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.



Hi 60 Year Habit: Thank you for sharing that information about VDR's. It makes perfect sense with everything that's going on with me. It could also explain my acute episode of fatigue once in December and again on April 4th when I gave up caffeine. My instinct to give up caffeine both in December and April could have been my body telling me what was going on. :)

On a related note, the neuropathy that began in April and intensified in July has nearly vanished now that I'm taking Vitamin D3 and spending time in the sun. :)

I'm still struggling with mild fatigue that comes and goes, but it seems to get better when I take B12. Since the fatigue seems to connected to vitamin deficiencies, I'm still going to the endocrinologist next week.... just to hear from an expert.

Even though there are all these symptoms spread out all over the place, it's amazing how almost all of them trace back to caffeine. I can understand why it's hard for doctors to buy into it, but the timing of my symptoms is too coincidental to not be connected to caffeine.


Your problems are likely due to adrenaline exhaustion like mine, low back pain is a classic symptom along with complete exhaustian, low blood pressure and low blood sugar. Blood work shows all the signs of addisons disease . I would get your thyroid and adrenal checked ASAP. I am getting admitted into the hospital. I probabaly suffered from adrenal fatigue for quite some time but the caffiene pushed me over the edge. I read about addisons disease and I had ALL the early signs as well as the late signs. Doctors don't give adrenal glands enough credit. It's why I have been so sick from the muscle aches (due to muscuskeletal breakdown) to numbness and tingling from electrolyte unbalances

Tommy girl, I found this on

Tommy girl, I found this on another website today:
July 6, 2014 at 9:35 pm

i have been a long time coffee drinker. Especially Dunkin donuts coffee, but I noticed lately that it is keeping me up later and later and i’m having trouble sleeping right away like I used to. Well, this past Thursday I had a med. coffee at DD on an empty stomach as usual.. i’m never hungry in the morning. I went to the gym afterwards and worked out on the weight machines, I left the gym and did not hydrate with water at all! half way home I got light headed and my fingers started to feel like I had pins and needles… to the point where my hand closed shut and seized up, I could not open them, i got so scared i sent myself to the hospital, when i got there my whole body and legs, stomach cramped up and even my ear lobs had pins and needles… I don’t know if the caffeine affected me in such a bad way due to being dehydrated OR if the caffeine triggered a panic attack which I NEVER EVER had one… to days later, I had coffee again on an empty stomach and an hour later the same thing happened, very scary! I am NOT longer drinking coffee or caffeine, after all these years it finally it starting to bother me, thanks for your great story… hope i start feeling better real soon!

I don't know why you say

I don't know why you say "caffeine doesn't usually cause this" because it certainly has in my case, I have every single symptom you mention and I have had them all since I came off caffeine over a year ago. They are all improving, and the numbness and burning have almoat stopped (apart from occasionally my feet still feel numb), but in my case I know they are all caused by caffeine wd, so I wouldn't worry about them too much. Good idea to get them checked out in case there is something else going on…….

Nerve Pain

Has anybody figured out what could be causing numbness, tingling, burning, pins and needles (paresthesias) after cutting out caffeine? I overdosed on 300 mg at caffeine at once in February and have been having strange symptoms ever since. I have chronic low back pain, weakness, myoclonic jerks, body aches, and etc. Overall just a lot of pain. I am so confused because caffeine usually doesn't cause this. I strongly believe adrenal exhaustion might be the cause of all my problems. Its just too hard for me to believe that this is all withdrawal. Another thing I noticed is that all my symptoms are IDENTICAL to those who withdraw from benzos (check out benzobuddies). Caffeine can actually inhibit GABA transmission in large doses which can cause symptoms identical to benzo withdrawal. I The last theories I have is that caffeine withdrawal can leave the nerves inflamed or perhaps muscles tight causing these symptoms. I too thought of b12 deficiency but it doesnt make sense, my nerve pain started I kid u not the next day after I took caffeine. Also, the shooting electric pain I got was all over. B 12 deficiency nerve problems start slowly, they are not that acute. I dont know for sure. I must be extremely sensitive to caffeine but I have stopped intake, what is going on with my body? I am honestly so scared. I am getting an EMG/NCS of my extremeties.

well thank goodness you

well thank goodness you didn't take 50,000 iu which some gP"s prescribe……

Here are a few entries re Vit D and caffeine:

Caffeine inhibits vitamin D receptors, which limit the amount that will be absorbed. Because vitamin D is important in the absorption and use of calcium in building bone, this could also decrease bone mineral density, resulting in an increased risk for osteoporosis.


Caffeine interferes with the body’s absorption of iron, which is necessary for red blood cell production. Drinking caffeine at the same time as an iron source can reduce absorption by up to 80%, according to the Nutrition Desk Reference. Any beverage containing caffeine should be separated from iron-containing foods or supplements by at least one hour.


The study investigated the interaction between caffeine and Vitamin D receptor. It concluded that Intakes of caffeine in amounts >300 mg/d ( approximately 514 g, or 18 oz, brewed coffee) accelerate bone loss at the spine in elderly post menopausal women. Furthermore, women with the tt genetic variant of VDR appear to be at a greater risk for this deleterious effect of caffeine on bone."

The last comment should be of special concern to those whose parents or grandparents had Osteopenia or Osteoporosis, or if they were never diagnosed the fracture of a hip or loss of height as they aged can be taken as an indication that theydid have Osteoporosis.


Caffeine may interfere with your body's metabolism of vitamin D, according to a 2007 "Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology" study. You have vitamin D receptors, or VDRs, in your osteoblast cells. These large cells are responsible for the mineralization and synthesis of bone in your body. They create a sheet on the surface of your bones. The D receptors are nuclear hormone receptors that control the action of vitamin D-3 by controlling hormone-sensitive gene expression. These receptors are critical to good bone health. For example, a vitamin D metabolism disorder in which

DAY 104 NO CAFFEINE - Vitamin D

Hello 60 Year Habit: I'm going to follow what the doctor told me to do. Unfortunately, it happens to the be same 2000 IU that you did. Is this something that you just tried on your own? My D level is around 12. Considering this is a caffeine forum, I'm wondering if there is any connection to caffeine at all?? I've not been able to find anywhere that a person's Vitamin D level drops while on caffeine or after stopping. All things considered, I prefer this to the solution to my chronic fatigue. Time will tell. Your message did help me resist doing more than 2000 IU. I've read so much how up to 10,000 IU per day is okay, but because of your message, I'll follow the doctor's orders exactly. Thanks.

Well I don't expect you will

Well I don't expect you will listen, but do go carefully, I made myself very ill with Vit D, and it as a half life of 6 - 8 weeks so it can take months to get out of your system if you do experience side effects. I now get mine from 10 mins exposure to sunshine between 12 and 2 pm every day.

If you do feel you must take synthetic Vit D, I would start very low and don't do what I did,which was to take 2000 iu.


Hello 60 Year Habit. The blood test came back. I'm severely Vitamin D deficient. I didn't really consider this, but it seems to explain the fatigue. I'm tired right now, but will write more in the coming week.

Hello 6 year habit, I am just

Hello 6 year habit, I am just caught up in a v stressful situation atm, so am not posting here. Nothing new to report, and as soon as I have the mental energy back I will catch up with you. It will be interesting to see how good or bad your b12 level is.

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