Withdrawal Symptoms: The Struggle is Real

Wednesday, 30 March, 2016

This last week, I was ill. I very rarely get sick but my body was fighting off some serious change of season demons this last week. I mean, I don't drink a heck of a lot of coffee - yes I know this is difficult to believe as the editor of The Coffee Magazine - I favour quality over quantity. But sheesh, I think the worst part about being sick was I completely lost my appetite and all my flavour receptors were out of action so I didn't drink any coffee, I didn't really think about it for the first day...but then Day 2 hit and man, I had a headache and fuzzy head that was worse that any virus or bacteria could have concocted.

“Caffeine withdrawal isn’t necessarily about addiction—it’s really more about your body adapting to having caffeine in your system, then reacting when the substance isn’t there,” says Health‘s contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD. So if you’ve been a life-long coffee drinker, skipping your regular cup could bring on symptoms like headaches, fatigue, decreased alertness, and mood changes, she says.

“It’s more likely to happen if you [regularly] consume 500 milligrams of caffeine or more,” Sass says. “But it can happen with less if caffeine has been a daily habit.”

Top 15 Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

A caffeine headache usually starts behind the eyes and then moves up the front of the head.

This just isn’t your normal tiredness, this is sitting up straight but still can’t keep your eyes open tiredness.

Everyone and everything gets on your last nerve. It’s best just to lock yourself in your room during this stage.

Forget about productivity at this stage because you’ll be unmotivated to do anything from the feeling of the lack of energy.

Caffeine stimulates the bowel, so without its daily dose the colon gets a little cranky too.

Caffeine withdrawal can take away all hope for living. Temporary blues are one thing, but if you already struggle with depression this could be a big issue.

Muscle Pain, Stiffness, Cramping
If you normally have some caffeine prior to exercise then during caffeine withdrawal you could feel as though your muscles have weights strapped to them.

Lack of Concentration
Forget school, studying, brain surgery, or jet engine repair during this stage of withdrawal.

Flu-like symptoms
Stuffy nose, blocked sinuses, and sinus pressure have all been reported by people withdrawing from caffeine.

Ironically, some people actually can’t sleep when going through caffeine withdrawal.

Nausea and Vomiting
Some people can’t even think about food the first couple days of withdrawal which compounds the feeling of lethargy.

In some people, caffeine actually causes anxiety, but in others, withdrawing from the drug can cause feelings on anxiety and even panic attacks have been reported by some.

Brain Fog
Withdrawal can cause some people to experience brain fog which is described as the difficulty of having coherent thoughts, difficulty thinking, and the difficulty of doing common tasks.

Caffeine withdrawal can cause some people to lose their sense of equilibrium.

Heart Rhythm Abnormalities
Since caffeine also stimulates the heart muscle, some people experience changes in their heart rhythm during withdrawal. Both low blood pressure and even palpitations have been reported.

So basically, caffeine is like, YOU NEED ME!!!

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