NEW DELHI: A youth with a history of taking excessive gym supplements and protein powder was brought to the emergency ward of PSRI Hospital in south Delhi in a comatose and critical condition. Doctors said the unconscious 22-year-old youth had extremely low oxygen levels, necessitating ventilatory support. He was immediately shifted to intensive care, where he stayed for almost a week. The patient was eventually discharged with no neurological deficit of any kind, said doctors at PSRI hospital.Citing the youth’s case, doctors caution against excessive use of fitness supplements and said that this can cause serious neurological damages besides proving fatal in some cases.Sharing details of the case, Dr Kadam Nagpal, senior consultant for neurology at the hospital, said, “After reviewing the patient’s condition, he was found to be suffering from multiple severe metabolic derangement, including very high level of muscle enzymes, creatine phosphokinase, suggesting breakdown of muscle tissue.Further investigations revealed extremely low calcium levels which were also responsible for his deteriorating state. The patient was diagnosed as having toxic encephalopathy (brain dysfunction caused by toxic exposure) and rhabdomyolysis (a serious medical condition that can be fatal or result in permanent disability) which, according to Dr Nagpal, occurred after excessive consumption of gym supplements.After stabilising the patient in the ICU, the youth was treated for correction of these medical issues, leading eventually to his recovery. The patient had no history of substance abuse and the toxicology screening of his urine also returned negative.After regaining consciousness after two days, the 22-year-old confessed to excessive intake of gym supplements and various types of protein powders. Dr Nagpal said that the patient highlighted the hazards of use of body-building supplements, which could have catastrophic consequences.”There was a strong possibility that significant muscle breakdown resulted in depletion of calcium levels which manifested with convulsions and altered level of consciousness. This can be labelled as toxic encephalopathy,” explained Dr Manish Mohil, senior consultant and head of internal medicine, PSRI Hospital.