Caffeine As A Risk Factor For Chronic Migraine
Theres evidence that too much caffeine consumption is a risk factor for developing chronic migraine, says Spears.
Chronic migraine is when a person experiences 15 or more days per month of headache with migrainous features, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.
Its estimated that chronic migraine affects about 1 to 2 percent of the general population and close to 8 percent of people with migraine. Each year approximately 3 percent of people with episodic migraine convert to having chronic migraine each year, according to a paper published in 2016 in the Nature Reviews Neurology.
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There Can Be Withdrawals
The most common concern about coffee is that it has a withdrawal syndrome, said Dr. Kilgore. When this occurs, people feel like they need to keep using it, even if they don’t need it that particular day for its intended benefit of increasing alertness and that withdrawal effect can happen as soon as 12 hours after the last coffee in people who use it regularly.
It can last up to one to two days if intentionally stopped after prolonged use, she added, noting that some effects can last even up to nine or 10 days with headache, nervousness and fatigue.
Tracking Headaches And Caffeine Consumption Can Help
If I have patients with chronic migraine or chronic headaches, I usually recommend that they track their headaches and then try to do some type of step down as far as caffeine use, says Spears.
This doesnt mean going cold turkey, he adds. That would most likely send them into a severe headache situation. I recommended maybe decreasing caffeine on one or two days every week to see if it makes a difference, he says.
If the patient is in the episodic migraine category less than 15 days per month then I recommend keeping track of how they use caffeine, and how it relates to their migraine attacks, he says.
Paying attention to whether it seems to ward off or shorten an attack versus whether it seems to trigger migraine can help determine whether reducing or eliminating caffeine is the best way to proceed, Spears explains.
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Why Coffee Gives You A Headache
Theres nothing like a fresh cup of coffee to start the day on a high note. However, as shown in a 2009 study at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, its possible to experience headaches from drinking coffee, leading you to wonder why does coffee give you a headache, and does caffeine cause headaches? The study noted that some people who consume even low doses of caffeine can encounter chronic headaches, and headaches and other consequences can mess with productivity and energy levels. Between the rich, empowering aromas and the much needed caffeine boost, coffee has truly become breakfasts trusty sidekick for many Americans today yet, if you notice that your body responds to the jolt in compromising ways, such as headaches, impaired mental awareness, and jitteriness, it might be worth switching to decaf, tea, or plain waterbeverages other than coffee. Feel free to experiment with different drinks to see what works for you!
Having too heavy of a pour can lead to caffeine overdose or intoxication, and signs and symptoms of caffeine intoxication include restlessness, increased diuresis, and muscle twitching, Galanis and Dorfman reveal.
The best advice is to drink coffee in moderate dosages, as there are many benefits to drinking coffee, and be especially cautious if you suffer from headachesyou are your greatest expert with regards to your bodys response.
What Are Some Tips For Quitting Caffeine
Cut down slowly on the amount of caffeine in your diet. Dont make the mistake of stopping totally. Youll likely experience withdrawal symptoms and go back to drinking coffee or soda or taking a headache medication with caffeine in it to make the symptoms disappear. This starts the dependency cycle all over again. Avoiding the withdrawal symptoms is one of the most common reasons why people continue their caffeine habit.
To successfully reduce your caffeine intake, gradually reduce the amount of coffee, tea, soda and energy drinks you have each day. Begin to substitute cold caffeinated beverages with water. Water is a healthy choice and satisfies the need for drinking a liquid. Water also naturally flushes caffeine from your body and keeps you hydrated.
If you are a coffee drinker, gradually switch from regular coffee to decaf. First alternate between decaf and regular, then slowly change to more decaf and taper off regular coffee. Gradually reducing your caffeine consumption over a period of two to three weeks will help you successfully change your habit without causing withdrawal symptoms.
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How It Is Metabolized Varies
Caffeine is rapidly absorbed, typically within 45 minutes, and is metabolized in the liver at rates subject to significant genetic variability, said Dr. Devries.
It is highly metabolized with about 3% or less being excreted in the urine, said Dr. Kilgore. The half-life of the drug typically is around four to five hours, but it can range dramatically from as quickly as an hour and a half to as much as nine hours, depending on genetic factors and coadministration with other medications, including oral contraceptives, and smoking.
Smokers have massively increased clearance, so they will keep it around for a shorter time, she added, noting that pregnancy gets greatly reduced metabolism, so women need to watch how much caffeine theyre drinking.
Can Caffeine Cause Headaches
Caffeine is a stimulant. It increases brain activity and, in particular, it improves alertness, which is why coffee drinkers feel more awake after consuming their favorite drink. Experts generally recommend that 400 milligrams of caffeine is safe for a healthy adult, but we all have different tolerance levels, so this amount might be too much for some people. You can get a headache from too much caffeine, and other symptoms of caffeine sensitivity include disturbed sleep, anxiety, elevated heart rate, diarrhea, and even muscle breakdown.
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How To Taper Your Caffeine Intake
A good way to taper your caffeine intake is by reducing it by about 10% every two weeks. That way, you will reduce your caffeine intake enough that eventually you will be caffeine-free, but it will take several months to get there.
The advantage of tapering your caffeine intake is that you shouldn’t have very noticeable withdrawal symptoms while cutting back, and you can gradually replace your caffeinated foods and drinks with caffeine-free or decaffeinated versions.
Start by keeping a caffeine diary and writing down all the foods and drinks containing caffeine that you consume. Be sure to check the labels of any painkillers or supplements to see if they include caffeine.
Then gradually start to reduce your caffeine intake by 10%, continuing to keep a daily record. There are a few ways of doing this. Some people reduce each caffeinated drink by 10% and dilute it by adding hot or cold water or decaffeinated coffee or tea.
Others find it easier to reduce the actual number of drinks by 10%. For example, if you have five cups of coffee per day, replace one cup with a half cup for the first two weeks. Then, after another two weeks, only drink four whole cups, and so on.
As your caffeine withdrawal symptoms diminish, you might find it helpful to substitute a non-caffeinated drink, such as herbal tea, water, or decaffeinated coffee or tea, for each drink you remove, so you gradually develop a taste for drinks that do not contain caffeine.
How Much Caffeine You Should Consume To Relieve Headaches
Overall, Stephens says it’s important to consume caffeine in moderation. That way, you can stave off any potential episodes of withdrawal.
“The right amount is under 400 mg of caffeine per day,” says Stephens. That’s around two to four cups of coffee, depending on how long it’s brewed for, as well as how strong the coffee you’re drinking is.
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Who Should Avoid Or Limit Caffeine
Some people may be more vulnerable to caffeine’s negative effects. It’s a good idea to speak to a healthcare provider about whether or not you should limit your caffeine intake or forgo it altogether. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this is particularly the case for the following groups:
- Pregnant people: The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists says research indicates consuming less than 200 mg doesn’t cause preterm birth or miscarriage.
- Breastfeeding people: ACOG also says consuming 200 mg of caffeine per day will likely not affect your baby while breastfeeding.
- Children: The American Academy of Pediatrics discourages caffeine consumption in children. There is no guideline set by the Food and Drug Administration .
- People with certain chronic health conditions, including anxiety, chronic headaches or migraines, sleep disorders such as insomnia, cardiac issues such as irregular heart rhythms and high blood pressure, gastrointestinal issues such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and ulcers.
Caffeine can also make diarrhea, one of the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome , worse.
Some medications and supplements can interact with caffeine. Be sure to speak with a healthcare provider about what you’re taking and if you should avoid caffeine or adjust your intake.
Reasons Why Caffeine Can Affect Your Vision
There’s a reason why so many people rely on a morning cup of coffee: It can help you feel awake and alert. But sometimes it may cause less desirable side effects like caffeine-induced vision disturbances.
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Caffeine is a substance naturally found in cacao beans, coffee beans and tea and is synthetically produced for use in certain medications, foods and drinks, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine .
Caffeine stimulates your central nervous system, which is what gives you that jolt of energy you associate with coffee, per the NLM. The other effects of caffeine on the body include:
And those aren’t the only ways the substance influences your body â caffeine can also cause blurry vision.
Here are the reasons why caffeine can affect vision, plus how to prevent these eyesight issues.
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What Does A Covid Headache Feel Like
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Why Does Coffee Make My Head Feel Weird
This is a known fact many people dont know about. Caffeine, found in coffee and in other drinks like tea, can make you feel uncomfortable. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it narrows your blood vessels. This can make your head feel weird. It can also cause slight dizziness, which is why you feel like the room is spinning after you drink a cup of coffee. But dont worry its harmless and will wear off after a while..
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Stimulate Those Pressure Points
Acupressure is a type of traditional Chinese medicine in which you apply pressure to certain points on your body. Its been found to sometimes relieve headaches and ease muscle tension.
A 2010 study found that one month of acupressure treatment relieved chronic headaches better than muscle relaxants did.
There are several pressure points that you can try stimulating for headache relief. More study is required to determine whether these actually work. It couldnt hurt to try, right?
What Is A Vascular Headache
A Vascular headache is a type of headache that is usually attributed to the narrowing of the arteries that provide blood to the head, resulting in restricted blood flow. These headaches often appear suddenly, and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Vascular headaches are usually short-lived and relatively easy to treat, though they can be dangerous if left untreated..
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Physiological Effects Of Caffeine
Ingested caffeine is absorbed and distributed throughout all the tissues in the body within minutes, and is eliminated in a few hours, up to 4% as such in the urine, and the rest is metabolized, with a half-life of 26 h for a healthy adult. The half-life is increased during pregnancy and in those with an impaired liver function, like newborn babies and patients suffering from liver disease, and shortened in smokers.
The variation in the physiological response to the consumption of equivalent levels of caffeine could be explained by different rates of stomach emptying, as a function of the content of the stomach, or by genetic differences in the metabolic clearance of caffeine between slow and fast acetylators.
At the doses associated with coffee consumption, caffeine produces a thermogenic effect with an immediate increase of about 10% in the metabolic rate and elimination of carbon dioxide a delayed lipolytic effect with an increase in the plasma level of free fatty acids has been observed in young lean subjects. Caffeine increases muscular oxygen consumption and glycogenglucose transformation.
Caffeine in coffee has a rapid and short-lasting diuretic action with increase in urinary volume and sodium in subjects kept on a methylxanthine-free diet.
The consensus in the scientific community is that the relative risk of addiction to caffeine is low, even if it fulfills some of the criteria for drug dependence.
Robert N. Hughes, in, 2016
Can Caffeine Ease Migraine Attacks
A variety of drugs used to treat headaches, such as Excedrin, Anacin, and Midol, contain caffeine.
This is because caffeine may reduce the sensation of pain through its effects on adenosine receptors, which influence pain signaling in the brain.
While research around caffeine and migraine is still ongoing, its thought that since adenosine is involved in the physiological processes associated with migraine attacks, caffeine may be able to reduce some of the pain associated with them via its effect on adenosine receptors.
However, the amount of caffeine consumed and the frequency of consumption, have a lot to do with its beneficial effects.
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Caffeine May Help Relieve Headaches
The pain you experience with headaches specifically migraines is typically caused by the enlargement of blood vessels around your brain, which increases the amount of blood flow to your brain. This change in blood flow triggers a number of complicated mechanisms in the brain that can lead to headaches.
Caffeine narrows these blood vessels and is known to have “vasoconstrictive” properties. This means that it constricts vessels and reduces the blood flow to your brain, and as a result, it can help relieve migraine pain.
For example, a 2009 study published in the Human Brain Mapping Journal found that caffeine reduced cerebral blood flow that’s the blood supply to the brain by an average of 27%.
In this way, caffeine can help stop you from developing migraines in the first place, as well as relieving pain once you already have one.
Caffeine can also help relieve headaches by improving the effectiveness of pain relief medication. In fact, it’s a key ingredient in headache medications like Excerdine and Anacin, because it helps you absorb the active ingredients in the medication.
For example, a 2017 review published in The Journal of Headache and Pain studied the results of seven different controlled trials on patients who suffered from migraines or tension-type headaches over a 40-year period. The researchers found that over-the-counter pain relief medication containing caffeine works faster and more effectively than pain relief medication alone.
Does Drinking Too Much Coffee Cause Headaches
The effect of caffeine on the body varies from person to person, so its hard to say whether or not one cup of coffee can cause a headache. It depends on the type and dosage, as well as whether the person has a high or low tolerance to it. According to Charles Galanis, MD, a board-certified plastic surgeon and research fellow at Northwestern Universitys Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, caffeine causes headaches for a variety of reasons, including sensitivity, intoxication, and withdrawal from coffee.
In addition to causing headaches, caffeine has several other adverse effects, including the onset of withdrawal symptoms. Although caffeine is generally safe in small amounts, it can make a persons headaches worse, and some studies have found that too much caffeine can contribute to migraines. This is not to say that a cup of coffee is the only source of caffeine. Whether or not it causes headaches depends on the person. For some people, the effects are not as severe as they are after a certain amount of caffeine.
The most effective way to determine if you are susceptible to migraines is to track your caffeine intake. Keep a diary and note when your headaches start. Likewise, you should try avoiding consuming soda or water after lunch. In addition, you should try to see whether caffeine can provide some relief for the pain. For the most part, it is best to limit your caffeine intake in order to avoid a migraine.
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