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

Caffeine Withdrawals Are So Real

I feel happy to know that I'm experiencing common caffeine withdrawals.  Thanks for this website.  Most websites aren't worth it, but this one is!  Caffeine withdrawals are real tough!  A lot of general uneasy feelings, from physical to mental.  Physically, lot's of trouble sleeping.  Lying in bed for hours, tossing and turning, and turning and turning.  Leg cramps in bed, almost feeling like there's electricity flowing through my legs.  Stretching doesn't help.  Melatonin does not help.  I would normally fall into a deep sleep with melatonin.  Now, no affects at all!  I had a headache the 1st day and that is now gone.  There is still pressure in my chest and head, but not throbbing.  All I've wanted to do for the past 5 days is to sleep...sleep...sleep.  It's easier to sleep during the day because the leg cramps aren't as bad.  Hot and then cold at night.  Very little ambition to do much.  I felt/feel like I have a terrible flu, weekness, muscle and joint stiffness.  I'm an athlete and don't even feel like doing anything.  I feel 20 years older than last month.  I feel stiff like a board.  Mentally, really tired in the brain, sloppy, sluggist, not well coordinated, not sad but definitely not happy, not knowing why I do any of it, and finding ordinary life simply a "bummer."  I try to keep to my routines and this helps me to get through the day.  I trust my routines and know that I will enjoy it all again once the withdrawals end.  The body pain really stinks.  I've always felt healthy for most of my life.  I want to lay down bot know that won't ease the pain.  5 days without caffeine now.  I was able to genuinely laugh today for the 1st time without caffeine...and feel it.  I know that things will get better.  I have been reading a lot about caffeine withdrawal and see that it's definitely withdrawing from a drug addiction.  I wasn't drinking coffee, soda, or eating chocolate.  I was drinking copious amounts of Yerba Mate.  I had an infection from dental work and was taking pain killers.  I drank more and more Yerba Mate to feel like myself, and burned my body out.  All the companies who sell Yerba Mate love to talk it up and tell us how healthy it is, and how it has "matine" and not caffeine.  That's hog wash!  There are a lot of healthy minerals in it though...that's a fact.  One serving is 6 grams which has 80 mg. of caffeine.  Nobody drinks 6 gm.!  24 gm. is probably a typical serving which equates to 320 mg. of caffeine.  Drink this a few times a day and one can easily consume 600-700 mg. a day.  Funny how many people don't consider caffeine a drug.   Here's a good website I found on the effects of caffeine.  www.alivefoods.com/coffee.html  Here is one of the paragraphs from the article.  "The effects of caffeine on the body are well researched, but you never hear about it in your newspaper. You never hear about it anywhere because the whole nation, if not the whole world, is addicted to caffeine. Doctors, journalists, scientists, writers, everyone drinks coffee. Those whose job is to inform us are usually heavy coffee drinkers. And few of them ever rise up to speak against this popular drug. But one did, his name is Stephen Cherniske, and he's a scientist who spent 10 years of his life researching the effects of caffeine on the body and compiling them in a shocking document, "Caffeine Blues."
Anyway, thanks for the website!

Caffeine withdrawal

Gave up coffee 4 weeks back. I drank about twenty cups of coffee and tea a day up to that point.I still drink tea but have been getting deep headaches above the eyes, also heavy eyed at times and began wearing sunglasses when looking at pc screen and reading under artificial light. Still occassionally, whilst out, buy myself a latte but only one a day. Question is should I give up tea as well at this point or just leave off the coffee till my body adjusts?

Eliminate all sources of caffeine

I appreciate your attempts to wean yourself off of coffee, but you have not really given up the drug until you actively eliminate all sources of caffeine. It's been 4 weeks for you and you have made great progress. I think it's time to consider going cold turkey at some point. If not, you may find yourself back at 20 cups a day in the future. I wish you the best!

Update: 4 months

After 4 months of going through hell with caffeine withdrawals, my symptoms are gone.    I feel normal.   It wasn't easy at all, but it was worth it because now my health is even better than before.    The one thing I like most is that my blood pressure is normal now after giving up caffeine.    Thank God!

Great Job Kikaida

Thats great that you made it through withdrawal.  It was a long hard road for you.  How is your depression and aniexty.  I am still craving coffee.  Where you able to get over the cravings.  Thats the hardest part for me.  The thought of not drinking coffee again depresses me.

re: Great Job Kikaida

Hi there,
It's been 5 months now that I've been off caffeine and my depression/anxiety is gone.   I don't have anymore cravings or withdrawals.   I feel normal and happy again.   I have eaten very small pieces of chocolate here and there but nothing more.    No more caffeinated beverages for me.   I don't want to ever go through caffeine withdrawals ever again.    By remembering the hell that I had to go through with caffeine withdrawals has kept me clean and sober.   I compare caffeine addiction to any other drug addication like alcohol or illegal drugs usage.    One good thing about getting off caffeine is that I don't have to run the the restroom every hour throughout the day and night to pee.    The only advice that I can give is that you have to have strong will power and distract yourself everytime you have a craving.   Substituting another type of beverage instead of caffeine has helped me get over caffeine addiction.    Hang in there folks.
Kikaida
 

when did your anxiety go if you had any

Hi So glad to hear your home and hosed. Free of symptoms…. how wonderful that sounds. Did you have panic and anxiety and if so when did it go?

IM TO AT MY 4TH MONTH OF CAFFEINE WITHDRAWAL

ITS GOOD WE QUIT I FEEL HEALTHY ALSO AND I HAVENT HAD NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO CAFFEINE SINCE JAN I QUIT FOR GOOD.ALSO DID YOU FEEL WEIRD WHEN YOU QUIT LIKE YOUR MIND WAS NOT RIGHT COULDNT FOCUS AT ALL AND YOU HEAD FEELS LIGHT AND CLEAR.I WAS DRINKING CAFFEINE HEAVY SINCE I WAS 16 IM 29 NOW. ALSO I CANT BELIEVE THAT 92% OF MY PAIN WENT AWAY. WHEN I QUIT IT STARTED OFF AS FLU LIKE SYMPTOMS THEN I WAS HAVING PANIC ATTACKS BECAUSE OFF THE SYMTOMS BUT NOW THERE GONE ALL THE WAY.IM DOING EVERYTHING I HAVE TO DO TAKING VITAMINS AND EXERCISING LIKE HELL AND IM SO HEALTHY NOW ITS SCARYYYYYYYYYYYYY.BUT ANYWAY IF YOU READ THIS JUST LET ME NO DID YOU FEEL SPACED OUT IN YOUR MIND LIKE ME THOUGHTS FELT DIFFERENT WHEN THE CAFFEINE WAS GONE THERE NOT RACING ANYMORE SO JUST GIVE ME A HOLLA BACK

Congratulations Kikaida!

I am so glad to hear that your symptoms are gone, and you are finally experiencing good health being caffeine free!! From your posts in the past, I know it has been a difficult journey for you.......so glad that you persevered.
I, on the other hand, have gone back to drinking coffee again. (sigh)
Today is the beginning of  my caffeine free journey once again.........I lost count of the number of times I've tried to quit. I'm determined this time, because of some health issues that persist because of my caffeine consumption.
You give me hope that I can do it. Four months seems so long from now, but it will be worth it in the end.
You give me inspiration!!
Patrice

Hi Kikaida and Patrice!  Yes,

Hi Kikaida and Patrice!  Yes, congratulations to you, Kikaida!  Good for you - it's nice to read that you've finally overcome the caffeine.  Like Patrice, I've been drinking coffee again.  :-(  I don't have a good reason other than I guess I'm just not strong enough yet.  I allow myself exactly one cup each morning and that's it.  Also, like Patrice, I've lost count of the number of times I've tried to quit "forever" ... I always come back to coffee.  I'm not proud to post this, but I'm being honest.  I've gotten to the point in my life where that one cup, although it's no good for me, makes me happy and not a cranky, tired and head-achy person ... miserable to be around.
I hope that someday I can just walk away from caffeine, but not yet.  My very best wishes to you all and again, Kikaida - way to go!  Congratulations!

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