Coffee... I hardly knew ye.

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  1. JG11Bravo profile image78
    JG11Bravoposted 9 years ago

    Well, it has finally happened.  At the urging of my doctor, I have quit drinking caffeine entirely.  As a former pot-a-day coffee drinker, I am not handling this well.  My energy levels and cognitive functions seems to be suffering immensely, and the persistent headache is enough to drive me quite insane.  I'm assured that I'll feel better in the long run, but this certainly isn't pleasant.

    Anyone gone cold turkey from caffeine before?  Any anecdotes to share?  Advice?  General thoughts?

    1. wilderness profile image95
      wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I did the same thing - quit cold turkey.  Iced tea in my case, but still caffeine.

      Just like you, bad headaches and no energy, but it did not last - mostly gone in three days and completed in a week.  The desire took considerably longer, but at least the physical symptoms were gone in a week.

      1. JG11Bravo profile image78
        JG11Bravoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I rather like that timeline.  I can handle a week of this if it means improving my overall health.

        1. wilderness profile image95
          wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

          I may be joining you shortly - even though I'm only good for a couple of cups per day, my Dr. would like to see it end.  I won't give up my morning coffee, but am more than willing to dump the caffeine, so have bought caffeine free for when the current can runs out.  We'll see how it goes.

          1. JG11Bravo profile image78
            JG11Bravoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

            That's the same tactic I'm applying.  I always used to say that decaf was against my religion, but here I am.

            1. wilderness profile image95
              wildernessposted 9 years agoin reply to this

              I'm not a coffee connoisseur (even instant is OK with me) and the lack of caffeine won't bother me as far as enjoyment of that cup 'o Joe.  Whether it produces withdrawal remains to be seen.

    2. ShyeAnne profile image85
      ShyeAnneposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      A couple of times I went on  4 day fasts to cleanse my body and mind. The first time I weaned myself off of coffee over a period of a week to ten days.  I felt no ill effects aside from a bit of impatience that my addiction wasn't being satisfied.  The second time I became complacent and quit caffeine the morning the fast began.  This was not a good decision for me and I would not stop using caffeine, or any potentially addictive substance cold turkey ever again unless there was an immediate threat to my life.  My advice is to take the time to ease the body out of the addiction.  Addictions are not created overnight and unless one's life or well being is in immediate danger, slow and steady withdrawal wins the race.

      1. JG11Bravo profile image78
        JG11Bravoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I imagine that's applicable for a lot of people, but cold turkey seems to work for me.  I've mentioned it before, but I've been sober for a number of years now via a cold-turkey quit.  I imagine it's a subjective issue, depending entirely upon the personality of the individual.  Come to think of it, a lot of what I was told to do in order to quit just didn't work for me.  I just had to buckle down, tell myself "no", and stick to it.

    3. Bishop55 profile image89
      Bishop55posted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I did not read all the replies sorry, why did your doc urge you to quit?  Last I knew small doses were good for the heart.  I have no other advice, sorry.  Can't you wean off? Like dry unleaded for awhile?  I know there are small levels of caffiene in decaf?  Take large doses of Alleve maybe?  Drink lots of water?  I have no idea.

      1. JG11Bravo profile image78
        JG11Bravoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

        I think it's on the list of things every doctor tells everyone to stop doing, but long and short I had a pretty severe upper respiratory infection, and the caffeine wasn't helping the inflammation in my throat.  Weaning off just doesn't do it for me.  I can tolerate a week of irritability and headaches if the end result is overall better health... It isn't as if I'm not a rageaholic to begin with.

    4. Faith Reaper profile image83
      Faith Reaperposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Awesome!  I remember many years ago I tried to go cold turkey, and we had this huge meeting at work, and the top of my head felt as though it was about to blow off!  I could not figure out from where or why such pain was coming, then a woman asked me didn't I just quit drinking coffee cold turkey, and I did.  So, she brought me a small cup of coffee, and the severe pain was gone almost in an instant.  I think due to the constriction of the veins and then release.  Needless to say, I still drink coffee, my one real vice, but now I started adding French Vanilla Creamer : (

    5. profile image0
      MysticMoonlightposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      You are a brave and courageous man! Go you! I wish you the best of luck and I commend you on making a choice to improve your health, that's wonderful!

      I understand why many give it up but I've decided that coffee is the one thing that I refuse to give up in my life. I don't drink, I don't do drugs, I don't smoke...yep, I live the straight and narrow to a T,  I'm boring, I do all of life's supposed to business, etc. so I draw the line at giving up my coffee. It's my one and only rebel streak! It's the magic liquid that makes my overscheduled life doable. Plus, I'm stubborn and that's all I have to say about that! smile

  2. profile image0
    Beth37posted 9 years ago

    Well, good for you, I say! I gave up so many bad habits in 2009 and picked several back up. Unfortunately I started smoking again, and I really hate that. With coffee, you can think of some good reasons to do it, extra energy, cognitive skills, as you said, the social factor... but smoking, there's no time, as your inhaling actual smoke that your not thinking, "I cannot imagine being any stupider than I am in this moment."

    I wish you the very best of luck. It is an amazing feeling to conquer something that has you hostage. Keep it up! smile

    1. JG11Bravo profile image78
      JG11Bravoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Indeed it is a great feeling, Beth.  I've done it before and I know I'll be glad I did in the long run, but that doesn't make the trip any less unpleasant.

  3. Kristen Haynie profile image93
    Kristen Haynieposted 9 years ago

    I did this about a month ago. I've been drinking coffee excessively for many years and decided to quit so I can rule it out as a possible allergen that I'm trying to identify.

    The first day I was fine, but the second I got a violent headache and felt very groggy and just generally out of it. The third day was even worse, with my headache so bad that my vision was impaired and I was dizzy.

    But after that the symptoms let up and I was just fine. I got my energy back and was feeling completely normal in about a week. If you can tough it out during those first 3 days or so, you'll be golden by the end of the week!

    I suggest taking some over-the-counter pain reliever (I used ibuprofen) and drinking LOTS of water!

    Good luck! I'll be rooting for you!

    1. JG11Bravo profile image78
      JG11Bravoposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you as well.  I was kind of expecting it to be worse than a week, but given my prior experiences with addiction I guess I have a bad taste in my mouth.  Perhaps I'll write a hub about it.


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