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A 21-year-old student suffered heart failure after drinking an "excessive" amount of energy drinks.
The man was rushed into intensive care after consuming four 500ml drinks a day for two years, a new report suggests.
According to the BMJ Case Report, the student required intensive care treatment and was so ill that medics were considering whether he needed an organ transplant.
He sought care after suffering for four months with shortness of breath and weight loss.
Blood tests, scans and ECG readings revealed that he had both heart and kidney failure, with the latter linked to a long standing and previously undiagnosed condition.
The authors of the reports, from Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust in London, wrote: "We reports a case of severe biventricular heart failure potentially related to excessive energy drink consumption in a 21-year-old man.
"Energy drink-induced cardiotoxicity was felt to be the most likely cause."
They continued that the university student had no medical history besides drinking too many energy drinks, with each can containing 160mg of caffeine. That is far above the recommended daily caffeine intake of 200 to 300mg.
The patient, who has not been named, spent 58 days in hospital, including a stint on the intensive care unit which he described as "traumatising".
The student called for increased warning labels on energy drinks.
He 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.
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"I also suffered from severe migraine headaches which would often occur during the period when I did not drink energy drinks. 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 even 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."
Health experts often preach about the dangers of drinking too many energy drinks.
In very rare cases it can prove fatal, such as for John Reynolds, a 41-year-old fro California, who died from a cardiac arrest linked to his energy drink habit.
- In the News
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