Of all the everyday ailments that we suffer from, headaches may be one of the most debilitating. It’s impossible to think and move, light and sound become incredibly irritating, and sometimes the worst headaches are accompanied by other problems like nausea or lightheadedness.
Everyone has their own special headache cure. For some, it might be retreating into a dark, quiet room and laying down for a while. Some people might use homeopathic remedies like feverfew or scalp massage. And still others may swear by a caffeine-packed cola and an aspirin. If you fall into this last category and often use caffeine to fight against headaches, be careful. MSN Health says that though many people associate caffeine with headache relief, it can actually have the opposite effect.
Headaches From Caffeine Use
Though in some cases taking caffeine can relieve headache pain, too much caffeine will often cause a headache. This amount will vary from person to person. If someone is particularly sensitive to caffeine, even one cup of coffee or one caffeinated soda can cause a headache. Other people who are more tolerant of caffeine might experience symptoms after several cups. Too much caffeine can also manifest in sleep problems, muscle twitches, and anxiety.
Headaches From Caffeine Withdrawal
Paradoxically, caffeine withdrawal is another common source of headache pain. When someone is accustomed to consuming caffeine, the blood flow to the brain becomes altered if they suddenly stop. This physiological response results in several symptoms besides withdrawal headaches. People who suddenly stop consuming caffeine may also experience depression, nausea, muscle pain, fatigue, and depression.
The best way to know how caffeine specifically affects your body is to be mindful when you are drinking it. If 2 cups of coffee cause you to feel restless or give you a headache, then that is too much caffeine for you. Cut back by reducing your amount or even mixing it with regular milk. And just like any other substance, be sure to use caffeine in moderation.
- “Hidden Causes of Headaches”, MSN Health
- “Migraines, Headaches, and Caffeine”, WebMD
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