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

If I were you I'd wean myself

If I were you I'd wean myself off of it.
Drink one less each day.
When you get down to one a day slowly switch to half a serving until you feel completely confident to stop.
Quitting cold turkey is miserable. It's good that you want to quit so why make yourself miserable in the process? Even if it takes a little longer, you won't have to suffer headaches and nausea.
 

Hi you all.I'm 16 years old

Hi you all.I'm 16 years old and recently I have gone to a summer school in Eton, where I wasn't getting enough sleep; so, in order to make up for it, I used to dring about 3-4 coffees a day (white, black, latte, double-expresos) which went on for about a week.
And since I got back home I just stopped drinking coffee because I wasn't bothered to make any (back at Eton there was a coffee making machine which made a coffee in less than 5 seconds).
Now, I have this massive headache, like my head is being squished from all sides and my brain is getting tighter and tighter....and you know how you get a little head rush when you stand up too fast? Well, when I just simply stand up I feel like I'm about to faint (its that bad). It hurts even when i laugh. Its worse than being tortured.
Is there anything i can do to ease the pain? I really feel like I wanna drink some coffee now ONLY to make the pain stop. But i don't want to be one of those coffee addicts. I even tried some pills (like aspirin) but i don't feel any better.

Returning anxiety

Never taken cofee or tea or much energy drinks. I've improved from when I gave up my high caffeine diet pills in May. The physical effects of lack of sleep and fatigue have pretty much gone. Yet I struggle from anxiety and worrying still, no way near as bad as at first. I  understand that it gets better over time. I however got rid of this anxiety and then it started to return, this has happened twice. The first time I did start taking caffeine again in the form of diet bars. The second time I gave up all chocolate I was getting better then it returned. I don't understand what is happening? Is there anyway the anxiety and paranoia can be triggered off? I'm starting to worry a bit now and not think it's the caffine.

Returning Anxiety - Environmental

Hi, I believe that there are many triggers to anxiety.  I myself am going through cold turkey as I gave up all chocolate, tea and coffee as well as alcohol.  It has been 4 days and the headaches have stopped but I am still suffering from cramps all over the body and irritability.  The reason I gave up was due to PMT and the above just exacerbated the symptoms.  Have you thought about your home environment, for example do you know if you live near a mobile phone mast or do you have a digital landline.  I work as an environmental consultant in the field of electromagnetic radiation and there are many biological affects associated with this pollution.  For more info, take a look at our website www.wireless-protection.org .  Hope you feel better soon.

i actually feel fine its been

i actually feel fine its been 4 days for me i did really tired eariler but thats about it is it because im younger and havent been drinking soda as long

When I gave up caffeine in my

When I gave up caffeine in my 20s I handled the withdrawal very well. No headache or anything. I started drinking it again after several months of being caffeine free and am now in my mid-40s. Caffeine has started to affect me in very different ways - jittery, insomnia, sweating - so I decided to give it up again. I thought I'd experience the same easy withdrawal. Today, day two, I awoke with a mild headache and severe nausea and chills. I feel like I have the flu. And maybe I do - perhaps this is coincidental - but if not, this is not something I ever want to experience again. I wonder if there is a correlation between how caffeine impacts me now and how much worse my withdrawal symptoms are this time around.

It is not that bad at all

I have been drinking well over 1000 mg a day (mainly through redlines) for atleast three years now.  I stopped a couple days ago and I have a headache and feel a little tired but it is not bad at all.  All of you seem to be overreacting very much.  If you read some of these peoples stories you will find yourself withdrwaling harder and longer just because you will make your mind believe it is much worse than it is.  Please, none of you ever become addicted to heroin or benzos because if you are thinking cofee withdrwals are bad, then I think most of you might commit suicide  having to endure those by the looks of some of your posts.  Just realize your not gonna be at  100% for probably a week.  Trying to do all the things you are used to doing will just frustrate you because you will be so used to caffeine.  Just kick back for a couple days, and if it means maybe missing some work or not studying as much, then so be it.  You were the one who got yourself into it in the first place, and now you are responsible for getting yourself out.  The energy you will have down the road without any type of drug in you at all is far superior to the little 'boost" caffeine gives you.

Nonsense

I stopped drinking coffee because it was so hot out and I don't have air conditioning. I was swamped with an overwhelming wave of depression and anxiety and had no idea what was happening. Just by chance I got an iced coffee with a friend and started feeling a million times better. I had no idea I was going through caffeine withdrawal.

You are not a doctor or a researcher. Keep your boring limited opinions to yourself. Do not dismiss others pain just because you have it easy in one aspect of life where others might suffer greatly. Your individual experience does not make you an expert on anything other than how you react to caffeine withdrawal.

Thank you

Thank you for this post (the first paragraph because I am ignoring the one who said we were all over-reacting).  I stopped drinking my regular 9 a.m. Diet Dr. Pepper that I have consumed for over 12 years about 2 weeks ago.  I have thought I was losing my mind.  I want to cry all the time, I get irritated at the stupist things and I am more anxious.  My husband today thought of the possible link between my emotional/hormone behaviour and the withdrawal of caffeine, and I think he may be right. 

It depends

I think it is different for everybody. If you have more time to sleep, then quitting will be easier. Also, some people (like myself) are prone to depression and have been using caffeine to stay happy. Thus, when I quit for 21 days cold turkey, I thought that the world was so full of evil and the life was not worth living. I got over that in about a week, but I was still tired at day 21 (because my sleep schedule was not that good). Caffeine withdraw is actually two issues:
1. The chemical withdraw that most people know about
2. The sleep debt that caffeine has caused you to build up.
If you don't get the sleep debt paid back up (it takes about 30 days according to a military study), then you will still feel very tired.
Finally, your fitness level will determine a lot of this in regards to how well you get back to normal.

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