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Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Updated on October 9, 2014

About Caffeine

Caffeine is naturally found in leaves, seeds, and fruits of several plants including tea leaves, coffee and cocoa beans. It acts as a natural stimulant in our bodies, creating a feeling of alertness and clarity.

Caffeine Consumption

Though loved by many for its natural effects, caffeine, when consumed in large quantities can have complex impact on the central nervous system, creating risk for headaches and ongoing substance dependency. In addition, an excessive intake of caffeine can result in restlessness, insomnia, indigestion and cardiac irregularities. It is a diuretic that can increase frequency of urination in some.

For some who regularly drink caffeinated drinks, a blood pressure that is higher than average may sometimes be present than what is commonly observed in those who do not drink caffeinated beverages. For those who do regularly drink caffeinated drinks, they may eventually develop a tolerance which does not result in a long-term effect on blood pressure.

Several studies have been done to determine if there is a connection between caffeine and heart disease. Results have been inconclusive.

Nonetheless, moderate intake of caffeine (i.e. 1-2 cups of coffee per day) has not been linked to any significant health risks.

Caffeine Withdrawal

Caffeine withdrawal occurs when a headache occurring upon cessation of caffeine consumption following a minimum of 200 mg caffeine daily for more than 2 weeks, develops within 24 hours of not consuming caffeine but relieved within one hour of consuming 100mg of caffeine.

Research has shown that symptoms can begin anywhere from twelve to twenty-four hours after the last intake of caffeine and will reach a peak at twenty to forty-eight hours. Those symptoms however will resolve after ingesting caffeine.

Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal

Some people are at a greater risk for caffeine withdrawal or the symptoms associated with caffeine withdrawal than others. Research has shown that there are genetic ties to the condition. Abrupt discontinuation of a moderate amount (1-2 cups of coffee per day; 7 cans of cola soft drink per day) can lead to noticeable symptoms.

Most migraine headaches reported on weekend mornings are attributed to the withdrawal effects of caffeine.

In addition to headaches, some people may experience the following symptoms of caffeine withdrawal:

  • Fatigue

  • Sluggish

  • Mental Fogginess

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Muscle aches and pains

  • Runny Nose

  • Depressed Mood

How to Treat Caffeine Withdrawal

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can be reversed simply by consuming caffeine. In fact, it recommended that one of the best ways to slowly withdraw from caffeine is to decrease consumption over a one week period by taking in small doses rather than abruptly stopping. A slow decrease in the consumption of caffeine can help minimize the risk and effects of caffeine withdrawal.

© 2014 Mahogany Speaks


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