Saturday, April 14, 2012

I can't stomach coffee anymore

Most of us are familiar with the mild symptoms of caffeine overdose. The first time you had one of those giant mugs of cappuccino you probably got a bad case of the trembles and twitches, where your hands literally wouldn't stop shaking, or you developed an uncontrolled twitch of the eyelid. In bed that night, you probably ran out of sheep to count long before you managed to drift off into the land of nod. The next day you may have awakened to a soft stool during your morning trip to the bathroom.

Many of the symptoms of caffeine overdose at this early stage are like the symptoms of having too much alcohol. You might, for example, feel a little tipsy and have difficulty feeling solidly balanced on you feet. You probably make frequent trips to the bathroom to purge yourself of liquids, yet find yourself continuing to feel thirsty.

I want to add nausea, migraine and wholesome grumpiness.

Source: Overdose Symptoms

Caffeine is well absorbed and the peak blood levels occur about 45 to 60 minutes after caffeine consumption. Caffeine is well known for it's stimulant effects on the brain, blood pressure and pulse rate, and the increased production of stomach acid.
The effects of caffeine can last as long as 12 hours but usually tolerance develops after about 4 days of regular use. Unfortunately, caffeine can have long term effects on the body. Since caffeine increases the production of stomach acid, caffeine can cause acid reflux or worsen ulcer symptoms. Insomnia and poor sleep are psychological effects of caffeine.
Regular use of caffeine can cause a lack of sleep resulting in fatigue and anxiety. Common complaints with caffeine use include nausea, nervousness, dizziness, and irritability. Studies also have been done on coffee and it's association with stomach pain. Research has been done showing that some chemicals in coffee can cause the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid which can lead to symptoms of stomach pain, acid reflux and nausea. 
Researchers have exposed stomach cells to a variety of different coffee components and 3 culprits were discovered: caffeine, N-alkonoly-5-hydroxytrytamides and catechols. Another chemical called N-methylpyridium or NMP is thought to turn off the stomach's acid production and reduces the stomach pain people experience when coffee is consumed. NMP is not found in the raw coffee bean so it is produced when the coffee is roasted. The longer the coffee bean is roasted, the more acid-blocking NMP is produced. Thus, dark roasted coffee is easier on the stomach. 
Options to reduce stomach pain when drinking coffee is to choose a darker roasted coffee, use decaffeinated or try switching different brands of coffee. If stomach pain or nausea becomes too bothersome consult with a physician. 
- Kimberly Hotz, PharmD

Source: Everyday Health