Diet Coke addict Jakki Ballan seeks hypnotherapy to beat 50 can-a-day habit
Jakki Ballan never anticipated that when she started drinking Diet Coke as a teen to help her lose weight that she would end up with a full blown addiction to the soft drink.
The U.K. woman, who once drank up to 50 cans of Diet Coke a day, is hoping hypnotherapy will help beat her addiction.
The 42-year-old stay-at-home mom now drinks close to 10 litres a day and panics if she doesn't have a steady supply of the fizzy drinks available.
Always #CocaCola? Jakki Ballan can drink up to 50 Diet Cokes a day http://t.co/fQrwrsHbed pic.twitter.com/tW2UsjyNK5
— Al Arabiya English (@AlArabiya_Eng) February 23, 2014
"This addiction is taking over my life. I won't do the school run unless I have at least two bottles in my bag," Ballan tells the Daily Mail. "I've only got one bottle in the house so I'm feeling quite panicky. I'm sweating, shaking and pacing up and down."
At Ballan's worst, she was drinking 50 cans a day and spending the equivalent of $920 monthly on Diet Coke.
After some hard work, Ballan has lowered her consumption to 30 cans a day, but she's still desperate to kick the habit entirely, currently seeking hypnotherapy treatment.
Also see: Surprising habits that drain your energy
"I've reached a point where this has got to stop," Ballan says.
She has even suffered hallucinations from consuming too much of the drink, likely the result of a caffeine overdose.
"I see strange things like oranges flying across the room," she says. "I dread to think what my insides look like."
Aside from the extreme side effect of hallucinations, excess caffeine consumption can also cause confusion, a rapid heartbeat and trouble breathing.
Also see: Surprising facts about your abs
Health professionals are worried that the excess phosphoric acid Ballan gets from the Diet Coke is making her bones brittle.
"Fizzy drinks contain phosphorous, which is not harmful in small doses. But if it's consumed in very large doses it can be bad for bone health," says Sarah Schenker, a dietitian for the British Dietetic Association.
Also see: How bad is sugar for you, really?
"But my biggest concern is that if this woman is filling herself up on Diet Coke she will not be eating a balanced diet and giving her body the nutrients it needs."
Schenker recommends cognitive behavioural therapy for Ballan, and says that the reward system in her brain is being triggered by the addiction.
Ballan joins a long list of other people with strange addictions. Last year, we reported on a teen who almost exclusively eats Ramen noodles..