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.


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.


Thanks for the reply. I did

Thanks for the reply.

I did have withdrawl symptoms, mostly headaches for a good 4-5 days. I'm already exhausted so it's hard to tell if I was any more tired or not. Lack of caffeine in my system is also doing a number of my blood sugar, too. Cravings for junk if I don't get my cup in followed by my blood sugar dropping and getting the shakes. Not sure if the shakes are lack of no coffee, same with sweating.

I just would have thought being off it for almost a half a year would have shown me something. Looks like I'm going back off it for at least a year, now.

Caffeine causing my fatigue?

Hello all,

I have been reading through most of these posts and I cannot help be notice a trend in the way people feel while having their favorite drink. Mine, is Coffee. Anywhere from 4-10 cups a day for the past 9 years. I write because for the past 8 of those 9 years, my body has been in a constant state of tiredness. NO matter how much I sleep, I always feel exhausted. I have been to every doctor known to man, and spent Tens of thousands of dollars on co-pays, prescriptions, out of network visits, and holistic testing. You name the issue, I have tried it and and the drug that combats it. My only symptom, is fatigue/daytime sleepiness. I have had two sleep studies to rule out sleep apnea and narcolepsy.

I quit coffee/caffeine for about 5 months before and never felt any better, however I'm wondering if I didn't give my cleanse long enough for my body to recover. I can drink coffee and loads of it before bed and fall right to sleep, but I often wake and have crazy dreams through out the night.

Anyone else here like me? Anyone else recover from this?

I am sorry you are feeling

I am sorry you are feeling bad again, but it is just part of the recovery pattern, although it seems a little strange to have such a big setback after feeling well for ages.

Good idea to get yourself checked out, not so good the adrenal support supplement. How do you know your adrenals are the problem, if it is just caffeine wd, time is the only cure.

I treated my "adrenal problem" with a high protein diet and only got high iron from it, it didn't help my fatigue.

I have checked my ferritin levels on the web and they are at the extremely high end of the normal range, and not in the optimal range, so I have done myself no favours with the diet at all, and I suspect it would be the same with a supplement.


I feel absolutely terrible today. Absolute total fatigue and loss of appetite. A co-worker went to the store for me and bought me a blood glucose monitoring system in case it was low blood sugar. It wasn't low blood sugar. My coworkers were concerned and said I looked so pale. :( I felt like just collapsing to the floor. I've made a doctor's appointment, but they couldn't get me in until tomorrow. I'm not expecting that they'll find anything, but I've got to try something.

I'm just disappointed. After 60 days, I was doing so well. I had several 100% days and was feeling pretty optimistic. Hopefully temporary set backs are normal. I'm having these gloom and doom thoughts again.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Good news is that a coworker who just started overheard my conversation and said that he had experienced the same type of thing. He started taking something that you can buy over the counter supplement to help his adrenal glands, but couldn't remember the name of it. He will let me know tomorrow. Likewise, I'll post on here what it is.

Hello again 6 year habit,

Hello again 6 year habit, just spoken to my GP who says that my ferritin levels were normal and the serum iron was probably elevated because I was dehydrated, (i was definitely dehydrated), so although he said I didn't need to make any changes at all, I am going to stop my high protein diet (which I hoped would help the fatigue) and go back to a more normal (for me) diet and avoid excess red meat.

Panic over …...


Hello 60 year habit,

I'm really glad that worked out to be something simple. I had never heard of ferritin before. I'm not sure what red meat has to do with it, but I don't eat red meat. I'm glad your panic is over. :)

Tomorrow when I go to the doctor, I'll ask about iron test and ferritin test. I don't think that's what is wrong with me, but it can't hurt to have it tested.

Just got my blood test

Just got my blood test results back, all ok apart from ferritin and iron which are too high. Just done the usual panic google search, it seems that tea and milk (both of which I have avoided for all the time I have been off caffeine) inhibit iron absorption. I have an appt with my GP soon, in the meantime I will get some milk. too much iron in the blood can apparently be v serious. I wish I could just have a cup of tea!

DAY 82

Dear 60 year habit,

After I read your comment, I googled too much iron in the blood. It sounds like this could very well take care of a lot of your symptoms. I don't drink milk, but will give this a try, too. I'm hoping that you're happy to see the tests confirm that there is indeed something wrong and that you can treat it without medicine. From what I read, too much iron can effect the adrenal glands, make us feel overly tired, and have trouble breathing among other things. I had the trouble breathing and the fatigue. I'm hopeful that this news for you might be able to help me, too. Do you know yet what an adequate amount of milk you should drink daily to help inhibit iron absorption??

To me, this is great news for you! I hope you're happy and more importantly, I hope that milk really helps you. :)

DAY 82

Dear 60 year habit,

From what I read, it's the calcium in the milk that inhibit iron absorption. So, yogurt also works which I eat one or two each day. I haven't read it, but it seems like calcium rich Tums would work, too. You might ask your GP. I'd be curious to hear what he/she has to say about that.

Hey guys I really need some

Hey guys I really need some encouragement or something to ease my mind right now. I quit caffeine about a week ago and about 3 days ago I started to experience extremely bad panic attacks followed by really bad depression. I got scared so now I'm allowing myself a little amount of caffeine everyday. I'm normally a really happy level headed person but I'm starting to feel scared that something is actually mentally wrong with me. I'm hoping I can connect the depression to caffeine withdrawal but I've found little on people actually becoming severely depressed from it. I was drinking a monster every morning. A red bull every afternoon and an iced coffee on top of that sometimes for about 8 months straight I want to say. I'm just hoping someone can calm me down and help me feel level headed again. If anyone is experiencing what I'm going through I would really appreciate someone to talk to. Thanks so much.

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