A father who drank up to two litres of Monster energy drink every day has told how he was left fearing for his life because of his 20-year addiction.

Andy Hammond, 36, from Hartlepool, suddenly collapsed at home and was rushed to hospital on Christmas Day.

Tests revealed he had a 4mm-wide kidney stone, which doctors believe was behind his health scare and left him in excruciating pain.

Although they have no proof, Mr Hammond, a former soldier, says his doctors think his Monster habit is to blame for the kidney stone.

Numerous studies have linked excessive energy drink consumption to the agonising medical woe.

Andy Hammond, 36, pictured in hospital, admitted the incident ‘scared him’ due to how poorly he was and the risk of kidney stones turning septic

Andy Hammond, 36, pictured in hospital, admitted the incident ‘scared him’ due to how poorly he was and the risk of kidney stones turning septic

Discussing his ordeal, Mr Hammond said: ‘I’ve served in the military and been injured in Afghanistan and nothing compares to kidney stones.’

Mr Hammond started drinking energy drinks as a teenager because he thought they were ‘cool’.

At the height of his energy drink habit, he glugged four 500ml Monster energy cans a day. Monster became his favourite brand. 

Mr Hammond said: ‘I remember drinking energy drinks when I was a kid because it was the cool thing to do.

‘Since drinking them from the age of 15, I’ve just continued to drink them ever since.

‘It wasn’t that I really liked the taste of them, it was more of a habit.’ 

In December 2023, the social work student started to notice blood in his urine. He was treated for a severe UTI at the time but collapsed at home two days later, on December 25

In December 2023, the social work student started to notice blood in his urine. He was treated for a severe UTI at the time but collapsed at home two days later, on December 25

In December 2023, the social work student started to notice blood in his urine. 

He was treated for a severe UTI at the time but collapsed at home two days later, on December 25. 

Mr Hammond did not reveal what caused him to collapse. However, pain can, in rare cases, cause people to faint.  

He was rushed to University Hospital of Hartlepool, where a CT scan revealed he had a large kidney stone.

Mr Hammond, who is still awaiting surgery to have the kidney stone removed, underwent an operation to have a stent fitted between his kidneys and bladder to help pass urine.

But he admits the incident ‘scared him’ due to how poorly he was.

The father-of-three from Hartlepool, Durham, started drinking energy drinks as a teenager because he thought they were 'cool'. But at the height of his energy drink habit he glugged four 500ml Monster energy cans a day

The father-of-three from Hartlepool, Durham, started drinking energy drinks as a teenager because he thought they were ‘cool’. But at the height of his energy drink habit he glugged four 500ml Monster energy cans a day

Recalling his ordeal, he said: ‘I told them I don’t drink a lot of water and drink quite a lot of energy drinks.

‘They told me… there is medical research linking drinks to the formation of kidney stones.

‘And kidney stones can turn septic, which can kill you in hours.’

Kidney stones are a build-up of a substance like calcium, ammonia or uric acid in the body, according to the NHS. 

While many kidney stones are only the size of a grain of sand, some can grow to the size of a golf ball. 

People who don’t drink enough water or other fluids are more likely to develop them, the NHS says. Drinking water can decrease the concentration of the minerals.

Kidney stones are also more common in people with UTIs and who eat a low-protein, high-fibre diet.

Mr Hammond who is still suffering with frequent water infections now, is awaiting surgery to have the kidney stone removed

Mr Hammond who is still suffering with frequent water infections now, is awaiting surgery to have the kidney stone removed

Despite a wealth of studies, experts have yet to conclusively show how energy drinks may lead to kidney stones. Some have speculated the high levels of sugar or sodium might be to blame.

After admitting to doctors that he drank ‘quite a lot of energy drinks’ and not much water, they revealed they thought his addiction was to blame.

Energy drinks contain a lot of caffeine and phosphorus and sugars, which has been associated with the formation of kidney stones.

Now Mr Hammond insists he will ‘never touch an energy drink again’.

‘I have two children and know this kidney infection could’ve turned into sepsis, which can kill you. I’ve been really poorly and feel grateful I’m one of the lucky ones.

‘For me it’s just water and eating healthily now and staying fit. That’s me off them for life now.’

Monster declined to comment. 

WHAT ARE KIDNEY STONES? 

Kidney stones are hard lumps that form due to a build up of waste products in the blood.

They are usually found in the kidney or the ureter — the tube that connects the kidneys to your bladder.

They can be extremely painful and can lead to kidney infections or the kidney not working properly if left untreated.

A tenth of Britons and Americans suffer kidney stones, with 30 to 60-year-olds most vulnerable.

It is more likely to happen if a person doesn’t drink enough fluids, takes certain medication or has an underlying condition. 

Symptoms include pain in the side of the tummy, severe pain that comes and goes and feeling sick or vomiting.

Those in severe pain, with a high temperature or have blood in their urine should contact their GP or NHS 111 immediately.

Once a kidney stone has formed, the body will tries to pass it through urine.

Most are small enough to do so and can be managed at home.

However, larger stones may need to be broken up with surgery. 

Up to half of all sufferers will have kidney stones again within five years.

Source: NHS 

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