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

Maybe the coffee is causing

Maybe the coffee is causing the IBS! Not worth it. I suffered through overwhelming side effects due to coffee/caffeine addiction. I have been through the withdrawal several times. The improvement in my health is dramatic (each time). Caffeine addiction affects all 24 hours of every day. NO cup of coffee tastes as good as being healthy feels.

dumb

dumb

caffine is a drug and it can

caffine is a drug and it can actualy block the pain reseperters in your brain. I used to drink coffee because i had races in the morning at like 4 AM. I quit now and have been free for 3 weeks. i still am not feeling clear yet and my sleep pattern is all messed up. Right now, i am just a mess and it is going to take some time for my brain to recover. I kinda feel like a meth adict in a way. So, good luck to you all.

Mark C is playing black jack

For the last several years, I

For the last several years, I would wake up every morning with a nasty headache. I had no idea what was causing it, but I knew I needed to do something about it eventually. I put off going to the doctor, because they'd just prescribe pain meds. On a whim, I decided to quit drinking my usual 2 cups of coffee each morning (this was around May 15, 2010), and to abstain from drinking anything but water. The withdrawal was unbelievably horrible! However, the amazing thing was my morning headaches completely went away after about day 3 of drinking nothing but water. Clearly, what was happening is my body was craving those 2 cups of coffee each morning while I was asleep, and the withdrawal headaches were waking me up. It's now been about a month, and I've been completely headache free (not just in the mornings, but throughout the day) for that entire time. I've also noticed tons of other beneficial changes from drinking nothing but water (losing weight, don't have to use the restroom very often at all). I'd be willing to bet at least half of the medical/health problems in America could be solved, if everyone stopped drinking "substances".

worst headache of my life

So I first must say, this site and these comments have been super helpful, and of immense aid to me in my effort to deal with my caffeine problems...I am not a major coffee drinker, but I do partake of maybe one or two cups of international instant coffee french vanilla a day, sometimes up to 2 or 3, but some days I don't drink any, but I do however drink around 10 cans of soda a day, or maybe a 2 liter depending on what deals I find at the supermarket...well I was unable to make it to the grocery store and instead of drinking my usual mountain dew or coke, I found myself drinking only caffeine free sodas completely on accident, and by the end of the day, I had the worst headache I've ever had in my life, and that's saying alot as I suffer from migraines and sinus headaches and this put all of that noise to shame...it was bad. I couldn't see, it would spread all over my skull, in waves, it throbbed, it burned, I thought honestly I was dying....I was clueless as to what was the cause of this until it hit me I wasn't taking in my normal amount of caffeine, which after this little exercise calculated to be around 800mg....Jesus that's alot...anyways once I realized it was some sort of withdrawal I quickly made a cup of coffee and tried to choke it down, I got through about 3/4s of a cup, and then I threw-up...I hadn't felt nauseous at all, it came on instantly....then I took 3 Excedrin migraines which each contain 65mg of caffeine, that fixed it, but I can tell you I am resolved to kick caffeine...but there's no way I'll be able to do it if the headaches are that bad....no person should ever have to feel that kind of pain....so I guess I'll try to ween myself off, bummer...

also to those thinking of quitting, don't do it cold turkey....just trust me don't....even if your headache isn't half as and as mine you'll never make it ...good luck and thank you for hosting this site...

-B

about the caffeine/headaches

I went years doing the same as you and dude... wow now i feel like crap every SINGLE day pretty much. You MUST CUT DOWN YOUR SUGAR INTAKE in a huge way, man. It sucks too but seriously try in morning something not terribly sweet with lot of cinnamon, (sliced apples, oatmeal, ect) and for lunch again nothing too sugary but try a good portion of avocado with lunch any way you are willing to eat it; with salt, in guacamole, in sushi, doesnt matter just eat some and for snacks try the drinks called Glucerna, (made for diabetics) and see if that doesnt make you feel better... You may have given yourself type 2 diabetes. I am not a doctor, just going through what you are and this is the only thing that made me feel any better. Now i need to drop this extra weight drinking soda for years has put on me (like 30-40 lbs probably) and see if that doesnt get rid of the symptoms completely. The only time i can recall drinking ton of soda since then and not feeling all blaaaah was when i went to amusement park and sweat my ass off walked my ass off. Also stress seems to trigger this blahh feeling and you shold take any steps possible to reduce stress or relieve it quickly. Oh also get off the white breads, do anything else wheat, rye, multigrain and also increase fiber intake and hopeully some days wont suck too badly.

Wow, I had stopped coffee

Wow, I had stopped coffee cold turkey several times before and never noticed much. This time, not thinking I needed to taper down, stopped and had no headaches, but soon started having SEVERE muscle pain, much like labor pains, waves of pain from ankles to thighs. Trouble doing my normal run & no ability to stretch the thighs as I normally could during yoga. Thought I might have a serious disease! Was waking up at night in serious pain. Thanks so much for your comments. I am on day 7 and feel better already. Hope I can sleep tonight.

I am on day 7 of no coffee

I am on day 7 of no coffee and I have had severe headaches and SEVERE leg, thigh, and hip pain. I was beginning to think the same thing, that there has got to be something wrong with me. But after reading all of these comments I realize that it is from the caffeine withdrawal. I really hope this pain in my legs and the headaches go away soon because it is unbearable and I really need to get a good nights sleep! I cant wait to kick this awful habit for good without the pain that comes along with it.

Intense pain on withdrawal

I got into a cycle of depression and excessive coffee drinking, which I eventually quit. I guess I was on a heavy dose of 4 or 5 mugs of filter coffee when I quit. I had headache for a couple of days but worse than that, severe joint pain, especially in my legs.

Having said that I did start to feel clearer and fresher, even when I had the pain. But the pain took a good couple of weeks to go completely. Painkillers helped. The first week I allowed myself a small cup in the afternoon each only, and no other. Almost instantly at that time I felt the effect of the caffine relieving the joint pain, which also made me worried about just how powerful an effect it had.

I can see there's some sense in suddenly quitting, when it's so hard. But if you can try a limiting amount for 1 or 2 weeks first (such as one cup at a set time every day and nothing else) it might educe the withdrawal pain a bit.

Back pain & fatigue! Wow, I

Back pain & fatigue!
Wow, I was on the internet searching effects of caffeine withdrawal and your comments hit home. I've just quit cold turkey, on day 4 and the headaches are gone, but the joint pain in my back is strange! Like you, it went away with advil, but sort of scares me about why?? It's probably been 11 years since I've gone completely without, when I was pregnant and nursing. But even then I did have a little. I'm drinking only water this time and never experienced joint pain and fatigue like this.

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