Last Updated December 20th, 2021
What is a caffeine-related headache?
An overdose of caffeine triggers headaches in many people. The pain usually starts from the back of the eye and gradually travels upwards towards the front side of the forehead. The caffeine-related headaches are often mild to severely painful depending upon the causes. A caffeine-related headache can be experienced by anyone who takes a regular dosage of caffeine.
What are the causes of Caffeine-Related Headaches?
There 5 major causes of Caffeine related Headaches are as follows:
Caffeine Withdrawal: When an avid caffeine consumer abruptly cuts down on the amount of the coffee that he or she had been undertaking, there are various withdrawal symptoms which they experience. Some of the most common symptoms being irritability, headache, sleepiness and tiredness.
Varied caffeine consumption:The people who tend to drink coffee often as they feel tired, often tend to crash as soon as the caffeine gets metabolized. Higher levels of caffeine in the body block the adenosine travelling to the brain during tiredness. As soon as the caffeine gets metabolized the adenosine rushes to the brain thus signalling the body that it is time to sleep. The most common symptoms of this condition are irritability, loss of concentration, a persisting drowsy and dizzy feeling right after the caffeine gets metabolized and tendency to doze off as the caffeine gets metabolized.
Caffeine overdose: A person is generally recommended only 400 mg(milligram) caffeine intake per day. It varies with different people since the tolerance level is different for different people. When a person consumes more caffeine than the recommended amount, it is referred to as caffeine overdose.
Caffeine sensitivity: The efficiency of the human body in processing and metabolizing caffeine in the body is called caffeine sensitivity. Different people have different levels of sensitivity to caffeine.
Caffeine allergy : Some people are allergic to caffeine i.e. they can’t process or metabolize caffeine in their body. In the cases of these people, the intake of a small amount of caffeine itself can trigger various symptoms like headaches, irritability, fatigue, dizziness, sudden shift of memory etc
How does Caffeine related Headache occur?
One of the most popular psychoactive drugs around the world is caffeine. It is present in various drinks and foods. It acts on the CNS(Central Nervous System) as a stimulant since it belongs to the Methylxanthine group. These stimulants play the following roles:
- Metabolism gets speeded up
- Urine production is increased
- Helps in the improvement of digestion
- Increased rate of heart
- Increases the level of alertness
- The physical performance is highly enhanced
- Some compounds derived from caffeine are also used for treating certain cancers.
Caffeine has a vasoconstrictive effect which means that it can narrow down the blood vessels and reduce the flow of blood. The individuals who are habituated with the regular consumption of caffeine become very familiar with the constriction. As soon as the person stops the caffeine intake on a regular basis, it can trigger a rebound effect. It causes the blood vessels to widen.
Caffeine contributes to the blockage of the Adenosine receptors which are the pain receptors in the brain. As soon as the caffeine consumption is stopped, it leads to a chronic headache.
What are the symptoms related to Caffeine Related Headaches?
There are various symptoms related to Caffeine related headaches. The symptoms completely depend upon the cause of the caffeine-related headache. The most common symptoms are listed below:
- You can experience various skin problems like hives, eczema, rashes, acne and severe itching.
- Chronic headaches and migraines
- Depression and anxiety
- Panic attacks
- Loss of memory
- Irregular heartbeat
- Swelling of throat, glands, tongue
- The shift of focus i.e.touble in concentrating
- Irritable mood or bad mood
- Fatigue and tiredness
- Extreme Jitters
- Pain in the chest
- Feeling of numbness in the face, hand and feet
- Muscle pain
- Shortness of breath
- Flu or cold-like symptoms
- Problems of vision like blurry vision or double vision
- Swollen eyes and puffiness of the face
- Excessive talking
- Increased or elevated blood pressure
- Nauseatic and vomiting feeling
- Cardiac Arrest
What are the procedures of the diagnosis for the caffeine-related headaches?
The procedures which are most commonly used for the diagnosis of the caffeine Related Headaches are as follows
Computer Tomography(CT) Scan helps in producing a clear image of the cross-section of the body in a computer by using the X-rays. This method is very helpful in ruling out the causes of the headache with the same kind of symptoms.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging is the method that is used for producing clear pictures or images of the brain with a large magnet and Radiofrequency(RF). If you are getting almost daily headaches, MRI is recommended highly.
The blood test is very helpful in determining the amount of caffeine in the blood of an individual. The levels of caffeine in the blood are very helpful in indicating if the headache is caused due to the abnormal caffeine content in the blood.
Urine analysis can also be used for detecting the levels of caffeine in the body.
What are the treatments available for the Caffeine Related Headache?
There are various treatments which are available for the Caffeine Related headache. Some of the most common treatments for the Caffeine Related Headache are as follows:
- Rehydration is a very common way of chasing away headaches.
- Resting and sleeping are the best ways to find relief from headaches.
- Taking OTC(Over the Counter) pain reliever helps in the treatment of the Caffeine Related Headache.
- Using a cold compress such as ice packs helps in reducing pain.
What are the prevention methods of the Caffeine Related Headache?
The prevention methods of the Caffeine Related Headache are:
- Stop overdosing on caffeine
- Rehydrate a lot
- Be very cautious while administering the OTC(Over The Counter) medications.
- People who are more sensitive to caffeine should be having a controlled intake of caffeine.
- The individuals who are caffeine allergic should completely avoid the intake of coffee.
- Caffeine gets absorbed into the blood and the tissues in the body after 45 minutes of the intake but it persists in the body for a very long time.
- There are several foods and beverages which consists of caffeine besides coffee.
- Caffeine resembles the molecular structure of the chemical called adenosine.
- The effects of the stress are exaggerated by the intake of the caffeine.
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Dos and Don'ts
- Intake of the OTC medicines should be done very carefully.
- Dehydration is a common symptom of caffeine intake. It’s very necessary to rehydrate.
- Massaging the scalp really helps in reducing the headache.
- Use a cold compress whenever needed. This helps in preventing headache.
- Delay the treatments.
- Have the consumption of too much caffeine.
- Skip meals.
- Alternate therapies without the doctor’s recommendation
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