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

OK Patrice, here you go. I

OK Patrice, here you go. I know the trying over and over routine myself. This is my 5th try in 15 years. I hear it takes many smokers about 7 tries to finally be sucessful.
Get ready for days 3 and 4. OUCH!! I'm on my 5th week! Let us know how your doing.

Restlessness

After going to the doctor and finding out I was severely dehydrated I decided it was time to stop drinking sodas for atleast a couple of weeks. I have been soda free now for almost 6 days and I've noticed I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping at night. My back feels restless and I'm guessing that it is the same feeling people with RLS feel in their legs at night. It is uncomfortable and has kept me up until the early hours of the morning. I am wondering if the restlessness in my back is a symptom to no longer drinking caffeine, since I have no other explination for it.

End of week 7

I am in the 7th week of qutting cold turkey. I had been having some stomach issues back in July and decided to quit after loving my coffee for the past 35 years pretty much (I am 50 now). Everyone in my family drinks it. Anyhow, one morning past July I was on my 3rd cup and experienced a panic attack-I felt scared and horrible. I decided to just stop. Big mistake, but I do not know if weaning would have helped. I have not been able to sleep very well, or at all for that matter for the past 5 weeks, and the brain fog and lethargy, along with the agoraphobia are unlike anything I have ever experienced. I have Never felt this way my entire life and am at a loss. Leaving my house to go anywhere is a major issue. My darling husband has been doing everything and this upsets me too....the medical profession does not seem to take this seriously. What I found unbelievable was when my gastro doctor last week told me (after I told her how bad I felt) to just "go ahead and have a couple cups of coffee". After not having any caffeine for the past 7 weeks I cannot imagine what it would do to me. I am also tryig to quit smoking, down to 5 a day but the caffeine withdrawel is just hell. Anyone who could give me any help, I would greatly appreciate it. I have not found a lot of resources on the web, most of the Yahoo groups for caffeine cessation seem to be totally inactive now. I also read Stephen Cherniski's book, and I think it will take longer than 8 weeks to detox if you have been drinking it your entire life. God Bless everyone trying to detox.

reply to end of week 7

Hi there,

I just wanted to chime in with my 2 cents:) I was wondering if you have any other food allergies? I have been hooked on caffiene for about 20 yrs. When I drink coffee, I retain a tremendous amount of water, and have moderate acne, but when I don't drink it, I have "panic attacks". The "panic attacks" went well beyond the *withdrawal* period. I had stopped drinking it for 4 yrs and recently again for a few weeks, and it was a disaster. (yes the whole 4 yrs of panic attacks). I also feel very freaky and anxious if I drink too much coffee.

The reason I am telling you this is because I was also just diagnosed with celiac and other food allergies. I have just learned that caffiene has antihistamine properties in it. So I am wondering myself, since the actual withdrawal headaches only last a week or two, if the other symptoms (panic, anxiety, agoraphobia etc...) are actually allergy symptoms surfacing since the coffee is no longer there to supress them? I have gone into anyphalactic shock before and the symptoms are nearly identical. So for myself, for now, I have decided to stick to one cup of not too strong coffee in the morning, and deal with being a little bloated:) Still it is so hard for me not to drink more...lol

Thank you

Thank you for your kind insights...and yes, I have been tested for Celiac (I am negative) and I have been pretty much on a no-fat, mostly vegetarian diet for the pat 8 weeks. My appetite was shot and I lost about 30 lbs so far. Lots of brown rice, vegetables, only cottoage cheese and yogurt (no milk, only almond milk) and small amounts of chicken.....I started seeing a naturopathic doctor a few weeks ago who has given me supplements for stress and homeopathic remedies. He told me the caffeine was out of my system but said it takes differrent amounts of time for my body to re-adjust. I still feel horrible. I still cannot sleep, and am wondering if the PPI I am taking has anything to do with it. I also read that coffee has antihistamine properties in it. I am wondering if I should injest any at this point to see what happens... my primary care doctor has told me nothing is organically wrong with me. I have never felt this before in my life. I am at a total loss as to explain what is going on with my body. All I can say, is do not try to go cold turkey a I did. Thank you everyone for your help....I appreciate it.

caffeine

i really hate to burst your bubble but cigarettes contain caffeine so if your still smoking then you havent actually gone 7 weeks without any caffeine. Caffeine is also found in many common foods and drinks that you wouldnt think they would be in. Im sure youve probably cut down a lot but not completely.

Panic Attacks

I have recently stopped drinking coffee because of panic attacks. I believe the root of the problem was because I was taking medication (PRO Air Inhaler) for a respiratory infection. However, even when the medication was finished I could not handle caffeine. I started having panic attacks and it was the most in-comfortable feeling I ever had. After doing research, I found out that stress can deplete your body of certain vitamins. Lack of Vitamin B1, other known as Thiamine, can have neurological effects on your body. I'm guessing that when you quit drinking coffee it increased your amount of stress thus depleting your body of B Vitamins.

I think that most of us forget the basics of wellness. I know that I did. Being happy, having a proper diet, exercising, and plenty of rest can go a long way. I started feeling better within days after I started eating healthier, added vitamins to my diet, and slept a proper 8 hours every night.

I would recommend asking your doctor about a vitamin regiment and do some research about B Vitamins. If you like more natural healing, I would recommend finding a doctor who takes a natural approach. Also, if the panic attacks are still a problem, check the link I supplied below. Under supplements and herbs there is a section about what supplements will help ease the attacks. I purchased a book on herbs and supplements after seeing what they did for my problem.

Anyways, I wish you the best. I hope your symptoms clear up.

Cheers,
Bob

HI BOb!

I cannot see the link you posted- can you put it up for me? Thank you so much.

withdrawal

Seems to me that taking an aspirin or something with a mild amt of caffiene in it might help reduce the symptoms until you are totally free of it. A cold pill would not have the comfortable neuro-association of the warm coffee and so would not be a temptation. Although maybe aspirin isn't good for the stomach? I don't know.

I sympathize with your panic attack. I had one on coffee and was so very dissoriented. i also stopped, but had only been drinking a cup a day for about 6 months. Yeah. Scary stuff. I'd prefer most physical discomfort over the panic any day.

Congratulations on making it

Congratulations on making it this far. The longest I ever made it was 31 days and I caved. I then drank a diet Dr. Pepper and it really made me feel sick but I was hooked again.

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