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

Hi Dave!

Hi Dave - yes, my friend, you are the Dave to whom I was referring. :-)

And here we are, both back under the influence of our Dark Master. UG! I'm so sorry to see a fellow poster fall as hard as I have. Congratulations on your medical field pursuit - what a wonderful goal you have! As for the sleep issues, you are absolutely correct - I found that the first two months of being clean were the worst as far as my sleep patterns - I would fall off to sleep almost instantly, sleep deeply for about two hours and then sleep fitfully for the rest of the night. My God, I can't imagine what caffeine is really, truly doing to our bodies.

I always come back to this board for support, including this morning when I saw your post - thank you! Now that the holidays are over, my traveling is behind me and I am thoroughly disgusted with myself for once again having to face a new and horrible withdrawal, I am making "THE VOW" once again, LOL.

My birthday is May 5th, which is 17 weeks from tomorrow. I'm going to drink coffee all day today and then that's it!!!!! A 17-week detox. Please wish me luck and I hope you, too, will succeed at some point in getting clean and de-caffeinated. Cyber hug! :-) Denise

Great to see on here again!

Great to see on here again! As for me, the sad part is that I never made the connection between the sleep problems and continued caffeine withdrawal. I had been free of caffeine for over a month and felt great, so it did not occur to me that my problems were caffeine-related. Now, after reading your story and the stories of others, I strongly believe that caffeine withdrawal was the culprit. Since being on caffeine, I have not had one experience of waking up in the middle of the night and not being able to go back to sleep. If these problems occur next time, I'm going straight to the doctor, and hopefully he can help.

I've taken the last few days off of caffeine in an attempt to lower my tolerance, as I was drinking way too much. My head is killing me and I threw up several times, and was also up for quite awhile last night. Thankfully, the worst seems to be over. I truly hope your latest attempt at withdrawal goes well. Please post and let us all know that you are okay :) You have my total e-support.

Dave

Caffeine Addiction is Real

It is good to read that others have the same experience with regards to caffeine addiction. My husband doesn't understand that it's "all or nothing" for me, and that I can't just have some every once in awhile. I don't remember it having such impacts in my early 20s, but definitely since I was 25 or 26 (I'm 31 now).

Caffeine strongly affects my mood (providing a very effective upper), energy levels, and I always crave more after I've had even a few sips. I detox about once a year, usually, and this time I want it to stick (even though I will miss the taste of coffee).

I have recently been diagnosed with autoimmune thyroid disease and am trying to support my adrenal glands (meaning NO caffeine!).

Happy New Year to you and here's to a caffeine-free 2011!

Never giving up!

I'll be right there with you Denise. Monday after Christmas I'm starting all over. That gives me a week of no work and school to de-tox this body ONCE again. UGH...the thought of the 3 days makes me sick. But the fantastic feeling of being caffeine free excites me.

I too can NEVER have just one taste of caffeine without slowly working up to mega doses that wreak havoc on my excercise, diet, weight, thoughts, and mood. Lets start an CA (AA) group for us that have addictive personalities for caffeine. Sure glad I never got into any kind of other drugs, I would be a goner!

Wishing you success!

I have quit drinking and

I have quit drinking and smoking and replaced it with French Vanilla International coffee. During the last few years I have had a huge weight gain and sweats. Beside my weight I believe the caffeine is a great contributor, therefore, I am quitting the french vanilla international coffee and all other caffeine to get back to feeling human. This is my first day.

Thank you, Kim!

Hi Kim!
You are going to fight this demon starting the Monday after Christmas, and I'll be cheering you on and thinking of you! I'm going to be traveling that week, so for me, January 1 is the day. I also HATE the thought of starting all over again with the horrible withdrawal, but this time I vow it's for good, God willing.

Also, I am not going to abandon this forum. It's been such a help to me in the past and I came crawling back again now that I'm addicted and want off the rollercoaster. Your idea of CA (Caffeine Anonymous) sounds like it's just a joke, but you and I both know that there really should be such a group. Caffeine is an insidious, sneaky addiction and it's probably the worst one of all since it is so cheap and socially acceptable, if not socially expected!

Good luck to you, Kim. Hang tough, OK? I'll be right behind you...

This time I'm serious....

Hi everyone!
Several months ago I posted here about making a statement to the world that I was quitting caffeine for good. Well, things haven't gone so well since then, with me quitting one day and then drinking coffee the next.
However, I started again this past Sunday and it is now day 6 of my withdrawal. I feel horrible!

This past week has been painful in many ways as my body adjusts to the lack of all caffeine. I have the usual severe pounding headache....back of the leg muscle aches.....extreme fatigue...brain fog......etc. The most troubling symptom for me now is the constant dizziness and unsteadiness on my feet.
I had to have my boyfriend go with me to the grocery store yesterday and walk with me, because I feel like falling down. This is very disturbing and scary, and I do hope it is part of the withdrawal.

It is unnerving to think that this drug can cause such extreme withdrawal in me. Obviously it is not good for my body and I am so glad that I'm on my way to getting rid of it forever.
I have tried to eat very healthy during this time and drink lots of water, as others have suggested. Fortunately I have the time to stay home during this and sleep when I want. I pity those that have to work during withdrawal.....don't know how they do it.
Sorry this is so long. I just wanted to touch base again on this site and keep anyone interested abreast of my progress. It always help to know others are feeling the same things.......makes it a little easier somehow.
Good luck to everyone trying to kick this addiction.
Patrice

Falling off the wagon

Ok so, someone posted, long ago, how they were dissatified with comments on this thread because of the lack of discussion and follow up after we all talk about our initial withdrawel symtoms.

I'm wondering if this is because so many of us go back to the caffeine despite the fact that we KNOW that is wreaking havoc on our bodies. And we feel 1000 times better once we are off the poison. Yours truely included. Why is this addiction thing so hard to beat!! It is maddening that I am so weak. Try Try again.....

:(

Caffeine Withdrawals

I quit cold turkey 3 days ago, let me tell you the past 2 days have been pure hell, headaches, chills and fatigue. I can believe how much my body was depending on caffeine!

Caffeine and Heartburn

I have suffered with Heartburn for approximately 6 years, I am 51, active (play many sports) and healthy. I know that my Heartburn can be controlled with Omeprazole, but I just don't like the idea of taking drugs long term. So, 3 weeks ago I decided to quit caffeine and have avoided all caffeine related products; tea, chocolate, coke, etc..

The first 4 days I had headaches and avoided taking pain killers as much as possible, finally I got over them and on the 5th day felt great, I thought I had cracked it. However, this lasted just 3 wonderful days, on day 8 my head felt like I was wearing a hat, and I have (on more than one occasion) had to stop and lean against something for fear of falling over when walking. I also stopped taking the Omeprazole on day 8 and have seen a decrease in my Heartburn, but not elimination, hopefully this will come longer term, until then as needed I will take gaviscon.

Days 10 through 18 have been up and down, sometimes totally washed out, others near normal, but the main problem seems to be with my head, I can't remember simple things like; TV characters names on shows I've watched for years, or I forget something I was told 20 mins earlier, it can be frightening when you try to figure out what's going on, it's like you come off Caffeine in waves!

Ultimately I have got this far and will try to get through the next few weeks, hopefully the effects will subside and I will be able to get a normal life again.

Regards,

Paul

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