Jake, 22, used to start his day as many of us do: with a nice, hot cup of coffee. That is, until recently, when he consumed a cup of coffee and an energy drink within 30 minutes of each other, triggering a dangerous and potentially deadly response from his body. Jake says that he began to feel palpitations in his heart, shortness of breath and light-headedness. When the palpitations and irregular beating didn’t stop, Jake and his mother, Laura, rushed to the emergency room, where an EKG showed that Jake was suffering from atrial fibrillation.
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains that energy drinks have become increasingly popular with children and teens, leading to an increase in caffeine overdoses. Dr. Travis emphasizes the importance of limiting your caffeine intake and knowing your baseline pulse, so you can more easily spot dangerous changes to your respiratory function.