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Doctors issue health warning after student’s four-a-day energy drink habit

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Doctors issue health warning after student with four-a-day energy drink habit is left with HEART FAILURE after spending two months in hospital

  • University student, 21, was forced to spend 58 days in hospital, doctors say 
  • He was so ill doctors were considering whether he needed an organ transplant
  • The unnamed student sought care after suffering for months with shortness of breath and weight loss that meant he struggled with his university work

Doctors have issued a warning over the dangers of energy drinks after a student who drank too many developed heart failure.

The 21-year-old university student was forced to spend 58 days in hospital after consuming four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years, they say.

He required a ‘traumatising’ stint in intensive care and was so ill that doctors were considering whether he needed an organ transplant. 

The unnamed student sought care after suffering for months with shortness of breath and weight loss that meant he struggled with his university work.

Blood tests, scans, and ECG readings revealed that he had both heart and kidney failure – where the organs are not doing their job properly. 

The 21-year-old university student was forced to spend 58 days in hospital after consuming four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years (stock image)

The 21-year-old university student was forced to spend 58 days in hospital after consuming four 500ml energy drinks every day for two years (stock image) 

The kidney failure was linked to a long-standing and previously undiagnosed condition. 

Energy drinks – such as Red Bull or Monster – are typically packed with caffeine and sugar and are very popular among teenagers and young adults.

Writing in the British Medical Journal, the authors from Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals in central London, said the man had no medical history other than excessive intake of energy drinks. 

Each can he was drinking contained 160mg of caffeine. A cup of coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine

Each can he was drinking contained 160mg of caffeine. A cup of coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine

Each can he was drinking contained 160mg of caffeine. A cup of coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine.

The doctors concluded: ‘Energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity was felt to be the most likely cause.

‘This case report adds to the growing concern about the potential cardiotoxic effects of energy drinks.’

After nine months, the patient’s heart function appeared to have returned with ‘mildly impaired function’. Writing anonymously, he called for more warning labels on the drinks.

‘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,’ he said. ‘I also suffered from severe migraine headaches, which would often occur during the periods when I did not drink energy drinks.

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

‘I think there should be more awareness about energy drinks. 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.’

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