Mum downs so many energy drinks she needs pacemaker in ‘habit worse than heroin’
A mum-of-three who drank six cans of energy drink every DAY now needs a pacemaker.
Samantha Sharpe began to experience blackouts aged 32 after four years of binging on the sugar-packed beverages.
The now 33-year-old also began to suffer with kidney stones and was told she was on the verge of Type Two diabetes due to the amount of sugar she was consuming daily.
Now she is warning others of the dangerous health consequences of energy drinks.
"I have three children and I work so it was daily life that pushed me to drinking the energy drinks," she told Leicestershire Live.
"I work in the evenings so it got me through the day.
"It woke me up and got me a bit hyper.
"I also had eight months off work, which didn't help how many I was drinking.
"In 2014 I was drinking five or six a day until I had the pacemaker fitted in February 2018."
Samantha, who now works evenings in a pub, was a cleaner when her energy drink addiction was at its height.
"It got to the point where I was drinking five energy drinks a day," she said.
"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.
"It would give me headaches , I'd be grumpy, and I'd need another one to keep me going.
"I wouldn't sleep and I had an overwhelming feeling of doom when trying to sleep.
"It's something I haven't experienced before, which made me want another one.
"And I'd have the shakes. I felt like a addict to the stuff.
"My family warned me but I didn't listen.
"I went to the doctor over a year ago because I kept blacking out at home.
"I had a first degree heart blockage and it then extended to second degree.
"In February last year at Glenfield Hospital, I had a pacemaker fitted directly into the heart to help my heart function.
"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."
Samantha, who lives in Hamilton said: "Doctors cannot figure out the cause but have said that drinking energy drinks has not helped it.
"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."
After having her pacemaker fitted at the age of 32, Ms Sharpe said she has got a "new lease of life".
She said: "I don't blackout anymore and I can't feel my heart messing up anymore. My heart used to skip beats.
"But I do have to go back to the doctors every six months and I have to have the pacemaker replaced every 10 years.
"I know I shouldn't drink it anymore, but I have had one energy drink since and I could feel my heart racing, my kidneys hurting and a headache coming on.
"I thought to myself 'I can't do this anymore'."
As a result of her health scare, Samantha says now can't stand to see others drinking energy drinks – especially children.
"People do not realise how badly it affects you," she said.
"I have gone up to people previously who are buying the drinks and told them what happened to me.
"It breaks my heart when I see kids doing it.
"There is an age limit, but I still see mums buying it for their children.
"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."
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