A mum of three has died after she became ‘addicted’ to drinking two litres of Coca Cola a day alongside tons of energy drinks, an inquest heard.
Amy Louise Thorpe was 15 weeks pregnant when she was discovered unresponsive and face down on the bed at her home in Invercargill, New Zealand.
On December 4, 2018, the mum suffered from an epileptic seizure and passed away, according to the New Zealand Herald reports.
Findings have since been released by coroner David Robinson that revealed she had been excessively consuming fizzy drinks and this could have been a contribution towards her death.
The inquest heard that she had a habit of consuming two litres or more of Coke per day. In addition to this, she drank between 500ml and one litre of energy drinks a day.
Before her tragic death, the 34-year-old had been referred to a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist. They both noted that she had a poorly controlled seizure disorder and frequently would suffer from seizures with random triggers.
Just a month before passing away, the mum had been referred to see neurologist Graeme Hammond-Tooke. It was reported that there was “uncertainty” around her epilepsy diagnosis but treated her on the basis that she did so.
The neurologist recommended she try an antiepileptic medication or that she be admitted to hospital for EEG monitoring.
It was noted that Amy was reluctant to undergo further testing or switch to a different medication.
Weeks later, the mum was found unconscious and face down on her bed, her torso was leaning over the bedside cabinet.
Paramedics rushed to try and save her life but unfortunately, they were unable to.
The inquest heard how samples of her blood and urine showed that both caffeine and nicotine was present in Amy. The fact she was a heavy smoker was also brought up and how she would go through 80g of tobacco per week.
Her husband, who wasn’t named in the reports, informed the police that she had a history of epilepsy, depression, anxiety and sleep apnoea.
He added that her last seizure was three days before she died, yet she had been up to date with her medication.
The report noted that the young mum had a “raised body mass index and a history of gestational diabetes”.
Dr Hammond Tooke said: “In the case of Ms Thorpe, I think it is possible that excessive caffeine contributed to poor seizure control.
“While modest intake of caffeine contained in drinks is not likely to affect seizure control, large amounts probably do increase seizures, and may have other adverse effects on health.”
However, the coroner added that the data was “rather lacking” and it is unclear how significant Amy’s problems were.
Yet the coroner believed there was value in publishing the case as it is important to show the public that there are potential dangers in excessive caffeine consumption – in particular, for those who are suffering with epilepsy.