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

Severe Insomina After Quitting Cafeine 3 months

Ever since I quit my caffeine addiction 3 months ago, I've developed severe insomnia and my body doesn't seem know how to cope with anxiety.   I only get about 2-3 hours of sleep per night. Lately I would sleep for one hour, get up, the go back sleep for another hour. A total of 2 hours sleep max. Then I can't go back to sleep. My body will have these myoclonic jerks. I don't know what to do because I feel like I am going crazy. My doctor told me myoclonic jerks are normal and he said that the anxiety is what is making my insomnia worse. My doctor has prescribed me Ambien and also Clonazepam for sleep but all have not worked that well. I think out of the two, the Ambien worked best which gave me 4 hours of sleep. I tried other sleep meds from Lunesta, Trazadone, and so on. I've tried them all and they all didn't do much for me. I don't know what to do from this point. I was off of sleep meds for a month and it was just pure hell. Any suggestions?

Insomnia

Have you ever tried Melatonin. You can buy it in pill form and it helps you get to sleep.

Gave up coffee for Lent

As of March 9th, Ash Wedneday, I gave up coffee for Lent. White Castle coffee was my drug of choice. My usual intake - I drank a 20 oz in the morning, another 16 oz during the day, and another 16 oz. in the evening. I also decided to quit cold turkey. I had a horrible headache until yesterday, now it's tolerable - just on the right side of my head. However my symptoms seem to be the opposite of most of the rest of the posts. I have been sleeping non-stop. I used to be a person who could go to bed between 1 - 2 am and get up at 7 am. Sometimes I'd take a nap on the weekends to feel "caught up".  I went to bed Thursday night at 11 pm and got up about 8 am on Friday. Went to bed Friday at midnight and slept until 11 am. Went back to sleep at 4 pm and slept until 10 pm. went back to sleep at midnight and slept until 8 am.
Is all of this sleep from not having coffee? It seems like everyone else is experiencing insomnia and anxiety. I am definitely depressed, but I was before I stopped coffee. It just seems a little more intensified right now. Is anyone else experiencing these symptoms?

8 days and counting...

I got off caffeine about 8 days ago.  It might be 9 or 10 because I quit rather suddendly..and my brain has been in the fog ever since my last cup.  I did not realize what I was doing - I think that I was drinking so much of it that I became intoxicated.  I did the math - I was drinking something in the range of 700-800+ mg's a day - every morning I would get up to a cappucino with 4 shots (yes, 4!) and then I would have another 2 shots before lunch to keep me going and another 3 shots in the afternoon to beat the blues.  I had started to also drink a natural energy booster in the late afternoon - little did I know that it contained more caffeine in the form of all sort of caffeinated supplements.  I finally maxed out when I took a pain killer that had caffeine as one of the ingredients and that was it.  My blood pressure was high suddenly and it had been very normal - and I decided to quit cold turkey.  I didn't know what I was doing, clearly.  I put up with the migraine for 48 hours and the horrible brain fog symptoms.  My doctor thought it was the blood pressure - but then I mentioned that I had quit caffeine cold turkey and he gave me that "are you out of your mind" look....and suddenly the brain fog lifted long enough for me to learn what I had done to myself!
I found this site - and now I know that I'm not losing my mind.  I have felt so bad for the last 8 days - and because the first 3 I did not know it was caffeine withdrawal, I know it was not psychological!  I have all the symptoms - brain fog being the worst, but also fatigue - I used to bounce out of bed to reach for the coffee and now I drag myself out of bed and it takes me hours to wake up fully and I feel tired like I'm jet lagged (I used to travel a lot - I know jet lag!).  I have nausea when I eat (and acid reflux afterwards...) and my hypoglycemia has gotten worse - so I have to try to eat in small portions often in order for my blood sugar to stay normal.  I have been having anxiety, nervousness, irritability and panic attacks.  I have a tremendous difficult focusing on anything - and my memory is really not as sharp as it used to be on coffee.
I did some acupuncture for the migraine right away and that really solved the problem with the headaches - and I've been taking some of the vitamin and herbal supplements recommended by the Caffeine Blues book - and that seems to also help give me energy and reduce the stress and anxiety.  I'm just starting to exercise daily - very, very slowly - and it seems to help give me a little more energy throughout the day.  I haven't touched coffee - the idea actually makes me nauxious but my body heads to my espresso machine every morning like a zombie...I am drinking black tea in very small quantities and also green tea - and that helps a little...but I'm very dehydrated so I am also drinking loads of water. 
I am a real health nut and I eat very healthy foods - I don't smoke and I drink very little.  Caffeeine was my only vice and I can't believe what it did to my body and what it does to a person's nervous system.    I do admit that I am a lot better today  than I was a week ago - I can't believe it - it is so bad.  Please tell me that this will get better so I can function again!!

Hang in there! It WILL GET

Hang in there! It WILL GET BETTER! I had all the same symptoms you had except I didn't have much of the headaches. I found that my anxiety was much worse in the morning. It was very hard to get breakfast down. I am about 2.5 weeks in and I am starting to feel alot better. Almost like I am back to normal although I do get anxiety and depression moments from time to time yet.
I found that going to bed at a certain time every night and waking up at a certain time every morning helped. Also drink some chamomile tea at night before bed, that seemed to help relax me. I have also been taking 50mg of Benadryl at night to help me fall asleep. I slept pretty well the last couple days but last night was a struggle, I don't know why.
Just be patient it does get better! Eat healthy, exersize, and drink lots of fluids and you will be ok! It doesn't hurt to have a strong prayer life either! Good luck!

MY CAFFAINE WITHDRAWAL STORY 2 AND HALF MONTHS IN

I QUIT CAFFAINE IN JANUARY 2011 AFTER HAVING A BAD PANIC ATTACK HERE IN ATLANTA .I BEEEN DRINKING CAFFIENE SINCE I WAS LIKE 16 HEAVY BUT AFTER THIS PANIC ATTACK I SAID TO MYSELF I HAD ENOUGH.I HAVE BEEN JITTERY ALL THESE YEARS WALKING FAST,TALKING FAST ,NOT BEING ABLE TO COMPLETE ANYTHING AT ALL. I HAVE HAD MUSCLE PAIN,HEAD PRESSURE,BACK PAIN,SNAPPY ATTITUDE FOR LIKE 15 YEARS AND BECAUSE OF LACK OF KNOWLEDGE I HAVE NOT LIVED A HAPPY CALM LIFE.OKAY WHEN I QUIT IN JANUARY I HAD NO HEADACHES AT ALL BUT MY MUSCLES FELT LIKE I WAS BEING CRUSHED BY A GARBAGE TRUCK AND I HAD FLY SYMTOMS WITH THIS PAIN.I ALSO HAD A STREP THROAT OR SOAR THROAT THAT LASTED FOR ABOUT A WEEK AND A HALF AND I WAS LIKE WHAT THE HELL IS THIS I DONT GET SICK AND I FINALLY REALIZED IT WAS THE CAFFAINE.ONE NIGHT I HAD NAUSEA  AND THE BAD CASES OF DIARREA I WAS THINKING I WAS ABOUT TO DIE BUT IT SEEMS AFTER EVERY SYMTOM AND AFTER EVERY PANIC ATTACK I WAS  GETTING BETTER .IT MAY SEEM WIRD I SAY THIS BUT AS MY BODY TRYS TO REPAIR ITSELF SOME SYMTOMS WOYLD MAKE ME PANIC AND I WOULD HAVE A PANIC ATTACK.ITS BEEN TWO MONTHS AND I CAN SAY I FEEL LIKE I WAS WHEN I WAS 17 NO PAIN NOWHERE BUT SEE ITS SCARY BECAUSE IM NOT USE TO THIS FEELING OF HEALTHY ANYMORE I MEAN ALL MY PAIN IS GONE DUE TO THE DRUG OF CAFFIENCE.I WILL ADMIT I HAVE ONE PROBLEM  IM NOT USE TO MY MIND BEING THIS CALM AND CLEAR I MEAN MY MIND IS SUPERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR CLEARRRRRR AND YES YOU MAY SAY ITS A GOOD THING BUT IF YOU HAVE HAD THE NEURONS IN YOUR BRAIN FIRING OFF FROM CAFFEINE FOR LIKE 15 YEARS YOU WOULD UNDERSTAND.I WILL LEAVE YOU WITH THIS I HAVENT HAD ANY CAFFEINE SINCE JAN 6 AND I FEEL GREATTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT ONLY THE CLEAR MIND FEELING I HAVE TO GET USE TO AND WITH GOD HELP I WILL GET USE TO IT.ALSO THE BIGGEST REPLACEMENT I FOUND FOR QUITTING CAFFEINE WAS EXERCISE DO IT PLEASE THAT IS THE KEY WITH A PROPER DIET YOU ARE GOOD TO GO.

symptoms have lasted for 2 months!

After seeing 4 doctors and taking 6 different prescription the past 2 months, I have lost 30 pounds.  I have been scared, not knowing what was wrong with me.  I stopped drinking coffee in January, after being a coffee drinker for 20 years. I'd drink about 4 cups each morning. 
My symptoms started like a sinus infection and scratchy throat. Those antibiotics did not help. Never did I get a headache. Amazing.  But I was depressed, my body hurt, and the clogged nose drove me crazy. I couldn't breath. I had to have a CT scan to see what was causing this. Nothing showed up. Now I am wondering if it is the dilated blood vessels in my nose that have made me extra sensitive. I can't go out in public at all because my nose is so sensitive to smells (evidently this can be caused by caffeine withdrawal) My wife can't cook strong smelling foods or my nose reacts. I have to prop myself up on FOUR pillows in order to breath when I sleep at night. If I walk past someone wearing cologne, my nose clogs up.  MY wife can not use cleansers in the home. I can not stand the smell of smoke as my neighbors burn wood this winter, so therefore I can't get outside to do exercise, walk, yard work, etc.  I'm living in a bubble.  Cigarette smoke really irritates my nose too.  My nose has never been this clogged or this sensitive!
Has anyone had the same symptoms?? I have seen an ENT doctor and will return to him next week.  I am seeing improvement, but I'd love to know if I am actually having caffeine withdrawal or if I am allergic to everything in the atmosphere. 
I feel badly for all of you who have written in.  I hope you find relief soon.
Please help me in my search for the cause of my extra sensitive nose and my clogged nose feeling. The good thing is that I have stopped drinking coffee and won't ever drink caffeine again. Powerful drug.
 

Just like Dennis- Sinus Problems

I saw this old post. He had the same problem like I have been experiencing since I have been drinking caffeine again off and on. I have sinus pressure after a day or two of not in taking any caffeine. So I guess it can be a caffeine withdrawal. Any one else experienced this too?

7 days without caffeine

It has been 7 days without caffeine for me. I basically quit it cold turkey. I used to drink a 16oz cup of coffee every morning I worked, and on days I didn't work, I would usually drink a mug of it. This ritual has been going on for at least 3 years.
I'm a 25 yr old guy in pretty decent shape. I never expected that kicking caffeine would put someone through this.
Right now the symptoms I am experiencing are: Insomnia, anxiety, hungry but food making me feel sick when I'm eating it, fatigue, and some depression. I find myself getting emotional at random times and just want to cry. The worst part of any of these symptoms for me personally has got to be the anxiety; which in and of itself, prevents me from sleeping. I'll get a wave of panic that sets over me that makes my skin hot. The worst of these usually happen at night.
I don't know if the worst is over for me, but right now, its not fun in the least. I feel like I'm losing my mind and feel like I dropped 50 IQ levels. I can't focus on anything too long.
Since this is all new to me, has anyone ever experienced these type of things before? Any comments would be awesome.
Also, this blog is really a great thing for people looking to quit the caffeine drug. Thanks to admin for letting this up here.

7 days without caffeine

matt...i am right there with you on everything you said!! i was almost ready to take myself to the emergency room with the anxiety when i started reading this after searching caffeine withdrawals. i had heard they were BRUTAL but i had no idea they would be THIS brutal!! i can't sleep...anxiety and sweating wakes me up when i seem to be peacefully sleeping for no more than a half hour. now, with no good sleep, i am TOO nervous to sleep and have been awake for the most of 4 nights now. i believe that the no sleep is now making the anxiety worse too - my heart pounds...i am shaky...i feel like i am about to die! i just can NOT believe how bad the addiction of caffeine is and if i am successful in continuing to not drink caffeine any more, i hope i NEVER start it up again!! at least i know what is happening to me now. i thought i was just going crazy. after all, i thought the anxiety would be worse WHILE i was drinking caffeine products, NOT afterwards!!! thanks for sharing your story.

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