One woman has a warning for others: never become addicted to energy drinks—it may cost you your health. She learned this from experience after her health scare.
Samantha Sharpe, 33, from Leicester, United Kingdom, is a working mom of three children, and to keep herself going, she began drinking energy drinks—a lot of them, even up to six a day.
All that sugar and caffeine from the energy drinks soon started to take a toll on her health. Although the concoction would keep her going, a blood sugar crash would occur, her heart would begin racing, and then she would feel tired, which had her reaching for another energy fix. “The drinks made my heart beat faster, which would cause palpitations, then after I would crash when I needed another one, causing my heart rate to drop to 20 beats per minute,” she told LeicesterLive.com.
Mum who drank six cans of energy drink a day now needs a pacemaker https://t.co/ZP1ie2DoQC pic.twitter.com/ClmKorXrIK
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) May 9, 2019
“It would give me headaches, I’d be grumpy, and I’d need another one to keep me going,” she further added. In 2014, Sharpe was working as a cleaner and trying to care for her family, which made it really tough.
“I have three children and I work, so it was daily life that pushed me to drinking the energy drinks,” she said. “I work in the evenings so it got me through the day. It woke me up and got me a bit hyper.”
Sharpe was experiencing some warning signs, but at first, she chose to ignore them, not knowing the damage that was happening to her body. “I wouldn’t sleep and I had an overwhelming feeling of doom when trying to sleep,” Sharpe shared. “It’s something I haven’t experienced before, which made me want another one. And I’d have the shakes. I felt like an addict to the stuff.”
In 2014, Sharpe was drinking up to five or six cans of energy drinks. She continued on the energy drink spree for around four years. However, when she began suffering from blackouts, she knew it was time to visit the doctor.
Samantha went to the doctors after she started to black out.https://t.co/m6LUm2asuy
— NottinghamshireLive (@nottslive) May 9, 2019
Despite being warned by her family on not drinking these energy drinks, Sharpe continued and didn’t listen to them. “My sister, who is a nurse, said the addiction is worse than that of heroin, which I can understand because I needed it to help me be awake,” Sharpe added.
Finally, the blackouts convinced her something was wrong, and indeed it was. When she visited the doctor in 2018, she became aware that she had a first-degree heart blockage, which then extended to the second degree.
After having a pacemaker fitted into her heart at the Glenfield Hospital in February 2018, Sharpe realized how close she had come to losing her life. “The pacemaker had to go through a vein in my leg. It was not a nice experience and my kids had to see me in and out of hospital,” she said. However, Sharpe wasn’t just suffering from heart problems; she also suffered from kidney stones and was on the brink of type 2 diabetes due to the high intake of sugar she was consuming from the energy drinks.
Even though doctors weren’t able to detect the exact cause, they mentioned that “drinking energy drinks has not helped it.”
Since having the pacemaker fitted in 2018, the mom of three said she’s got a “new lease of life.” Sharpe, who works at a pub in the evenings, doesn’t black out anymore. However, she has to visit the doctor every six months and has to have the pacemaker changed every decade.
Energy drink addiction left mom with pacemaker at 32 https://t.co/NA4KE3o7Zw pic.twitter.com/Bpi0QkXQ4B
— New York Post (@nypost) May 9, 2019
Alluding to the effects of energy drinks, Sharpe mentioned: “The effects of energy drinks need to be advertised more. I think everyone knows they aren’t good for you—but no one has ever said why they aren’t.”
“I have gone up to people previously who are buying the drinks and told them what happened to me,” she further added.
Sharpe’s heart breaks seeing children drink energy drinks. She said, “There is an age limit, but I still see moms buying it for their children.”
In 2014, Professor Milou-Daniel Drici, from France, presented research at the ESC Congress 2014 “on energy drinks cause heart problems.” He said: “So-called ‘energy drinks’ are popular in dance clubs and during physical exercise, with people sometimes consuming a number of drinks one after the other. This situation can lead to a number of adverse conditions including angina, cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat) and even sudden death.”
That warning is enough for the rest of us to not consume these drinks on a regular basis. Instead, water would be the best fluid to hydrate yourself with.