Caffeinated beverages are very addictive. If you are an ardent energy drink or coffee user, then you probably have a clue as to how addictive these beverages can be.
Quitting caffeine can be very difficult, more so if you are attempting to do it without a proper caffeine detox plan like wean caffeine.
In short, the more caffeine you consume, the greater the duration and intensity of the withdrawal symptoms and period you are going to have.
In this article, we are going to list the 17 most common caffeine withdrawal symptoms that seek to reassure you that you are not really going through a hard time but rather detoxing from caffeine.
#1 Caffeine Headache
Caffeine headaches are common among people who are regularly on tea, coffee, soda or anything that contains caffeine. Such headaches start from the eyeballs and intensify as they find their way to the front of the forehead.
Most people on caffeine withdrawal experience a moderate pain, though it is possible to suffer from severe caffeine headaches in some instances. Severe headaches can cause a migraine to some people.
In general, the pain varies in severity among different people. Most caffeine headaches are normally caused by caffeine withdrawal.
You don’t need to completely cut off caffeine to experience headaches. Even the slightest drop in caffeine intake causes a caffeine headache.
If you consume less caffeine than your average amount or forget to drink your morning coffee, you are likely to experience headaches of this nature.
If you are quitting from caffeine cold-turkey, you are likely to experience severe headaches which can be devastating.
If you are also taking caffeine in an irregular way, you are at risk of headaches because you are not adapted to the uneven drinking of caffeine.(1)
Drowsiness is a common problem experienced by most people during caffeine withdrawal. Being a nervous system stimulant, caffeine makes the body more active.
While caffeine may have several effects, drowsiness is often the least among them. However, when you are on caffeine withdrawal, you will notice the more severe effect of fatigue.
The caffeine in coffee works primarily as a stimulant by blocking adenosine.
Heavy consumers of caffeine tend to be awake and alert since it works against adenosine by blocking the sites to which it is bound, preventing it from working.
On caffeine withdrawal, adenosine accumulates at certain synapses in the brain contributing to drowsiness.(2)
#3 Negative Moods
Caffeine withdrawal causes a variety of negative mood states like feeling too anxious, depressed, and/ or irritable.
You will only experience these feelings during the withdrawal period, with the effects disappearing once the withdrawal period is over.
If the negative mood persists even after the withdrawal period, always consult the doctor about your feelings.
Negative moods may sometime cause health problems and may become evident once you have quit the consumption of caffeine.
In this case, the doctor may refer you to an appropriate treatment. Mental health problems may sometimes be triggered by drug use, including caffeine. Seek medical attention to avoid further suffering.
#4 Vomiting and Nausea
Withdrawal symptoms. vomiting and nausea are unpleasant, uncomfortable symptoms that occur when you are experiencing caffeine withdrawal.
Nausea is much more common in people during a caffeine withdrawal period than vomiting, though both are recognized as caffeine withdrawal symptoms.
Nausea is the feeling of wanting to vomit or an unpleasant sensation of queasiness.
Vomiting, on the other hand, is the ejection of stomach contents via the mouth. It is also advisable that you seek medical attention if these vomiting and nausea experiences persist.
They could be induced by something else like peptic ulcers, food poisoning, migraines or pregnancy. It is appropriate that you consult a medical practitioner within a week of seeing caffeine withdrawal symptoms like vomiting and nausea symptoms persisting.
#5 Mental Fogginess
You are also likely to experience mental fog if you are on caffeine withdrawal. Mental fog is a condition where have the feeling of forgetfulness, confusion and lack mental clarity and focus. Experiencing brain fog is fairly common but not normal.
When you have this feeling, your brain is sending an important message that there is an imbalance in your life that needs to be addressed. The brain does not work effectively, and performance is poorer on mental tasks.
Keep in mind that this is a rebound effect from stimulating and performance-enhancing effects of caffeine. Taking more caffeine will simply prolong the cycle.
#6 Heart Rhythm Abnormalities
You may experience cardiac arrhythmia when trying to quit caffeine. Cardiac arrhythmia is a situation where the heart the heart beats twice or misses a beat from the normal heartbeat. This results from due to the stimulant nature of caffeine that speeds up the heartbeat rate.
Cardiac arrhythmia can be really dangerous to some people especially those with heart problems. Even if you skip caffeine for a day or two, you will still experience the acardiac arrhythmia.
It is advisable that those with such conditions exercise caution when consuming caffeine like understanding the amount of caffeine intake in a day.(3)
#7 Blurred Vision Due to Caffeine Withdrawal
Doctors say that caffeine withdrawal does not directly result in blurred vision but through headaches caused by caffeine withdrawal. Severe headaches lead to blurred vision.
If you at any time experience a change in your vision during caffeine withdrawal, seek medical attention or an eye doctor for evaluation.
Blurry vision is a serious condition that could lead to permanent vision loss. Gradual changes in your vision could also result from natural processes of the eye and might require you to put on glasses as prescribed by the doctor or even change the eyeglass.(4)
Caffeine withdrawal can cause you with anxiety and it can also be a catalyst for panic attacks. The good news is that not everyone trying to withdraw from caffeine will experience this caffeine withdrawal symptom.
This can occur due to genetic variations in adenosine receptors which is responsible for regulating your sense of anxiety.
Adenosine receptors can be largely blamed for anxiety which is caffeine induced. If you are already in a stressful situation, withdrawing from consuming caffeine could lead to a full-blown panic attack.
9) Lack of Concentration.
It is likely that you may experience concentration problems when trying to withdraw from caffeine usage. These symptoms may last for nine days but the intensity is worst in the first 48 hours.
If you operate machinery you are best advised to keep away during this withdrawal period. Working and studying can seem quite an uphill task also so you might as well as take some time off till your concentration level improves.
10) Body Pain
You may experience upper body pain 24 hours after starting your caffeine withdrawal journey. The cause of this body pain can be attributed to receptors in the brain inhibiting blood vessels dilation.
The body pains could range from mild body aches to very painful tissue pain. To limit this body pain you are advised to reduce your caffeine intake gradually other than can it out completely.
Generally, caffeine withdraw is harmless but when your muscles are uncomfortable or painful, protein breakdown becomes extremely hard. This, in turn, increases muscle weakness and pain.
Caffeine withdrawal can also be a cause for clinical distress. The effect of caffeine withdrawal depression is determined by the amount of caffeine you consume.
Withdrawing from caffeine can also alter your sleep patterns which in turn could worsen your depression symptoms. If you may have suffered depression at any instance in your life, be sure to talk to your physician before embarking on caffeine withdrawal.
This is because people tend to react differently to caffeine stimulants and the effect may be severe if this stimulant is removed. The reason you should consult with your doctor is to come up with a workable caffeine detox program which will reduce this symptom.
12-24 hours after you stop using caffeine you may experience general body weakness. The first two days are the worst and you might experience un-told body weakness.
You may notice that after nine days this symptom completely disappears. To continue with normal body functioning, you are advised to wean yourself off coffee gradually and not stop consuming coffee abruptly.
By doing this, you may remain productive throughout your caffeine withdrawing period by decreasing your fatigue levels.
Usually what causes this body weakness is a combination of the physical discomfort, body pains, nausea, vomiting with anxiety, irritability, and a feeling of depression.
This combination can also impair your body’s normal functioning rendering you more unproductive.
The reason why you may suffer constipation is that caffeine stimulates bowel movement so when withdrawing from caffeine, you may suffer from reduced bowel movements leading to constipation.
Taking away caffeine from your body system confuses your metabolism which in effect could cause you constipation. To reduce this effect you can replace the number of coffee mugs you take with glasses of water to increase your metabolism rate.
Since caffeine is a diuretic you could also suffer from bloating as your body gets adjusted to removing excess body water without caffeine interference. Reduce your caffeine intake gradually to minimize the extent of constipation.(5)(6)
This is a condition which you may experience later on in your caffeine withdrawal exercise.
Some people may suffer cute insomnia and may not sleep at all throughout the withdrawal process.
The reason why sleep may elude you is that your sleeping pattern is already disrupted by the use of caffeine.(7)
15) Flu symptoms
These symptoms which include the following:
It should interest you to know that you may experience flu-like symptoms if you were highly addicted to caffeine.
This flu-like symptom can be dealt with by you gradually reducing your caffeine intake and not cutting it out altogether.
These symptoms do clear eventually so they shouldn’t make you retract on your caffeine withdrawal pursuit.(8)
If using caffeine ever made you feel happy or satisfied, then its obvious caffeine withdrawal will cause you to be easily irritable. You can as well lock yourself up in your room to avoid conflicts.
This irritability could also be caused by other symptoms of caffeine withdrawal like lack of sleep and headache. To alter the level of irritability, reduce your caffeine intake gradually and do not cut out caffeine abruptly from your daily diet.
During this withdrawal period, your irritability might make you think that you are going berserk. Relax, this is a common caffeine withdrawal symptom and its extent is determined by how long you have been addicted to caffeine.
You can plan ahead to have your caffeine withdrawal maybe over the weekend or during a vacation to avoid having conflicts with your family members or colleagues due to irritability.
17) Profuse sweating
You may experience profuse sweating or slight sweating during this withdrawal period. Should you stop using caffeine abruptly, the sweating could be intense causing you great discomfort. This profuse sweating could also be caused by the increased heart rate.
The increased level of anxiety or a full-blown panic attack can also cause you to sweat profusely. Although sweating is not common with caffeine withdrawal, it could occur to you if you are highly sensitive to substances that may affect and stimulate the nervous system.
Generally sweating in itself is not a symptom of caffeine withdrawal but it could signal you that you are experiencing a panic or anxiety attack.
Limit your caffeine intake gradually as opposed to stopping using caffeine abruptly to reduce panic and anxiety attack which might cause you discomfort by slight or profuse sweating.
Did you enjoy reading the caffeine withdrawal list of symptoms?
I really hope you did and that you got helpful insight from it since it’s in my best interest to help you withdraw from caffeine addiction.
Helping you overcome caffeine withdrawal symptoms is important to me since I also managed to recover from caffeine addiction so I know exactly what you are going through.
My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Daily Cupo, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.