You can feel absolutely shocking with caffeine withdrawal symptoms if you stop having caffeine suddenly. That’s if you’re dependent on caffeine – and most caffeine users are, even if they don’t know it.

If you need caffeine to feel ok, or to get a lift – you’re probably addicted – your caffeine withdrawal symptoms are starting to kick in, and you’re seeking your next fix before you feel worse.

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can differ from person to person, because we’re not all the same. But there’s a very well defined set of symptoms, with headache being the most common.

 

 

The Dreaded Caffeine Headache

Caffeine is a stimulant, so one of its effects is to constrict blood vessels.

For the most part caffeine withdrawal symptoms are caused by the sudden change in your circulation. Once the caffeine has completely left your body your blood vessels open up to normal. This is a good thing, but.. the sudden rush of blood flow to the brain causes an absolute splitting headache.

If you’ve ever been in hospital for an operation you might have blamed the awful post-surgery headache on the anaesthetic. However, non-caffeine drinkers don’t tend to get this. Being ‘nil by mouth’ before the op sets you up nicely for some post op caffeine withdrawal symptoms. It was one of those interesting little things I read about in a medical journal.

Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

Stopping caffeine suddenly can make you feel like you’ve been hit by a truck!

In addition to the headache you might experience some or all of this lot:

  • Low mood
  • Feel totally knackered
  • Irritability
  • Your brain doesn’t function properly
  • Nausea, even vomiting
  • Constipation

Caffeine is an addictive substance, and like anything addictive you build up tolerance to it – meaning you need more and more for the same effect.

When you come off anything addictive you have to go through a period of adjustment as you get healthier.

Unless you’ve got a serious health problem as a result of caffeine, gradually reduce you intake (unless you’re a glutton for punishment and want to go cold turkey!)

Have a great week

Dr Julie