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

And yeah what do you mean by

And yeah what do you mean by strange vision problems? Cuz i've been having strange things happen with my vision also. And my memory too

In my post below I referred

In my post below I referred to strange vision problems that I have experienced when going through caffeine withdrawal. Sometimes my eyes would begin to itch or feel excessively dry. I noticed more "floaters" and I definitely, definitely looked extremely tired - and part of this was because of light sensitivity ... I would keep my eyes half-closed to block out the glare. I've said over and over again - I get "ringing" in my ears when I drink coffee (the medical term is "tinnitus") ... the ringing seemed to get worse the first week off of caffeine, as did my vision.

As for memory - I don't know what you are experiencing, but my short-term memory is crap since quitting coffee. I write things down just so that I don't forget them!

I'm seeing this through - I quit for good on 1/6. Good luck to you!

Beware of Vitamin Waters

Today I went to a health food store to eat lunch. I had a nice avocado w/cheese sandwich and a bottle of vitamin water. After I drank half of the bottle of water I felt weird. My body started to feel warm and tingly. I didn't know it contained 50 mg of natural caffeine until I finally read the label on the bottle. Since I drank half of the bottle, I must have had 25 mg of caffeine. I worked so hard to cut caffeine completely out of my system. If I had known it had caffeine in it, I would have not purchased it. Has this ever happened to any of you? Does this mean that this will set me back again with withdrawals?

Kikaida - isn't it

Kikaida - isn't it interesting that you had such a quick reaction after such a tiny bit of caffeine? Thank you for the warning - manufacturers don't seem to have to indicate the fact that they add caffeine to food and drinks - ug!

I don't know if anyone else does this, but I really enjoy a cup of hot water. It warms me up and has become my morning ritual now instead of coffee. I read this quote somewhere: "Water is the only beverage the human body was designed to drink". I wish I could remember who wrote it, but I believe it wholeheartedly! Best wishes.

caffeine withdrawals

Over the past 3 weeks I've gone from 2-3 very strong cups of coffee to 1/2 cup of decaf. Hot water and lemon really help in the morning but late in day still getting headaches and very tired. Any suggestions?How long will it last?

I'm so glad I found this

I'm so glad I found this site! I've been sick for 4 months now. I had horrible stomach problems, nausea, couldn't eat and lost 20 lbs. My gastroenterologist found I had reflux, gastritis and a hiatal hernia. I've been on meds to heal my stomach, but the last month I began to notice new symptoms: very shaky, dizzy, headaches, ear ringing, memory loss, etc. I had an MRI that showed I have a small white spot on my brain, but the neurologist said he was very doubtful that it's MS or anything to worry about. A friend suggested maybe it was due to caffeine withdrawals. It's true that I'm a coffee addict, who's gone back and forth lately. If I was nauseous a day I wouldn't have any, but if it was a good day I'd drink a few cups. I gave up caffeine for good a week ago, and had all those "mind" symptoms ten-fold, but today is better than yesterday, and I just have to believe it will continue. It had never dawned on me that all these horrible symptoms would be related to caffeine, but thank goodness my friend suggested it. It may just be the answer, since the doctors can't explain it. It sure seems like many of you are dealing with the same thing! Good luck to us all!

Thank you for replying to my

Thank you for replying to my post, sometimes its hard to reassure yourself when crazy things are happening to you. And when its somiething that has never happened to you its freaky. I also feel like im forgetful and i assume that is a factor from the withdrawals. Thank you for the reassurance it really helps alot

Continuing Struggle; Denise

I'm not off of caffeine, but I'm doing pretty well. I'm down to one can of diet pop and one small cup of green tea each day (less than 100mg total). This is hardly being free from caffeine, but is a considerable improvement over my previous caffeine use (700-1000mg/day!). As before, quitting sugar has definitely helped me in this struggle. I would submit to anyone that stopping, or at least cutting back on your sugar intake will make the caffeine withdrawal easier; it always has for me. But unless you are some kind of superhuman, I would not go cold turkey on sugar and caffeine at the same time. I tried that, and will likely never do so again.

Also, I started taking 100 mg of 5-HTP each day, and that seems to have helped. I would recommend reading about 5-HTP for anyone who is battling the anxiety/depression that comes with caffeine withdrawal.

And last but not least, thank you for the kind words, Denise :) I've always appreciated your positive attitude and comments here. You're a great help to this board and everyone who is trying to kick the caffeine habit. How is your own caffeine struggle going? Best of luck.

continuing struggle

i was drinking 2-3 cans of Vault Zero a day. I quit 2 days ago cold turkey. i have the shakes really bad. my question is; i am on anti-depressants. how do you think this might affect me. I'm afraid it might get worse. comments?

Greetings, Dave and fellow

Greetings, Dave and fellow recovering caffeine addicts! :)

As I posted to Kikaida, below, today is Day 18 for me. I experienced the usual symptoms ... headache, body pain and feeling out of sorts, but there was a new twist this time ... horrible, graphic nightmares. Good Lord. The first week - all I did was dream scary stuff that would leave me feeling sick to my stomach when I woke up. Thankfully that seems to have passed now.

I don't know if this will help anyone else, but this time I started a food diary on the computer. It might seem a little far-fetched, but it really has helped me examine exactly what I am fueling my body with every day. The first few days I needed aspirin for the withdrawal, but now I am able to concentrate on good, clean water, lots of veggies and fruit, lean proteins and low sugar. I think your suggestion of overcoming sugar is an important one, Dave - I certainly feel better with far less sugar and ZERO caffeine!

Over these last 18 days, I've even managed to brew coffee for people without wanting to give in. I take a big deep breath of the freshly-brewed stuff (LOVE that smell!) and then remember how quickly that cup will get cold and how quickly I could ruin my health and become an addict again. I am starting to feel like a strong warrior in this battle!

Love you guys! Denise

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