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Caffeine in coffee or tea: Tolerance issues

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Mjau

Hi there!

 

Have tried to stop drinking coffee, but it's really hard. I've always been rather sensitive to caffeine (started drinking coffee after I was put on Sertraline). I become jittery, feeling as though I'm on speed, I get palpitations and tremor. These symptoms have got worse since I started taking Wellbutrine, which isn't surprising as both act as stimulants.

The problem is that I am so tired, feeling sluggish all the time (which is really bothersome) and these symptoms usually improve after having a cup of coffee. I can think clearer, concentrate better and the blues lifts off. On the other hand there's a fine line between sluggish and speedy, I'm rarely anywhere in-between.

Well I guess it would be best not to drink any coffee. Any of you with these kind of experiences? If you stopped drinking coffee, was that good for you?

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Meimeiquest

Well, I just CT'd my exactly 1.75 cup a day habit this past weekend. No long-term report yet, but I think it was affecting my sleep more than I realized. I am a huge proponent of searching down causes of fatigue and brain fog, they have so affected my life. Gut health and sleep apnea are front and center for me. I really hope you can find what you need!

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Altostrata

If you don't like feeling jittery, as though you're on speed, with palpitations and tremor, you should reduce your caffeine intake.

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Mjau

I am a huge proponent of searching down causes of fatigue and brain fog, they have so affected my life.

Brain fog - that's the word for it! Exactly one of my main issues as well. The fog lifts off temporarily after a cup of coffee and that's a great relief. But the caffeine side effects often kick in. I'm quite addicted to caffeine. And I tried CT but that leads to huge cravings... :-o

Would be interesting to hear about your caffeine CT experience!

 

Alto, no I don't like feeling speedy. I guess the speediness isn't good for my nervous system as it's already rather out of balance... So now I figuered out that why not taper caffeine as well ;-)

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Petunia

Has anyone experienced withdrawal symptoms from giving up caffeine?

 

Symptoms of withdrawal from caffeine include:
  • headache.
  • fatigue.
  • anxiety.
  • irritability.
  • depressed mood.
  • difficulty concentrating.

I stopped drinking coffee CT, but was still drinking tea.  When I stopped drinking regular tea, I got bad headaches for a few days, but then they subsided.  I probably got some of the other symptoms of caffeine withdrawal too, but it may have been difficult to differentiate them from my ongoing protracted AD withdrawal.

 

How have others stopped caffeine and what did you experience?

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DizzyGirl

I am still tapering coffee. Yeah u heard right. Tapering coffee... It is ridiculous.

 

Severe migraines, fatigue and depression are my main symptoms.

 

I am dirnking decaf coffee 2 times a day right now and eating chocolate.

 

My goal is to stop coffee and chocolate alttogether.

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Laura1981

I found the coffee topic... hurray! 

 

I have a question to all: I love coffee. I've always been a coffee addict, so is my mum. I think there must be something genetic to it. 

 

I can still tolerate coffee, at least I don't notice any immediate bad effect from it. But the general recommendation seems to be "Reduce coffee in withdrawal". I feel kinda guilty about just continuing with it. 

 

Does anyone know: Will the coffee hinder recovery or is the suggestion to stop drinking it more for people who can't tolerate it? 

 

Any good articles I could read? 

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LoveandLight

You hope someone says it's ok to keep drinking it ;) lol

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Mort81

Ya chicory is a nice choice. For me coffee occasionally like 2 or 3 cups a week drastically improves my mood and wont cause me agitation. Sometimes if a program i like is on and i have a coffee it can make me feel so happy . If I start to have it daily or too much than it goes the other way and I feel worse. WD has been a huge balancing act with everything.

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Mort81

Dandelion root can also be good. I bought something called dandy blend.

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Denstar51

I wonder if anyone experiences a more sensitive body chemestry after getting over w/d.

I can't seem to tolerate caffeine and if I do I get bad muscle pains in my legs.

 

Dennis    Denstar51

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Petunia

I want to share my recent caffeine experiment because it appears to have gone paradoxical on me. Note that I'm in protracted withdrawal and have been completely drug free for about 27 months now.

 

I've been off caffeine completely for about 2 years. I stopped because of the advice here and that it was increasing anxiety type symptoms and preventing me from sleeping, even one cup of weak tea in the afternoon would stop me from being able to sleep.

 

One day last week I decided to see what effect caffeine has on me now, because my physical anxiety type symptoms and cortisol mornings have reduced somewhat over the last months.

 

It was late morning, I made a cup of tea. Poured the water in and took the tea bag out immediately, no dunking or squeezing, so it would have been very weak. I drank only half the cup and felt no immediate effects. But in about 45 minutes, I was overcome with fatigue, I had to lay down. I fell asleep and slept for a solid 2 hours. This was very unusual because I haven't been able to sleep during the day for the last several years due to high daytime cortisol. I awoke with a small surge of panic, but it had felt nice to be able to sleep during the day.

 

The effects continued. I slept fine that night, but the next morning I woke suddenly at 4am with racing thoughts, worse than usual. But it stopped suddenly within about an hour, then I fell back into a heavy sleep and didn't wake up until 10:30. That is also very unusual for me. These days I start waking up around 5am and generally can't go back to sleep and if I do, its only very light, disturbing sleep. I woke up feeling very disoriented, wondering what had happened. I hadn't changed anything else, so I assume this must have been an effect of the small amount of caffeine in my sensitized nervous system, its now acting as a depressant rather than a stimulant.

 

No more caffeine and I've gone back to 'normal'

Edited by Petunia
added link

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machawolf

I use caffeine as a "take at your own risk" supplement. As with anything you need to weight the balance of effects. I usually stay away from it as I have become more sensitive to it in withdrawal and it causes me to go into a manic state, but sometimes I need it. I have no choice but to continue working or have no place to live so, on the days were I have to do some serious physical tasks, I go to the caffeine. I usually am on the fatigued and achy end of the spectrum of wd symptoms but caffeine tends to give me some relief from that, but then causes me to go into a jittery, agitated stage with tingling in my limbs. In my view it is a question of which is the better of two evils for the day?

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Altostrata

You might ingest less and avoid the blowback.

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Serenity23

I've always been sensitive to caffeine, but I also found I was much more sensitive to it during my unstructured tapers.

 

I've been drinking rooibos and honeybush tea--both caffeine free--and supposedly they have many health benefits. In remembering to keep all things moderate, even healthy things, I drink no more than 1-2 cups a day.

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Katamari

I can use coffee as an indicator of my current status in the windows and waves pattern. In the middle of a window it gives me those positive effects we all know. Then in the middle of a wave it gives me instant dizziness, nausea and anxiety. Between those, I do drink coffee with caution. I only take one cup in the mornings and usually it gives me pleasure and wakes me up but gives me slightly anxious feeling, but which I can cope with. 

When having a bad wave I drink black tea in the mornings. 

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Mort81

Good point katamari.It could be enjoyable but in a wave is more likely to be a white kncukle experience. I have noticed I can drink coffee amd enjoy it in the mornings as long as im not in a wave. However during the evenings forget about it. It immediately causes anxiety and an overall uncomfortable feeling in my body. I tried a cup tonight cause I was so tired at 7pm and didn't want to sleep and wake up in the middle of the night. Wow did it make me awful! I used to be able to drink coffee before I went to bed lol. My body needs to calm down before I can think of enjoying a cup of Joe in the evening!

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Mort81

My body is really changing in regards to caffeine. Physically I have been much stronger lately as weakness/fatigue was starting to make me housebound. Now i can do so much more but I can't drink coffee or tea at all anymore. I think it was good for me before because my body was so fatigued and it made me mentally alert and put me in a positive mood. Now It triggers major anxiety/fear. Im going to greatly reduce my intake but slowly.

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ChessieCat

Hi all,

 

I had to go off coffee after I reduced my Pristiq.  If I remember rightly it made me feel jittery.  I now drink Caro which is a cereal beverage.  I have been drinking it on and off over the years (especially if I wanted a cuppa in the afternoon or evening).  I also drink licorice and peppermint tea.  I have separate teabags and steep the licorice but I only dunk the peppermint a few times.  Very refreshing and doesn't need sweetening.  Apparently it is also nice chilled.

 

Suggestion:  If you can't go straight from coffee to a substitute, you could combine the two and gradually change the ratio over.

 

CC

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KarenB

I was a 'once-a-day' coffee drinker for about 13 years.  Then I started withdrawal, and it increasingly made me feel jittery, nauseous, speedy and yuck till I knew had to stop.  I had headaches for about a week, and since then have noticed some interesting things.  One, I stopped needing my lunch ridiculously early in the day, and I can now easilly go till 12noon.  Two, I can't even bear the thought of drinking coffee - and I'd thought it would be really hard cause I'd want it all the time.

 

Because it was such a treat for me, I worked out a replacement before I quit.  Home-made chai tea:  Rooibus tea-bags (which are caffeine-free), cardamom seeds and pods, vanilla essence, a cinnamon stick, ground black pepper, fresh ginger, a few dried cloves.  Yum yum yum.  I have it with milk and coconut-sugar. 

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Mort81

That Chai tea sounds pretty damn good! I really like chai tea . Most chai is caffinated though which is why you make your own ? 

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KarenB

Yup, and because it's just yummier, and it smells so nice while it's simmering on the stove.  In winter I sit the pot on the fire-place and the whole house smells like chai.  Chai is best when it can slowly simmer for a while.  You can also add things like orange peel, or make a chocolate-chai with cocoa powder.  Of course then you are getting back into a little caffeine.  I can handle cocoa luckily. 

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Mort81

Thanks for the recipes Karen ! I will be trying it out this winter .

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LexAnger

I'm glad I found this thread, as I just started feeling the negative effects of caffeine since my worst hit on the way tapering 3 months ago.

I have been drinking decaf only though, should decaf be ok assuming no caffeine there? Any experience or thoughts are appreciated.

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Mort81

HI Lex, mostly during waves I cant handle any caffeine but decaf never bothers me. Not sure how others are effected though .

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LexAnger

Thanks a lot Mort for your quick response and good feedback! Maybe it's just my guessing. I will google for decaf ingredients see if anything in it suspicious.

 

Hope I can at least enjoy the flavor of decaf.

 

I just realized you reinstated Paxil after stopping lexapro. I will read your thread to learn more about your experience. I just have too much trouble making peace with lex.

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Happypuppy

Well, this is a really interesting topic.  I am a big coffee drinker - I took to caffeine like, I don't know, a duck to water I guess.  I actually remember my first can of diet cola at the age of 13 or 14 and how bright and sparkly it made me feel.  It cheered me up a lot - which I needed, because junior high school was horrible.

 

I drank a LOT of coffee on Zoloft and I found that the higher my level of Zoloft was, the more tired I would be.  Consequently, now that I am tapering I find myself having a lot more energy and I find coffee makes me hyperactive and anxious in a way I don't completely enjoy.  I'd like to be able to do without, frankly, and just use something like tea now and again if there's a specific and important reason to fight fatigue, or I'm catching up with a friend.  I was drinking up to 15 cups per day  :blush: however now I am down to eight.

 

I have quit coffee before.  I missed the energy rush but my energy levels transitioned much more smoothly during the day and responded gently to such things as a brisk walk or a good chat with a friend.

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Happypuppy

I'm glad I found this thread, as I just started feeling the negative effects of caffeine since my worst hit on the way tapering 3 months ago.

I have been drinking decaf only though, should decaf be ok assuming no caffeine there? Any experience or thoughts are appreciated.

 

Hey LexAnger :) there is a little caffeine in decaf, but not a lot.  If you feel okay, there is nothing to worry about, in my view.  A little caffeine doesn't hurt and there are actually health benefits.  If a few cups of decaf aren't making you feel jittery, the decision to quit would be just a matter of personal preference.  

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LexAnger

Hi Happypuppy,

 

Thank you for your kind assurance! I actually just drink 1-2 cups of diluted decaf by adding at least half water to it so max total is one cup of decaf. I used to be able to drink the same amount of regular coffee only recently my CNS was hacked 360 degree with new severe symptoms one after another like episodes in a play. I will test for a few more times see if I have to quit completely.

 

Lex

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Martina23

Last Wednesday I drank one coffee at one course and then I only prayed when it will leave my system. Immediately I turned almost manic, I had the feeling I wanted to run 20 times round the square near the building where the course took place, I could not concentrate on the lecture, I got intensive intrusive thoughts about the teacher and the people sitting at the course and during the dinner I was afraid that I will fail to recognize the people sitting in the restaurant as innocents and will harm them. I did not harm anyone but it made me so scared that I will surely not try coffee for at least one year to come.

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Mort81

Hey Martina that extra boost of energy could def intensify WD symptoms both good and bad. Its a risky play in WD. I am starting to have much more trouble with caffeine.It sucks being this sensitive but at some point it will change.Just remember those thoughts are not you and in time they will shrink to nothing. I have been getting weird thoughts more often. Very unpleasant. I drink 1 small cup every 3 days but am close to stopping. Since my symptoms changed and I have more neuro anxiety and akathisia caffeine is an unpleasant trigger at times.

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Sarabera

I think caffeine can be a dangerous thing for those of us with "fragile brains". I know when I was depressed, I really craved caffeine, it gave me a mild "up" feeling. But of course I paid for that later in the day with a bigger, longer down. Depression rule of thumb--every artificial "up" gets paid for at least twice over with a "down". Also, having problems with insomnia, anything like caffeine can put it right over the edge. I can't even eat much dark chocolate, as it contains a chemical called theobromine, related to caffeine, which is too stimulating for me. Currently, two cups of decaf in the morning is it.

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LexAnger

Thanks all for chimp in with your experience!

Sarabera, it seems you can at least handle decaf. I tried couple more days with half cup of decaf it seemed no obvious harm. Hope I can stay with it.

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CaptainJackSparrow

I think coffee is a good thing to take when tapering down off this stuff. 

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