Science

Energy Drinks Side Effects: Hepatitis And More

By Monica U Santos , Nov 15, 2016 10:28 PM EST
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Your energy drink isn’t getting you through the day or like, it’s actually killing you from the inside out. The high niacin levels are what causes liver damage. Niacin, known as vitamin B and nicotinic acid, is an organic compound can lead to headaches, tiredness, nausea, and even skin and mouth lesions. It is also effective as a cholesterol treatment at fairly high doses but too much can cause some serious side effects because it becomes toxic to your body.

Energy Drink Side Effects

As reported by Medical Daily, a construction worker in Florida sought help after developing vomiting, jaundice, and abdominal pain. The 50-year-old man told doctors in the emergency room he was feeling ill for two weeks, with symptoms including abdominal pain, a lack of appetite, nausea, and the vomiting. Originally he thought he developed the flu, but soon "became alarmed when he developed dark urine and generalized jaundice," wrote the doctors in the report.

The doctors asked the man if he is smoking, drink alcohol, or doing illegal drugs. The man received a tattoo in 30 years ago but never had a blood transfusion. He is not also engaged in a high-risk sexual behavior. Also, he doesn't have any family history of liver disease. Despite all of this, one symptom stood out, the consumption of four to five energy drinks per day over the past three weeks. The man originally thought his symptoms were down to a flu-like syndrome.

Dring a physical exam, doctors found the man's abdominal pain was a sign of liver problems. This occurs when the liver has trouble breaking down worn-out red blood cells, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Lab tests revealed high levels of liver enzymes, indicating liver damage, and evidence of chronic hepatitis C. Doctors who treated the man explain that his development of hepatitis was due to energy drink overdose, specifically in vitamin B3 (niacin).

More Energy Drinks Side Effects

Because of the broad collection of ingredients in various energy drinks, it may make people who drink them to be more likely to produce side effects than beverages containing just caffeine alone. Caffeine is often seen as the negative of energy drinks, but large quantities, like vitamins B, often overlooked. Recent research in Australia gathered from 7 years of calls to the Australian Poisons Center possible side effects of energy drinks.

  1. Palpitations / tachycardia
  2. Tremor / shaking
  3. Agitation / restlessness
  4. Gastrointestinal upset
  5. Chest pain / ischemia
  6. Dizziness / syncope
  7. Paresthesia (tingling or numbing of the skin)
  8. Insomnia
  9. Respiratory distress
  10. Headaches

Energy drinks may get you pumped up for the day but it can actually wear you out because of its dehydrating effect. It's a diueretic and consuming more than 1 bottle or can per day can wreak havoc to your health; and can even cause death.

 

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