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.


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.



The reason I found this website was because I was trying to figure out if my pelvic and leg pains had anything to do with my coffee withdrawal.  I am sorry to hear that you are having these symptoms but I am also grateful that you shared them.  
For over ten years I have been drinking a pot of home brewed regular coffee daily, with half and half.  I started when I was in college.   I haven't had any problems.  I decided to quit when it felt like I had a kidney stone -which seemed to happen after I started drinking coffee with non-dairy creamers at a location where half and half was not available.  I quit completely 2 weeks ago.
My symptoms have been exactly as you described.  Especially the 'sit bones' ached until I could hardly stand it. Two weeks later that pain is still there as a dull ache along with the my leg and side aches.  As you described, I also feel very, very weak.  I am having the same night time symptoms as you have described. 
I'm drinking organic Cran-Aid tea, organic lemonaid, and lots spring water; the kidney stone seems to be gone after 3 days of doing this. I may try drinking one or two cups a day of coffee during this time and come-off-of caffeine gradually.   But if I don't feel better soon I am going to see a doctor.  
Wishing everyone good health.

Exactly the same with lower

Exactly the same with lower body pains around days 3 - 6. Currently on day 7 and sticking with it in the hope it will be worth it in the end. 

I had a minor tooth ache

I noticed a minor tooth ache in the upper back left part of my mouth for the first few days. It seems to have gone away now (day 6). Just remember, your body's withdraw symptoms will vary with five variables: recency, frequency, size, total number of years of use, and age. Thus withdraws will be worse if:
- Your last dose was pretty recent
- You dosed pretty frequently (e.g. many times a day)
- You dosed a lot per serving (e.g. 100 mg vs 30 mg per dose)
- You dosed over many years (e.g. someone with 20 years of use will be in a lot more pain than someone with 5)
- If you are older, it will probably be harder on your system.

I don't think you have done

I don't think you have done any permanent damage to yourself, I was a heavy coffee drinker also and felt a myriad of symptoms upon withdrawing, most of which are now gone several months later, thinking you've done permanent damage will only increase your anxiety and subsequently make things worse.  If you were a heavy coffee drinke it can take a while to fully recover and the temptation to pick up coffee again will be strong, but it does eventually pass I promise!

I had the exact same thing,

I had the exact same thing, and after looking up caffeine withdrawl symptoms, i saw that aches were common. they went after about 2 days, and i feel ok now. I am mid way through week 2, and feeling pretty grumpy... Stick with it, I am clinging to the hope that in a few weeks, ill be back to my happy self. :) L


The reason why I decided to cut out caffeine is because I felt stressed out. I work out and eat very healthy and am a personal trainer but have had a notorious energy drink addiction for almost 4 years. I noticed I was having symptoms of liver damage, as well as hormonal problems and weight gain. funny, because caffeine is supposed to stimulate your metabolism. I believe my adrenal glands and pituitary glands have been worn to exhaustion and I started to develop shortness of breath, severe body pains due to the impact on my nervous system ( I was over exercising as well because i had so much adrenaline from the caffeine) my skin started looking older and my hair started breaking and falling out. I was extremely stressed. I finally had enough and started a cleanse . I ate only fruits and vegetables and drank juices. the first day I had severe headaches but after the second day I started feeling light headed and nausia. I also got depressed and blank, as if unable to make sense of my surrioundings. im on the sixth day and im suffering from sever anxiety, fear, racing thoughts about myself and others, paranoia, bouts of uncontrollable anger ( I lost it on a client today, and a roommate yesterday =( ) Im exhausted and have horrible joint and body pain on the right side of my body, as well as back pain and leg pain. I dont know how long this is supposed to last but its awful. I cant go back to what i was doing before because thats just not a possibility. I was damaging myself maybe beyond repair. I just hope this doesnt last too long. it helps to know that im not going insane and that others share my experiences. I will try to be strong and hang in there. thank you for all of the comments. =)


I had all the same symptoms you went through when I cut coffee cold turkey about 5 months ago. I can tell you the first 2 weeks are really bad and gradually it gets better from there. It took me about 2 months to feel fully back to normal. Hang in there, it will get better!

It will pass

The first 2-4 weeks are the worst and it will get alot better.  It's drug withdrawl....  it sucks.  I felt alot better after a month.

Double Withdrawal

I've been addicted to coffee on and off for a couple of years.  What forces me to quit is this feeling of oversaturation of coffee where the taste is nolonger uplifting, and each drink doesn't do anything for me, but most of all, at saturation point, I get drowsy instead of perky.  The more coffee I drink, the sleepier I get, and that's what forces me to quit.  Then, when I quit, I get into extreme drowsiness, intense fatigue, murky  minded, low motivation, low enthusiasm.  Where all I want to do is to just sit there w/ my head rolled to the side b/c gravity is too heavy. 
However, this last bout of coffee quitting was going well, and I was getting better again when I noticed my teeth was stained by some new teas I was drinking.  BTW, I'm a HUGE tea drinker and for over a decade!  I don't drink the dinky bagged stuff, I brew them from loose leaves.  So I stopped the tea b/c of my teeth, and the second wave of withdrawals happened, and this one was intense.  Again, the drowsiness, I've been needing naps at about 2 pm, my legs are like lead, I could barely drag them, and there's tingling ant sensations up and down my legs.  I feel like I could sleep forever, and I have the most vivid dreams.  Mostly, the weak legs scare me b/c that was my father's first symptoms before he was dx w/ leukemia from which he died.  But I try to remember that this followed on the heels of me stopping tea and coffee. 
Does anyone experience lead legs? 

Lead Legs

Absolutely, my legs felt like lead, and I had flu-like symptoms for five or six days, with achy legs and hips.  I realize now that many symptoms I formerly attributed to the flu or generaly ague were simply the results of the lack caffeine during my illness.  Quitting coffee is hard.  It is difficult during the withdrawal not to think that you have hypoglycemia or thryroid problems or diabetes because the fatigue is horrible.  I even had problems keeping my balance for nearly a week after I quit.  Hang in there, don't go back to the drug.

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