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Energy Drinks Send People to the ER

by Kimberly Hays January 29th, 2013 | Health News
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drinksThe government has released the results of a recent study that states an increase in the number of people going to the emergency room for treatment after drinking energy drinks. The study reports there are double the number of incidents from four years ago. Also during this period, energy drink sales have risen throughout the country, with a variety of brands and flavors, and with their popularity soaring.

Most cases of emergency room trips involve teenagers and young adults. With the drinks being available in convenience stores, and due to their popularity and neon cans, younger people think it is the ‘cool’ drink to consume. College students also find it to be energizing when they are cramming for exams.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration explains that it is a “rising public health problem.” The effects that are of concern are a a rapid heartbeat, nervousness, anxiety that causes sleep disorders, and even seizures. Many physicians report that they have seen a rise in patients who have sought out treatment for these symptoms who have said that they had consumed energy drinks prior to the issues.

As with most things, knowledge is power. Know what you are consuming when you choose an energy drink as a stimulant. Most energy drinks equal the amount of caffeine that is in five cups of coffee. Consuming three of these would be the equivalent of taking a stress test in the hospital. For people with underlying heart conditions, this could have negative results. Another concern is that many people also consume energy drinks with alcohol, or while they are on prescribed medications. This is a real concern for anyone taking stimulants like Ritalin or Adderall.

Concerns have risen after reports of 18 deaths in the past year that are believed to have been linked to the consumption of energy drinks. This includes the widely publicized death of a Maryland girl who collapsed and died after drinking two energy drinks; however, the makers of the drink, called Monster, disagree with this report, and do not feel the drink was the cause of death.

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