“I’d have the shakes. I felt like an addict to the stuff”
“I have three children and I work so it was daily life that pushed me to drinking the energy drinks,” she told Leicester 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.”
While she now has an evening job in a bar, it was when she worked at a cleaner that she was most dependent on the energy drinks: “It got to the point where I was drinking five energy drinks a day,” she says.
“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 an 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.”
The issues with Ms Sharpe’s heart were not the only health problems that occurred.
She also began to suffer with kidney stones and was told she was in danger of developing Type 2 diabetes due to the amount of sugar she was consuming every day.
Samantha, continued: “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’s got a “new lease of life”.
“I don’t black out 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 she 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.
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