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

Congratulations Kikaida!

I am so glad to hear that your symptoms are gone, and you are finally experiencing good health being caffeine free!! From your posts in the past, I know it has been a difficult journey for you.......so glad that you persevered.
I, on the other hand, have gone back to drinking coffee again. (sigh)
Today is the beginning of  my caffeine free journey once again.........I lost count of the number of times I've tried to quit. I'm determined this time, because of some health issues that persist because of my caffeine consumption.
You give me hope that I can do it. Four months seems so long from now, but it will be worth it in the end.
You give me inspiration!!
Patrice

Hi Kikaida and Patrice!  Yes,

Hi Kikaida and Patrice!  Yes, congratulations to you, Kikaida!  Good for you - it's nice to read that you've finally overcome the caffeine.  Like Patrice, I've been drinking coffee again.  :-(  I don't have a good reason other than I guess I'm just not strong enough yet.  I allow myself exactly one cup each morning and that's it.  Also, like Patrice, I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to quit "forever" ... I always come back to coffee.  I'm not proud to post this, but I'm being honest.  I've gotten to the point in my life where that one cup, although it's no good for me, makes me happy and not a cranky, tired and head-achy person ... miserable to be around.
I hope that someday I can just walk away from caffeine, but not yet.  My very best wishes to you all and again, Kikaida - way to go!  Congratulations!

eww I feel terrible

Hey Everyone, thanks for the posts, they've really helped me figure this out.
I got the flu last weekend so I decided that it'd be a good time to quit drinking coffee. It's been a ride. Night sweats, a real pressure in my head like its going to cave in, even my teeth hurt. I think the symptoms are partially because of my flu, but the mind raciness and anxiety are all too much. I just took tylenol to see if it would help with the pain but it hasn't done much. I'm also very hungry and lethargic. I could stare in space all day. It's weird. But I'm 7 days  in today so there's no stopping now :)

Caffeine Withdrawl

I am not a coffee junkie but I was a Chocolate Junkie. I ate chocolate everyday for the last 5 years. I decided to quit cold turkey because I am trying to conceive and want to get my body healthy. Now I'm thinking was this a mistake. It has been 14 days and I suffer from anxiety everyday. I have a Panic attack every single day since I quit! I wake up with heart palpitations, sometimes I so feel depressed, I cry for no reason. My legs are restless and I feel like Im losing my mind.My anxiety is that bad that I have now developed a phobia driving in the car and fear public places. I wish I could sue those Cadbury money making  pigs. I am walking 30 minutes a day and kicking boxing 20 minutes a day and the anxiety wont fade. I am hoping these symptoms fade soon. :(

hang in there. drink lots of

hang in there.
drink lots of water. I quit coffee several times with lots of withdrawals. you gotta just hang in there and the symptoms will fade. 

I have been drinking mountain

I have been drinking mountain dew for years.  It was about 12 yrs ago i started drinking more frequently.  2:30 pm monday afternoon I had drank my last 24 oz bottle.   I woke up on and off last night many times.  And about 9:30 am or 10 I had to go to the bathroom for the first time for about 3 hrs and vomit.  I felt at first it was just a regular old migraine.  I realized later it could be caffeine w/d.  I'd like to see how long it takes to get better.  I do love MTN DEW.  My headache got a little better cuz I took some excederin.  But then later got to be moderately low pain.  I also have congestion from allergies so that doesnt help either.  Should I be seeing a doctor?  I'm visiting a relative out of state. 

Mt Dew withdrawal

Mt Dew was my drug of chocie for 10 years, on and off, anywhere from a single 16 oz bottlr a day to 2+liters a day. I stopped cold turkey about April 1st. I had done this a few times in the past but slowly went back to it because it helps me work as a writer. The buzz helped me get work done!  But now its 4/26 and for last 7 days or so I have been dealing with mild headache all day, and depression, or lack of ambition.  Deadlines looming, but no energy or desire to do the work.  General malaise, it sucks.  I am glad  I found this site, and I am sure its caffeine related.  I have no urge for the green nectar of the Gods anymore, but want my ambition back!  I am eating alot of dark chocolate, but more for the sweet tooth urge than for any caffeine that might be in it.  I wonder if this will prolong the symptoms?? 
Thanks everyone who has posted, its all helpful.

4 days ago .....

I decided to give up any caffiene. I probably started drinking coffee in 1981 or so, and I have had some other bad habits during this time that I gave up like smokes and alchohol, I never thought much about how dangerous coffee and caffiene truly are. I was averaging about three cups a day. The reason I had to give it up is that I had an acid reflux "episode" and was informed that coffee was a big culprit.
 
Well, I have had the usual withdrawal sysmptoms that many of you have descibed here. Fatigue and flu like symptoms being the most promenent. Of course, that splitting headache was on the first couple of days. Luckily I am retired and basically walk around the house like a zombie while I let this play out.
 
I am drinking plenty of water and herb teas etc. I tried jogging today, as I am an avid jogger, and my legs felt like they were stuck in mud. It's incredible what a powerful drug this is and I think most people are not aware of this. Now, for some of us who have anxiety, this "poison" is a must NOT do, and I should have realized this many years ago.
 
I have read that there may be thousands of people in mental inistitutions that may not need be there if they just cut out any caffiene. Can you believe that? I do! I know that some research came out recently about the benefits of coffee and I even heard Doctor Oz promote its use. I think if he took some time to study up on the negatives, he would change his mind. So coffee contains a few elements that may help with something. I bet cigs have a few of those elements too.
 
Oh just to let you know, I spent the last two days reading almost every message in this thread. For those of you who posted and never thought anyone heard your voice, dont be dismayed. I have read your words and understand your pain. Thanks to Daniel for setting up this site. The many messages here have helped me be determined to give up this drug.
 
One last word - as tough as this is right now with the withdrawals, it nowhere near matches how difficult it was for me to give up smokes many years ago, but thats a whole other story.
 
 
 

I hear ya

Hang in there. I've quit coffee several times. Always bad withdrawals. it's clear and beautiful on the other side. If you can kick cigs, you can do this. I am giving up coffee now for good. I'm sick of being a slave to the drug. Actually. I have a splitting headache and some anxiety to start. All the best to you. 

Thanks for such a strong post

Thanks for such a strong post - I just gave up caffiene due to pregnancy, and figured that I'd resume coffee after the baby arrived, but your words have me considering making it a permanant improvement.

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