WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A 21-year old man is suffering from heart and kidney failure after taking four energy drinks per day for two years.
- The patient experienced shortness of breath, weight loss, and lethargy that made him quit his university studies.
- The patient may need a dual organ transplant.
A 21-year-old who drank four energy drinks every day for around two years is now suffering from heart failure, according to a case report.
According to the report published in the BMJ Case Reports journal, the case of the young man is another proof of the potential adverse cardiovascular effects of energy drinks in individuals who are at risk.
Based on the report, the man has biventricular heart failure which may be caused by too much consumption of energy drink.
The patient suffered shortness of breath on exertion and while lying down, and weight loss for four months before he ended up in intensive care. He also felt unwell and lethargic that he had to stop attending his classes in the university.
The man had been consuming around four 500ml energy drink cans daily, each containing almost 160 milligrams of caffeine, taurine, and other ingredients.
According to the report, the man had tremors and heart palpitations when he was drinking four energy drinks per day, which affected his studies. He also experienced severe migraines when he was not drinking energy drinks, which also interfered with his daily activities.
Tests at the hospital revealed that the man had severe heart and kidney failure that makes him a candidate for a dual organ transplant.
When the patient was taken to the ICU, the patient was already delirious. Besides having memory problems, he also had difficulty moving or speaking, which led to anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
The man was hospitalized for 58 days and was discharged after his heart symptoms and function improved significantly with medication and after quitting the consumption of energy drinks.
According to the authors of the report, the patient will likely need a kidney transplant, and that “it is difficult to predict the clinical course of recovery or potential for relapse.”
The report also said that the man had no other medical history.
The are several other documented cases of heart problems linked to the consumption of energy drinks. However, the
cardiovascular effects of these products remain poorly understood.
According to the authors, the excessive caffeine in the drink may be overstimulating the sympathetic nervous system, potentially contributing to heart failure. Energy drinks can also increase blood pressure and trigger abnormal heart rhythm.
The authors recommend that there should be clear warnings provided about the potential harm that high energy drink consumption can cause to the cardiovascular system.
The patient also said that people should be made more aware of the potential effects of the contents of energy drinks. “I believe they are very addictive and far too accessible to young children,” he said.