aged between 11 and 16.

They found that one in 16 said they drank energy drinks every day.

Study lead author Dr Kelly Morgan said: "The daily use of energy drinks among a proportion of young people has not declined - and our study reveals a widening disparity in consumption rates between those from low and high socioeconomic groups.

"Marketing campaigns for energy drinks are often aimed at those from more disadvantaged backgrounds. They are also an affordable choice and regularly available at cheaper prices than bottles of water.

"Their popularity is unlikely to wane unless legislative and policy measures are put in place."

Featured Image Credit: (Creative Commons)

Topics: UK News