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 have been a heavy coffee

I have been a heavy coffee drinker since I was in school even though I am quite sensitive to caffeine. I stopped taking caffeine last Thursday. Usual withdrawal symptoms set in after 48 hours. I had headaches but no migranes, flu like symptoms and was extremely irritable. The flu symptoms went away with simple pain killers (aspirin, paracetamol etc). Caffein withdrawl symptoms are a distruction but do not affect your ability to do mental or physical tasks. So going on with my everyday business to keep my mind away from the symptoms was really helpfull. Also naps after lunchtime really helped make me feel better. I also had difficulty falling to sleep at night the first 2-3 days after the onset of symptoms probably because the brain gets over-exited. By today all the irritating symptoms have gone and I'm feeling great. What you have to do is keep in mind that symptoms usually only last for less than a week so all you need to do is try to keep your mind off the symptoms and you'll be great.

withdrawal

I have also quit coffee before in my younger years and felt great. I knew I would feel better not drinking it. I have had aches that I attribute to coffee. Plus I could only drink coffee with non-dairy creamer which does nothing for the waistline. Since Jan. 1 no coffee. But wow do I have withdrawal symptoms. I expected the headaches but the aching that seems to move through my body was unexpected. A day or two into it and I was so depressed and sleepy. It has been 6 days and I'm just starting to feel better. I am so glad I read these comments because I was starting to feel like I had a serious disease! I hope when I am feeling great again I do not go back to drinking it. I am going to be a better golfer!! I can hardly wait. :)

Hang in there everyone. This

Hang in there everyone. This is my second go around with caffeine withdrawl. The first time I did it I thought I was going insane. Horrible side effects I dealt with but after about a week or so I came back to normal and felt great. I am now again going through withdrawl hell. I have had a headache for days feel tired achy and miserable. This too shall pass. It boggles my mind that coffee can do this to the human body.

Caffeine withdrawal

I am on the road to quitting caffeine. I am a coffee addict. In addition, I drink it with loads of cream and sugar. 5 years ago, I underwent gastric bypass surgery for obestity. Lost 100 lbs and regained 40, largely due to the cream & surgery. A few months ago, I developed a bleeding ulcer and an on prilosec twice a day and iron 3 times a day. Also, my blood pressure has been rising again, When I had my stomach scoped and the ulcer was found, I was told to cut out the coffee. I have been weaning myself off the past week and am down to 1 cup of maxwell house lite in the morning. Even so, I am still miserable.
Not so much with the headace but with increased aches & pains (I already have fibromalgia which doesn;t help). Hopefully this will let up soon.

BAD NAUSEA

I normally drink from 1-3 cups of coffee a day, and it is well known by my entire family that I am a caffeine addict.

I had read somewhere online that caffeine could could menstruation cramps to get worse as one gets closer to their period, so I thought "Maybe just a couple of days wouldn't hurt" so I quit drinking coffee cold turkey.

Much to my surprise, the very next day I was over the toilet in agony. Any medication I took was worthless, as it would come right back up. After the symptoms had died back down, I did the first thing that any coffee adict does, I had a cup, and like magic the flu-like symptoms were gone... Now I know that caffeine addiction is a serious thing and I wonder if it's worth it trying to break the habit :/

Licorice

I have had digestive issues and Gerd. I have been off of coffee for one day and did not experience a headache that I had experienced before with cutting caffeine out of my diet.
I was told by my Naturapath Dr. to try Licorice root for my digestive issues. After reading about what Licorice root can help with, I discovered that Licorice Root has been used for Adrenaline Gland issues.
Caffeine exhausts the Adrenaline Glands to give energy. This explains the down you feel after the caffeine buzz goes away and you are off to fill your coffee cup again.
Yesterday being my first day this round being off of coffee or mochas and I noticed that my energy level stayed at a constant level. However I did have a large hot chocolate which has a little caffeine but not as much as a cup of coffee. With this I was satisfied, it was warm tasted good and gave me just a little bit of caffeine from the hot chocolate. I think this would be the best way to get off of caffeine instead of cold turkey.
If you read on licorice root, you can read comments of how licorice root helping your adreline glands will give you more energy. I am not as sluggish in the morning.
Anyways, I hope this helps.

Day 1...

I'm on Day 1. About 10, the headache started. By 1:00, I had to take a nap. It's 6:00 and I'm so tired, and irritable, and cranky. Sigh.

Caffeine Addiction

I used to drink mainly tea ( which also has caffeine ) and had only the occasional cup of coffee. I then developed a taste for Cuppuccinos and Lattes from Coffee shops and over the last few years have steadily ramped up my coffee consumption, including having 4-5 cups at home.

Reading other posts here, I realise that this is classic addiction. I also made my coffee stronger and stronger, again classic signs.

I quit coffee on Sunday and was expecting maybe a slight headache and was not prepared for the searing migrane I had along with other body aches and pains.

I'm resigned to accepting that this will be a lot harder than I thought.

Hi Mark - you stated it

Hi Mark - you stated it perfectly ... "this is classic addiction".

Best of luck to you and everyone here in getting clean of caffeine. Maybe we should all pitch in and hire Dr. Drew. :)

Feeling the pain

I just stopped caffine on Monday and had to call in sick yesterday. Every part of my body hurts, even in my joints, but especially my head and neck. At one point, I literally rolled off of the sofa and crawled to my bed. :) I was expecting the headache but was not expecting the rest of my body to be in so much pain and to be an emotional wreck. I'm happy I found this site so I know I'm not losing my mind. Going through this makes me wonder... why is caffine so readily available? And why do we let our kids drink so many sodas? Hoping this will pass soon!

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