Mary Allwood ran her day the same way for four years, as a stay-at-home mother to one, doing typical things like grocery shop, playdates, and chores around the house. However, while all that’s ordinary was seen from the outside, the mom had a secret she kept hidden throughout her house until her husband saw what was happening.
Starting from the time she got up at 8 a.m., the mother’s secret began, making excuses to the cashier at the grocery store for what she was buying so they didn’t think she was strange. She was 22-years-old when her obsession started, but by the time she was 26, there was no denying what was going on when she made a desperate phone.
Like many mothers, Allwood was short on energy and long of parenting hours, so to help her get through her day, she started it with a Red Bull energy drink. Sipping one in the morning didn’t seem like anything odd, and her husband never had reason to question it. However, soon that one drink turned into 20 a day, amounting to more sugar and caffeine than her body could handle, and it showed.
After the buzz wore off from one energy drink, Allwood told the Daily Mail that she would immediately run to the store to grab two more, and guzzle the first one in three swallows, while sipping on the next at a slower pace to make it last a little longer. It didn’t take long before her body craved it and relied on the drink like a drug. Soon, the mother from the United Kingdom was buying cases at a time each day to feed her addiction, telling the cashier that she owned a restaurant and she was buying them to for that reason.
Spending about $3,300 a year on Red Bull, Allwood hid cases of them around her house so nobody, including her husband, knew how much she was actually drinking. Her addiction caught up her when one day in November of 2015 she suddenly experienced excruciating pain on her side and called an ambulance for help. She was rushed to the hospital where doctors found her liver was twice the size it should be, and they were convinced she was an alcoholic, when she finally spewed the truth.
Allwood’s weight had swelled from a size 16 to 24 since her Red Bull habit began, because of all of the sugar in the drink, which also took a toll on her liver. The vital organ was grossly inflamed as a direct result of excessive consumption, and two grape-sized fibrous lumps were found on it. Allwood was shocked into the reality of her habit by what it had done to her body and said she quit cold turkey, swapping energy drinks out for water.
For a month after quitting Red Bull, the mother experienced withdrawal symptoms such as irritability and the shakes. Not only did she drop the drink, she lost a lot of weight, returning back to her former size and maybe even a little less, and she looks and feels great. Most important, her liver has since repaired itself, having caught the swelling in time before it turned to scarring or irreversible cirrhosis, according to the Telegraph.
Allwood isn’t the only one addicted to Red Bull, many people around the world, especially here in the US, don’t go a day without one, just not to the tune of 20 a day. She wants her story to be known that these beverages are not innocent or safe, and there are healthier ways to get energy than in a can.