Health

Man Dies from Cardiac Arrest After Eating Licorice

cardiac arrest
Image: Shirley810 (pixabay license)

Health experts around the world deem diet is one of the most fundamental parts of everyday life that can determine health outcomes in the future. Even if a person has enough physical activity in his or her routine, a daily intake with no nutritional benefits and empty calories can hinder all progress made from exercise and pave the way for several illnesses in the future such as metabolic conditions, heart disease, and obesity.

The importance of diet is also highlighted in a newly reported case of a construction worker who suddenly experienced a cardiovascular event known as cardiac arrest and lost his life even after being admitted to the hospital and receiving immediate medical attention.

According to the doctors, the man had to be shifted to the emergency room due to a very low and irregular heartbeat even after he underwent cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) procedure. At the time of his transfer, this heartbeat was recorded forty beats per sixty seconds, which is dangerously low. Soon, the man was on a ventilator, fighting for his life in the Intensive Care Unit of the emergency room.

However, he still could not survive even after the doctors tried their best. So, what sets the case of this man apart? After his death, the doctors were not sure about what had caused cardiac arrest and eventual death.

Read the case here. 

An examination of the man’s medical records showed that neither did he display any symptoms of heart-related disease or abnormality nor had any family history of heart issues.

On the day the man was hospitalized, he did not display any of the symptoms that are associated with abnormal heart rhythm or other problems such as pain in the chest or difficulty in breathing. Overall, his family and friends confirmed that the man was actually healthy and did not suffer from any serious medical conditions at all.

The only factor which was noted in case that could have contributed to heart issues was low levels of potassium in the body. After discovering the potassium deficiency, the next focus was on the man’s diet.

Even though he was overall healthy, his daily intake showed that he maintained a very poor diet which was low in nutrition and high in empty calories and sugar. Candy was also a part of the everyday intake along with other harmful foods.

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More specifically, the man was fond of licorice, which is a popular but harmful candy that has been associated with health issues before. Prior to the cardiac arrest, there was a change in licorice flavors in the man’s diet.

The researchers noted that he had started consuming black licorice instead of red licorice three weeks before he passed away, which could explain why he had a potassium deficiency. Black licorice is perhaps the most harmful out of all flavors of the candy.

This is primarily because of the presence of glycyrrhizic acid in the candy. Current research has linked glycyrrhizic acid with hormonal disruptions including an increase in cortisol levels in the body, which can cause dangerous health conditions like fatal arrhythmias, hypertension, metabolic alkalosis, and several others.

Most of these effects were also noted in the new case by health experts. This once again highlights the importance of having a healthy diet and being cautious of consuming certain foods which are known to be dangerous, such as licorice. Even with good overall health, continuous consumption of such foods can cause life-threatening situations, including cardiac arrest.

 

About the author

Abeera I. Kazmi

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