What are the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal?

Regular caffeine consumption reduces sensitivity to caffeine. When caffeine intake is reduced, the body becomes oversensitive to adenosine. In response to this oversensitiveness, blood pressure drops dramatically, causing an excess of blood in the head (though not necessarily on the brain), leading to a headache.

This headache, well known among coffee drinkers, usually lasts from one to five days, and can be alleviated with analgesics such as aspirin. It is also alleviated with caffeine intake (in fact several analgesics contain caffeine dosages).

Often, people who are reducing caffeine intake report being irritable, unable to work, nervous, restless, and feeling sleepy, as well as having a headache. In extreme cases, nausea and vomiting has also been reported.


Caffeine and Health. J. E. James, Academic Press, 1991. Progress in Clinical and Biological Research Volume 158. G. A. Spiller, Ed. Alan R. Liss Inc, 1984.



At what point did you get your appetite back if you lost it? I read one blog where the writer said it took two months for her to feel genuinely hungry

An update at 5 1/2 weeks. The

An update at 5 1/2 weeks.

The over sensitivity has gone down but am still sensitive to highly processed foods. My hormone levels seem to have evened out a bit and feel less weak day to day.

Two discoveries I have found that I find really interesting:
1. Previously I thought my alcohol tolerance drastically lowered but I have concluded that I am just able to more accurately determine my level of intoxication. It seems caffeine masked my ability to realize my level and black out from drinking many nights (I do not have an alcohol problem but I am a typical college student and with basketball season in full swing it is bad luck to not have a beer in your hand).
2. It seems my sleep apnea has become more prevalent. I think it is because I am either sleeping longer consecutive hours or caffeine helped my sleep apnea. Sedatives and depressants (such as alcohol) in your system relax your throat muscles even more making sleep apnea worse so it would logically follow that stimulants would keep the throat muscles less relaxed, resulting in less instances a night.

Again, thank you so much for everyone sharing their stories! It really helps every day when I am tempted walking by a 7-11 or Starbucks. Have a great day!!

Just a quick update - I'm

Just a quick update - I'm doing well on the tapering and cut down, again, this morning to just over half a teaspoon of coffee.
Normally when I have a whole teaspoon, I still get quite wired (as you can probably tell!). Now, I fell less manic but, more, I wish I could just stop. I do think, now, that my habit is purely psychological. When I woke up this morning, the mental craving to have the coffee and the (false) promise of a 'normal' life was all-consuming. It really is set in me and I would not have believed that such a psychological false belief could be created in a person. Anyway, I have become my own psychoanalyst and am finding ways to change it. Very determined with my food - I'm having so many super nutrients which will hopefully outweigh the effects of the coffee. Thanks, all, again.
How is everyone doing ?

jackie I keep forgetting to

jackie I keep forgetting to tell you that I decided to drink filtered water again (after a long break) a year or so ago, but I had the most dreadful reaction to it, it took a long time to figure it out, but I googled something like "problems with charcoal filters" and I am not the only one, I only used it for 10 days and it took 2 or 3 months for my gut to get back to normal. The symptoms were severe nausea after eating and severe stomach pain, (which I of course thought must be something to do with caffeine). If you r interested I could find the link for you .

When I looked at the filtered water it did contain tiny particles of activated charcoal, and if you look up the side effects pf activated charcoal, you might get a bit of a shock (I did).

60 year habit

It seems you have become incredibly sensitive to just about everything, 60YH - that must be very difficult. I presume you think your sensitivity id due to the meds and caffeine? Well, I looked it all up and they say that you get tiny particles of charcoal of the water when the filter hasn't been changed as often as it should. I do use a water filter and glad you brought this to my attention as I must confess I have't been changing it as often as I should have been. Also, it said that the filter doesn't kill bacteria so it's important to change as per the instructions as the bacteria can build up and cling to the charcoal. I use the Brita one and I looked up an independent review and it said that it does remove chlorine and metals - so fingers crossed.
Also, I looked up truthlabelling. I did know about MSG causing problems but am careful to avoid it. I eat whole foods, anyway. so wouldn't come across it. I know you have to be very careful with processed food, tins etc.
Thanks for the tips, anyway, and hope you're doing awap.

I do too, but you cancreate

I do too, but you cancreate MSG yourself by long slow cooking, ie when making meat stocks (although I know you are vegan),
but barley malt and flour improvers are the same, so I have also to make my own bread using only wholemeal flour because of the additives in white flour unless you buy it in FRance where they don't fortify it.

My water filter was new and I only used it for 10 days before I had to stop…

this was a quick note so apologies for any typos…

yes I do put my sensitivities down to meds and caffeine wd

oh and skimmed milk contains MSg too but I am sure you know all this!

60 year habit and Mandy!

Thank you SO much, both, for your replies and support. It really has meant a lot. I don't think I've got the brain power to write just one post to amalgamate my replies to you - I think the only way I can do it is to reply to each post. But, just to say, I AM definitely feeling more hopeful and positive. I'm back to strictly tapering and I actually drank my tapered amount, this morning, and REALLY wish I hadn't. After I'd had it, I was fully aware of how the caffeine creates that false sense of self, and pushes all the energy into the head and creates that kind of constant craving for something to happen or to feel something, like a restlessness, an anxiety. I know that's the dopamine. I was actually feeling quite calm and in myself, for a change, so why did I have it? The pattern/habit? The belief I couldn't do without it? Neural pathways? Who knows ...but I think for the first time is nearly 3 years, I actually felt I DID NOT WANT IT AGAIN.......and wanted to feel that calmness and being in myself - even if I was physically feeling like crap! This did seem like a genuine change and for the first time, I BELIEVE I can do it. I have been attending to my diet and that is not so hard, any more, unless it's Christmas etc. I believe I have mostly changed those neural pathways - the trick is not to slip back when temptation is around. As I think you know, I am vegan and very interested in food and its health properties. I just got a book 'anti cancer, a new way of life' by Dr David Servan-Schreiber. It goes into the science behind the incredible healing power of some foods and I'm going to immerse myself in that and create a new, very pro-active attitude to food. Besides, I do actually enjoy my way of eating, rather than all the junk and sugar crap which isn't really food at all and leaves you still hungry and craving more.
Anyway, I am rambling but I am very excited and relieved to be here. I feel I'm at the crossroads and the choice is mine but I WILL keep on taking it down the right road, this time. Again, I really BELIEVE I can do it now. Can't say enough how grateful I am to you both - and to everyone on here who has supported me in the past. I hope everyone is doing awap - and to any lurkers on here who feel swamped by their own addictions, it seems to me that it's a process you have to go through, but you do come out on the other side. To those who have found it easy - you really don't know how lucky you are!
Rob -how are you doing? TC Jackie

how about we try EFT tapping?

how about we try EFT tapping? i've been off from work today and have spent a lot of time watching EFT videos on you tube to see if that might help my anxiety, dizziness and brain fog and i am going to give it a go, have waited all day to feel.anxious dizzy or foggy so i can test it out and not a sign! now what does that tell me...

Many 3

I just saw this, Mandy. I'd try anything if it helps. Also, I hope it's Ok to share this. Before I got up this morning and foolishly had my tapering amount - I did feel calm and in myself, as I said, despite feeling physically rubbish. I also felt that I've spent the last 3 years in this battle, always running round (both internally and externally), trying to fix myself. Last night, I felt really rough but then felt that maybe I needed to try to stop 'running' and try to be more still and 'listen' to my body or just let it be a bit and, of course, give my body and brain the chance to heal. Then this morning, I felt that calm etc. I guess I'm saying if we get off the caffeine, look after ourselves as much as we possibly can, then ways of helping ourselves might surface, intuitively - if that makes sense. I'm perhaps not explaining what I mean very well - but I believe there's sometimes an answer, inside, if we can 'listen'. Not sure if this is a help or not. TC

Well if you do try it I will

Well if you do try it I will be interested to know how it works for you, I have tried it briefly in the past, but possibly I am too sceptical, because it didn't do anything at all for me, but as I say, I did not persevere.

Anyway, maybe you have had your last bout of anxiety, dizziness and fog, I do hope so!!

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