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Question
Posted by: Concerned Relative | 2003/02/20

Results of Caffeine Abuse etc

Dear DietDoc

I am trying to find information to convince a family member (age 70+) who has recently suffered serious pancreacitis.Her gallbladder also has to be removed as it is enlarged and hardened.

My concerns are: Although mostly a healthy low fat eater, she was using Bilron (bile tabs) as well as veraculetes for many many years as she always suffered with gall - easily becoming nauseous after eg barbeque or fatty foods. I was wondering if the many tablets did not over-stimulate the organs, causing them to enlarge. I also wonder if intense stress cannot bring on a gall attack, or then at least something that SHE THOUGHT was gall - and then self medicating with this medication.

More recently she was using energy tonics (bioplus family) EVERY DAY - a few times a day. I suspect this started due to tiredness linked to stressful environment and I hear it also has an anti-depressant effect. A few weeks before the pancreacitis she developed high blood pressure - after a lifetime of lowbp.

A pharmacist confirmed that the high levels of caffeine in these tonics will cause high bloodpressure due to increased heart rate, and can definitely hurt the pancreas as you cannot keep the body on a constant "high", by pumping in stimulants. He also said the person will struggle to do without it now.

Problem - Where do I get "evidence" (articles or whatever) to convince her and the rest of her family? As you know any kind of addiction (this is what I fear) will lead to the truth being twisted. I hear that she never went back to the dr who detected the high bpressure - this makes me wonder and worry. She also said a dr said it was ok to use these tonics daily - pharmacist almost fainted on hearing this!

Thank you very much for your time.

Kind regards

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Reader
I think that the gall attacks could have been caused by her gallbladder reacting to rich foods over a long period. The problem with these energy tonics is that they do contain caffeine to give users a 'boost' and they do get semi-addicted to them, as is the case when people get addicted to coffee. I can only suggest that you do a Search on this Website and the MWeb Website using the term "caffeine'. This should produce quite a few relevant articles and information. Try and persuade her to see a doctor, even if it is not the one that diagnosed the high bp. If she does have a consultation the dr will take her bp and may then confirm that she now has high bp and that this needs to be treated.
Best regards
DietDoc

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