Caffeine addiction

Caffeine Addiction: Health Issues, Insomnia, Anxiety, and More

No one likes to start a day without a cup of coffee, well I would say for most of us. The irritability, frustration about having an endless day ahead comes to a soothing calm, almost bliss with a cup of coffee or, is it the caffeine addiction?

In our day-to-day lives, we consume so many products without prior knowledge of their nutrition content. Not only this, many times we do not even read the bold writings “CONTAINS CAFFEINE”. We have kept ourselves so busy with work that we are almost micromanaging time for meals, thus we aren’t even aware of what goes inside of us daily.

It must confuse some readers about what caffeine addiction means? To answer that; the excessive consumption of caffeine which causes harmful and negative effects on the body is called caffeine addiction. The body is unable to function properly without regular intakes of caffeine.

Symptoms of Caffeine Addiction

Caffeine acts as a stimulant and so affects the brain and nervous system functioning. The various symptoms include:

What are the effects of Caffeine on the Body?

The effect of caffeine is somewhat similar to the symptoms. It includes:

  • Sleep disturbance
  • Anxiety
  • Acid reflux
  • Muscle twitching
  • Body pain
  • Irritability
  • Lack of concentration
  • Poor thought process

Negative Effects of Caffeine

Caffeine gets readily absorbed into our bloodstream due to its chemical nature. From there it moves to the liver, where it is absorbed and affects various organs. The major effects are seen on the nervous system and the brain. As already mentioned that caffeine, blocks adenosine, so the brain reception for adenosine is reduced.

Adenosine is responsible for sending signals like tiredness, sleep, but due to caffeine, this ability is blocked. Making the body more active, sleepless. It also in turn increases alertness.

All of this sounds good as in increasing body functioning but it makes one exhausted and exaggerates the cell function. One might feel great on the outside but on the inside, the body machinery runs out easily. Thus as the effects of caffeine wear off one becomes irritated, tired, restless, anxious, has a headache, body pain.

To stop this a person becomes dependent on caffeine as fuel. Leading to its consumption at least 4 to 5 times a day.

The symptoms felt when the caffeine wears off at an extreme stage can also be termed caffeine withdrawal symptoms.

All of these cause an increased heart rate, high blood pressure, sleep disturbance or insomnia, lower immunity, in some cases osteoporosis.

What is caffeine withdrawal

Withdrawal occurs when one suddenly stops the intake of something that had been included in their lifestyle or feeding habits for a long time.

Caffeine withdrawal is the same implying a sudden stop of caffeine uptake or removing it from the diet. This causes symptoms opposite to that of addiction. The symptoms may vary from mild to extreme based on the doses of caffeine taken in a day by an individual.

The symptoms may be:

  • Feeling tired or sleepy
  • Irritability
  • Reduced mental awareness
  • Low energy
  • Bad mood, discontentment
  • Slow reaction to things
  • Feeling foggy
  • Confusion

How to Cure Caffeine Addiction

Yes, it has a cure. One does not always need medications for a cure. Self-regulatory methods can help with curing caffeine addiction like:

  • If one is confirmed that they have caffeine addiction then firstly access your intake. On a typical day how much caffeine you consume needs to be calculated. Access all that you drink soda, energy drink, coffee, espresso, latte, etc. also count the number of times you have each of these.
  • Take note of how you feel after consuming these caffeinated drinks. Take note of both mental and physical signs.
  • After this try cutting down the caffeine doses in a day. See how many times a day you can reduce the drinks or beverages.
  • Self-control is very important. Meditate, try calming yoga and aromatherapy to reduce symptoms like headache, body pain, insomnia.
  • Keep up the practice of self-control and limit your caffeine consumption. Resort to other drinks like juice, water that help hydration.

If these methods are not helpful and one feels like that these habits are disrupting their lives they may visit a doctor.

Foods that contain caffeine

The sources of caffeine can be various like:

  • Coffee- one cup of coffee contains about 95mg of caffeine.
  • Expresso
  • Soda or cold drinks- one serve of diet coke contains about 40mg caffeine.
  • Tea- black tea contains more caffeine compared to milk tea. An average cup contains about 47mg.
  • Energy drinks- a single serving contains about 85mg of caffeine.
  • Chocolate- also contains caffeine in small amounts around 24mg.

Caffeine addiction is a vicious cycle, it has its benefits but it also has major side effects. Caffeine has addictive properties but one can overcome it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Ques. Why do people get addicted to caffeine?
Ans. Caffeine is a stimulating chemical that affects the nervous system. It can block brain signals like adenosine in turn causing the release of other signaling molecules like dopamine and norepinephrine. These signaling molecules help in mood upliftment. This is one of the major reasons why people find caffeine-containing drinks appealing.

After the first few consumptions, people include such beverages and drinks in their regular diet. Later increasing the amount and times of intake according to need.

Ques. Is regular caffeine consumption harmful?
Ans. No, regular caffeine consumption is not harmful. But if one consumes caffeine more than twice once a day, it can be termed as harmful as the body starts craving it after a while.

Ques. How can one know they have caffeine addiction?
Ans. One can ask themselves these questions to see if they might have a caffeine addiction.

  1. Do you feel grumpy or irritated without the first dose of coffee in the morning?
  2. Do you crave coffee soon after you get out of bed?
  3. Concentrating on work is difficult without being caffeinated?
  4. Do you always feel a little on edge?
  5. Quitting your work or taking off for the day is difficult for you?

If the answer to these questions is yes, one might have a caffeine addiction.

Ques. How long does caffeine addiction take to stop?
Ans. The withdrawal symptoms may be felt within the first 12-24 hours. Then it takes about 2-9 days to completely overcome the addiction.

Ques. Is quitting caffeine a solution?
Ans. Quitting caffeine may act as a solution. The benefits of not consuming caffeine overpower its consumption. One sleeps better, strains less, feels less fatigued, has lesser mood swings.

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