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

4 days ago .....

I decided to give up any caffiene. I probably started drinking coffee in 1981 or so, and I have had some other bad habits during this time that I gave up like smokes and alchohol, I never thought much about how dangerous coffee and caffiene truly are. I was averaging about three cups a day. The reason I had to give it up is that I had an acid reflux "episode" and was informed that coffee was a big culprit.
 
Well, I have had the usual withdrawal sysmptoms that many of you have descibed here. Fatigue and flu like symptoms being the most promenent. Of course, that splitting headache was on the first couple of days. Luckily I am retired and basically walk around the house like a zombie while I let this play out.
 
I am drinking plenty of water and herb teas etc. I tried jogging today, as I am an avid jogger, and my legs felt like they were stuck in mud. It's incredible what a powerful drug this is and I think most people are not aware of this. Now, for some of us who have anxiety, this "poison" is a must NOT do, and I should have realized this many years ago.
 
I have read that there may be thousands of people in mental inistitutions that may not need be there if they just cut out any caffiene. Can you believe that? I do! I know that some research came out recently about the benefits of coffee and I even heard Doctor Oz promote its use. I think if he took some time to study up on the negatives, he would change his mind. So coffee contains a few elements that may help with something. I bet cigs have a few of those elements too.
 
Oh just to let you know, I spent the last two days reading almost every message in this thread. For those of you who posted and never thought anyone heard your voice, dont be dismayed. I have read your words and understand your pain. Thanks to Daniel for setting up this site. The many messages here have helped me be determined to give up this drug.
 
One last word - as tough as this is right now with the withdrawals, it nowhere near matches how difficult it was for me to give up smokes many years ago, but thats a whole other story.
 
 
 

I hear ya

Hang in there. I've quit coffee several times. Always bad withdrawals. it's clear and beautiful on the other side. If you can kick cigs, you can do this. I am giving up coffee now for good. I'm sick of being a slave to the drug. Actually. I have a splitting headache and some anxiety to start. All the best to you. 

Thanks for such a strong post

Thanks for such a strong post - I just gave up caffiene due to pregnancy, and figured that I'd resume coffee after the baby arrived, but your words have me considering making it a permanant improvement.

caffeine withdrawal

Allmost in tears writing this, I have a  headache and am down in the dumps. This is day #2 without my morning 12oz cup but I know I gotta quit this time. From passed experience I know its gonna be a couple more days for me. The headaches hopefully will be gone then it will be another week or 2 before I start to feel really good again. Ive been here before. Ill quit for a couple weeks then start feeling good and think Ive killed this beast. Then I start again. After 4 or 5 days binging Im so jacked up nobody can stand me, I cant stand myself sometimes. It has effected my work and personal and spiritual life at times. I gotta do it this time. Had to go and get smokes to take the edge off. Good luck everyone and God bless. From the great Pac NW coffee capitol of the world, signing off.

caffeine and sugar withdrawal

I quit sugar 18 days ago and then quit caffeine 7 days ago. The withdrawal symptoms (or what I'm HOPING are withdrawal symptoms and not signs of a real illness) are HORRID! I took up jogging at the same time as quitting sugar 18 days ago because I didn't do any exercise before and I decided 2 go on a bit of a health-kick and lose some weight. The symptoms I had a first with the sugar-withdrawal were slight but frequent headaches, bloating, painful trapped wind, constipation & anxiety (tightening of chest, heart pounding, light headedness, panic). After 3 days the bloating and trapped wind and constipation stopped as I introduced more fibre to my diet but the headaches and anxiety remained! which is why I decided to quit caffeine & switch to caffeine free green tea to try and calm the anxiety but as I say its been 7 days caffeine free and it hasnt helped at all! Since stopping caffeine my headaches have changed from mild and frequent to severe and almost CONSTANT, the anxiety has not improved at all. Before I started this health kick I did suffer from anxiety but only related to my phobia, so when my phobia crept up I would get panic attacks but on a day-to-day basis I never suffered from anxiety, now I have it every day especially at nights and in morning, it lessens during the day time but it still remains. I visited my doctor a few days ago and he told me to keep up the jogging despite the heart pounding and took a blood sample to test for hypothyroidism as a close relative has a thyroid issue and this sometimes runs in families but other than that he says he doesnt think I should be tested for anything more serious because he believes the symptoms are all related to the sugar and caffeine withdrawal! Ive read online and on this forum that some doctors have said that the physical symptoms of caffeine withdrawal should last no longer than 9 days and anything after that would be pyschological only so I have 2 days left of the 9 days, but the anxiety started from before the caffeine withdrawal anyway. Sorry this is very long but I am very confused about my symptoms. I'll update if anyone is interested when I get my blood rests from the doctor next week. Thanks for reading.

EXPERiMENTAL

I'm quitting Pepsi, my lifelong mistress, and this is only days one. I'm going cold turkey, just water, no juices or weaning. I'm not expecting the bouts of depression but I'm curious to see just how long these withdrawal symptoms will last.
Some background: I'm twenty-two years old, have been drinking Pepsi since childhood, about 2 or 3 years old. I grew up in a Pepsi household since my mom was raised on Pepsi as well, so it was just THE drink. Growing I drank little water. What water I did get was from Pepsi, or school water fountains. I never drank water bottles or went out of my way to pour a glass. If a glass was filled, it was with - you guessed it - Pepsi. So here I am today (or, rather, yesterday) drinking roughly two 2 Litre bottles a day, or about ten cans a day, give or take a couple. This is roughly 1600 calories a day, 48,000 calories a month. That's 13.7 pounds of body fat a month. I'm REALLY hoping that my body will recognize the mathematic defficiency in calories as I have and shed some of these pounds :) I don't even WANT to imagine how much caffeine and/or sugar because I don't want to know what damage I've done to my body. I'm just hoping that biology and nature is on my side and I can repair any harm with time.
One thing I'm curious about; my demeanor. I was a quiet kid, not over-active, and I've always had a calm, focused mind; never scattered, never racing, never had a snappy or irritable attitude (one of those super optimistic people that makes you sick.) So will I just get completely lethargic?
 
Well I'll let you all know how it went. I'm hoping that I can be a success story like the people on these responses that have inspired me! Thank you all for the stories and experiences :)

This explains a lot, I was on

This explains a lot, I was on fat burners for about a month so I was consuming around 1000 mg of caffeine a day.  When I stopped taking them I thought I had a really terrible cold/flu.  My whole body felt week and all my muscles were tense, not to mention a terrible headache.  It's been about 5 days now and I feel a whole lot better. 

wow so thats why i have been feeling like crap..!

I left caffeine for lent expecting it to be easier than leaving cigarettes or pot.. but come to find out it's not easy at all.. and to top it off i just started a new job and i'm working 10hr shifts.. I actually had a dream i was drinking a coke a cola last night.. that's when i got worried and googled my question. unexpectadly i realized alot of the problems i have been having are all caused from caffeine withdraw.. i thought i had the flu or a cold.. answer to that caffeine withdraw.. my head has been pounding non stop.. agen caffeine withdrawl.. can't sleep at night but like 3 hrs at a time.. caffeine withdraw.. my muscles and bones hurt as if i have a fever.. caffeine withdraw.. i been feeling depressed and just out of it like im in a dream.. caffeine withdraw.. i'm super irritable.. caffeine withdrawl.. 0mg i really cant wait till my 40 days are done.. i really always thought it was a myth.. well my mother basically brought me up thinking that.. to her its ok to give kids coffee or coke.. or even red bull at times.. when i would tell her not to she would reply.. "that's a myth" lol.. wow.. i'm glad i googled.. now i noe not to ever introduce that drug to my kids
 

STAY UP

Hang in there i quit drinking caffeine in jan after drinking it heavy since i was 16 and im29 now.I also had the flu symptoms and the muscle pains also.But the hard part is getting used to my relaxed mind because caffeine kept my mind racing and alert.First please exercise,eat good and meditate and right it out you will be okay remember your brain has been altered and it has to get back right so dont let this mess scare you our bodys are stronngggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg just relax and it will pass.

Well said, Eddie.

Well said, Eddie.

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