26-year-old Mary Allwood, a young mother from England, developed an addiction to energy drinks and reached a point where she was drinking 20 Red Bulls a day for four years. A year ago, she went to the emergency room complaining of pains in her side. The doctors sent her for an MRI which revealed that her liver was twice the normal size.
The doctors who examined her test results were convinced that they belonged to raging alcoholic and she had to explain that alcohol was not her thing. It was energy drinks. Just for comparison, 20 cans of Red Bull contain the equivalent amount of sugar as 17 Mars bars and the same amount of caffeine as 16 cups of coffee. This woman was drinking that every. single. day.
The high concentration of sugar in these drinks can cause a range of health problems if consumed in large quantities. In this case, Mary developed a condition known as fatty liver which usually goes unnoticed until it progresses into end-stage liver failure, requiring a life-saving liver transplant.
Luckily, five months ago, Mary managed to wean herself off of the drinks she couldn’t live without and recent tests have shown that her liver has returned to normal size.
The young mother from Brickstone, England told the Daily Mail, “I needed it and I didn’t care at the time what damage it was doing to me. If I didn’t get my fix I would be miserable and grumpy and it just wasn’t an option – I would make sure I got it. At first I would feel as if it would give me a buzz and energy, but eventually it wouldn’t give me energy – I just needed it. I needed the taste and fizziness. It was my heroin. I would feel awful if I didn’t have it.”
Initially she started drinking it when she was 22 years old to get some energy and initially it worked. But over time, she says, the effects were less pronounced and she needed more and more until she reached her peak at 20 cans a day.
“Now the thought that anyone can go to the shops and buy it makes me so worried. I think it should be treated as if it is alcohol and cigarettes.”
Mary went up 8 pants sizes over the four years of her addiction. She says that she didn’t drink anything but Red Bull during that time. But since her trip to the hospital, Mary changed her diet and swapped the Red Bull for water. She says that during the first month after stopping, she showed signs of withdrawal, including shakes, sweats and weight loss.
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Via: The Daily Mail