You feel physically and psychologically more tired and less productive then you did when you were consuming caffeine, causing you to want to start consuming the drug again.
The decrease of serotonin levels in the brain causes feeling of depression, but it’s really the lack of caffeine that’s causing the problem -- not something depressing that’s happening to you.
Usually described as beginning behind the eyes and developing up and across the front of the head, the pain can be intense enough to interfere with your life and your work.
You may have bad emotional reactions to things that might not otherwise justify such a response -- or you may overreact to things that should have only been minor annoyances.
5. Anxiety and Nervousness
Real physical symptoms of anxiety and nervousness are possible, including tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing, perhaps causing you to think a serious medical problem is happening.
6. Work Difficulty And Impairment
A decrease in concentration, alertness and thinking capacity at work or school is common, and you’ll may feel like it’s impossible to perform the daily task you usually do with ease.
7. Muscle Pain/Stiffness
Aches and pains happen during the first stages of withdrawal, and if you normally use caffeine before a workout you may find it harder to lift the same amount of weight or endure as long as before.
8. Flu-Like Symptoms
A stuffy nose, blocked sinuses, chills or even hot flashes are additional symptoms of caffeine withdrawal that you may endure, causing you to feel ill when you don’t have a virus or infection.
Among the most common effects of caffeine withdrawal, some people can’t sleep when going through the process, perhaps because their sleep cycle has been so disrupted by abuse of caffeine.
It may not be fun to talk about, but caffeine stimulates the bowel, so without it you can experience colon irritability and other forms of gastric distress.
"The research also showed that avoidance of caffeine withdrawal symptoms motivates regular use of caffeine. For example, the satisfying feelings and perceived benefits that many coffee users experience from their morning coffee appear to be a simple reversal of the negative effects of caffeine withdrawal after overnight abstinence."
Caffeine withdrawal is nasty business and usually starts to happen within six to 24 hours after you quit caffeine, and it can last up to nine days in some cases. Caffeine withdrawal has been shown to occur even in people who have as little as 100 mg per day -- the equivalent of a single six-ounce cup of coffee or only two or three 12-ounce soft drinks -- because caffeine is both physically and mentally addictive. In fact, it’s the most commonly used mood-altering or psychoactive drug in the world. Moderate caffeine use won’t cause withdrawals, but caffeine withdrawal is likely to occur if you drink caffeine on a daily basis and then try to stop using it without any kind of help. This happens because your brain restructures itself to run on caffeine by manipulating its adenosine or fatigue receptors after only about a week of consistent use. Caffeine withdrawal affects people differently depending on how long you use it and how much you use, but most who quit will have some withdrawal symptoms.
Caffeine withdrawal is a problem that affects many people, as a majority of the world's population are caffeine users. In fact, the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) includes both caffeine intoxication and withdrawal.
Withdrawal is the process of ceasing the use of any substance.
While caffeine does not, to many people, sound dangerous, the effects of caffeine withdrawal can be severe. Yes, of course, some lighter symptoms appear in the lesser caffeine users. However, in the average caffeine user, symptoms of withdrawal can be greatly difficult to cope with. These include both physical and psychological symptoms.
How is caffeine withdrawal diagnosed?
According to the DSM-V, the patient must exhibit at least 3 of the 5 criteria within 24 hours of stopped or decreased caffeine intake. The following is a list of those criteria:
2.Fatigue and/or drowsiness
3.Depression and/or irritability
How does one treat caffeine withdrawal?
Caffeine is a drug and should be treated as such. During the withdrawal process, one should remember these few tips;
Decrease the amount gradually- Not only will this make the withdrawal process easier, but it will also alleviate some of the symptoms typically associated with caffeine withdrawal. For example, headaches may not be as severe, or even existent at all.
Hydration is important- Fluids, such as water, help dilute negative substances in the body. Dilution is the process of breaking down substances, making them weaker or lesser in amount. Much like certain liquids can help clean pipes around the house, other liquids will help the body flush out unnecessary substances.
Decaf substitution- This is related to a gradual decrease. By substituting at least one, for example, drink of regular coffee per day with decaf, the amount of caffeine in the body is decreased drastically.
Caffeine withdrawal is not an easy process. Any natural reaction would be to simply start using the substance again. However, continual or increased use of caffeine will only hinder the body's efforts to heal. It will also make the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal more difficult to deal with.
Symptoms of withdrawal are inevitable. However, by understanding caffeine's effects on the body, and the proper ways for any substance user to cut down, the process can be made much more tolerable.