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

I was drinking 3 cups of

I was drinking 3 cups of seriously strong coffee everey day and quit cold turkey. Why I quit the week that school started, IDK?! But I have serious flu symptoms, it's exhausting just to walk to class. I have to study so I went ahead and had a green tea to substitute and although it didn't give the jolt coffee did, it made it bearable to do my work. When I looked online it has about 1/3 the amount of caffeine depending on which one you get and if you have important things to do would be a good alternative for a short time to wean off the coffee and caffeine. I didn't put sugar in mine and it is extremely bitter but lot's of good antioxidants too!

I'm in the same boat as you.

I'm in the same boat as you. I've been drinking a small cup of green tea to help me study. I agree that it is a good substitute for trying to slowly wean off of caffeine. Best of luck.

the never ending headache

hey guys i just want to thank everyone for sharing what they are going through..I was drinking atleast 3 if not more cups of coffee a day and decided to give it up for the new year. I went cold turkey and im paying the price..my head has been rocking for 2 weeks now along with neck pains and a little nausea..im kinda torn as to what i should do..should i keep drinking coffee to get my body back to where it was and try to stop slowly? or should i just stop all together and deal with the pain? of i forgot to mention anxiety! thats so much fun...feed back would be great. thank you again.

Jack

hang in there!

Jack-

I know it's rough man. I quit cold turkey on September 15 after drinking 10-12 cups per day. My withdrawals were mainly intense anxiety, depression, inability to concentrate, and fatigue. It all slowly gets better. Although they're not all completely gone, they're 10 times better than they were when they first came on. I'd venture to guess that your withdrawals (with 3 cups per day compared to my 10) will persist for a much shorter time. You've already made it two weeks. See how much better you feel in another 2 weeks. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

Anxiety Waves

Glad I came across this website. I've been drinking 2 cups of Joe daily for at least a decade. Last weekend, i experienced strong slow heartbeats, as low as 44 bpm. They were the kind of beats that you could feel in your chest, causing me to cough with every thump. In response, I stopped drinking coffee. Tried green tea for 2 days, then a Starbucks decaf on Friday. On Saturday evening, i began to feel weirdly ill - waves of anxiety, nausea, nervousness. After several hours of this, I admitted myself to the ER at 2:00 a.m. The EKG, blood and urine tests were normal. The ER doc said it could be stress, although I'm not experiencing any major challenging situations. On Sunday and Monday (yesterday) the headaches and tiredness came ~ flu symptoms without the body ache and fever. Normally, I'd drink coffee to address those symptoms - which got me thinking it was the lack of caffeine in my system that was making me feel crappy. The more I research, the more I believe that this is the cause for my unexplained anxiety waves. I'm going to stick this out.

caffine withdraw??

i have had to stop the caffine due to acide reflux.. i have been reading all the post on here nice to see i have upper back pain, panic attacks a seems like i am freezing all the time, gittery on the inside rapid heart beat to slow heart beat? is this normal ??

withdrawls

My son consumed about 4 big gulps a day of caffiene Mountain Dew was his hit and he quit cold turkey it started today the 1st day of agony he has the chills, sweats all the symptoms of the flu he is absolutely miserable cant eat and his stomach is killing him and he has the growling of the stomach to i feel for everyone he has been taking those night time pills like tylenol sleep aids like 5 a night wow its very upsetting to see my son go through all this i had no idea that caffiene could be so bad for someone....mary

Mountain Dew Junkie

I would have a mountain dew every morning when starting work, by late afternoon I would have a mild headache. I did what we all have done, had that period of I am quitting caffiene cold turkey. A few days would go by and I would be back on it. Well this weekend I went on serious caffene overload. On Saturday I had two mountain dews and a five hour energy and on sunday I had half a 5 hour energy and some sips of mountain dew. On Sunday morning i was already feeling like crap, I felt like I was swaying and my head spinning. I went home early, ended up treating a fever and a pounding headache. I stayed in bed from 10 am sunday to noon monday. The worst of the what seems like the never ending headache is over, now it is just 5 steps below pounding which is 1/2 taken care of by ibruprofen. The good news is that I get sick even looking at soda now. I just pray that this headache goes away.

caffeine withdrawl hell

hi everyone. i had been drinking 2-3 litters of diet coke for the past 5 years last september 2010 . i quit cold turk . i had no idea how hard it would be. i got intense anxiety and depression + insonia. now 4 months on the insonia is gone. but i still got mild depression and anxiety. some times i think i have gone crazy. in the first month was the hardest, but ibecause it has been 4 months i fear it is not going to get better. before i quit i was fine and never had this problems before. how long is it going to take to feel normal again? please help thank u. keep on fighting this drug,.

Hi Paulo

I still have insomnia after 6 weeks of being off caffeine. How bad was your insomnia? Did you have to take a prescription sleeping pill? How many hours of sleep did you get? What was your sleep pattern like? My whole sleep cycle is all messed up right now. I use to sleep after midnight till about 6 am, but now I have to sleep a lot earlier in order to fall asleep on my own without the use of a sleeping pill prescribed by my doctor. I have an anxiety disorder called OCD-Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder which makes my mind think too much. That's probably the reason why I can't seem to sleep on my own because OCD causes anxiety as well as from the caffeine withdrawals. I asked my doctor today how long is he going to keep me on the sleeping pill. He said as long as it takes for my body to complete this transition that I am going through with the acute caffeine withdrawals. It's scary having to deal with insomnia and not knowing how long it will last. From reading your post that it took you 4 months for your insomnia to go away, I guess I will have to be patient and take it day by day. The more we try to fight it, the worse it will becomes. My psychologist told me that I have two choices, take the sleeping pill or end up in the hospital from being crazy from sleep deprivation. That was harsh to hear but its reality. Caffeine is something I will never take again. I don't want to go through this ever again!

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