Most of us are familiar with the fact that drinking alcohol to excess is bad for the human body. In fact, it can damage the liver and far too many individuals suffer as a result of alcoholism. What might come as a surprise to you is the fact that alcohol is not the only drink that can have such an effect on the liver. As one woman discovered, Red Bull can do the same thing.
When this 26-year-old mother from England went into the hospital, the doctors were convinced that she was an alcoholic. They took a look at her liver and saw how damaged it was and automatically assumed that she abused alcohol. This assumption proved to be false, however, but the truth took a while for the doctors to figure out.
Mary Allwood was the patient, and she was shocked that the doctors kept talking about alcohol and asking her how much she drank on a daily basis. The doctor said that her liver clearly showed signs of alcoholism but Mary wasn’t guilty of drinking alcohol, she was guilty of something else. She admitted to the doctors that she drank at least 12 Red Bulls every day and, in her words, “they looked at me in disgust.”
Most of us would readily agree that red bull is a drink that could be bad for us but when you are drinking 12 cans of Red Bull every day, it can really have an effect on your system. To break it down even further, she was spending $3000 a year on red bull. She was taking in as much sugar and caffeine as 16 cups of coffee and 17 chocolate bars every day.
It was in 2015 that the woman was rushed to the hospital experiencing severe pain. Her liver had doubled in size because of what is in those drinks.
Allwood talked about her addiction to the energy drinks:
“I needed it and I didn’t care at the time what damage it was doing to me,” she said. “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”
Since she was hospitalized, she has gone cold turkey and tests in May 2016 show that her liver is back to normal. She also lost weight.
Her concern is now for other people who may not understand the dangers of drinking Red Bull and other addictive caffeine drinks.
“Now the thought that anyone can go to the shops and buy it makes me so worried,” Allwood said. “I think it should be treated as if it is alcohol and cigarettes.”
She may just be on the something.
According to The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Dawn Report, hospital visits associated with those drinks dramatically increased between 2007-2011.
Kathleen Miller, PhD, who is a research scientist at the University of Buffalo’s research Institute on addictions says that more transparency is needed from these companies.
“Let people know what they are drinking,” Miller says, The Huffington Post reports. “Knowledge is power. The more you tell them, the more they can make intelligent, informed decisions.”
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