At some point in our lives, we may reach a time when we will have to cut down or even eliminate caffeine in our lives. Sometimes caffeine can aggravate certain illnesses or we can even become allergic to it. Caffeine addiction, like any other addiction can cause side affects from withdrawing amounts of it, especially if it is done too quickly. Caffeine can cause many problems in small or large doses. Caffeine affects the nervous system and remains in the nervous system as a stimulant for 24 hours. In studies, it has been shown that women who drink a lot of caffeine will have the most difficult time conceiving. It has been know to affect the heart and cause rapid heart beat or palpitations and has also been known to be the cause of heart arrhythmia in some patients. Heart patients are recommended to not use caffeine. It affects the liver and how it processes toxins out of your body. It affects your blood pressure level as well as your blood sugar level. Besides these medical problems, it can also cause headaches, depression, and sleep disorders. There are many side affects of cutting caffeine back, but the most prominent one is the headache. The other side effects may be irritability, work dysfunction, drowsiness, and feeling nervous or restless. Not everyone will have all these symptoms. To make it easier with the least side effects, try replacing your regular caffeine intake with decaffeinated beverages. If you drink 8 cups of coffee a day, try substituting 2 cups per day for a week. The next week try two more cups. This will help your body get used to the change gradually. Exercise can be a great way to help you take your mind off the process of eliminating this stimulant from your body. Sitting around can make you more prone to want to give into the addiction. Taking a walk for 30 minutes a day or going to the gym will definitely help you process this new change, physically and emotionally. Whether you choose to completely eliminate caffeine to overcome your caffeine addiction or to cut back on caffeine should be discussed with your doctor. This will depend on your reasons and your health status. You may have an illness that is out of control, like high blood pressure, which may become more manageable when caffeine addiction is controlled or eliminated. There are lots of substitutes in decaffeinated brands of coffee and tea to choose from. You may also want to work green tea into your program to quit. Green tea does have caffeine in it but in smaller traces so it's a good alternative beverage with many health benefits. Last of all, if you need energy and are lacking the pick up you get from caffeine, I suggest you use herbs to help in this area. There are herbs that contain no caffeine that can give you great results in energy levels. Ginseng can be a great source to give you energy levels when you have overcome your caffeine addiction. If you have high blood pressure, you should not use Red Ginseng. You can use American Ginseng or Siberian Ginseng. Always check with your doctor before using any herbal supplements especially if you are on prescription medications.
2009-10-03 1:27pm PDT
I still remember the headaches if I slept in on the weekend and missed a coffee! That was the day I quite drinking coffee. Great Article
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2009-10-04 4:54am PDT
Tea isn't the same as coffee when it comes to caffeine. That's because tea has L-theanine to balance off the theine (caffeine.) Therefore it doesn't cause the stress response in those who drink it. For this reason you don't really need to go without regular tea if you're looking to cut your caffeine intake. You probably just need to switch from coffee to tea.
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2009-10-06 8:20pm PDT
Thanks for the great advice on overcoming caffeine addiction. I have cut back considerably only a few sips of tea or a bit of chocolate for me.