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.


Thank You, Daniel

Thank you for not censoring those of us who are trying to, or have successfully beat caffeine addiction. I've finally given it up for good (yeah!!) and am happy to report that once I got through the first two months, I feel like a new person. A lot of little aches and pains are gone, I have unbelievable energy that doesn't fade in the afternoon like it did when I drank coffee and my skin looks beautiful. I weight train and I've also found that I can concentrate much more clearly and I "feel" the weights more than I did before - it's as if my now-clean body is working much more in tune with my brain. That probably doesn't make sense, but it's the closest I can come to describing my experience. My body is definitely happier without the caffeine drug.

Happy New Year, Daniel - to you and everyone else on this board. :)

My storry

I've been completely off caffeine for 4 months now.
I stopped drinking caffe, tea, soda, eating chocolade. I was sick. Headaches, muscle aches, muscle twitching, cold-sweats, shivering, stomach upset, diarrhea, panic-attacks, my muscles hurt, brain fog. The headaches went away after a week. The muscle aches and chills, went away after a few weeks. After a three months the nausea and diarrhea went away, but a litlle brain fog im steel feeling. After a three month i noticed i can wake up easily in the morning.

Unaware Addiction

I recently had jaw surgery which required my mouth being wired shut and me to not consume carbonated beverages. Furthermore, I have been placed on a full liquid diet for the next 4 weeks my mouth is wired shut. About 3 days after my surgery I was having some intense pains. I couldn't figure out what was causing my stomach to have such bad pains either. It was one thing to have pain in your face from surgery and another to have your entire body seize up every time you put another medication or food into it. After calling the on-call doctor and the attending at a hospital (wife's a nurse) we came to a few conclusions. The blood in my stomach was causing some of my stomach problems and it would take a few weeks for my nose to stop bleeding as a result of the intubation. Also we figured out that the most likely cause of my problems was the pain meds. Therefore I went the entire day without taking any pain meds (this is 4 days post op from an upper and lower jaw surgery). My pain level was at a 7/8 out of 10 in my face and I was hurling myself on the ground. Any medications I took just made my body want to seize up and my stomach would just contract and want to vomit anything that went in. I was at a point of asking wife to put me out of my misery or take me to the Emergency Room. I couldn't take down my liquids (foods) or medicines. Finally, I thought I want some Diet Coke. Then asked my wife how much caffeine was in diet coke and could I be going through withdraw symptoms? She googled it and found that if I was experiencing such things, I must have some of the most severe there are. She crushed up 2 Excedrin Migraines and gave that to me with some pain medication. Within about an hour my body stopped feeling like it was convulsing and quitting on me. I managed to take all of my evening meds this afternoon. I also managed to take down my food (chicken broth). Although, I now have a stomach that is merely rumbeling, it is not convulsing and trying to shut my body down.

For a personal note, I usually consume about 3 - 20oz diet cokes a day, if I am home by myself I can easily go through 2-2 liter bottles in a day.

So for those of you experiencing withdraw symptoms or needing to quit take this seriously. Hopefully, my current excedrin regiment will take care of my issues.

PEPSI stopped cold turkey, HELP!!!

I stopped drinking pepsi a month ago after a kidney stone. I stopped cold turkey after over 20 years of drinking it with almost every meal. I didnt know that caffeine withdrawal was real. I now suffer from almost all the symptoms esp. the anxiety and depression. I wake up every morning around 6:13 am and my heart is racing and it calms down once Im up but Im so freakin tired now! Loss appetite, loss weight, paranoid sometimes,sometimes i just want to cry for no reason which lead my to believe I was suffering from Kundalini rising again( google it) I started drinking a pepsi once every few days to see if its that and sure enough its the caffeine. My wife said that its a drug but I didnt want to believe that i was addicted to it. Now I know, This is a serious drug and its a serious withdrawal. in still going through the withdrawal symptoms but feel better that I understand it more and realize that Im not dying. I wish us all the best with the recovery!! Lets support each other!!!

day two I'm hurting

I've been going to Starbucks twice a day for the last 3 years getting a venti iced Starbucks double shot. I was getting ready to hit the gym, and I just got this heavy headache. Been laying down all day. I wanna stop drinking coffee and be able to live with out it and save some money. I'm hoping it gets better. Googled up coffee with drawls and found out I'm not alone.

You are not alone.

You are not alone.

Caffeine Withdrawal

I quit caffeine about 8 years ago the first time after a Reiki Massage and Detox....OMG...I thought I was dying and became suicidal...I lost my vision at one point from anxiety....went to tons of doctors who knew nothing...I also had quit smoking weed and so I thought it was withdrawal from that..never gave it a second thought until about 2 years ago when I was reading and article on caffeine psychosis and all my symptoms were there...waking up at the same time every morning, crazy dreams, nausea and vomiting, could not eat anything, dizziness and tightness in my head, sensitivity to fluorescent lights, severe anxiety attacks, crying for no reason....I went to work everyday regardless because I felt better than being at home...My reiki master told me to take B12 vitamins, a monthly vitamin, drink tons of water, valerian tea, chamomile tea and lemon water concoction in the morning,,after a month...I felt incredible and in one day I woke up at like noon...after waking up consistently at 6:33 am for a month...and everything felt normal again...I was doing great for 2 years not knowing it was from caffeine...even worked at starbucks for a year..never drank coffee...but then I went back to school and starting drinking it again to keep me awake...and drank about 2 to 3 Venti Iced White Mocha Quad shot Americanos EVERYDAY.....well after educating myself on its affects and withdrawals in October of this year I started weening myself off and here I am 3 months later and I feel great...or greater I should say,,,lots of headaches but I remembered to drink water and eat right, take vitamins. Good Luck Kickin the habit.

On day 3 and miserable

I've been put on a restricted diet, no caffeinne and no chocolate, among other things and have been a heavy coffee drinker for 3 years (caffeinne my entire life but just real heavy on the coffee the last three years) including 4 to 5 cups in the morning and a tall venti triple latte in the afternoon. I also would partake in the occasional cup of tea, pepsi and chocolate. I had no idea how much I was putting in my body everyday. With that being said, I am having a very hard time. It is nice to know I'm not alone. I have no energy, my head aches as well as my entire body and I have no energy. I want to get up and do some things.......but I just cant seem to get up and do anything!

"Quit" 6 years ago

I grew up in New Orleans where Cafe au Lait is commonplace. I had my first cup (mostly milk with a hefty amount of sugar) when I was probably 8 or 9. Unlike some of the posters, I've always liked the taste of coffee. I drank it in high school (70s) and began to "use" it in college. After that, the motivation for its consumption is nebulous-- In grad school in Texas, we had a large percolator type coffee pot which brewed something tasting like shredded cardboard. At any rate, I drank varying amounts for years and years.

About 6 years ago I went on a "cleanse" diet. Hunger was not an issue, but what was definitely an issue was the caffeine withdrawal-- major headaches, joint aches, and a bizarre combination of fatigue and agitation. At that point I was drinking probably two and a half 20 ounce mugs of coffee per day, sometimes supplemented by diet Coke or Pepsi. Given the symptoms, I realized something was *way* wrong with this story, and decided to continue to QUIT cold turkey.

Major symptoms were gone in about a week. After that, I felt tired and sluggish often, but with very moderate exercise (like taking a walk!) and eating fruit periodically during the day, the sluggishness faded. Interestingly, after I was "off" caffeine for several months, I inadvertently ate some trail mix containing M&Ms. I shot through the roof. Since then, I've discovered how to moderate chocolate (which I can no longer eat any time after mid afternoon if I have any hope of sleeping through the night).

I now occasionally enjoy a cup of tea, usually herbal though, and almost always have a cup-a-joe with Sunday brunch. This unfortunately leads to a bad night's sleep to start the week. I could probably avoid this, but somehow the omlette tastes better with a nice brew. We shall see.

Moderation is the ticket. Wishing all well.

Two Days into the process..

Hi All,

I'm quitting the bean and I'm two days into the process. I was drinking one "tall" coffee per day (occassionally another 1/2 cup in the afternoon). I have been doing this for quite some time. Except for a month off (probably twice over the last 10 years), I have drank a full 12 ounce cup (and occasionally more) every day. I really told myself that I needed this drug in order to be "enough" for my job, the world, etc... The effects of that need have left me with fear, anxiety, nervousness, depression, indigestion, poor sleep and a lack of peace and contentment in my life.

I began drinking coffee as a nursing student to be able to work the long hours and before exams. I really hated the taste and that was the last time that I remember feeling really "good" just before I got the coffee habit.

I know that I can completely "decaffeinate" this time. I'm so ready to feel like my real self again......who I really am. Isn't it sad that we as a culture feel so pressured to accept this type of mood altering and behavior changing drug as a normal, acceptable and most of all "expected" way to make ourselves be someone that we're not??

Anyway, I'm really glad to read all of your stories on this site. It's encouraging and strengthening.

I've started feeling tired, achy and my awareness is altered (kinda foggy)...........I know it's all worth it to have that well being back that I remember so well before the "brew" got hold of me......

Thanks everyone....

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