Caffeineis a subtle, but strong substance that can become addictive if takenin high amounts. Regular coffee drinkers should be aware of how muchcoffee, chocolate or other caffeine containing products they consumeevery day to avoid becoming addicted. Those who are addicted do notrealise this until they go without caffeine for a day or so and startto feel the symptoms of withdrawal. Most addicts will only reallynotice the problem when they are prevented from consuming caffeinefor a long time, such as during pregnancy.
Thereare a few tell-tale signs of caffeine withdrawal, although they canbe confused with other conditions, so it is important to look atthese signs within the context of how much caffeine the person isactually consuming.
Migraine-likeheadaches are the most common symptom of caffeine withdrawal. Thesecan be treated with simple headache medication available atpharmacies. However, some of these medications contain caffeine andmust be avoided in this case.
Aswith other addictions, caffeine withdrawal will most likely lead toan inability to concentrate or think in the normal way. Duringregular consumption, the brain gets used to working on stimulantslike caffeine and will not function correctly if the substance issuddenly absent. While overcoming caffeine withdrawal, it isimportant to take a measured approach in returning to normalfunctioning. It is advised to not immediately try to run at fullcapacity constantly, but rather slowly ease back into a normal stateof function, taking breaks from work as needed. Sleep is also veryimportant, as the body can repair and adjust itself easier when fullyat rest.
Irritabilityis not as easy to notice as the other two major symptoms. Addictswill have become psychologically dependent on caffeine, so an absenceof the substance will make them feel constantly uncomfortable, whichwill emerge towards others as irritability. It is sometimesbeneficial to restrict social encounters during withdrawal, as thissymptom can have a negative impact on relationships.
Manyherbal remedies for all kinds of ailments are available on theinternet and caffeine withdrawal is no exception. Some of these proveto work time and time again and may be worth trying, since they aregenerally easier and cheaper than conventional medication.
Onevery important factor that a withdrawal sufferer must keep in mind isto not go 'cold turkey', but rather slowly decrease the intake ofcaffeine over time. This will gradually wean the body off of thesubstance and help it return to normal functioning.
Exerciseor yoga can help minimise stress and depression felt by the sufferer.The movements will also help relax the muscles and increaseendorphins which will counteract or reduce the withdrawal symptoms.Vitamin supplements such as magnesium and calcium can help alleviatethe run-down feeling suffered by addicts, since the magnesium willreplace the body's natural supply that was depleted by the excessivecaffeine intake. Drinking plenty of water is always advisable andreplacing coffee and sodas with other beverages like tea and fruitjuice will help the body adjust.