Death by Caffeine
Caffeine: Energy or Addiction
How many times have I tried to give up caffeine? Too many to count I’m afraid. You know the drill, well at least maybe you do.
I get this notion in my head that I don’t need caffeine and that I can save a lot of money if I quit consuming lattes and energy drinks. So I quit could turkey, endure the three day headache, fight the extreme fatigue, and then finally I’m free! OK, well until a few days later a friend asks me out for a coffee and I digress and rationalize.
I think “If I only have one a week then I can keep myself from depending on it”. However, I start drinking that hot soothing beverage and something strange comes over me, some type of euphoria really. The aroma, the taste, my sinuses clear, my head feels lighter, and I’m ready to conquer the world….yeah!
Once a week turns into twice a week, then every other day, then wouldn’t you know it, I’m hooked again.
I know I’m not alone and there has been much research as to whether caffeine really gives the feeling of energy or if it just satisfies physical and psychological withdraw symptoms. Studies have shown that just consuming 100 milligrams of caffeine a day is enough to cause dependence.
So when we have our daily dose, we aren’t actually increasing our alertness or energy, but instead just easing withdrawal symptoms which gives us the illusion of such positive feelings.
The good news is we are all hopeless addicts and there never has been a larger support group worldwide consisting of well over a billion members strong. In fact over 90% of adults in the US consume caffeine daily.
My struggle continues, but there are way worse things to be addicted to, so drink up energy fiends!
Caffeine Allergy: Top 20 SymptomsWay back in yesteryear (2005), we published a post entitled “Yes, You Can Be Allergic to Caffeine” .
Since then this post has received over 190 comments from mostly those who have experienced some type of adverse reaction to caffeine.
I have painstakingly sifted through all those comments and have derived the top 20 caffeine allergic reactions in order from most common to least common. Note that this is entirely anecdotal evidence so don’t take it as gospel, but rather consider these caffeine allergy symptoms as possible since they were reported by a number of people.
Also, there is a fine line between caffeine sensitivity and allergy, but overall we’re dealing with the body not being able to correctly process the caffeine molecule so whether you want to call that sensitivity or allergy it’s up to you. In most cases these symptoms were reported after only having a little to moderate amount of caffeine.
Most Common Allergic Reactions to Caffeine
- Skin problems such as hives, eczema, rashes, acne, severe itching.
- Headaches/ migraines.
- Anxiety and panic attacks.
- Can’t focus or concentrate
- Tongue, glands, or throat swelling.
- Heart racing/ palpitations.
- Angry, irritable, bad mood.
- Extreme jitters.
- Chest Pain.
- Numbness in face, hands, or feet.
- Muscle pain.
- Shortness of breath/ tightness of chest.
- Delusions/ hallucinations.
- Flu/ cold like symptoms.
- Vision problems.
- Cold sweats.
- Eyes swollen shut.