This article will cover the effect caffeine has on anxiety, and also talk about the withdrawal effects of caffeine intake a person undergoes. We will highlight the significance caffeine plays in today’s world and how it’s used to start almost everyone’s day. We will look at the harmful effects that the intake of caffeine has on a person who might suffer from anxiety. Finally we will discuss a few FAQs to get a better understanding of the topic.
Caffeine withdrawal anxiety
When someone who consumes caffeine on a regular basis suddenly decides to stop, they may experience some common symptoms such as fatigue, low energy, anxiety, headache, poor concentration, tremors, depressive episodes. These symptoms can last for a period of two or nine days.
Caffeine is only a drug that is used wildly around the world, the omnipresence of the product sometimes makes people forget that it is a powerful stimulant. Though it keeps many people energized and alert, and it is suggested to benefit health in a lot of ways.
But consumption of anything more than it is required has its costs, therefore too much caffeine can lead to increase in anxiety or complicate already existing anxiety by increasing the symptoms.
When an individual suddenly tries to stop consuming too much caffeine, they may experience withdrawal symptoms like headache or fatigue, but we will focus on anxiety symptoms a person experiences during this time.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety feels different depending on the person experiencing it. Feelings can range from butterflies in your stomach to a racing heart. You might feel out of control, like there’s a disconnect between your mind and body.
Other ways people experience anxiety include nightmares, panic attacks, difficulty in concentration, feel restless and unable to sit still. You may have a general feeling of fear and worry, have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
Lifestyle changes can be an effective way to relieve some of the stress and anxiety you may cope with every day. Most of the natural “remedies” consist of caring for your body, participating in healthy activities, and eliminating unhealthy ones.
Ways to reduce anxiety symptoms are; Getting enough sleep, meditating, eating a healthy diet, staying active and working out, avoiding alcohol and also mainly avoiding caffeine.
Symptoms and causes of anxiety
- Panic, fear, and uneasiness
- Sleep problems (falling asleep and staying asleep)
- Cold, sweaty, numb, or tingling hands or feet
- Breathing faster and more quickly than normal (hyperventilation)
- Heart palpitations
- Dry mouth
- Tense muscles
- Inability to concentrate
Withdrawal effect in relation to anxiety
When the decision to withdraw the use of caffeine is sudden, it leaves a long lasting effect on the body. Consuming low doses of caffeine can improve in mood and reduce feelings of anxiety. However, consuming moderate to high doses of caffeine can trigger feelings of anxiety, jitteriness, and nervousness.
The mood changes that occur are, due to the effects that caffeine has on various neurotransmitters, which include norepinephrine,dopamine and glutamate. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that activates the pleasure center in the brain and it regulates emotions and behaviours.
A study was done in 2015 that explained that caffeine isn’t directly stimulated due to dopamine production but, it actually just increases the available dopamine receptor in the brain.
Norepinephrine is only produced in the brain when it senses some type of danger or stress, this process is commonly called the “flight-or-fight” response. It also increases the heart rate, breathing rate and blood glucose level.
The abrupt stopping of caffeine consumption can cause a dramatic change in the chemicals present in the brain, which makes the individual feel anxious and depressed
Changes to these neurotransmitters can affect alertness, concentration, and mood. People who regularly consume caffeine can build up a tolerance to its effects. Some of them can even develop a slight physical or behavioral dependence on caffeine.
Those who abruptly quit caffeine after regularly consuming it may experience unpleasant symptoms, such as headaches and anxiety. Doctors call this caffeine withdrawal syndrome.
The severity and duration of caffeine withdrawal syndrome can vary from person to person. Symptoms typically appear within 12–24 hours after the last dose of quitting caffeine, the symptoms peak in 24-48 hours and can last up to 9 to 7 days.
Caffeine use is classified as a dependence, not an addiction. For a drug to be considered addictive, it must activate the brain’s reward circuit. Though caffeine, like other addictive drugs, does enhance dopamine like we discussed earlier, but not enough to activate the brain’s reward circuit.
The induction of caffeine withdrawal can sometimes be iatrogenic.
Understanding caffeine better
Caffeine is the most common psychoactive substance, used regularly but 90% of the population. It is called the “gentle stimulant” because it’s thought to be the least harmful of all addictive drugs. But caffeine can lead to many caffeine used disorders. This drug is most commonly found in tea, coffee and many carbonated drinks that are sold today and even cocoa products.
You may have experienced first hand hand, caffeine in small doses can elevate your mood and decrease fatigue, but in large doses, it may cause you to feel jittery and can even cause insomnia. Regular consumption of caffeine can result in tolerance and dependence to the drug.
Coffee is a very popular beverage in today’s society because the caffeine in coffee helps to get people’s blood moving and makes them feel energized. Third shift workers and early morning workers tend to rely on their coffee to help them get through their work day. This is one of the top reasons that many people drink coffee.
Caffeine induced anxiety disorder
Caffeine has been linked to aggravation and maintenance of anxiety disorders, and the initiation of panic or anxiety attacks in those who are already predisposed to such phenomena.
Consumption of caffeine has long been linked with anxiety. The effects of caffeine and the symptoms of anxiety both increase activity within the sympathetic nervous system.
Caffeine usage surpassing 200mg has been shown to increase the likelihood of anxiety and panic attacks in a population.
Excessive amounts of caffeine can result in symptoms from general anxiety to obsessive-compulsive and phobic symptoms.
FAQs: caffeine withdrawal anxiety
What are the ways to control caffeine induced anxiety?
- Learn to track your caffeine intake
- Check if anxiety habit linked with caffeine consumption
- According to research eating protein when consuming caffeine might minimize the effect
- Consider alternative; decaf or tea which has lower levels of caffeine
- Delay the first cup,to get your body to produce its own energy
What are Caffeine used disorders?
People with “Problematic caffeine consumption” are usually given the diagnosis of caffeine use disorder. People with this disorder have reported continuous use of caffeine despite repeated efforts to discontinue their caffeine use.
How long do the caffeine withdrawal symptoms last?
If you consume more caffeine, the withdrawal symptoms that are seen are more severe. Symptoms of withdrawal begin 12 to 24 hours after the last caffeine intake and can last two to nine days.
Can drinking water help with caffeine withdrawal?
Feeling well-rested can help reduce the body’s dependence on caffeine. Drink water. Staying hydrated is essential. Dehydration can lead to headaches and fatigue.
Does quitting caffeine cold turkey have a bad effect?
Quitting cold turkey can shock the body and make withdrawal symptoms worse. Gradually weaning off caffeine can reduce the chances of experiencing unpleasant side effects.
In this article we covered the effects caffeine has on anxiety, and we also talked about the withdrawal effects of caffeine intake a person undergoes. We highlighted the significance caffeine plays in today’s world and how it’s used to start almost everyone’s day. We even looked at the harmful effects that the intake of caffeine has on a person who might suffer from anxiety.
What we recommend for curbing Anxiety
Below are some of the services and products we recommend for anxiety
- Anxiety Weighted Blankets are by far the number 1 thing every person who suffers from anxiety should at least try. Anxiety Blankets may improve your sleep, allow you to fall asleep faster and you can even carry them around when chilling at home.
- Online therapy is another thing we should all try. We highly recommend Online therapy with a provider who not only provides therapy but a complete mental health toolbox to help your wellness.
- With over 50,000 participants, this anxiety course may be just what you need to regain control of your life.
- Amber light therapy from Amber lights could increase the melatonin production in your body and help you sleep better at night. An Amber light lamp helps reduce the amount of time it takes you to fall asleep and increases overall sleep quality.