Home > Common Addictions > Beating an Addiction to Caffeine

Beating an Addiction to Caffeine

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 1 Mar 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Caffiene Coffee; Tea; Cola; Chocolate;

Many people are unaware of their level of caffeine consumption, sources of caffeine and the effects of having too much, in fact there are a great number of individuals who do not even realise that they are potentially harming themselves irreparably.

What Is Caffeine?

Caffeine is a highly addictive substance found naturally in many products, or added by manufacturers to many household consumables. It is found naturally in the coffee bean, leaves of the coffee plant, certain leaves and berries and in tea. It can be found in almost all coffees, unless decaffeinated is noted, cola preparations, tea, chocolate and even in some medications.

What Are The Effects Of Caffeine?

Many people rely on the well known effects of raised alertness, a sense of increased concentration and an ability to alleviate tiredness, but aside from these potential benefits, many negative effects occur as a consequence of consuming caffeine.As a stimulant of the central nervous system, caffeine interferes with responses and interpretations to and from the brain. It increases the production of the stress hormone, hence a feeling of being more alert, can increase acids to the degree of potentially causing a stomach ulcer, alters the anatomical function of the blood vessels and strips the body of vital calcium supply. As a result of these actions people are more susceptible to osteoporosis, irregular heart rhythms and serious illness and pain from the gastro-intestinal tract.

Symptoms Of High Levels Of Caffeine

Irritability, bad moods, lack of sleep, palpitations, fine tremors of the hands and varying degrees of concentration can all be a result of consuming too much caffeine.

Symptoms Of Caffeine Withdrawal

Headaches, memory alterations, irritability, tiredness and nausea can all be caused during the period of withdrawal, to be expected when giving-up caffeine. Symptoms of withdrawal may last up to four days.

How To Quit

  • Cut back slowly to minimise the effects of withdrawal.

  • Drink plenty of fluids to help prevent headaches and to aid the cleansing of the system and flushing toxins away.

  • Exchange traditional teas and coffees for herbal or fruit blends instead.

    Swap to caffeine free alternatives, though they may taste extremely different to the regular types.

  • Try nibbling on dried fruits or sugar-free gum instead of chocolate; buy plain biscuits instead of chocolate ones.

  • Write a list of benefits from giving-up caffeine and refer to this regularly to remind you of why you are doing this.

  • Write a list of possible illnesses caused by too much caffeine and keep this somewhere obvious (the fridge door or by the kettle), for easy reference.

  • Book a trip to the dentist to get your teeth polished and rid them of the stains caused by tea, coffee or cola.

  • If you are a regular attendee of ‘coffee mornings’, suggest changing these to swimming mornings or park mornings and gain the benefit of exercise or taking the children to the swings or to feed the ducks.

  • Ask your employer for an alternative to a coffee machine.

  • Increase calcium intake to help replace the calcium lost by excessive caffeine consumption. This can be achieved by either taking a supplement or by increasing the amount of dark green vegetables, beans and dairy produce in a healthy diet.

  • Use a stress ball, crosswords, knitting or an activity you can enjoy for short and sharp periods of time, to help work through cravings.

  • Take pain relief for headaches.

  • Try complementary therapies to help manage some of the effects of caffeine withdrawal; stress can be relieved using reflexology, acupressure can be useful for reducing frustration and irritability and acupuncture is known to be helpful in relieving headaches and nausea.

If you are a cigarette smoker you may find that once you have control of your caffeine consumption, the opportunities for smoking are reduced; cigarettes and coffee are a true partnership for most smokers. Now may be a good time to think about giving-up the evil weed and get a full bill of health.

There are many reasons to give up caffeine, though many are people fear for the increased tiredness etc that is expected when becoming caffeine free, however exchanging caffeine with exercise and healthy options will potentially provide for energy and clear thinking than is experienced from caffeine.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • ljmet
    Re: Sugar Addiction
    I want more information and support to help me give up sugar.
    16 May 2018
  • Stephy
    Re: Physical Effects of Alcohol
    I want to help my best friend with his dependency on alcohol - he is depressed - has started going to AA but I fear he isn’t making…
    4 April 2018
  • Mykon
    Re: Effects of Withdrawal from an Addiction
    It Was A Big Fight. Reading True This Write Up Helped Alot. It Was Revealing.. I Need Help With The Issue Of…
    29 March 2018
  • BeatingAddictions
    Re: How to Assess The Level of an Addiction
    Bean125 - Your Question:Myself and my sister are both in education, she lives with my mum going to college and I…
    19 March 2018
  • Bean125
    Re: How to Assess The Level of an Addiction
    Myself and my sister are both in education, she lives with my mum going to college and I moved away to study at a…
    17 March 2018
  • BeatingAddictions
    Re: Addiction and Genes
    damo210 - Your Question:Hi, I have a very addictive personality. I have previously had a gambling problem, managed to stop for a while but…
    12 March 2018
  • damo210
    Re: Addiction and Genes
    Hi, I have a very addictive personality. I have previously had a gambling problem, managed to stop for a while but there is always something…
    11 March 2018
  • BeatingAddictions
    Re: Support Groups
    Darren18 - Your Question:Hi I don't really know what to write or how to go about it. But yesterday I come home from work and my partner and kids were g
    1 March 2018
  • Darren18
    Re: Support Groups
    Hi I don't really know what to write or how to go about it. But yesterday I come home from work and my partner and kids were gone. All there…
    28 February 2018
  • MandR
    Re: How to Assess The Level of an Addiction
    @Bennett - I hope you are seeking help for it. Admitting you have a problem and seeking help to deal with it is the…
    27 February 2018
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the BeatingAddictions website. Please read our Disclaimer.