What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to adenosine. In response to this oversensitiveness, blood pressure drops dramatically, causing an excess of blood in the head (though not necessarily on the brain), leading to a headache.

This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts from one to five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such as aspirin. It is also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact several analgesics contain caffeine dosages).

Often, people who are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable, unable to work, nervous, restless, and feeling sleepy, as well as having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been reported.

References.

Caffeine and Health. J. E. James, Academic Press, 1991. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research Volume 158. G. A. Spiller, Ed. Alan R. Liss Inc, 1984.

Comments

I verified that Aleve

I verified that Aleve actually doesn't contain any caffeine at all... it's stated on the Aleve web site.  Do you still suffer any side affects from being off caffeine?  I'm still having issues with headaches, intense dreams, and anxieties.  Some days are better than others... just hoping this wares off once and for all.

Aleeve

A friend of mine just went through a kidney transplant. He had taken aleeve for hip pain for a couple of years. Docs said that was the only thing that could have caused his kidney failure. READ the small print! Better yet, try natural remedies. They may take longer, but you will be healthier in the end. The pain is telling you something. Why not ask the question.....What does it mean?

I hate it!

I hate what coffee has made me into, or rather, what has happened to me since i stopped.
I used to pound 4-6 cups every week day (black) + 3-4 iced coffees on the weekend.  My pain is hard to explain, like being wide awake but tired at the same time!  I always felt unusually anxious too.
Now that ive quit (almost a week) im sooo tired, i hate it.  I can wake up after 8hrs of sleep and still feel exhausted.
After lunch, its an uphill battle trying to stay awake.
The temptation is always there.
Im not sure if i'll quit %100 as a long drive usually requires coffee and those iced coffee on the weekend are a blessing..lol

strategies

Strategies to help transition to a caffeine free lifestyle:
1)  during the transition, exercise.  The headaches are caused by excess blood flow to the brain -- if you lift weights, walk or run, you will move the blood around in your body, lessening the impact.  
2)  12-16 hour fasts-- if you choose to slowly reduce the amount of caffeine per day, fasting will greatly help.  When you fast, caffeine effects are amplified.  So as an example -- have a light breafast -- then don't eat all day, using minimal amounts of caffeine during the day -- then a solid dinner in the evening.
3)  Related to #2 above -- don't use any caffeine on a full stomach during your transition.  You can use less caffenie and get more "bang for your buck"
4)  Find a project to work on -- The more you think about not using caffeine, the more you will suffer
 

headache

Great info, but I would add instead of using anelgesics to ease the pain, I would try to get off caffeine gradually preventing your body to react in such a way as to have a headache.

Worse time of my life. I want to be happy again.

Hi I'm usually an outgoing person who knows who he is. I'm not a cofee drinker or tea man I have never been. I'm a bit of an exercise freak, I would never do anything illegal or cheat in my sport, I love it too much. I however became too obsessed with trying to get a beach body so tried Maximuscle diet pills it turned out I was taking 500mg of caffeine a day for 5 days, I felt bad so I stopped. The worse effects were serious paranoia and anxiety also drowsiness and fatigue. Depression as well, almost bipolar at times. It got worse as I stopped. A few weeks later I was much better again. I decided to just take the diet bars after that but that turned out they had shed loads of caffeine in too almost as much as 500mg a day, so realised this and stopped after a few days. The effects came back, if not WORSE! I have good days and bad days. I exercie loads but feel bad after it as I feel drowsy. This is about my 10th day after quitting all caffeine including chocolate. I didn't quit chocolate before, maybe I'm worse this time as I quit all caffeine? Most of the time I feel I know I have withdrawal symptoms. Other times I feel I am lying to myself and my paranoia and anxiety are going to become true. I want it to go away! Anybody else had this problem?

Trust me it gets better...

Trust me it gets better... it's different for everybody though.  I would quit and then start up again only to make things worse.  My anxiety was HORRIBLE, but it slowly diminishes.  I took Aleve, which really helped me for some reason.  The worse part though, is not knowing what the heck is going on with your body and mind.  Just stick it out and everything will diminish each day...

Thanks for that input really

Thanks for that input really appreciate it. Defo improved from the start when I would get horrific panic attacks from my anxiety that started by issues merely from watching soaps etc on TV and overthinking and worrying about them and how they could happen to me. I still have these worries now after almost a couple of weeks of giving up all caeffine, but not so bad. I just slightly worry that they might never go away these worries. Get a few unwanted thoughts but not as much. So I gave up drinking for 6 weeks until I go away with the lads, as I found anxiety is awful when hungover. Defo getting there thanks. I don't know if by giving up chocolate which I usually eat lots of, as well as my diet supplements caused a relapse in the anxiety attacks to begin again?

Reading all your comments on

Reading all your comments on quitting coffee. I quit drinking coffee about a week ago. It's terrible! I am so tired. Each day seems to get better with that. Still tired but pushing on. The big thing is the anxiety. I get where I have trouble breathing and swallowing almost. Then I get nervous at the symptoms which makes more anxiety. This is terrible. It's nice to read the support, thank you all and good luck on this journey we can over come.

What can I do to help my boyfriend quit?

My boyfriend is planning to quit coffee cold turkey. He currently drinks a large pot of coffee every morning (4 very large mugs, probably 10 "cups" if you go by what the side of the coffee pot calls a cup). He spends an hour drinking coffee before he can really be functional. He's been addicted to coffee since early high school (close to 15 years). Recently, he's realized that he can't even drink any coffee other than the specific brand we have at home without feeling tired and not well (has this ever happened to anyone else??).
 
He has tried many times to quit gradually, but every time it just takes too long and something important comes up that he really needs the coffee for. He's tried cold turkey once before, and the first day the withdrawl was bad enough that he vomited.
 
So... I really want to help him make this as easy as possible this time. Does anyone have any advice for what I can do? Specific supplements I can buy ahead of time? Is it better to throw out all the coffee and the pot so it's not a temptation, or have it tucked away somewhere if it's absolutely necessary? I know there's no way I can make it easy, or even much less than miserable, but I'd greatly appreciate any advice you can give.
 
Thanks!!

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