Article about Red Bull “energy” drinks, from

Another warning about those so called “energy” drinks…

Red Bull addict who drank 20 cans a day had liver so damaged doctors thought she was an alcoholic

mother from Devon (Mary Allwood) has had to kick her Red Bull habit after her addiction to the energy drink left her with a liver twice the size it should have been.

Mary Allwood, 26, was drinking the equivalent of 16 Mars Bars in sugar daily and as much caffeine found in 17 cups of coffee.

She damaged her liver so badly, doctors thought she was an alcoholic.

Ms. Allwood would stash the cans all over the house and spent nearly £2,300 a year on the drinks.

She was forced to face her addiction when she was admitted to hospital with severe pain.

An MRI scan revealed the damage the sugar had done to her liver.

Worried doctors thought she was an alcoholic – until she revealed her Red Bull addiction.

Five months ago, she went ‘cold turkey’, and a test last week showed her liver is back to normal.

She said: “I needed it and I didn’t care at the time what damage it was doing to me.

“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.

“At first I would feel as if it would give me a buzz and energy, but eventually it wouldn’t give me energy – I just needed it.

“I needed the taste and fizzyness. It was my heroin. I would feel awful if I didn’t have it.

“Now the thought that anyone can go to the shops and buy it makes me so worried. I think it should be treated as if it is alcohol and cigarettes.”

She initially started drinking it at age 22, in order to get more energy.

This worked for a few months, but she relied on having more and more until she was drinking 20 cans a day.

Ms. Allwood drank two as soon as she woke up, then continued throughout the day.

“If I didn’t have any in the fridge I would walk to the shop and get two,” she revealed.

“I’d drink the first one in three sips, and then try and make the second one last longer.

“I would go to the supermarket and get 10 multipacks at a time. I’d tell the person at the till that I had a restaurant and was buying them for that reason.”

She went from a size 16 to a size 24 – but after she tackled her addiction, she managed to lose the weight.

Ms. Allwood swapped her Red Bulls for water, and at first experienced withdrawal symptoms including mood changes and shakes, but is now back to normal.

“It was really hard and there were times when I bought one, opened it, but I never drank it,” she said

“I tried a drop on my tongue and it tasted like pure sugar. I’ll never go back to how I was now.

“Now I think the rules should be changed and it should be treated in a similar way to cigarettes, with the blank packaging.”


Article – Fatty liver disease: the frightening epidemic affecting one in three Australians

I have changed my diet several times during the years, I have stopped eating sugar several times, and been doing that for a long time some times – it feels so much better without it, but it’s difficult to avoid it all the time… the problem is many times the hidden sugar in food, to be really aware of where the traps are… but I am getting better and better at avoiding it 🙂
This is an interesting article about the issue – people often say that they don’t drink alcohol, so they shouldn’t have any problems with the liver, but it could be problems anyway…

Fatty liver disease: the frightening epidemic affecting one in three Australians

For years, John Hatty​ was a senior businessman travelling the world. The former scientist’s job with a mining company took him to many fine restaurants where he would consume what he now calls his “three enemies” – sugar, salt and fat.

But this all came to a halt when the 63-year-old discovered he had non-alcoholic fatty liver disease – a lesser known complication of obesity that now affects about one in three Australians.

About 18 months ago, Mr Hatty, a father of four, was told the disease was causing catastrophic damage to his liver – an essential organ that breaks down food, removes toxins and regulates our metabolism.
While the disease does not produce symptoms for 90 to 95 per cent of people, it was causing fluid to build up in his abdomen. It was also triggering frightening lapses of consciousness, including one that put him in intensive care for three days.

“My specialist said you have two choices. If you don’t get a liver transplant, you have two bad years ahead of you. And if you do get a liver transplant, there’s every chance you will get two good decades,” he said.

This year, Mr Hatty became one of a growing number of Australians to receive a liver transplant for the condition which kills about 2500 people a year.

Liver specialists say that with two thirds of Australians now overweight, the condition is exploding. And while it once affected mostly older men, it can now be found in people in their 20s.

Associate Professor Paul Gow, a senior liver specialist at the Austin Hospital, said although some people of a healthy weight suffered from fatty liver disease, suggesting a genetic factor, most people with it are obese.

He said mounting research suggested it may be caused by fructose (a sweetener found in many processed foods) and chemicals known as “advanced glycation end products” (AGEs), which are produced when foods high in protein and fat are fried.

“We’re having more pre-prepared foods which tend to have more AGEs in them and it’s making our livers sick,” he said.

Associate Professor Gow said about 5-10 per cent of people experience potentially fatal consequences of it, including cirrhosis, cancer and liver failure. The trouble is, by the time you have these problems, it’s usually too late.

The only treatment is a transplant, and you may not qualify for the procedure or receive a donation in time. The disease can be diagnosed by a blood test which sometimes leads to an ultrasound and biopsy.

Dr Anthony Rode, a liver specialist at Epworth, said while fatty liver disease is potentially curable with weight loss, only about 20 per cent of his patients lost weight and kept it off. This is despite his clinic including dieticians, psychologists and bariatric surgeons to help people. With no signs of the obesity epidemic slowing, he is worried about how many people would suffer from it in the future.

“This is going to overwhelm the health system,” he said. “It’s huge.”

As Mr Hatty continues to lose weight after his transplant, he hopes his story will raise awareness of the disease and encourage people to become organ donors.

“There’s a big scar on my body that looks like an L for love,” he said. “I’m so grateful.”

July 2020