Feb 242012
 

Nearing the end of day five with no caffeine.

You know, if you want a drink with no calories and no caffeine in a restaurant, you better like ice water.

Still getting headaches, but less frequently, and they are more easily vanquished with aspirin or ibuprofen.

I’m ready to stop dragging.  It’s not continuous, and interestingly, it’s never been first thing in the morning.  However, when it hits, it’s tough.  While I’m waiting for this end of it to improve, I’m trying to treat it as a wonderland of new experiences and sensations!  (That works about as well as you’d think it would.)

Haven’t noted any sleep improvement yet.  I hope that comes soon.

Too far in to stop now.

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 Posted by at 9:18 pm

  7 Responses to “Caffeine redux”

  1. You know, if you want a drink with no calories and no caffeine in a restaurant, you better like ice water.

    I recently realized this. It’s going to really suck if I ever decide to cut out caffeine entirely.

  2. I drink caffeine all day long (coffee) and sleep like a baby. I will never give up caffeine. I love my caffeine (coffee). You are a brave brave man for doing TWO things. Well, three if you include the non drinking during Lent.

  3. I have sleep issues, too, Bo. Always had, my whole life. The only thing that really cures it (and, you are going to hate me for saying it) is regular,sustained, exercise.

  4. MrsDragon, I don’t think I intend to cut it completely out long-term. I do want to be rid of the habitual use, though. I was completely free of it this past week except for whatever milligram or two might have been in a bowl of Cocoa Krispies. 🙂

    Carol, thanks, but I don’t consider myself brave as much as I do lazy for letting it go so long!

    ‘seester, I don’t really have issues sleeping per se, but I did recall sleeping very soundly one other time when I was off caffeine for a bit. Whatever disruption my latest dietetic upheaval has generated is gradually abating, though. And of course I don’t hate you for saying that! I’ve done it regularly enough to experience it. 🙂

  5. I did pretty much exactly what you intend to do Bo. I quit completely for a good while. I eventually laxed up a bit by allowing very small amounts whenever there just wasn’t any choice… Still never more than what I would call a “standard serving” of caffeine: A Barq’s (the only mainstream root beer with caffeine, but very low amount) and an occasional bourbon and coke ^_^.

    In general, I’m very cautious of addictions/dependencies in general. Caffeine became an obvious addiction for me, and now there is no such problem.

    I did all the nerdy research about why the headaches happen. In some quick googling, I found a really old New York Times article (apparently the NY Times had a website in 1982… I know… they just archived after the fact… but I like to joke) that describes basically exactly what I found in some more modern sources.

    http://www.nytimes.com/1982/04/24/us/bodily-interaction-found-to-explain-caffeine-withdrawal-headache.html

    The real meat of the explanation is this paragraph:

    “According to Dr. Wurtman, the findings suggest that while caffeine is being consumed, adenosine receptors are blocked and the body responds by producing more adenosine receptors so adenosine can exert its normal functions. When caffeine is stopped abruptly, a larger-than-normal number of receptors are available to bind adenosine. The result, in test animals, is a drop in blood pressure in response to normal circulating levels of adenosine.”

    Blood vessel dilation is a known cause of headache. Large amounts of adenosine binding to the blood vessels has been shown to increase blood vessel dilation. So basically, you just have to wait for the extra receptors your body has produced to shut down shop because they’re no longer needed. Once that happens, your blood vessels will bind to the normal amount of adenosine, dilation will go back to normal, and all will be well.

    Chances are it should start to ease up soon and be pretty much done by the end of week two. At least if it’s anything like my experience coming off of a pretty heavy caffeine addiction. To be particular: 4 x 20oz Vault sodas, totaling 470 mg a day, which is apparently about the same as 4 x 8oz cups of dripped coffee. The Mayo Clinic states that consumption levels over 500 mg a day tend to start manifesting additional symptoms of Insomnia, Nervousness, Restlessness, Irritability, Stomach upset, Fast heartbeat, Muscle tremors. So quitting a habit of that level is definitely a positive thing.

    As for the sleep, I suspect you’ll start sleeping better within the next week as well. One thing that makes me sleep a little deeper is to have a colder bed room, probably close to 60, with some good, very comfy bedding.

    Good luck and god speed
    -Tahm

  6. I am not sure I could give up caffeine. I did when I was pregnant (13 years ago) and that was about as long as I could go. : )

  7. Tahm, I appreciate it. This is day two with no headache, so I suspect my adenosine has readjusted.

    Susan, did you crave it that whole time? I’m pretty much over it, I think. I didn’t get a headache yesterday, and I haven’t gotten one today. I have more energy in the morning. I’m good. The only bummer so far is almost always having to get water in a restaurant.

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