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Caffeine Withdrawal – Symptoms, Signs and Treatment

What is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a substance that stimulates the central nervous system. In moderate consumption, it

  1. increases concentration level,
  2. maintains alertness,
  3. increases heart rate and blood pressure and results in better coordination of the body.

Caffeine Withdrawal

Some people who take in high doses of caffeine, like in drinking several cups of coffee per day, and even those who are taking caffeine regularly in moderate amounts, experience withdrawal symptoms after few hours or days of abstinence from caffeine. Some people who need to stop consuming caffeine for their health reasons and for those who want to stop taking in caffeine should be aware of the withdrawal symptoms, for them to better equip themselves on how to deal with these.

Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms and Signs

Headache. It is the most common Caffeine Withdrawal Symptom experienced. The pain, starting from around the eyes radiating to the front head, maybe moderate to severe in degree. Remember that caffeine stimulates our body.

Withdrawing from it produces the opposing effect

  1. fatigue, weariness, and
  2. sluggishness.
  3. Some people tend to sleep for more than ten hours straight, though there are some who gets insomniac and can’t sleep.
  4. When awake, are not motivated, feeling depressed and extreme sadness that hinders doing activities of daily living.
  5. One has difficulty on concentration, and focusing on work and activities can be difficult to do.
  6. Irritability can also be observed. Mood becomes unstable, easily loses temper, and even small things get on the nerves. Some physical symptoms include constipation and flu-like symptoms like nausea and some muscle pain and stiffness.
  7. Withdrawal symptoms are real and vary in degree; more severe intensity of symptoms is experienced for those who are consuming higher amounts of caffeine.
  8. Symptoms are generally experienced for two to nine days, some lasting more than that. Peak intensity of withdrawal symptoms occurs mostly 20 – 48 hours from last caffeine intake.

Treatment of Caffeine Withdrawal

1. Pain management

Pain killers. For treatment of withdrawal symptoms, headache can be treated using pain relievers.

Non-pharmacological ways. It include drinking lots of water and peppermint tea. Headaches usually disappear shortly after drinking peppermint tea, and eight glasses or more of water can help diminish headaches. Get yourself relaxed by having a massage and taking a nap.

2. Constipation can be lessened with a high-fiber diet of fruits and vegetables. To prevent occurrence of symptoms, it is suggested to taper the dose of caffeine before fully abstaining from it. Each intake of caffeine should be lesser than the previous amount taken in.

Caffeine withdrawal has been included in the diagnosis in ICD-10 of the World Health Organization and is proposed in DSM –IV of the American Psychiatric Association. The symptoms are not life-threatening; but based on severity, can disrupt the usual activities and functioning of a person. There are those who are reported to experience notable mistakes in work, to completely missing their work, and failure to complete daily activities.

Consumption of Caffeine is not medically considered unhealthy except for those who have conditions contraindicating caffeine. But if withdrawal symptoms are noticed, it might be best to evaluate your caffeine amount intake. Too much of things are not at all healthy and good.

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March 15, 2012 This post was written by Categories: Medical No comments yet


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