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Drinking Soda Can Paralyze You

June 02, 2009

Doctors are warning that excessive cola consumption can lead to anything from mild weakness to profound muscle paralysis. This is because the drink can cause your blood potassium to drop dangerously low. One Australian ostrich farmer needed emergency care for lung paralysis after drinking large amounts of cola.

Researchers believe that many people risk problems due to their intake. Dr. Clifford Packer says that, “We have every reason to think that it is not rare. With aggressive mass marketing, super-sizing of soft drinks, and the effects of caffeine tolerance and dependence, there is very little doubt that tens of millions of people in industrialized countries drink at least 2-3 liters of cola per day.”

According to Packer, "It follows that the serum potassium levels of these heavy cola drinkers are dropping, in some cases, to dangerously low levels."

Excessive cola consumption has also been linked with obesity, diabetes and tooth and bone problems.

I’ve been warning readers of the dangers of soda since the very beginning of this site over 12 years ago now, and the list of reasons why you’ll want to avoid this beverage like the plague just keeps getting longer as time goes on.

Soda is on my list of the five absolute worst foods and drinks you can consume, and it’s the number one source of calories for most Americans. They account for more than 25 percent of all drinks consumed in the United States.

Currently, the average American drinks more than 60 gallons of soft drinks each year!

Potassium Depletion – The Latest Danger Facing Chronic Soda Drinkers

The latest study of cola-induced hypokalaemia makes a compelling argument that potassium depletion should be added to the long list of soft drink-related health problems.

Hypokalaemia -- abnormally low potassium concentration in your blood -- can manifest clinically by constipation and neuromuscular disorders ranging from muscle weakness to paralysis.

It is bad enough some of your skeletal muscles can be paralyzed by this electrolyte shift, but severe cases can result in cardiac arrhythmias and can kill you.

Normally, having low potassium levels will not cause any major problems as long as you’re healthy. But even mild-to-moderate hypokalaemia may increase your risk of death if you have any of the following health conditions:

  • cardiac ischaemia
  • heart failure
  • left ventricular hypertrophy

The problem is that if you’re a chronic soda drinker, you’re likely to develop obesity, hypertension and diabetes, which in turn will make you more vulnerable to the potentially lethal effects of chronically low potassium levels.

According to the researchers, it appears hypokalaemia can be caused by excessive consumption of three of the most common ingredients in soda: glucose, fructose and caffeine.

"The individual role of each of these ingredients in the pathophysiology of cola-induced hypokalaemia has not been determined and may vary in different patients. However in most of the cases we looked at for our review, caffeine intoxication was thought to play the most important role,” said lead author Dr. Moses Elisaf.

If you’ve never heard of caffeine intoxication, you’re not alone. It’s not often discussed, despite the fact that it may have dire consequences.

Caffeine intoxication is marked by nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, tremors, rapid heartbeats (tachycardia), psychomotor agitation (restlessness and pacing) and in rare cases, death.

However, chronic consumption of caffeine-free soda’s can also lead to potassium depletion because of their high fructose content, which can cause diarrhea.

If you’re still opting for soda as your main beverage choice, the following information may keep you from opening another can.

A Dozen Ways Soda Damages Your Health

The One Step That Can Radically Improve Your Health

The good news about all these shocking health facts is that taking soda off your shopping list is one of the easiest steps you can take to improve your health and longevity.

Replacing soda and other sugary drinks with clean, pure water may be one of the most important dietary changes you can implement that will have a major impact.

Remember, normalizing your insulin levels is one of the most powerful physical actions you can take to lower your risk of cancer along with all the other diseases and long-term chronic health conditions mentioned above. Fortunately, it is also the variable most easily influenced by making healthy food and beverage choices, along with exercise.

Turbo Tap Your Way to Stopping Soda

Energy psychology tools like meridian tapping techniques can be a profoundly simple and inexpensive tool to use if you are challenged to stop your soda habit.

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