We sometimes need to experience something tragic before we recognize the danger around us. That is why one woman is now warning other people not to become addicted to energy drinks. She is letting them know it could affect their health in a very negative way. After all, she experienced it for herself.
Samantha Sharpe is a 33-year-old woman from Leicester, UK. As a working mother, she needed something to help herself get through the day so she started drinking energy drinks. She even went overboard, consuming up to six of those energy drinks daily.
The caffeine and sugar in the energy drinks soon started to affect her health. They were doing a good job of keeping her going but then she would have a blood sugar crash and her heart would start racing. At that point, she felt tired again so she would reach for another energy drink. “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 said.
“It would give me headaches, I’d be grumpy, and I’d need another one to keep me going,” she added. Sharpe was working as a cleaner in 2014 to help make ends meet for her family.
“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 would ignore the warning signs she was experiencing at first and she wasn’t aware of what was happening inside her. “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.”
She was drinking up to six cans of energy drinks every day in 2014. She continued to drink that much for about 4 years. At that point, she felt that she should go to the doctor because she started having blackouts.
Samantha went to the doctors after she started to black out.https://t.co/m6LUm2asuy— NottinghamshireLive (@nottslive) May 9, 2019
Her family had been warning her to stop drinking them but she didn’t listen. “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.
Once the blackouts started, she knew something was wrong. A doctor was arrested in 2018 and it was found she had a first-degree heart blockage and it then extended to the second degree.
The pacemaker was fitted into her heart in February 2018 at the Glenfield Hospital. It was only then that she came to terms with how close she was to dying. “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. The issues extended beyond heart problems. She also was close to having type II diabetes because of all of the sugar from the energy drinks and she suffered from kidney stones.
The exact cause was never determined but the doctors did say that “drinking energy drinks has not helped it.”
Sharpe now feels that she has a new lease on life. She no longer blacks out and she works at a pub in the evening. She does have to visit the doctor every six months, however, and the pacemaker needs to be changed every decade.
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.
When she sees little children drinking energy drinks she really feels for them. “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.”
This is a very somber warning for us to stay away from the regular use of energy drinks. If you are thirsty, water is a much better choice.