Addiction to caffeine is no laughing matter. While it is more common to find coffee addiction, it does not have the same life-threatening consequences but can still have a serious impact on a person’s overall health and functioning. Find out more about the nature of coffee addiction and how it affects a person’s health.
Caffeine raises the level of stress hormones in the body (cortisol) which can lead to stress in the body building up over time. High levels of cortisol can lead to clogged arteries and many types of heart disease. The immune system may be lowered also. The following effects may also be felt:
- Anxiety and irritability due to withdrawal systems or a high level of cortisol in the body
- Blood sugar instability due to spiking of sugar from too much insulin, leading to a crash later. Diabetes and coffee addiction may go hand-in-hand for some people and it will be difficult to control blood sugar as a result
- Bone health may be impacted by the body’s inability to absorb calcium. Osteoporosis may be a concern for older people, particularly women
- Sleeping challenges may occur such as insomnia and other disturbances. Too much caffeine close to bed can make falling asleep difficult as can lack of sleep leading to greater coffee consumption (cyclical addiction pattern)
When a person decides to quit caffeine, withdrawal symptoms may begin. Some people experience mild symptoms while others may go through more severe challenges (flu-like symptoms). The most common side effects a person experiences after quitting caffeine includes:
- Brain fog and poor concentration
- Fatigue and sleepiness
- Hot and cold spells
- Impaired cognition
- Nausea or vomiting
- Reduced motivation
Withdrawal from caffeine may last different amounts of time depending on the ability to metabolize caffeine, age, weight or gender. If a person takes medications, smokes or has other issues this may also have an impact. The worst of the effects should be over within two days to a week, but possibly up to 12 days.
Alternatives to Caffeine
Some of the positive alternatives to drinking caffeine may include some healthier beverages or actions which can support a better lifestyle such as:
- Drinking green tea, which has 25 mg per cup of caffeine compared with 100 mg per cup
- Switch from regular to decaffeinated to cut down over the course of a few weeks
- Practice self-care and get some rest in the initial withdrawal stages but especially afterwards to give the body and mind time to adjust to the changes happening
Caffeine in moderation may have some health benefits but addiction can wreak havoc on one’s mental and physical state over time. The vicious cycle of being tired, needing caffeine and experiencing insomnia can be detrimental over time to feeling healthy. Finding a way out of the cycle can be beneficial in many areas of a person’s life and help balance the body to a natural state of calm and peace.
Hired Power helps individuals with caffeine and other addictions through information and resources designed to support a healthy lifestyle. If you or a loved one struggle with addiction, call us to see how we can help you recover from addiction.