Wake Up and Smell Caffeinism

Sorry for not writing in while, I have been super busy with school and work and trying to make a small difference in the world.

So I got a few request, and I really liked one about ADD and ADHD (this will be sometime soon, when more research is done). I wanted to tell you a little about myself and my addiction. That’s right coffee! Caffeine more specific. Listen, sarcasm isn’t easy; it requires lots of thought and four to five cups of coffee.

Bet you guys thought I was going to say something crazy like meth or cocaine. Well, no! Sorry, I am a broke college student, and it’s expense to have such addictions. I do like gummy worms, but I don’t think to the point of addiction.

Caffeinism usually combines caffeine dependency with a wide range of unpleasant symptoms including nervousness, irritability, restlessness, insomnia, headaches, and palpitations after caffeine use.

In a fast pace society, we need to the caffeine to give us a lift. Caffeine is a stimulant to the central nervous system, and regular use of caffeine does cause mild physical dependence. But caffeine doesn’t threaten your physical, social, or economic health the way addictive drugs do.  

Before I talk about caffeine withdraw, I want to talk about Caffeine overdoes. It’s actually a think, that I found while doing research for this post.

Caffeine overdose can result in a state of central nervous system over-stimulation called caffeine intoxication. This was removed from the DSM IV, so it’s no longer a thing, but it kind of sort of is. This syndrome typically occurs only after ingestion of large amounts of caffeine, well over the amounts found in typical caffeinated beverages and caffeine tablets. The symptoms of caffeine intoxication are comparable to the symptoms of overdoses of other stimulants: they may include restlessness, fidgeting, anxiety, excitement, insomnia, flushing of the face, increased urination, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, a rambling flow of thought and speech, irritability, irregular or rapid heart beat, and psychomotor agitation. In cases of much larger overdoses, mania, depression, lapses in judgment, disorientation, disinhibition, delusions, hallucinations, or psychosis may occur, and rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue) can be provoked.

Massive overdose can result in death. I DID NOT KNOW THIS; how can something so pure, so good, a gift from God, kill you? I guess too much of a good thing is a bad thing. A number of fatalities have been caused by overdoses of readily available powdered caffeine supplements, for which the estimated lethal amount is less than a tablespoon. The lethal dose is lower in individuals whose ability to metabolize caffeine is impaired due to genetics or chronic liver disease. There was death reported in a man with liver cirrhosis who overdosed on caffeinated mints.

However, here is where it gets weird. So, normally caffeine doesn’t have an effect socially or economically. Sometimes, however, withdraws can have painful physical factors. If you stop taking caffeine cold turkey; one why would ever do that? Anyway, you may have symptoms for a day or more, especially if you consume two or more cups of coffee a day. Symptoms of withdrawal from caffeine include: headaches, fatigue, anxiety, depressed moods, and difficulty focusing.

Headaches: again caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, and like all drugs it affects the brain.

Fatigue: you take caffeine to stop the feeling of being tired, so take away caffeine and all you have is tired. Does this make sense?

Anxiety: the stimulant chemicals in caffeine actually cause some people to relax; by that logic the same math applies here as it did in fatigue.

Depressed moods: Michael Alan Arnold, Ph.D. et al., published in “Life Sciences” in 1982 that caffeine created a partial endorphin release. Caffeine caused an immediate and sustained release of endorphins in the blood. As a result, it has been suggested that, while the caffeine itself does release certain endorphins in the body, the pleasant sensations and moods associated with caffeinated products such as chocolate and coffee may also contribute to the endorphin release.

Difficulty Focusing: caffeine is a stimulant and thus it makes our minds focus on the details. I once had three cups of coffee within an hour of each other, took a 50 question exam in 15 minutes and got all of them right. Don’t try this at home boys and girls. Only expert caffeine-lovers with ohhhh maybe 21 years of experie7c6d21a0167fb4cf5fd410239c27a8d5nce should ever attempt this.

I can survive up to three weeks without food. I can only survive for three days without water. No one knows how many hours I can survive without caffeine. I am kidding, I know. About 6-8 hours. You?

No doubt, caffeine withdrawal can make for a few bad days. However, caffeine does not cause the severity of withdrawal or harmful drug-seeking behaviors as street drugs or alcohol. For this reason, most experts don’t consider caffeine dependence a serious addiction. Unless of course you are my close friends, we’ll call her S and him R, and myself.

Any regular coffee drinker may tell you that caffeine improves alertness, concentration, energy, clear-headedness, and feelings of sociability. You might even be the type who needs that first cup o’ Joe each morning before you say a single word (yes I am).

Other possible benefits include helping certain types of headache pain. Migraines (Crucio Curse, Volturi Attack, Migraines, and other Extreme Sportsactually start for me if I have caffeine withdrawal, which is why you will always see me with my cup of coffee. Some people’s asthma also appears to benefit from caffeine. These research findings are intriguing, but still need to be proven.

Limited evidence suggests caffeine may also reduce the risk of the following:

Despite its potential benefits, don’t forget that high levels of caffeine may have adverse effects. More studies are needed to confirm both its benefits and potential risks.

So, someone once told me that she didn’t drink coffee (yes the shock in my face was priceless) because she didn’t want to be awake all night. So here is the deal, your body quickly absorbs caffeine. But it also gets rid of it quickly. Caffeine has a relatively short half-life. This means it takes about five to seven hours, on average, to eliminate half of it from your body. After eight to 10 hours, 75% of the caffeine is gone. For most people, a cup of coffee or two in the morning won’t interfere with sleep at night. When you become like me and my friends and it’s four or five cups (at least 16 oz. cups; sometimes 24 oz.) that is when sleep might be effected. I say might because unless you’re like me and are super experienced with caffeine, but also super sensitive to caffeine you typically don’t have any problems sleeping.

If you’re like most people, your sleep won’t be affected if you don’t consume caffeine at least six hours before going to bed. Your sensitivity may vary, though, depending on your metabolism and the amount of caffeine you regularly consume. People who are more sensitive may not only experience insomnia but also have caffeine side effects of nervousness and gastrointestinal upset.

So there it is. My confessions. For those who have not tried caffeine, try it. Believe me, it’s good. Am I promoting an addiction? I think so… I hope not, but if I am hey, at least it’s alcohol or crack cocaine, right?

For those of you who do enjoy life, like or comment your favorite type of caffeine. Mine is coffee, all day every day (well… yeah… All day every day.)

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