Recognizing a Caffeine Addiction

Caffeine Addiction

Many people enjoy beverages such as coffee, tea or soft drinks. One common ingredient these products share is a significant degree of caffeine. Though you might know about caffeine’s stimulant properties, you may not know that the chemical is addictive.  


Caffeine Addiction Overview

You may be someone who ingests caffeinated beverages to receive the jolt necessary to proceed into your daily routine or to help maintain wakefulness when need be. However, because the substance can have such a strong effect, your body’s nervous system becomes reliant on it, which can precipitate addiction. As with any substance, once you are addicted, the body gradually requires larger and larger quantities to produce the intended systemic benefits. 


Supporting Statistics

The medical community has not always been sold on the notion that caffeine addiction is a serious problem. Only in 2012 did the World Health Organization (WHO) became the first notable health organization to categorize caffeine addiction as a clinical condition. Such facts might be surprising considering more than 90 percent of the world’s population consumes caffeinated beverages on a daily basis, more than 70 million Americans ingest three or more cups of coffee each day and more than half of the United States population drinks coffee everyday. 


Impact Upon The Body

Excessive caffeine intake can exert a negative influence over many bodily components including:

Cardiovascular System

Routine caffeine ingestion can precipitate increased blood pressure, an elevated pulse rate and heart palpitations. Such occurrences can prove hazardous if you possess an existing or underlying heart condition. 

Urinary Tract

Caffeine is a diuretic. These chemicals increase urinary output and necessitate frequent trips to the lavatory. This issue could prove problematic if you have an existing or underlying kidney or bladder ailment.

Digestive System

Excessive caffeine ingestion could irritate your digestive tract. You might experience manifestations such as cramps, indigestion, heartburn and diarrhea. Those with more serious digestive maladies like ulcers run the risk of exacerbating such conditions. 


Caffeine Addiction Indicators

You might be stricken with a caffeine dependency if you experience certain addiction indicators known as withdrawal symptoms. The amount and intensity of such manifestations will vary depending upon your general health and the severity of your addiction. That said, common withdrawal manifestations include tiredness, anxiety, diminished cognitive skills like concentration and memory capability and irritability. More severe addictions might precipitate occurrences like nausea, vomiting and muscle pain. Typically, symptoms begin anywhere from 12 to 24 hours since last consuming caffeine and intensify thereafter. 

In addition to physical symptoms, addiction indicators can also be subtle. Caffeine addicts might overlook actions like drinking one or several cups first thing in the morning or needing the substance to perform daily activities. 


Reducing Caffeine Addiction

You might be able to reverse or potentially halt caffeine dependency before it begins by adhering to suggestions that include increasing water consumption, drinking beverages with limited or no caffeine content or engaging in a greater level of physical activity, which medical professionals suggest is a natural stimulant. 


Reaching Out For Help

The Becoming Counseling is a collection of experienced and licensed counseling professionals that are committed to helping their clients overcome their struggles, be proud of who they are, and stay true to their beliefs. Caffeine dependency, like any other addiction, is a disease that one often needs help overcoming. 

If you or a loved one is currently struggling with caffeine addiction, our team is here for you. We can assess a patient’s individual circumstances and might be able to tailor a recovery plan most befitting their needs. To learn more about what we do and the services we offer contact us.


Wes Cain, LPCA, NCC, IHC



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