In this country like and a lot of coffee is consumed. In particular, in the office everyday life of this watch maker is indispensable. But not only an excessive consumption of coffee leads to the addiction, called caffeine, this effect also has other caffeinated drinks such as energy drinks and teas.

What is caffeine?

If caffeine addiction is present, then the sufferer often suffers from insomnia, nervousness and hyperactivity, as if the body were constantly under power.
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The term caffeine has two meanings. For one, he refers to a caffeine overdose, which has a poisoning result. On the other hand, he describes in the vernacular a coffee addiction or abuse of other caffeinated drinks. If a caffeine is present, the person concerned must constantly provide the body with the usual dose of caffeine.

In today's society, the craving for caffeine is still not taken seriously as nicotine or alcohol addiction. Despite the trivialization of caffeine dependencies, caffeine can be quite deadly in very large quantities. Its lethal limit is about ten grams. This corresponds to about 200 cups of double espresso.

causes

The caffeine comes from the fact that the body regularly and in large quantities caffeine in the form of coffee, tea, cola or energy drinks is supplied. Sometimes it happens that the body does not get the usual caffeine dose. And if the amount of caffeine is not enough, soon the first withdrawal symptoms appear. These can be very uncomfortable for those affected.

But with a little patience, the body can get used to the change alone. The symptoms disappear automatically as soon as the body has become accustomed to the caffeine withdrawal. The second definition of the term caffeine is caffeine poisoning. This results in the supply of a very large amount of caffeine in a short time.

Symptoms of intoxication occur in about one gram of caffeine. This quantity is achieved when ten liters of commercial cola or twelve cans of energy drinks of 250 milliliters each are consumed in one go.

Symptoms, complaints & signs

If caffeine addiction is present, then the sufferer often suffers from insomnia, nervousness and hyperactivity, as if the body were constantly under power. The stimulating effect of caffeine may also lead to increased heart activity and hypertension. Chronic headaches can also be the result of caffeine addiction.

In contrast, withdrawal symptoms express themselves in a contrasting picture of the symptoms of dependency. The person responds to sudden caffeine withdrawal with persistent fatigue, depression, slowed-down exercise and fatigue. The appetite, on the other hand, can increase so much that a large amount of food is needed to reduce the craving for the substance of search. Caffeine withdrawal often causes bizarre and unpleasant dreams.

And finally, acute caffeine poisoning usually has serious health consequences. These range from tachycardia to arrhythmia. Also, disorders of the central nervous system are added. Depressive moods, listlessness, difficulty concentrating and uncontrolled movements are just a few of many complaints.

Diagnosis & History

A coffee or caffeine addiction is usually not diagnosed, as long as the body always gets the same dose of caffeine. Because the symptoms of dependency are often not perceived as such, but in connection with other causes. The first symptoms of withdrawal begin only after about 12 to 24 hours after the last coffee cup or the last caffeine consumption.

This is the case, for example, when a person has to do without caffeine as part of a fasting cure or a medical procedure. During a weaning process, the symptoms feel very unbearable in the first two to three days. When the worst phase is over, the withdrawal symptoms continue to sound for another four to six days. These then pass by themselves after about seven to nine days.

Anyone who proves patience will be rewarded with successful weaning. Acute caffeine poisoning, on the other hand, occurs quickly, namely with more than one gram of caffeine or after exceeding the body's tolerated amount of caffeine. The first signs of intoxication may be followed by a circulatory collapse in severe caffeine poisoning. If a suspected caffeine poisoning should therefore always be consulted as soon as possible a doctor.

complications

In caffeine, various complications can occur, depending on the amount of coffee consumed. In addition, the physical and psychological state of the person involved also plays a major role in the effects of caffeine. As a rule, following the administration of a high dose of caffeine, a mental disorder follows.

This occurs mainly in the form of restlessness, urgency and insomnia. If poisoning is severe, caffeine can also cause circulatory collapse. The heart rate is increased, causing the patient to experience increased palpitations. Concentration does not necessarily have to be disturbed by caffeine, it can also increase.

From a certain amount of caffeine, however, it decreases. Poisoning also causes anxiety, often diarrhea and headache, as well as uncontrolled twitching. If a high amount of caffeine is consumed over a long period of time, it can also cause muscle paralysis. The lethal dose of caffeine is ten grams for the human body.

During treatment, the body is deprived of any caffeine intake. This usually leads to strong withdrawal symptoms such as tiredness, increased appetite or sleep disorders, as well as very unpleasant dreams. Caffeine is rarely treated in withdrawal. In most cases, the patient gets used to it.

When should you go to the doctor?

Acute caffeine poisoning usually proceeds well without medical treatment. Danger to life exists for a healthy adult only from a dose of about 10 grams of pure caffeine. This amount can not be consumed by normal stimulants, including so-called energy drinks.

Those who have consumed too much coffee or black tea usually notice symptoms such as irritability, frequent urination, tremor, insomnia and sometimes severe headache. As a rule, these symptoms resolve themselves after a few hours at the latest, provided that the affected person prevents the intake of caffeine. A doctor's visit is not required in these cases.

However, caution is advised in children and adults with pre-existing conditions. Anyone who suffers from severe cardiovascular disease or has had a heart attack should consult a doctor as a precautionary measure in case of suspected acute caffeine poisoning. The same applies if the poisoning is due to the abuse of caffeine tablets or other caffeine-containing drugs. Then there is the risk that the lethal dose will be reached. In such cases, the emergency doctor should be contacted immediately.

Caffeine also denotes a condition of caffeine dependence in addition to a poisoning with the substance. This is not considered to be dangerous unless it causes other serious disorders, such as gastritis. Those who suffer from the addiction but physically or mentally, should seek professional help. First contact person is the family doctor.

Treatment & Therapy

Clearly, an acute caffeine poisoning must be treated by the doctor. But it is different with the weaning of a caffeine addiction. This can also be done without medical supervision. Then a lot of peace and patience is announced. A conscious renunciation of any form of caffeine is very important, as a relapse would ruin the progress again. All herbal and fruit teas are allowed, but by no means caffeine-containing teas such as green and black tea.

To distract from the desire for caffeine, for example, regular sports or an exciting hobby are suitable. Of course, this stimulant may be enjoyed after a successful withdrawal again in moderation. If you get back in with light doses and do not consume more than three cups of coffee or 400 mg of caffeine a day, you will not get addicted again.

For example, anyone who suffers from coffee addiction but not caffeine addiction in general can switch to caffeinated coffee, for example. He speaks to the reward center just as normal coffee, but without burdening the psyche and the body with caffeine.

Outlook & Forecast

Patients of caffeine have a good chance of healing when taking a therapy. In caffeine, a distinction must be made between caffeine addiction and caffeine overdose. An overdose is usually completely cured within a short time. By consuming water or emptying the stomach, the symptoms drop within a few hours. Usually after one day a cure occurs, if no risk factors are present.

The caffeine is removed from the organism and at the same time there is a relief of the existing symptoms. In a caffeine addiction, the path to healing is significantly longer. In many cases, the patient requires several months or years for complete freedom from symptoms. Nevertheless, with the cooperation and the will of the patient a cure is possible.

Often the patient suffers from further addictions. These may relate to tangible or intangible substances. As with other addictions, there is a risk of relapse in caffeine. The more stable the patient is in his or her social life and the lower his or her general stress experience, the sooner a cure will occur. A cure is also given to patients who do not seek medical or therapeutic help. The cure is often delayed in these patients, but quite successful.

prevention

For a caffeine to not develop at all, the coffee drinker must follow some preventive measures. The danger of addiction comes about when a certain pattern is always repeated. Creating change is the motto here. Those who cover the morning dose of caffeine not only with coffee, but also with a delicious tea, can prevent a coffee addiction preventively.

And the afternoon coffee cup could be replaced with decaffeinated coffee. In this way, the daily amount of caffeine intake can be reduced and the risk of addiction can be avoided. Tiredness or a midday low usually helps with a walk in the fresh air or a short break for a gossip with your colleague.

aftercare

Caffeine is rarely treated professionally. That's why former caffeine addicts are generally on their own when it comes to aftercare as well. Since caffeine does not have serious physiological consequences for physically healthy adults, reduced consumption is possible in the long term. However, some caffeine sufferers find that complete abstinence is easier. However, if sufferers continue to drink caffeinated drinks, they should set a limit, for example, two cups of coffee daily.

In aftercare, former caffeine users can set their own appointments to check their caffeine intake. The following questions are helpful:

  • How much caffeine do I take per day / week / month?
  • In what form do I consume caffeine?
  • How often?
  • On which occasions?
  • Why do I drink coffee or something? Out of habit, stress or enjoyment?
  • What happens if I do not consume caffeine for a few days / weeks?

By repeating the questions regularly, sufferers can see if their intake of caffeine is changing. The answers should therefore be written down. Responses critical of high and frequent caffeine intake are critical in this self-test.

Caffeine tablets are more problematic than a cup of mate tea or a few pieces of chocolate. When former caffeine suffer from caffeine, especially because of habit and stress, or suffer from withdrawal symptoms without caffeine, it is time to reduce caffeine intake again and, if possible, fight the causes.

You can do that yourself

Caffeine is not nearly as serious in our society as alcohol dependence or nicotine addiction. Caffeine is also far less dangerous. However, those who are addicted to coffee or other caffeinated products should still take countermeasures.

As a first measure, the daily intake of caffeine should be determined. It should not be overlooked that the substance is contained not only in coffee beans, but also in tea, many soft drinks and especially in so-called energy drinks.

Those who notice symptoms of caffeine, such as insomnia, nervousness and hyperactivity, even though they do not consume caffeine-containing beverages, should check the ingredients for medications, especially headache tablets and supplements.

Caffeine addiction does not usually have to be treated professionally. It is enough if the affected person reduces the intake of caffeine when the first symptoms appear. Here, the daily dose should be slowed down, otherwise unpleasant withdrawal symptoms may threaten.

Many coffee drinkers usually lack not only the stimulating substance, but also the habit itself, especially the ritual of making coffee and the cup in hand or on the desk. This group of people is helped by substitute products that are offered on a cereal basis. Malt and spelled coffee are especially tasty and wholesome. In addition, decaffeinated coffee is available, but it is less harmful to the stomach than the cereal-based alternatives.

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