A previously healthy man in his 50s began having symptoms of abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, generalized jaundice and dark urine among others. Over the previous three weeks he had been drinking 4-5 energy drinks a day, every day. A liver biopsy showed he had Acute hepatitis.
The good news is the patient was treated and appears to have recovered. The takeaway may seem like common sense, don’t drink too many energy drinks. After all, 4-5 does seem a bit excessive.
The risk of liver damage, however, could be potentially higher for folks who are living with hepatitis C, even if they are only having 1 or 2 energy drinks with any type of regularity.
This case study is important because it highlights the fact that many different things can cause hepatitis, and also that everything we put into our bodies goes through our liver.
Liver health (and overall health) should be a focus for everyone, but people living with hepatitis C can use this information to be extra mindful of consuming energy drinks and engaging in a conversation with their medical provider. Much like supplements, consulting your medical provider before consuming energy drinks is a good idea.
A case study is a limited and isolated look at something that’s happened, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take notice and pay attention to it. We of course have to be careful to not try and draw too many broad conclusions from a rare case.
Even so, at the very least it’s a good conversation starter. People consume energy drinks for many reasons, some people like how they taste, other people really enjoy the boost of focus and wakefulness, but over stimulation can be bad both emotionally and physically.
If people are often tired and lethargic it’s always best to address it with a medical provider as opposed to reliance or over consumption of energy drinks (or any stimulant for that matter).