Caffeine Addiction – The Short and Long Term Effects

When most people think about drugs and addictions, few place caffeine in this category. However, caffeine addiction is the number one addiction affecting millions of people. The majority of people living with caffeine addiction are unaware of this problem. Yet, if they were to miss their morning cup of coffee or soda, symptoms of caffeine withdrawal may quickly surface. Even though many people believe that their bodies could not survive without a daily dose of caffeine, this addiction can result in a range of side effects. There is nothing wrong with consuming coffee, sodas, teas, and other caffeinated beverages. On the other hand, if your body becomes dependent on the stimulant, you ought to consider cutting back.

How Caffeine Affects Body?

While many people minimize the affects of caffeine addictions, physicians are concerned about the health of their patients. It has been proven that large consumptions of caffeine can have ill effects. For the most part, caffeine has a hormonal affect on the body. Upon consumption of coffee or soda products, the body is filled with a sudden rush of adrenaline. This is classified by a burst of energy. Hence, addicts rely on caffeine in the mornings, or while studying late. Unfortunately, this euphoric high is temporary. On average, caffeine highs can last four to six hours. Once there is a balance of hormones, addicts experience a sudden drop in energy level. In turn, they become sluggish or drowsy. Of course, this problem is quickly alleviated with the consumption of more and more caffeine.

Additionally, excessive caffeine is attributed to an increase in the body’s level of cortisol. Too much of this hormone can lead to various physical problems and health issues. Among the few include rapid weight gain, irritability, heart disease, and diabetes.

Often times, addicts use caffeine as a means of relieving pain. While some people are skeptical about caffeine’s affect on pain, there is truth to the theory. Caffeine intensifies the body’s level of dopamine. Dopamine is a hormone with effects similar to acetaminophen and ibuprofen. Even though an increase in dopamine eases discomfort or pain, coffee and soda drinkers can develop a dependency, in which they rely on caffeine for physical comfort.

Caffeine Addiction Withdrawal Symptoms

Even though caffeine is a mild drug, the withdrawal symptoms associated with caffeine addiction can be troublesome. For this matter, many people are unable to completely break their addiction. Typical symptoms may include:

� Headaches
� Mood Swings
� Severe Premenstrual Symptoms
� Extreme Fatigue
� Muscle Aches
� Nausea
� Loss of Appetite
� Bowel Problems
� Inability to Concentration
� Confusion
� Poor memory

Addicts can lessen withdrawal symptoms by gradually decreasing caffeine intake. The “cold-turkey” approach is not always effective. Rather, bit by bit reduce the daily number of caffeinated beverages consumed. Next, substitute caffeinated coffee, tea, and soda with decaf drinks. Withdrawal symptoms are inevitable. Even so, this line of attack can make the transition from addict to non-addict tolerable.

Identifying a Caffeine Addict

Pinpointing a caffeine addict is not always easy. Some addicts suffer from mild symptoms, or bounce back and forth between addiction and non-addiction. Caffeine addicts will generally answer “yes” to the majority of the following questions.

� Do you consume more than two caffeinated beverages daily?
� Do you have high levels of energy, followed by a sudden drop of energy?
� Do you experience frequent headaches or muscle tension?
� Do you suffer from insomnia?
� Do you have ulcers, heartburn, or other gastrointestinal problems?
� Do you feel dehydrated?
� Do your eyes feel heavy?

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