Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource
 Search

Go
 Browse alphabetically
ABCDEFGHIJKLMN
OPQRSTUVWXYZ
HEALTH TOPICS
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Addiction
Allergy
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Asthma
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bedwetting
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Cancer
Childhood Vaccinations
Cholesterol
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
COPD NEW!
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Diabetes
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Fertility
Fitness
Healthy Skin
Heart
High Blood Pressure
HPV
Hyperhidrosis
Incontinence
Infection
Kidney Health
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Menopause
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Nutrition
Obesity
Oral Care
Pain
Pregnancy
Psoriasis
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Smoking
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

STAY CONNECTED
RESOURCES
Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features
Human Atlas Videos
News
Tools


Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
Nutrition > Diet and disease > Addicted to caffeine?
Nutrition
Diet and active lifestyles
Diet and aging
Diet and disease
Diets and dietary habits
Food safety
Heart and Stroke Foundation
Nutrition Month
Summer eating
Supplements and nutraceuticals
What's hot
Research news
Human Atlas Videos
9 ways to warm up this winter
A dash of salt can really add up
An apple a day really can keep the doctor away
Addicted to caffeine?
Apple cider vinegar
Cancer risk and your taste buds
Celiac disease - what can I eat?
Heartburn triggers to avoid
High protein diets - are they safe?
How do I decide what food choices are healthy?
View All
Nutrition resources
Related channels
Health features
Health tools
Ask an Expert
Support groups
Related conditions
Natural products
Discussion forums
Quiz yourself



Addicted to caffeine?

Caffeine is one of the 2 most widely used psychoactive drugs on earth (the other being alcohol). Psychoactive means that it has an effect on your psychological functioning (in addition to a number of physical effects). One of the primary effects is to stimulate the sympathetic nervous system, which governs the stress response. This produces anger, fear, anxiety, increased heart rate and blood pressure, tremour, a jittery feeling, rapid or shallow breathing, change in pain sensitivity, and dozens of other changes.

Caffeine is an addictive drug. Heavy caffeine users may:

  • become psychologically dependent (believing that the drug is an essential part of their lives)
  • develop tolerance (requiring more caffeine over time to get the same effects)
  • undergo a withdrawal syndrome if they don't get it

Withdrawal symptoms include headache, drowsiness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Many people discover that they are dependent on caffeine when they go for a day or 2 without coffee and develop splitting headaches.

Is addiction a serious problem?

Probably not, unless some of the effects of caffeine are disrupting your life. Have you been having difficulty with stress, anger, or anxiety recently? Do you have another disorder that stress makes worse (caffeine can aggravate tension headache, irritable bowel syndrome, chronic pain, and numerous other physical problems)? If so, then you probably don't need a chemical that makes the stress response system even more active.

Caffeine may be a special problem in children, who tend to be more susceptible to its effects and who may suffer behavioural and attention problems while under the influence of caffeine.

How much caffeine does it take to become dependent?

Estimates vary, but the average is about 2½ cups of coffee per day. There are wide individual differences, however. Your age, weight, and personal sensitivity to caffeine all have an influence.

Wondering if caffeine is a problem for you?

Then you may wish to try going a month without caffeine to see if this helps you. If you decide to reduce your caffeine consumption, do so slowly to avoid the withdrawal symptoms. If you drink 10 cups of coffee a day, reduce to 8 cups, then 6, then 4, then 2, then one, then none. Stay at each level for 4 to 6 days to allow your body to adjust. Remember that you are giving up (or reducing) caffeine. This doesn't mean you have to give away your coffee mug or avoid the coffee shop. Drink as much herbal tea as you like, and feel free to have decaffeinated coffee, tea, and cola.

 
Changeways (a program developed at the Department of Psychology, Vancouver Hospital and Health Sciences Centre) 
in association with the MediResource Clinical Team 




Advertisement

Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.

Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.


The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2014 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.