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.



Well, obviously you have not been reading all of my posts as you would know that I've had terrible withdrawal symptoms and still do have some - like depression. anxiety, exhaustion (I feel better SOME mornings but feel terrible by pm- I woke up thus morning and felt like crap - ill, exhausted etc (and I have a full day of full-time care ahead of me), anger (but I don't take it out on people on here), hopelessness, fear(still), aches and pains, I do sleep better some nights but still wake up 2 or 3 times in the night and can't get back to sleep etc etc.
When I post on here I try to support people and I try to accentuate the positive to boost myself up and make me feel that I'm getting better. In view of all the posts I've put on here regarding what a terrible fight I've had with caffeine, I found what you said to me offensive and dismissive.
Maybe you should go to see the doctor or just accept that that's how you feel. After all, we did it to ourselves - we drank the caffeine which made us ill, cranky and exhausted. It's our responsibility.

Jackie, I am sorry - I have

Jackie, I am sorry - I have been going by your recent posts, and I had forgotten your earlier ones Duhhhhh , but that is caffeine wd, I find it hard to concentrate atm.
I do accept my feelings of irritability and I think it is better to tell the truth on this blog, because I don't find constant "positivity" helpful, and I wonder if the need to pretend that everything is fine (even too yourself) is one of the reasons you have found it so difficult to get off caffeine in the past. Just because I tell the truth on this blog does not mean that I tell anyone in the real world

It isn't "taking it out on" anybody to be authentic about how one is feeling on this blog. The reason I am so open about how I am feeling is because I know how much the old (truthful) posts on this blog have helped me, and in the unlikely event that anyone else who still feels crap after being off caffeine for 21 months ever reads this blog in the future, what help would it be to them if I don't tell the truth? Knowledge is power.

I also wake up 2 or 3 times a night, and I have found having an audio book on cd helps me back to sleep (Anthony Trollope
is particularly soporific)

I hope you will be able to forgive me for saying that your last post to me has been far more helpful than any one of your posts where you have accentuated the positive, the authentic Jackie is the one I really admire and prefer, so thank you so much for posting and I hope you can forgive me my mistake.

ps Jackie I remember now

ps Jackie I remember now about your terrible fear etc. I had done a long much more sympathetic reply to your last post, but I pressed the wrong key and got blocked and lost every word of it, so my last reply is much shorter and less sympathetic, but I am and was too tired to repeat it, but I want you to know that I am VERY SORRY to have offended you, and I hope you will post asap that you have forgiven me.

My lost post took me an hour to write, sod it….


Of course, it's Ok, 60 YH, thanks for your apology. Haven't got much time now so this is a quick reply - but didn't want to leave you in the lurch. I haven't processed everything you said but it struck me that we all deal with things differently. I find I'm better and cope better if I focus on the positive - that's why my healthy diet is so important to me - it makes me feel like I'm doing something very positive about my health (and I know it helps). If I focus on the negative when I write here, it pulls me back down e.g. i used to endlessly stress and beat myself up about how long I'd been trying to get off of caffeine ........now, I try not to think about the past and how long I'd been trying to wean off but focus on the future and being pro-active. That way just works better for me, now. Anyway, got to go - but will look at your post again tomorrow. TC JACKIE

Thanks for letting me know, I

Thanks for letting me know, I agree that it is better to focus on the positive and I do that myself, and I always include what I find has helped me - but I also feel that we need to be able to accept the more difficult things about our recovery, which absolutely does not mean that they are negative, they just are, and if we hide them they can go underground and run riot! So I also do everything I can to help my recovery - walking every day, diet, meditation etc etc. So when I say that I am feeling crap, it is the truth, but it is not "negative", it is just the way it is at the moment.

I don't even think the fact that I was feeling that I had to go back on caffeine was negative, it was just the way it was at that moment, and if i had gone back on I would have dealt with it. It is this blog that enables me, at least, to feel that I am not alone in my struggles with caffeine, and I do hope my posts are not perceived as "negative".

I think we do both agree about how to get through our recovery, but our perception is different. Thanks again, and I would love to know if you try the audio book solution to insomnia, and by the way I am glad to know that you are sleeping better, because I am too, in spite of waking up 2 or 3 times a night.

it's no good, I can't stand

it's no good, I can't stand being in a bad mood another day, i am going back on caffeine.

60 year habit

Please let us know how you are. I'm sure you look on here every day so please post. If you have had caffeine, it's not the end of the world as you can decide to stop again, if you want to. Worried here, so please post :) TC jACKIE


Well, I hope you don't! This is perhaps an understandable expression of all of your frustration and I do understand how you feel. But think how far you've come to get off it and, if you do go back on it, you will only end up feeling worse in the long run. As Rob said, the lift is very short term and then you end up feeling anxious and, in your situation, even more exhausted than you already are. Let us know how you're doing asap. TC Jackie

How are you ?

AW60YH, how are you ? Not sure if that was a genuine post from you or someone messing around ? I am back on caffeine and have been for a few weeks after a couple of months off. I'm currently trying to limit myself to a couple of good quality coffees a day. I have been here before and if I'm honest it's just rationalising a bad habit...
I have 2 big health challenges in my life - caffeine and sugar. I spend alot of time in various permutations of which I'm going to give up - both all at once, just caffeine, just sugar etc. In the past I've given up caffeine, then started eating chocolate again which contains a small amount of caffeine and on it goes.
Anyway, hope you're OK. If you have used caffeine again it would be interesting to hear from you and what your experience has been - did it improve your mood ? My own experience is that it does, but only on a short term basis. The "energy" it gives is quickly replaced with anxiety and exhaustion. Keep in touch and let us know how you're doing.


Hi, Rob, sorry to hear you're still struggling - it's like being on a treadmill, isn't it? You keep walking but don't really get anywhere. I've been doing better - having 1 decaf in the morning, generally - but then, on the odd day, the stress of my life gets me down and I have a bad day because I think I can 'run away' , have a good old cup of coffee which, as we all know, makes the world feel OK (for about ten seconds, now!)...and then it runs away with me and I over-indulge on everything. But doing better as a rule.
I wondered if you could concentrate on just giving up either sugar OR caffeine? Decide which one you'd rather do without and try to stick with that. Or you could try to keep your coffee to 2 a day (better than the 7 I was having) and then have some sugar but try to have it bound up with fibre so it doesn't spike your blood sugar so much e.g. flapjacks. I must admit, I can't eat chocolate (although it doesn't tempt me too much) as it turns me into a werewolf - I'm not kidding, I get very angry and hate everyone when I eat it lol- it must be the chemicals in it. If I can also say, I don't mean it to be critical (God knows, I've got no reason to be critical with my history) but when you post, it feels like your heart's not really in wanting to give up. Do you really want to give up? Someone on here once said to me, you'll give it up when you want to. Anyway, any thoughts? TC Jackie

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