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What are Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal?

Tricia Christensen
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The medical community has recently taken caffeine withdrawal quite seriously. It is estimated that one in eight people will experience symptoms that will interfere with ability to work or function for at least a couple of days. Researchers in 2004 suggested including caffeine withdrawal as a verifiable condition in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). However, withdrawal from caffeine is seldom dangerous, though it can make one uncomfortable for a few days.

The most frequent symptom associated with this withdrawal is a moderate to severe headache. This can occur between 12 and 24 hours after last intake of caffeine. It usually lasts for one to two days, though some may have a headache for longer. If you are purposefully attempting to stop consuming caffeine, be certain to check labels on pain medications. Some medications combine caffeine with acetaminophen and ibuprofen, since caffeine may help boost pain relief.

Others experiencing caffeine withdrawal may feel depressed and some feel sleepy. Some people may experience significant mood instability, which may be helped by prescribed medications. People may also have difficulty concentrating. Some undergoing withdrawal can have flu-like symptoms that include nausea or vomiting, and muscle pain or stiffness.

Generally the symptoms of withdrawal from caffeine continue from two to nine days after one’s last intake of caffeine. People may note continued symptoms of sleepiness that may be more psychologically based, if they used caffeine to start their morning. However, the body is considered no longer addicted to caffeine after nine days. Continued symptoms should be checked by a doctor, as they might indicate other conditions.

Most people will not feel the effects of withdrawal three to four days after stopping caffeine. So, although caffeine is addictive, it is actually generally a far easier substance to break addiction from. This is good news for those people who must stop using caffeine as per a doctor’s recommendations.

People may miss the taste of some caffeinated beverages, particularly coffee. One can drink decaffeinated coffee, which contains a tiny amount of caffeine, if a doctor okays this beverage. For people who enjoy caffeine rich soda, there are now many caffeine free sodas available.

For most, breaking the caffeine habit will mean experiencing a few days of caffeine withdrawal. This may be a small price to pay when one’s health is endangered by continued use of caffeine. If withdrawal symptoms seem severe, one should see a doctor. Physicians may be able to help one manage symptoms of severe depression or significant nausea.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.
Discussion Comments
By Ergolad — On Oct 09, 2018

Wow, it’s been a long time. I’m one of the earlier posters to this comment section. Probably nearly 10 years ago. I went for some time caffeine free, but 2 or 3 years in I slipped back to drinking coffee and tea again regularly. For the most part it’s been fine I guess. I could do without the coffee breath for sure, but lately I’ve noticed regular headaches, body aches and general lethargy. Since I last posted I’ve also been diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroiditis. One of the common recommendations managing this inflamitory disease is to eliminate caffeine. Every now and then the universe points clearly to a change I should consider. Right now, with my energy level being so down, struggling with Hypothyroidism, feeling sore all the time and finding it difficult to run, something I usually find great joy in, its time to get off the bean again.

By anon997778 — On Feb 26, 2017

Can caffeine withdrawal symptoms continue throughout your life?

By anon994345 — On Feb 01, 2016

Hi folks! it's anon994312 here again. I'm now down to 16 oz daily of the DC. So far I've been back to this site every day. Something strange will occur that will scare me (today was panic attack/could not catch my breath). Then I'll read your writings and recall that I'm not alone in this weirdness. A possible bit of good news, at least for me: it seems my appetite has decreased. But still getting that 'I can't keep my eyelids open anymore' sleepy feeling about three times a day. I surmise things probably would be worse if I stopped abruptly and completely. I think it may be better for long-term CAFFers like me to wean themselves off v. going cold turkey. Time will tell!

Again, oh so very grateful to you all!

By anon994312 — On Jan 30, 2016

I can't find the words to thank you all for sharing these withdrawal symptoms! I've been "on caffeine" for decades and was simply cutting down from 'all day long' (DPepsi/Max with ice) to about 20-30 ounces (DCoke because I don't like it much).

It's amazing what happens to the body. I expected many of the symptoms but chills are the strangest especially since I don't have the headache (yet?). And the mild vision issue was not expected; I can focus and read but it takes more effort.

Again, many thanks.

By anon986062 — On Jan 22, 2015

Hope this helps. I quit caffeine five days ago now. the reason for stopping was I was getting headaches from clenching my teeth so my dentist had suggested if I drank a lot of caffeinated stuff to cut back or stop.

I won't lie -- it was painful the first few days. I had bad headaches, neck pain, chills, upset stomach, and unwell feeling like the flu. I was a two or three coffee or soda a day person.

The good news is today, things are getting much better. The worst symptoms are mostly gone. My head is still sore but not as bad. I slept so much better and feel so much more calm. I swear, I feel like the old me again.

Honestly, I was thinking at the beginning maybe I would just start having one a day or decaf instead, but now I'd rather not even touch anything with caffeine anymore.

To anyone still suffering, hang in there. It will get better and it's worth it.

By anon983536 — On Dec 31, 2014

I gave up my daily three or four cups of filtered coffee with little thought. Previous times I had done the same and suffered very little. This time seemed to be much the same, just some mild headaches.

On day 5, I suddenly started getting very unusual pains in my kidney area, lower back, hips and thighs. Thanks to this site, I realized this was the caffeine withdrawal. It was too painful to sleep without painkillers. It went on for another 5 days before subsiding enough to allow normal sleep. It was a very uncomfortable few days. I'm not completely over it yet after another couple of days, but I'm getting much better.

I am avoiding chocolate and tea as well to make sure my system becomes completely clear.

I know this forum contains lots of recommendations to reduce slowly and I am sure that makes sense, but for me, despite the considerable discomfort, I was happy to get it over and done with as quickly as possible. I must admit that I was shocked by how painful it was.

In general, my health seems much better. Less groggy, more relaxed and alert. It is only now that I realize how much caffeine was affecting me. I'm so glad not to be poisoning myself anymore.

Best of luck to everyone else trying to kick the habit. It's not fun, but is worth it.

By anon957834 — On Jun 23, 2014

He shou wu, schisandra, and goji berries never hurt anybody and will do wonders to restore your adrenal health. I quit caffeine about a week ago. It was in the forms of coffee and energy drinks. Tea was never a vice for me or shocked my adrenals, which led to sleep issues and severe energy drain during the day as well as literally looking years older. I am starting to feel better, but I know I'm still going to be having cravings for a boost for another week probably.

I wouldn't give up caffeine if I weren't familiar with the wonders of herbalism and organic Chinese teas. It's a matter of preference for most people. For instance, does Ayurvedic or Chinese herbalism appeal to the individual more? For me, it's definitely classical TCM herbalism: Dragon Herbs and Mountain Rose Herbs are two fantastic companies to get started with.

@post 213: "During this time, I was having terrible panic attacks and bouts of depression…”

Wow, I had this same feeling and concern, but I figured it would go away and was just due to me tweaking my brain chemistry. Interesting that you actually got an MRI! Good to see it came back fine and that clears up my concerns about the strange feelings in my head! Just need to weather this storm a little longer until I start feeling great and looking younger (I'm 28, and when I drink coffee I look my age as my friend said, but when I don't drink coffee or energy drink I look like I'm in my early 20's!).

By anon956287 — On Jun 12, 2014

@Hippy1951 (post 214). I am am post 212. I read your post and feel like I've been there. So maybe this helps.

After months, I still struggle to get away from this stuff, although the battle is much easier now. At this point I only fight fatigue (remember - after months) that ranges from pretty extreme to mild. (more later) To satisfy the taste I use Capomo as a coffee substitute. To deal with the caffeine aspect, I also sipped about three ounces each morning and had some black tea (diluted) in early afternoon.

Green tea is less heating, so transitioning to that may help with headaches. At some point I had to pull the plug. At this point I have a small amount of caffeine about once or twice a week but my objective is to have "zero". That is extreme but "moderation" is not a great idea when there is an imbalance; it's only good when things are mostly normal.

Getting back to fatigue, considering that you consumed lots of coffee for years, you may have some level of adrenal fatigue. After all, we can only whip our adrenals so much before they are just "out of gas," so to speak. In this case you can search for diet tips and perhaps even the use of some supplements.

I won't mention any specific supplements because I think it is very individual and best left up to a nutritionalist or herbalist to help you pick things.

However, I will say that perhaps you can look into adaptogens or maybe even herbs for a kidney yin and/or kidney yang deficiency (consult acupuncturist). However avoiding bad things (caffeine, sugar, empty starches) is where you get most bang for your buck, and I think supplements are sort of useless if we continue to consume the items that feed the problem.

By Hippy1951 — On May 07, 2014

Thanks everybody for all your posts on caffeine withdrawal. It has really helped me understand what I am going through by giving up caffeine.

Several years ago, after years of being an avid coffee drinker, it started giving me digestive problems. I simply switched from coffee to Diet Coke and drank close to 50 ounces a day for several years until last year 2013, it started giving me digestive problems like coffee did. So, what did I do? Switch to Mountain Dew. Big mistake. This spring, after going through the same throwing up, nausea, can't sleep symptoms I had before with coffee and diet coke, I gave up diet Mountain Dew and all caffeine. It has been four days and I still feel like crap. The headaches I expected; the continued nausea, having zero energy or motivation, and constantly feeling like I just want to lay down and sleep forever was a complete surprise. After reading these posts, I have decided a little bit of caffeine should help the withdrawal symptoms. So I will be doing a small shot in the morning to see if it helps.

By anon942714 — On Mar 29, 2014

It's been about a week and a half (currently in the second week) since I quit cold turkey on the death drug - caffeine. The first week I was having excruciating migraines, and it felt like my head was going to explode. The migraines were very intense and subjected to the right side of my right temple area. During this time, I was having terrible panic attacks and bouts of depression, I felt like something was going on in my head and feared I had a brain tumor or something. So I did get a MRI scan (was offered CT scan but did not want unnecessary radiation) and everything came back fine. The doctor said it was down to stress and that I needed to drink more water.

Now the second week which is now, I'm having problems with my breathing: shallow breathing accompanied by a painful chest pain near my armpit area with pain radiating down my left arm as well as a pounding heart beat which I can feel in my head, neck (similar to arrhythmia). Trying to get some sleep is very difficult during this process, and I also feel very fatigued in the morning.

I'm a 20 year old male, a vegetarian, and drink plenty of filtered water; it's just my weakness was soda drinks like coke zero and pepsi. I felt slightly uplifted when I consumed them, because of my current situation with being at home alone, I don't go out much. I feel great to have quit caffeine now and just trying to get through the withdrawal symptoms and be done with it. I have learned my lesson now about consuming these nasty drugs.

Good luck to everyone. Just know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Take care.

By anon356709 — On Nov 27, 2013

This is created from several experiences that I have had in the past and that I am having today.

Ah! I hate/love coffee! I have been drinking it for about 20 years, mainly at work because I sit at a computer and it became a habit. My roommate introduced me to this stuff years ago. He had an espresso machine and each night I would suck down an espresso with a few shortbread cookies -- ah, good! Then I fell in love with the dark roasted Starbucks coffee, then Peet’s, then Starbucks, etc. I only use a French press at home and it was great. Then I started with Turkish coffee. This was fun.

Fast forward. It was obvious that the stuff was messing with me. I would drink five or more cups a day. I've "quit" a few times. But now it is November 2013 and I'd better quit for good because my digestion is going nuts, my insides are aching in places that I didn't know had nerve endings and there are darting pains all over. Hmm, this isn't good but I have been here before to a lesser extent.

First off, I get really thirsty but don't want to drink anything. My head hurts so bad and my stomach is completely sick. My eyes feel like they each have the flu. I am in a very foul mood. My first night in bed isn't good. I feel crummy and my eyes ache and my head aches and I'm still thirsty. I can barely get out of bed because I feel so bad. I get water. I try to last without painkiller but after rolling around for hours and groaning like a three year old, I decide I need something! I go for the painkiller at 3:27 a.m. I get a few winks and wake up feeling like crap.

Then, day two. I got through the day, but it is loaded with crummy feelings and depression and again I would snap at the slightest comment. I wear sunglasses in the office because the light is too bright. Oh, did I mention that I can't remember anything because I can't gather my attention enough to recall who won the football game two days ago? That little area between and behind my eyebrows feels like a tornado inside my head (no, not a wind tunnel, a tornado). I couldn't meditate for two seconds if I wanted to. My boss asks me when we submitted the paperwork for xyz. I can’t even gather my attention to think what xyz is, much less when we submitted it. It took all my strength to drive home without losing it.

Now the aches are worse. I feel like I have the flu: my lower back is aching, my legs ache, and even one of my arms aches. I am either shivering with chills or dying of heat, depends on where the minute hand is on the clock. I hate this. I start wondering why I am doing this and I complain to the universe that this is completely unfair. I am now officially ticked off. Think I am hot-headed?

I go for the pain killer because I am also completely tired. I want to cry because this stinks so bad. I think about cheating. I smell the coffee beans and they make me sick to my stomach. Wow - I wasn't expecting that.

On day three, I woke up and my head is dizzy and the tornado has dropped to tropical storm levels so I can almost think. I am tired! I need a nap. I feel like I have a mild hangover. I start pounding lots of Gatorade. Yeah, I know it has every dye in the world and sugar, but I need a crutch and I need fluids. The body aches are gone, but my legs are still tight. Food is OK, but I can’t eat much. I am tired and feel depressed. I know I need some exercise but my motivation is minimal. I convince myself to do some exercise at home. After five minutes I want to quit but decide to give it 20 minutes, slow and easy. I make it and my mood is a little better. I am encouraged – something worked!

And so the story goes. The world has 20 thousand ways to get caffeine into my body. Now there are K-cups sitting for the taking at work. Can it get any easier to indulge? I gave away my machine.

The young guys at work power down jet fuel and coffee and two of them told me about their heart racing and making weird beats. I gave them my 20-year history. They both quit and now drink herb tea.

My goal is to stop for 21 days. But for now my goal is to get through the night.

By anon341868 — On Jul 15, 2013

I am finding all of the comments very helpful, but I also wonder about all of the other possible variables that people don't mention. I wonder about whether or not people are going to bed earlier, stopping/starting hormonal birth control, water intake - decrease or increase, exercise, etc. People don't seem to mention that as much, and I wonder if the symptoms are alleviated when other variables are considered, healthy replacements added, etc. Just a thought.

I didn't start drinking alcohol until I was 25, never had a cigarette, and had my first cup of coffee when I was 30. I'm 33 now. I'm fit, healthy, and take care of my four kids when I'm not doing computer programming (ha).

I've struggled with moderate acne since I was 15, so I decided to quit birth control and coffee cold turkey this month to see if that helps. I'm on week three of no birth control and day six of no coffee. I have had a few feelings of anxiety but mostly just headaches. I'm trying to manage with whole foods, lots of vitamins and supplements. Has anyone else stopped birth control and coffee at the same time?

By anon338547 — On Jun 15, 2013

I would like to thank everyone who has posted on this. The information I have read is helping me quite a bit with my own trials with quitting soda.

I really did not grow up drinking soda until I was in my teens. As a child, soda was a special treat because money was tight with my parents back then.

I did not find myself becoming a soda addict until I graduated high school and joined the military. Suddenly I was drinking it all the time, day and night. Fast forward 20 odd years and I am still drinking the same amount but without all the activity to help burn off those calories.

I looked into the mirror the other day and was disgusted with the weight I have gained in the last five to six years. I have gone from 135 to 198 in this time.

I am on day five of cutting out soda from my diet. It is really hard due to the habit I have of grabbing a can in the mornings and when I sit down for meals. I have been drinking a small portion of coffee in the morning to stave off the headaches, but after reading the posts this will be my last day of doing this also.

As of this time I have already dropped four pounds.

I had been a bit concerned with the tiredness and naps I had been taking the last few days but now see it is part of the process.

The pros and cons of my soda withdrawals so far.

Cons: Headache; tiredness; soda craving/habit; napping; body aches and pains.

Pros: More patience; calmer/less irritable; better sleep; weight loss; less teeth staining. I feel better about myself

Good luck everyone and remember to drink your water.

By anon337228 — On Jun 03, 2013

I have been drinking monster energy for the last nine years and I was drinking two to three a day and Dr. Pepper in between all day and night. I have had a bad anxiety attack and stopped drinking all of that stuff and now I still have a bit of anxiety and blurry vision and fee tired and sore, with heavy arms and legs -- the whole nine yards of this withdrawal stuff. It's been about a month and it's getting better, but still not back to normal. I hope it doesn't take too much longer, though. I want to enjoy my summer. I'm 23 and hate the feelings of all this.

By anon328069 — On Apr 01, 2013

I have been a coffee drinker since my teens, about 20 years now. I started out lightly but gradually in the last few years have been drinking two or three large strong coffees per day. I

've given up before for a few weeks at a time but always missed the buzz and started again. Now I have two small children (sorry to say I did not give up while pregnant and breastfeeding, although I did cut right back with first child, not so much with second) and energy is at a premium. With two children under two years of age, I was gradually getting more exhausted and miserable and felt on the verge of depression.

I knew coffee was robbing me of my energy and eight days ago, I stopped cold turkey. I had no coffee at all. I did have a tea with friends on day three, and I didn't stop chocolate, but no coffee at all. The first day was unexpectedly easy, then the next two or three were very hard, with the expected headache and extreme tiredness plus, unexpectedly, aching shoulders, neck, lower back, upper legs, hips. I didn't connect this to the caffeine withdrawal at first until I found this site, so I was very pleased to know it was normal because it was really unpleasant.

I coped by staying home and doing only what I really had to and taking a nap at midday when my little ones were sleeping, but it was still hard. on the upside despite feeling like crap I started to feel glimpses of calm and clarity coming back to me and the rest I did get felt very restorative. The headaches were gone by day four, although the bone aches stayed a few more days at bedtime though they lessened every day.

Now I am at day eight and I am still a bit tired but feel much better. Another thing I think happened was that my digestion had to reconfigure. My bowels must have been affected by the caffeine all those years too and slowed right down along with everything else, so somewhere around days two through four, nothing much was happening, then on day five, they started clearing out again of their own accord.

I feel lighter, clearer, happier than I have in a long time. I absolutely have more energy without coffee. It's easier to wake in the morning and my energy levels feel steady most of the day without the big dips and desperately tired feelings like before. My skin tone and eyes clearer and am far less irritable with my little ones.

Another thing related to my second baby. With the first one, I cut right back on caffeine during pregnancy, so his exposure was limited, but with the second one I was tired most of the time and still drank a strong coffee every morning while pregnant and a couple daily while I've been breastfeeding. I know that's quite bad but I was so tired, and if you are familiar with caffeine dependency you may understand if not sympathise.

Well on day two after I stopped, I noticed she was irritable most of the day, which is unlike her. I put it down to teething. Later I realized she must have undergone withdrawal too as she is still on breastmilk only. She was a bit better on day three and now is totally fine. I feel terrible that she had to suffer too, but am so glad we are both caffeine free.

It's still the early days, but I feel like this time I will not go back onto coffee. I never want to have that miserable exhaustion as part of my life again and now I know it was not my own physical inability to cope, but the fact that coffee was draining all that energy from me. I am meditating nightly too, looking for strength inside so that I can stick with this. As I said: it is early days, but I am hopeful it will be permanent and I will be able to master my sugar habit next. I'm going slowly. Good luck.

By anon317677 — On Feb 03, 2013

I am on day six of quitting caffeine. I was drinking four 32 oz. cups of Mountain Dew a day. I quit cold turkey. On day one and two I was miserable with headaches. They seemed to get worse as the day went on. The problem I have now is dizziness. I feel tingly all over. Almost how it feels when your arm falls asleep but it is my entire body. Has anyone else felt this?

By anon289750 — On Sep 05, 2012

I love Dr. Pepper and the corner AM/PM gives me 52 oz. of the fountain with my favorite crunchy ice for free every morning in my Bubba Keg thermos. Mmmm! I can sip on that all day long and no matter what my day is like, Dr. Pepper makes it better. I might down another quart at lunch. It doesn't help that I'm kind of an adrenaline junky.

From time to time I quit, knowing the sugar and caffeine are probably killing me and seem to be adding weight. So I'm off it again. I take an Excedrin to manage the headache, drink my water and try not to think about how much I'd like a taste. I love the ritual.

I know that when I get sick or am about to have a bad day, I'll go back to it to get me through. It always makes me feel better. Then I'll see a pudgy-looking picture of myself and stop again.

So far, I'm managing the headache, but I've wanted a nap all afternoon. Everyone's comments help me feel sane. Thank you for that. -- Pepper

By anon282480 — On Jul 30, 2012

Just stop drinking caffeine instantly and pay the ferryman. Why wallow in the giving up phase? Just do it.

By anon280559 — On Jul 18, 2012

I quit caffeine yesterday.

I felt really grumpy in the morning. Then the headaches started about 12:00 and were on and off. I thought it would subside by the evening, but then it really got worse. I had dinner but then no relief. I went to bed with a headache.

I got up this morning and I was amazed at the fact that I had really slept well. I hadn't slept like this for years. It felt kind of good. It's day two now and I have just a bit of a headache.

I am unable to focus like before but at least I am not having mood swings!

By anon277649 — On Jul 01, 2012

There are lots of people here talking about the first few days, but not so much about the benefits after that. I quit caffeine a month ago, and I’ve been keeping a log (writing down several times a day how energetic I feel (low/medium/high) and whether I have a headache (bad/medium/mild/fine/good). I thought I’d share what I’ve found. Short version: it’s good - keep going!

Background: I was drinking about 5 or so cups of tea a day at work. For years, on many weekends I suffered mild (but long) headaches that made me avoid doing much. I never got them at work, or when on holiday, and couldn’t figure out the cause. After reading a blog about changing your sleep patterns, I read that giving up coffee and tea was a good idea. Coffee, sure, but surely there wasn’t much caffeine in tea? I did some research and was very surprised. I never connected my tea drinking with the headaches before! So, most weekends (when I often don’t drink tea), I was suffering the typical two-day withdrawal headache, only to return to tea each Monday. Doh.

I read about this mid-week (Wednesday lunchtime) and decided the cup on my desk would be my last. Sure enough, the next two days at work I got my usual weekend headache! Here are some of my notes. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep a log before quitting, but a typical day would be something like this:

Typical case: Alarm goes off at 7:15 a.m. Feel tired and lethargic and put it on snooze until 7:30 - 8 a.m. Arrive at work around 9 a.m., get back home at 5:30 p.m., go to bed around 10 p.m. So I was getting about 9-10 hours sleep per night.

The first day after quitting, my headache started around 12 p.m., getting worse until about 5 p.m., then becoming milder into the evening. Despite this, I was very happy to have discovered the cause of them!

Second day: I woke at 6:40 a.m. and got straight up. I had a mild headache at 12, aversion to light and feeling tired. The headache got worse until about 5 p.m. again, then a little better into the evening. It was gone by 9:30 p.m., although I feel quite dehydrated.

Day 3: Up at 6:.45 a.m. with no trouble (decided to set the alarm to 6.45am after waking so early the previous day). But tired and yawning by 8 a.m. and remained tired and low energy all day (but it’s the weekend, so no problem).

Day 4: Up at 6:45 a.m. again. Noted how strange it was to feel so energetic this early, but it wears off after an hour or so. I got lots of chores done. Had a 30 minute nap at 10 a.m.

Day 5: Up at 6:45 a.m. again. So energetic I did some press-ups immediately! It’s a public holiday today. Got lots done. Had three naps, though.

Days 6-15: I continue to get up at 6:45 a.m. each day. Sometimes high energy, sometimes low.

Day 16 onwards: I start waking up earlier, without the alarm (6:30 a.m., 5:30 a.m.). Mostly medium or high energy.

Anyway, it’s now the end of the month and I feel very good. I haven’t had a single headache since day two and I now wake up early and get lots done before work each day. My alarm is currently set for 5:30 a.m., but I usually get up before it goes off. I’m going to bed about the same time as before, but napping for 30 minutes a day when I get home, so I’m awake about 90 minutes more each day. That adds up fast!

I’m not 100 percent sure how much of this is the caffeine and how much is the nap (note that it was my interest in trying a new sleep schedule that got me into this; I tend to take the nap even if I don’t feel very tired).

I didn’t really get any cravings for caffeine. I did make some hot sugary water with a bit of milk (i.e., a typical tea drink without the tea) a few times early on, but now I just drink water at work.

By anon268999 — On May 16, 2012

Quitting cold-turkey gave me excruciating back pain. I had coffee after five days of quitting, could feel some chemical reaction happening inside, and the back pain was gone within a few minutes. I'll quit it slow next time.

By anon266988 — On May 08, 2012

I decided to give up caffeine because I have bad knees and the joint pain was killing me. I read somewhere that caffeine could affect that.

I'm on day two, have headaches all the time, but woke up without joint pain. Amazing. I'm thinking to drink 1/2 pop morning and afternoon to alleviate headaches and work down from there. I was drinking three to six cans of pop or energy drink a day.

By anon250015 — On Feb 24, 2012

Glad I found this site. I thought I was going to have a stroke or something. I stopped drinking Coke all of a sudden. Day one: no problem. Day two: blurry vision and mean headaches started.

Day three: nothing. Day four: blurry vision, mean headaches, sore lower back and leg muscles.

Day Five: mean headache about the same time as the other headaches, between 4 and 5 pm.

It is probably too late to recommend to anyone who is trying to quit to wean yourself off the caffeine because you probably won't find this site until you start going through the painful withdrawals.

By anon244560 — On Feb 01, 2012

Advice for caffeine-quitters: Quitting caffeine cold turkey is really hard on your mental and physical state and (from personal experience and research) the worst way to do it.

If you're a soda drinker, you're already cutting out high levels of sugar and caffeine, so start by cutting one out first by decreasing over a period of weeks, then cutting the other out in the same manner.

I get up at 3:45 a.m. Mon-Sat and work 10 1/2 hour days as a CNC machinist, plus I'm a single mom. So needless to say, caffeine is my friend. But I've recently started Adderall (Amphetamine) for ADHD and have also been having serious GI problems that aren't fully diagnosed yet, so I figured the caffeine had to go until I'm used to the new meds and also for my digestive health.

The best way to do it is to trick your body slowly and do so by switching to drinks with less caffeine, but enough to get you by. There are tons of things with caffeine, like hot tea that is steeped longer for less caffeine and even hot chocolate has caffeine (but less than coffee and sodas do).

I buy my favorite flavors of Starbucks and Green Mountain coffees, except I buy one bag of decaf and one bag of regular and mix it in the coffee maker each morning, adding less and less of the regular every few days. (That's to start off with in the morning, for example).

You can also cut down by alternating with water to rehydrate your body and make your brain/concentration better and make muscle soreness, lack of energy, etc. a bit less awful. Instead of five cups of coffee/soda at work, drink one cup of coffee, then a bottle of water, then a cup of coffee, then a bottle of water, etc. Drink the same amount of total "drinks" per day, but fill in half of what you'd normally drink in caffeine with water/juices/gatorade.

Best tip that people don't think of. Taking a multivitamin is always good for you, but I take the One-A-Day (I think that's the brand) multivitamins in the morn that are "Active Lifestyle" or "For Metabolism" because they contain smaller amounts of caffeine (about a cup or so) and also typically contain ginseng (a natural energy booster that doesn't have the "crash" effect and has other beneficial health benefits).

They're cheap, at every drugstore in many brands (including generic) and will help you get a kick of energy in the morning (plus improve your health while trying to kick your caffeine levels down).

You can also buy the flavored packets of things like Crystal Light (meant for bottled water) that contain caffeine and B Vitamins and try substituting a few bottles of water (with one packed per bottle) in place of sugary soda and strong coffee when you absolutely need a boost (but are still getting hydration and the benefits of physical and mental energy from water).

Even better is just buying Siberian Ginseng (Eleutherococcus Senticosus) capsules/supplements to replace your caffeine habits altogether. You'll not miss your caffeine one bit with these.

It's important to note that the difference between American ginseng (Quinquefolius) and Asian Ginseng (Panax)!

Siberian ginseng provides energy and stamina, maintains and improves mental alertness, boosts immunity (to colds, flus, etc), enhances vitality, and even helps build muscle strength/physical health. It is even found to help the body produce more T-Cells. More importantly, it acts as an "adaptogen". Adaptogens help the body to better deal with stress, both mental and physical and therefore can greatly improve moodiness and anxiety from caffeine withdrawal.

Studies have shown that after just four weeks of taking a (quality) Siberian ginseng supplement(s), mental health and social functioning improves.

Make sure you buy read up or hit a good vitamin store or "naturals" website to purchase these from. Make sure the product is at least 50 percent "pure" Siberian ginseng. Some cheaper blends contains as little as 20 percent of the ingredient and use low-quality content. This is definitely your best bet and they are cheap (about as cheap as buying good quality Vitamin E or a decent multivitamin) and can be found at drugstores, GNC and nutrition stores, and tons of online vitamin/herb shops. It's the best cure for caffeine withdraw that I've found/used.

For the mood-related element, you are irritable, depressed, cranky, etc., because caffeine stimulates dopamine in your brain that contributes to happiness, excitement, thrills, alertness, etc. Nasty moods are decreased by raising levels of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, GABA, and Acetylcholene.

One example of a drugstore vitamin you can buy to naturally boost serotonin levels (and also melatonin levels) is 5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan) which converts to serotonin and then to melatonin (to regulate sleep cycles). It's an amino acid and they're great for boosting the "happy" levels in your brain without prescription drugs, caffeine or sugar.

You can buy the individual herbs/supplements you want to try (it's usually cheap for a small bottle of any type and are available in all stores that have a pharmacy/vitamin section) or you can try the more expensive blends if you're not familiar enough with supplements or just want to take one pill. An example is "MindPowerRX" (sounds totally cheesy, ugh) which can be bought online and in some nutrition stores. It contains many of the herbs/aminos/supplements that you could take alone, in combos, or in a complete supplement like MindPowerRx such as: Ashwagandha, bacopa, fo-ti, ginkgo biloba, ginseng (Siberian), gotu kola, mucuna pruriens, reishi, and rhodiola, acetyl-l-carnitine, carnitine, carnosine, choline, DMAE, inositol, methylcobalamin, pantothenic acid, trimethylglycine, and vinpocetine.

Most of these are easy to find/buy in most stores and are pretty cheap. You can also look for kavakava and valerian root for just the "calming/stress reducing" element, but they're mostly geared toward the "sleepy" kind of relaxed.

Don't forget that when desperate and having a caffeine-withdrawal headache, there's always Excedrin Migraine! You get the small amount of caffeine you need to avoid the withdrawals and the muscle/headache/inflammation relief you need as well!

This ended up being super-long, but I'm a huge fan of caffeine, as well as herbs, supplements, vitamins, teas, and things that can offer awesomeness without all the chemicals, side effects, and wear and tear on our bodies!

Good luck! You'll be on to better energy/mood products in no time!

By anon238754 — On Jan 05, 2012

I'm on day two of giving up caffeine, but I had a 20 oz diet coke today, because the headaches were bugging me. The first day, I drank no soda, but I slept right away when I got off from work for about ten hours. But, the next day at work was difficult for me to concentrate. I am hoping tomorrow is easier for me.

By anon237701 — On Dec 30, 2011

I have had drinks with either caffeine or sugar in them for years. I can't hardly get through my day without them. If I have no caffeine or sugar in a day or two I feel sick as a dog. Which I now know are the start of the withdrawals. I just need a place to start from, since cold turkey does not work for me.

I used to hate drinking plain water, which I think has been why I drink the drinks which are not good for me all day long. But this site has gave me some hope that one day I may be able to cut back or completely but them out of my life.

By anon226945 — On Nov 02, 2011

I've had terrible headaches for five days! I felt heat in the left side of my brain. My neck was in pain. I was jittery. I was constipated. I took naps every afternoon. If I tried to read, the headache would get worse and I could not stand having any blinds open because the light made my headache worse!

I love what coffee does for me. It makes me happy and energetic. But in the long run, it will disrupt your sleep and make you anxious around people. Unbelievable. Get off the coffee and cokes! Try drinking warm milk or almond milk in the morning to wake you up.

By anon204927 — On Aug 10, 2011

This article give me more information about symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.

By anon197658 — On Jul 17, 2011

Drinking a little bit of something with significant caffeine right before the withdrawal symptoms begin (or after if they have begun) will usually eliminate the withdrawal symptom problem.

If one is accustomed to very high caffeine dosages, then it might be useful to engage a steady reduction in caffeine consumption to avert the withdrawal symptoms. Total quitting or a drop from very high caffeine levels (probably from coffee which I never drink) usually results in the headache and other symptoms.

After looking at some of the posts here, I would highly recommend a draw down approach if one has been drinking several cups of coffee per day.

Don't quit instantly in a moment. Cut the amount of coffee cups by maybe like 40 percent to half on the first day of the reduction and then keep reducing it by a significant amount each day until one is largely safe from the caffeine dependency. I have sometimes had some symptoms of the withdrawal as a result of not drinking tea after regularly consuming it each day. I imagine that coffee would result in worse symptoms.

By marky1228 — On Jul 13, 2011

Is it normal to have extreme nervousness after I quit drinking lots of iced tea? because I stopped drinking it on week ago and I've been having extreme nervousness until now. Help me know if this is normal? thanks.

By anon190404 — On Jun 26, 2011

Been kicking the caffeine habit but still crave a diet drink. I found that Diet Rite pure zero has no caffeine and no aspartame. It has Splenda.

By Ergolad — On Jun 16, 2011

Stay strong all you folks working on getting off the bean, or just caffeine altogether. You didn't develop your dependency overnight, and though you may work through the chemical withdrawal symptoms, psychologically it may take a bit longer. In any kind of addiction recovery, and that's what this is, you need to find new, healthy coping mechanisms to replace what wasn't working and have a strong support network. Go back and read the previous posts. You are not alone in your experience.

By anon186583 — On Jun 15, 2011

I've been off coffee three weeks after regular coffee for decades since college, and I'm still sleepy and depressed. Mentally, I just don't want to do anything. I no longer need it in the a.m., but my mental state just sucks. I keep trying and failing to rev my thoughts up to compensate. I workout regularly and feel good for about an hour or two after that and that's it.

During my period, I had a motrin with caffeine and I perked *right up*. The happiest I've been in weeks. I got so much done.

This sucks. I hope it changes soon. Honestly though, this is why I started coffee in the first place in back when. I had been so excited about going to college, but the reality of UCB just bored the hell out of me. Big disappointment. So does modern life generally without coffee.

By thisiscrazy — On May 19, 2011

This is so crazy! I am 26 and have four beautiful children. My husband and I run a construction company and I have never had withdrawals from anything before in my life!

I get really bad migraines, most likely from being over tired so i take excedrin once a day (for migraines)along with a red bull to make it through my day. I got really sick with a sinus infection about four days ago so i was down and out, meaning no Excedrin or Red Bulls.

I can't believe how crazy my body feels. I am so sick. i feel like I'm catching a flu. My stomach's in knots, my neck and shoulders feel stiff and my body aches.

I swear i went from 134 pounds to 129 pounds in four days. I'm not hungry, I'm tired all day but can't sleep and worst of all I'm depressed. i have never felt like this before. i have been married for eight years but my husband and I have been together for over 14 years and the past few day i have cried about anything and everything this poor man does. I am so disappointed in myself for letting this happen.

My husband would always tell me how bad all this caffeine was for me but I justified it with my to-do list. This is absolutely the worst feeling I've ever had, i hope this all this goes any soon. I can't take much more of this. But i refuse to go back to drinking caffeine!

By anon174525 — On May 10, 2011

I recently witnessed my uncle (who was 49) have a stroke and pass away, he was a healthy person but all I ever seen him drink were sodas day in an out which I decided (I'm 23, by the way) to drop sodas, coffee, and sweet tea all together. I knew nothing of "caffeine withdrawal" so I didn't think quitting cold turkey would be a problem. Wrong.

It started with just a bad sinus headache, then moved to hot and cold flashes and my face would get flushed, and finally the stomach pains! I couldn't eat, sleep, move at sometimes... Along with stress of losing a loved one and dealing with this, has made my time close to a living hell.

By anon171994 — On May 02, 2011

I started heavy coffee drinking in college, and for the last decade I have had a steady habit of at least one or two cups per day. For the last few years I have had increasing personal and relationship problems and I started drinking more and more caffeine as a way of coping. I'd have four or five cups of strong black coffee every morning and then switch to black tea and soda in the afternoon.

Eight days ago I had a wake-up call that I was using caffeine as a drug, and was using it to manipulate my emotional state. I stopped cold turkey.

I expected the headaches, fatigue, and irritability, but what I didn't expect were the hot and cold spells, the nausea, night sweats, and nasal symptoms, and I didn't think it would take more than a week to go away. The sweating and hot/cold flashes seem to be going away, and I feel less aches and pains, but the headache and nausea are still strong. I hope it fades soon.

I'm drinking decaf tea as a substitute, trying to stay hydrated, and keeping exercise and healthy food in my routine. This experience has shown me how true it is that caffeine really is a drug, and it's given me some sympathy for people who are trying to get off of 'harder' drugs.

By anon171737 — On May 01, 2011

I think I came down with some kind of bug before I stopped drinking caffeine (because not feeling well was the very reason I didn't feel like drinking coffee the past three days), so it's hard to sort out what of my symptoms are due to caffeine withdrawal and to the possible independent illness. Anyway, severe throbbing headaches, nausea leading to outright vomiting, feeling hot/cold, inability to read/watch tv/do puzzles/anything I normally do to keep myself distracted.

Thanks to this site and others like it, though, I know better than to take up caffeine again like I did before! (two or three cups of coffee every morning, sometimes espresso, chocolate and a soda many afternoons -- not good!)

By anon169250 — On Apr 20, 2011

I've been off caffeine for 40 days now. Not a single drop. no caffeine, no tea, no chocolate, etc. I'm still feeling withdrawal symptoms, but always looking forward going to bed and dreaming vivid dreams.

By anon168926 — On Apr 19, 2011

Today is day 36 of no tea, coffee, chocolate, totally caffeine free. I'm starting to sleep better now. I know i have a long way to go, but I am enjoying the process (I know I'm weird).

By anon167484 — On Apr 12, 2011

I've recently been looking at all the ill-effects of caffeine consumption and realized that it has been causing the muscle twitching, blushing, and anxiety I've been experiencing lately.

I was having a few rockstars a day but couldn't afford that (poor college student) and now have been taking pills as they are more affordable. I have been trying to cut down but it is hard since I keep needing to stay up for homework but get up early for class.

I started counting it up and realize I've been consuming 500-700mg a day. Well here is to quitting cold turkey, wish me luck!

By anon165064 — On Apr 03, 2011

Well, I think I'm closing in on two weeks now, maybe a little less (I posted #172). I deliver newspapers for a living, nearly six hours every morning. And I have to tell you, having to fight through the tiredness and fatigue has been brutal. I've been tempted to give in several times, since driving at night while very sleepy is dangerous. I've had to stop nearly every morning since the time I quit to try and get a little sleep in the car just to finish each morning. I've also been battling what feels much like a sinus infection the entire time, which I'm assuming is directly related to the caffeine withdrawals since it started very shortly after I quit.

On the bright side, my severe muscle aches and pains have eased considerably, and my bout with burning skin passed after just a day or two.

I'm looking forward to when I can report that I've finally recovered from all this terrible fatigue and sleepiness as well.

Thanks again for this helpful site. I have little patience for sites that flippantly minimize the ill-effects and even serious dangers associated with caffeine consumption.

By Ergolad — On Mar 30, 2011

Post #173: I'm glad that you find that caffeine helps you with your depression. However your statements about people reacting to coffee and not the caffeine is uninformed. Everyone's personal biochemistry is somewhat different and thus reactions to caffeine vary. But caffeine dependency and withdrawal is very real. I want to make this clear so that anyone reading this forum, which is an excellent resource for people looking to find real people sharing their struggles with caffeine, doesn't get lulled into a false sense of security.

You cite 200mg of caffeine. That is just a bit more than one 8oz cup of Starbucks drip coffee (180mg), much less than most people are consuming here. A venti (20-24oz) coffee at SB can have up to 415mg of caffeine. I personally consumed upwards of 32-40oz of coffee a day. With caffeine content that high, coffee consumption can be a slippery slope.

Point being, start taking four or five of those caffeine pills a day and you might sing a different tune.

In addition to the article at the top of this page, the basis for this forum, there is excellent information on the web if you do a quick search. In particular, there is some research posted by the John Hopkins Bayview Medical Center regarding caffeine dependence that is worth reading. The caffeine content for Starbucks drinks is posted on the SB website, though one has to dig a bit into each drink's specific content profile, not the general menu table. There are also some other caffeine databases out there if you're curious about what kind of wallop your favorite drink is packing.

As for updating my longstanding posts to this forum, I am still caffeinated coffee free. I think it must be a little over two years now.

I drink the occasional decaf every now and then, having found a few that I like. Otherwise, I am drinking green tea, so I am not completely caffeine free, but I feel good about it. I don't really do sodas.

Back around X-mas I had some regular coffee that I brewed for friends that were over for dinner. Amazing how quickly the symptoms returned. it didn't last as long, but I did have a mild day of aching muscles, low energy and general moodiness. I don't get that with green tea. Reading some interesting things about theanine counteracting the caffeine in good quality green tea. Who knows? Find your balance. To good health!

By anon163715 — On Mar 28, 2011

I'm on Day five coming off a years-long Diet Coke habit. I have quit before only to slip and end up just as hooked as ever. I want to make this the last time. I've experienced run-down, achy symptoms, mental fogginess the first couple days, and headaches that have gotten milder but still persist. On the plus side, I already feel much calmer and more relaxed.

I feel like I am getting to sleep and waking from sleep much more naturally. I've also found that eliminating caffeine helps me make more nutritious diet choices, since my body isn't chasing after stimulation.

By anon163218 — On Mar 26, 2011

This is day six for me after 34 years of drinking coffee. I pray every day to help me get through this. I have all the usual symptoms and most of them I can cope with but the irritability I feel is difficult to manage.

I have tried to quit twice before and both times I gave in just to feel better emotionally. I'm grateful I was directed to this sight as it lets me feel better knowing that there are others who understand what I'm going through. Can you imagine all of us in one room!

By anon163023 — On Mar 25, 2011

I quit both caffeine and nicotine cold turkey. 45 days of hell until today, but i don't care anymore. Panic attacks and rapid heart rate are the worst, but they started to lose intensity. Good things? Yes. I got my sleep back, and no more nightmares or crazy dreams, no more need for 12 hours of sleep in order to feel rested. Perception of time has changed, no more compressed time feeling, no more feeling that time passes too fast. Nothing lasts forever, even the panic attacks.

By anon160716 — On Mar 16, 2011

It's weird how everyone is different. I've never responded to caffeine until I tried 200mg. It's like I had a high tolerance for it without ever having it before. Coffee though, does give me a headache and makes me feel sick and thirsty.

The problem people might be having is a reaction to the coffee itself and not the caffeine. A 200mg pill of caffeine is one of the few things in life that has helped with my depression. 've never gotten a headache, withdrawal or any other withdrawal from not having it. I just turn back into my zombie tired self without it.

By anon160407 — On Mar 15, 2011

I've been tapering off caffeine lately, and thank God I just found out what's causing me all this pain. I didn't suspect caffeine was the problem, since I also react to MSG consumption, and I was assuming that all my muscle pain was being caused by that. But I had all but eliminated MSG from my diet, so I was confused.

But in the last few days, my body has been overheating so badly that my wife couldn't sleep next to me because my skin (from head to toe) was so hot it felt like I was on fire, and she felt like she was being burned whenever her skin came into contact with mine. I also have a touch of strep throat, as if I were coming down with fever.

Thanks to everyone who posted about having similar symptoms. I know it is caffeine that's causing the trouble, because the only time I've felt decent and relatively free of pain lately was when I allowed myself a bit of coffee again. Hope this helps someone.

By anon158827 — On Mar 08, 2011

Last summer tried to get off caffeine, and found that I just couldn't. Cut to one or so a day. Felt calmer. But it gradually crept up. Noticed it was triggering sugar binges.

About five days ago, I became violently ill, with I think, food poisoning. Severe vomiting, entire body ached, couldn't even keep down water. Eventually I was able to drink water, so I could skip the trip to emergency room. I just drank water, a little mint tea and some fruit/veggies. I slept and watched movies on the computer. It later dawned on me that I had detoxed on coffee as I have not had any for five days now. Still have these flu like symptoms but probably have food poisoning which can last up to four to seven days. I understand that some of this can be also caused by caffeine withdrawal.

So glad I found this site, and am really helped in knowing I am not alone on this journey. My cholesterol/triglycerides are high, despite eating a plant based diet, and exercising and losing weight. Caffeine can also trigger binge eating and do bad things to one's sleep.

I might try some acupuncture as it is documented that this helps addictions. Perhaps will just make me feel better.

What a great journey to be on. I thought I had to go to a water fasting spa to get off the caffeine. Am also losing that last five pounds of weight. Glory be!

By anon156398 — On Feb 27, 2011

I left comment 64 over one year ago.

I've now been headache free for about two weeks. I just kept getting headaches nearly every time I had a drink of water, and I had no idea what was causing it. The only way to get rid of them was to exercise.

I can say though, that after being off of caffeine for this long, my mental focus has increased. I used to feel like a zombie in the evenings after drinking caffeine all day.

I also discovered that I was allergic to my mercury fillings, which is probably one of the reasons why I became addicted to caffeine in the first place. They can really give you a foggy brain and sap your energy.

By anon156234 — On Feb 26, 2011

I am on the morning of my second day of no caffeine (well, yesterday I had 40mg in the form of soda, but that is nothing compared to my usual 500mg daily average coffee/soda doses) and late last night, I developed flu/cold like symptoms, and my head hurts (like when I have a flu/cold).

Now, I think, because it's not flu/cold season here, that this is caffeine withdrawal, but I have no cravings to drink coffee or soda. In fact, drinking coffee sounds unappealing to me right now, and soda only sounds appealing as a possible source of hydration that has flavor, so, what are the odds I am having caffeine withdrawal, and what are the odds I have the flu or a cold?

By anon154102 — On Feb 19, 2011

I have been taking 3 200mg caffeine pills a day for almost three years. I took an extra 1/2 a pill on night and started to have anxiety attack. I decided to lower my dosage, then next day I only took one dose 1/2 a pill 100mg. It only made me feel more anxious so I decided to stop all caffeine.

I am on day three and I have had chest pressure and rapid heart rate. I did go to the ER where they did blood work and EKG to try and find a reason for my raised heart rate.I did not tell them of my caffeine pill habit. I know I should have now. I go to the doctor in two days and I will come clean and hope for the best! I am having major anxiety and depression. Also my heart rate is all over the place. This has got to get better, right?

By anon152583 — On Feb 14, 2011

Wow, reading these posts has been a real comfort. I have been drinking large quantities of coffee for over ten years (even a guy working at a coffee place joked that I had a problem).

Then one day I totally overdosed on caffeine. It was like the worst panic attack--I've never felt that "crazy" or close to losing it, almost like I needed to go to the hospital for help. I prayed and realized that I had drank even more than my usual dose of caffeine. I looked up the symptoms of caffeine overdose and they are described as ranging from severe anxiety to psychotic symptoms. Who knew coffee could do that kind of damage?

Anyway, immediately lowered my intake and took some aspirin for the headache. Now drinking two cups of decaf in the morning and decaf/green tea in the afternoon. I feel calm, less irritable in general, better able to cope with stress--it is amazing! "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7

By anon152307 — On Feb 13, 2011

My goodness! I cut coffee cold turkey. I had been to the doctor and he warned me my cholesterol numbers were creeping up and how I needed to lose weight.

Immediately, I cut out coffee, sugar, red meat, cheese and milk products. It's more of a healthier lifestyle versus vanity issue. I have been of coffee which I had three to four very strong espresso like cups of daily.

I didn't feel the symptoms of withdrawal I usually had like when I raced out the door and hadn't had my java. So, it's been 35 days off the stuff. Yet now that I read these posts, it could explain why I have been to the ER for chest pains which after the EKG pointed to anxiety. I have had panic-anxiety attacks days in a row. Perhaps this could be why. Glad I read this. As much as I love the tincture, I'm staying off it. Thanks everyone for their posts.

By anon152169 — On Feb 13, 2011

I just had this. I was unsure what it was, but while I was in bed I was thinking through and realized I had no caffeine for several days and now I am better and have looked it up this matches my symptoms.

I got over it by drinking a liter of water every time I awoke. I stayed in my room for two days with the lights off and the curtains drawn I simply drank and slept for two days leaving my room only to make plain noodles for food. I did not feel like it but knew I needed some food. This is day three and I feel fine.

By anon151860 — On Feb 11, 2011

I have been addicted to Pepsi my whole life. My mom drank it while pregnant with me, and put it into my baby bottles! It was in the house and I drank it my whole life, and on average 144 ounces a day for at least 20 years, being 42 this has been a long addiction.I love the taste, the burn, and crave it 24/7. I have gone off it several times, even for months at a time, and I crave it all day. I see a gas station and want fountain pepsi. I see any pop and want it. I want it at the movies, at every meal. I could go on but will spare you. I told my doctor this and she said that it affects the same part of your brain that heroin does. I was flabbergasted! I stayed off it for 10 months that time. But that bronchodilator is great for the asthma and I fall off the wagon after only one drink of it. Seriously.

I have done research on it, and have learned that the symptoms like kidney pain, upset stomach and many many others are caused by the body that no longer is busy trying to deal with what we consume is now trying to clean it out of your organs/cells etc and is dumping it into the system to dispose of it in large amounts. This is detox.I used to think of detox as shakes, hallucinations etc. Now I know it is your body trying to clean up the mess and sweep it out of the body – and that can make you sick.

So I came up with a formula for easier detox and have used it several times now, including recently as I am "going off it again". First of all, I reduce it down over a couple weeks to much less, and feel fewer symptoms this way. I go off the caffeine and not the sugar at first, but allowing myself to have some caffeine free pop through the day mixed in with V8 and fruit juices and water.

Then the "funk" kicks in. You know what I mean: nothing seems fun, tastes good, is interesting, etc. This is where I start my detox program to speed it up. I help my body to sweep it out faster by drinking tons of water. It also dehydrates me as caffeine causes chronic dehydration and so does detox. I also do a detox bath. I squeeze 2-3 lemons, and drink a third of it, then dump rest of it and the peels into a hot bath and sit in it as long as I can. Keep heating the water up. Lemon will force you to sweat, releasing some of the toxins making you sick. I have used this to detox the flu shot out of my daughter when she had an allergic reaction to it and it worked! I take vitamin C and garlic which naturally detox you. I take aloe to stop constipation as that slows the detox process too, (can't get rid of toxins.) Aloe doesn't make your bowels addicted to it, and doesn't have a stimulant that causes pain.

Then I go off the sugar next, following same kind of steps. Reduce, detox, etc. It's the easiest way off for me. What I can't stop is the cravings every day for months that follows being off it.

I am not a doctor, and not giving advice. But I have learned a lot over the years of this addiction, and I cannot tell you how good I feel off of it. I have more energy off the caffeine than on. Good luck to all of you, and lets home this is our final time getting off the stuff. My best advice, don't have even one drink of it after. Let's get healthy, and stay there. Let's not be drugged and under the control of any other person or chemical. Freedom!

By anon150671 — On Feb 08, 2011

I haven't heard anyone say Aleve! Aleve is your best friend. Take one before your headache starts. Anyone notice how you don't wake up with a headache, but it starts after you've been up for a minute and get moving around? As soon as you get up, make a bowl of cereal or some toast and take an aleve. Be sure to drink plenty of water.

Look at the back of your hand. Press on a fleshy part. Did it leave an indent, or did it look normal when you removed your finger? If it took a sec to pop back out, you're dehydrated. Drink some water!

I'm on day five. Sometimes it feels like there's a 747 parked on my head with engines roaring. Sneezing, coughing, restlessness, irritability, random pains, blurred vision. Honestly, am I coming off of heroin? I thought I just quit coffee! I'll never touch the crap again when this is over with!

By anon150474 — On Feb 08, 2011

Such bad symptoms, my mom thought i had meningitis.

By anon149867 — On Feb 05, 2011

I eliminated caffeine completely from my diet about six days ago, and it has been the most difficult six days of my life.

Flu-like symptoms, constipation, diarrhea and severe temple pain (especially to the touch). The worst of all my symptoms is the anxiety that I am experiencing that occurs almost every hour of all six days.

All this said, I was told by my doctor to go back to reduced amounts of caffeine in order to wean myself off the drug (big soda drinker); half a can of Diet Coke in the morning, half in the evening. Does anxiety "fit" as a symptom of caffeine withdrawal? I am also experiencing ear ringing, and I have no idea if this is a symptom as well - would appreciate hearing from anyone about this.

By anon146296 — On Jan 26, 2011

Very painful withdrawal for me as well. I quit by starting to cut my caffeinated coffee in half. Half decaf and half regular. then I cut in by more and soon was drinking all decaf...

I had immediately felt withdrawal having headaches, fogginess of the brain, and a very exhausted feeling. I am not sure many know, but your adrenal glands are more then likely exhausted.......... In fact, my doctor confirmed the stabbing pain in my back as my adrenal glands. I also had lower back pain, hip and leg pain. The pain in my joints were equally as horrific. It got worse before it got better. I suffered sleeplessness for 4 weeks as I cut down. .....After that, I finally was able to start to sleep again. I was more calm and I lost 5 lbs. To help with sleep you should take magnesium, potassium and calcium supplements. Your body has been robbed of these minerals. Especially the magnesium helps you to sleep.....

Drink plenty of water, herbal teas, and lemon added to the water. I found an herbal "coffee" at the health store and it taste like coffee but no caffeine. It helps to restore alkaline to our body.....Eat whole foods, protein, fresh vegetables and take a long walk daily.....Make sure you take a multivitamin tab and if you need a pain killer try plain aspirin. To ease off the caffeine, start to cut it down with decaf. Substitute a cup of green tea for one of the cups of coffee as it is really good for you but has less caffeine..... Taper off sensibly and you will not have as severe withdrawal. The headaches will not be as bad.

You can and will do this. I did and I drank 4 - 6 cups a day plus cokes for 30 years....I am feeling great and each day is a really brand new day. Caffeine effects your brain, your nerves, your vascular system, your adrenals and more. Your liver goes crazy trying to get rid of it.....I am feeling like a younger woman lately and wish I had done this years ago.....Don't think you can escape any effects drinking coffee can have upon your body as some might think. If you are young, please be ahead of others and quit. If older, quit and feel young and look it too!!

By anon145823 — On Jan 24, 2011

My ten year old daughter is going through withdrawals. My husband swears she is beyond sick and not from withdrawals, but after reading comments and talking with her dr. I know that's what it is.

I took her to the doctor and he prescribed her some St Johns Wort. I did not expect weaning her off sodas to be this extreme. Since that night she has had migraines sitting on the toilet. She has been crying, and has run fever a few times. Her diet and lifestyle were on the line. Soda is all she ever wanted, and chips. The doctor told me exactly how bad this stuff is. I'm glad she is learning at a early age. Good luck to everybody.

By anon144558 — On Jan 20, 2011

One thing I have not seen mentioned is the root cause(s) that some people could have that make them tired. Sleep apnea can make you so tired during the day that caffeine is one of the only things keeping you awake. If you are still tired to the point of needing to sleep during the day, see a sleep Dr. asap. Look up Apgar test. GLTA!

By anon140636 — On Jan 08, 2011

So glad to read the comments. Have been drinking black tea since I was around a year old - now 30. Was having 5-10 cups a day. Decided to give it up and can't believe the intensity of symptoms. I have had the craziest headache. Also restless legs. I can't sleep because of lower back, hip, leg and joint pain. Anyone else have loads of dreams?

Hope giving up is worth it. What does this say about caffeine addiction? What's it been doing all these years? I wonder if it's connected to my depression?

Good to hear from you all. Best wishes --English Woman Without her Tea

By Ergolad — On Jan 07, 2011

Keep on keepin' on folks.

By anon140304 — On Jan 07, 2011

Day one for me. I love coffee but lately the side effects have been noticed and I need to stop drinking it. I can drink it all day.

Anyway, today has been so hard. I'm really sleepy and all I think about is coffee. That alone makes me know that I'm doing the right thing. To be addicted to a drink, to let it have that much control over my day to day functioning is silly.

I shall do it! But really, I feel awful today.

By anon139749 — On Jan 05, 2011

Wow I am so glad I found this site. I started detoxing three days ago (is it only that long?) and have been convinced that I had malaria (which is quite impressive not having left the UK in the last two years). I couldn't explain why I have been feeling like all of you have, but I feel so much better knowing that there is an end in sight!

When I stopped drinking coffee last time I had a bit of a headache the following morning - so this time round I thought I'd escaped it completely, then the following morning was a killer.

Suffice it to say, the healthy eating has gone out the window but I am never going to drink coffee like I did before again.

Good luck to everyone else, stick with it. Pxx

By anon139237 — On Jan 04, 2011

On day three of trying to get off Sprite. Starting to have headaches, sleepiness, hot flashes, and just overall feeling bad. The interesting thing is i have only been drinking "Sprite" which is caffeine free. I had stopped all caffeine drinks (tea, coffee, soda pop), about two years ago. It makes me wonder what they put in "Sprite" to make it addictive.

By anon139236 — On Jan 04, 2011

I was a soda addict. I've been drinking soda since I was ten and recently have began to drink more and more as it helped with my stress and was comforting. I'm on day three of quitting cold turkey and the side effects are incredible.

While the headaches aren't as bad as some, I am experiencing terrible flu like symptoms. I have fevers, horrible cold shakes followed my being extremely hot and sweating, muscle pain, skin breakouts, swollen tonsils along with a sore throat, and I can't sleep. Anyone else feel these symptoms?

By anon135879 — On Dec 20, 2010

I'm not sure really if its caffeine withdrawal, but for a couple of years i was using pre-workout supplements that contained a couple hundred mg's each, plus coffee in the a.m.

Lately i was waking up tired, sluggish all day, back ache, head ache and upset stomach. Its been seven days since i really cracked down on the caffeine, and I'm still feeling these symptoms, mostly fatigue. Hope it goes away soon. I hate feeling like this.

By anon134390 — On Dec 14, 2010

If I knew the reaction for coming off caffeine would be so severe, I would have weaned myself off a little more slowly!

I started with quitting coffee, which brought on about three days of headache, then I quit the black tea, which saw another four or so days of head ache. The other symptoms were dry mouth, lethargy and a grumpy disposition.

Now that that's all over, I have discovered that my general disposition is calm, relaxed and a lot less stressed and hyper.

With such a severe reaction, I don't think I will allow myself to get back onto it; the experience was a real eye opener. Caffeine is not a harmless drug. i do believe it's an effective poison which takes a lot from your body and well being. I will encourage others to quit too. Peace.

By anon132933 — On Dec 08, 2010

I quit coffee cold turkey two weeks ago. Though I only consumed 14oz every morning,I was addicted. Decided to quit because coffee is a toxin and I am a very organic, natural person.

Days 2-3 I had the worst migraine. I also experienced nausea, extreme fatigue (still have it), constipation, weight gain, joint pain, achiness, bloated feeling. As soon as the fatigue goes away I'll be golden and I pray I don't get heavy because I have never had a weight problem in my life! Overall I feel excellent and have no regrets. Thankful that I found this site! Just do it!

By anon132761 — On Dec 08, 2010

I had been taking caffeine for about seven years now, basically without any interruption, at an average of probably 400mg (four good cups of coffee) worth of caffeine every day. I am deciding now to quit for a variety of reasons, most having to do with worries about the way I respond to stress and also just to see what life is like again without the drug.

Anyway, it's been about 36 hours since my last caffeine. The results were worse than I anticipated. I had a headache that was bearable for about 10 hours, and then started getting depressed and a strange feeling kind of like sickness. Then the nausea came on and I vomited.

For some reason, probably because depression (which I do not usually get) was incorporated into all of this, the feeling seemed even worse than the flu. It was a real crisis. About an hour ago, I caved and took around 50-60 mg of caffeine to end these symptoms and I'm feeling mostly cured now.

This experience really makes me want to quit caffeine, simply because I did not realize how dependent I was.

The moral of this story: do not quit cold turkey, especially if you have been a chronic user for years. It is not worth it- wean yourself off slowly.

By anon132252 — On Dec 06, 2010

Wow, everyone's post reads like people are coming off heroin or cocaine. I've read the whole page and I feel a lot better knowing that there are other people suffering like myself - misery loves company as they say.

I quit caffeine exactly one week ago. The first couple of days I didn't feel any effects at all except that I was a bit tired and felt calmer. On day three, I began to feel these side effects exponentially build:

Negative: Extreme fatigue, occasional blurred vision, hot flushes, join pain, lower back pain (possible kidney pain), hip pain, leg pain, yawning, irregular bowl movements, headaches, and sore watery eyes.

Positives: Calm, relaxed, deeper sleeps, easygoing, euphoric feeling of well being, relieved to be free of caffeine. It's like I've come out of a drug induced high speed dream and entered reality.

Having said that, like all of you, I've been horrified by the negative side effects of withdrawing from caffeine but pleasantly surprised by the positive side effects. I just can't wait till the negative side effects are over because I'm physically ill and, excuse the pun, sick and tired of it.

As many people have posted, if these are the side effects, what is this: legal, readily available, and socially acceptable, drug doing - or have done - to our bodies? Is caffeine abuse reversible?

I'll try and post when I'm feeling better to encourage others to stick with the physical, seemingly unrelenting pounding physical trauma of withdrawal. From what I gather from this site, after suffering for a week or two you just wake up and feel great.

A word of encouragement: after experiencing life without caffeine, I could never go back to it because I wouldn't want to lose this feeling of normalcy - even with all the negative side effects. -- caffeine free

By anon129226 — On Nov 22, 2010

I had a bit of a health scare last week, and decided to quit caffeine, booze, processed sugar and fat all at the same time. It's been three days now, and i have an on/off splitting headache and also stomach cramps. I also have experienced mild depression, lethargy and unusual bowel movements.

This is only a temporary thing. I'll take them all back up eventually, but in moderation this time.

But i think in the past when I stopped drinking caffeine, i replaced it with booze (and vice-versa). I think this has what has been the hardest thing. i keep thinking, gee, I'd like a coffee, or a scotch, or maybe scotch in coffee. Mmm. So instead, i have a glass of grapefruit juice and have a shower. haha.

By anon128651 — On Nov 20, 2010

Yes! Withdrawal symptoms go away. For some, in a few weeks, for others a bit longer. It is so worth it.

By anon128389 — On Nov 19, 2010

I have seen how much everyone has suffered but have not seen where anyone has said if all the symptoms eventually went away.

By anon127100 — On Nov 15, 2010

These remarks are full of scary withdrawal experiences. While true, I want everyone to know, this is worth it. It has been about six weeks for me. I have suffered back pain and sciatica for the past twenty years or so, making it difficult to sit or lie down as I would get shooting pain down my left leg. This pain is now gone -- just gone like magic. This alone will keep me from caffeine the rest of my life.

I also feel much calmer all the time. Stick with it. It is so worth it.

By anon126729 — On Nov 13, 2010

its been 26 hours since my last cup of half caf coffee. I drink 12 cups a day. I have a blinding headache, so bad my teeth hurt and have been vomiting. I have cold sweats and can't turn any lights on. How much longer will this last? I have two kids to take care of. I know I'll be better in the long run, but for now it is crazy hard. Quitting smoking was easier for me.

By theallourdes — On Nov 12, 2010

Please advise me. I have been going through some pretty rough times lately. Coffee, and now tea have become enemies. I can't even have the smallest amount of caffeine, and I get too high. I have quit regular coffee about three months, and with about a dozen times of trying it out, but with crappy results.

I am now drinking decaf, and have had back problems from hell. Costochondritis is what they diagnose me with. Yuck!

I feel so bad, but better than in the beginning. It does seem to be getting better, but is an ugly road to recovery? I just wish I hadn't ever picked such a tough drug if I can call it that?

I start my water intake diet soon; probably this weekend. It's all a frame of mind kind of thing now! Thanks.

By anon126331 — On Nov 12, 2010

I quit coffee a month ago, and i cheated. First off, you could say i cut back. From non stop coffee drinking while I was on third shift for nine months, reduced to about a pot and a half of coffee on second shift or more.

When i was placed on shift 1 for 12 hours per day, three or four days per week, i dropped to about a pot or so per day. this was about a month ago.

How did i cheat? I took vicodin for the headaches, and "acquired" 5mg adderall for three days to give me energy. I used to take 15 mg of vicodin per day due to my leg injuries of the past. My withdrawals seemed to be in the back of my mind. Day four, I just took vicodin. yes, "don't judge me". it worked for me as the last time i quit without anything, I was really foggy headed and had to leave work.

The results about one month later: I'm still tired in the morning, just started being able to sleep well. and I take 5mg of vicodin in the morning and that is it. Sometimes i drink decaf but i find that has a different effect on me too, but at times, wakes me up psychologically.

I may check back in 90 days and tell people how I am, but as I stated. I take a handful of vitamins a day and 5mg of vicodin. considering I broke both legs, and almost lost my right foot, I do not believe that is bad at all. Took me nine months in a wheel chair before i walked again. --base675

By anon126324 — On Nov 12, 2010

What gets me is that I have had some pretty severe symptoms (day-long headache, body aches, nausea), all from drinking just one cup of coffee a day for the last couple of years.

I've been using tea to wean myself off as it only has about 1/3rd of the caffeine content of coffee, otherwise I don't know that I'd be able to function.

On the plus side, I've had some of the best nights' sleep that I can remember now that I'm completely off of caffeine. I must be one of the really caffeine sensitive people for a cup of coffee in the morning to affect my sleep at night.

By anon126287 — On Nov 12, 2010

I am dying here. I drink about four cups of coffee a day and stopped for two days because I have the flu. So, I wanted to make sure I was well hydrated and didn't drink coffee for two days.

I have the headache from you know where and my neck is super stiff. Only super hot baths or ice packs slightly relieve the pain. I looked up the symptoms and ran across this page. I have tried to stop drinking caffeine before but I always fall off the wagon.

If this is what my body is going through without it, what the heck is it doing to my body on a daily basis? Geez. --Angelbaby

By anon124957 — On Nov 08, 2010

I wouldn't recommend anyone quit caffeine cold turkey! It's much better to cut back gradually over a period of weeks. I have just quit a 15-cup-a-day coffee habit after deciding to give up dairy (I can't drink coffee straight) and have had vomiting and a blinding headache for two days now.

I have had to switch to drinking weak tea out of desperation because, frankly, it's just too much on the body to go from a ton of caffeine to nothing. I would advise everyone to cut back gradually, otherwise, be very prepared to suffer!

By candykane01 — On Oct 28, 2010

I drink a lot of pop -- About a two liter every day. I switched to pop without caffeine. I got headaches and nausea. Then the headaches went away and I got dizziness with nausea. All that lasted about 10 days. Then that quit and now I’m on my 4th or 5th day of getting hardly any sleep. It’s awful. I’ve never had problems sleeping before. So it’s very hard for me.

By anon121699 — On Oct 25, 2010

Thank all of you very much for your posts. It's comforting to know that all the withdrawal symptoms I'm having are somewhat normal. After abusing my body with alcohol and caffeine for 30 years, I'm in week two of quitting coffee. I quit alcohol 15 years ago.

But I'm having severe withdrawal symptoms from caffeine. Nausea, anxiety and extreme fatigue are the three that have totally immobilized me. I know this might take a while after all the years of abuse to my adrenal glands. Also, the anxiety has brought on shortness of breath problems.

I went to a cardiologist and had an ekg, treadmill etc. Everything checks out great. He says it's all anxiety related. Very scary and not fun. All this from coffee. Good luck to everyone here on their journey and god bless. --Randall

By anon120128 — On Oct 20, 2010

I can quit coffee anytime I want easily. Just look at the hundreds of times in my 40 years of drinking it that I 'quit' it for good. No, seriously, the point for me is staying off or learning how to deal with it. My body knows how to get me to stop. I listen, but then go back. I've heard that caffeine is a natural insecticide that attacks the central nervous system of insects. That's why it bugs us.

By anon119292 — On Oct 17, 2010

I'm struggling. I was drinking four cups of coffee each morning, decided to give it up seven days ago. I am so depressed I can barely function.

I have been having one cup of green tea, so I don't know why I'm hit so hard. I can't do my workouts at the gym (I go daily) and I'm tired all day long. I'm having terrible hip and low back pain as well. I thought I might be injured until I read others here have experienced the same.

I'm not sure what to do. I can't go on like I am now. I quit coffee for three months a few years ago. I really wanted to be free of it, but I'm not sure this ever gets better.

By anon118949 — On Oct 16, 2010

I'm all too familiar with the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal, including the vomiting. When I tell people that caffeine withdrawal for me includes the bad headache and leads up to vomiting, they find the vomiting hard to believe. Now I can recommend they look up caffeine withdrawal symptoms and read for themselves.

By anon114255 — On Sep 27, 2010

It has been six days since my last caffeine intake. I was heavily addicted to Mountain Dew and coffee. I quit cold turkey, mainly because I started a diet, while hitting an all time high weight. The withdrawals have been off and on every day. The cravings are gone, but the headaches are bad.

By anon111302 — On Sep 15, 2010

Day three of diet Pepsi withdrawal. I drank 2-3 42 oz fountain drinks a day. It was bad. Heart palpitations sent me to the ER on Monday night. The doctor said it was probably caffeine related so I quit cold turkey.

Overall, I'm doing very well. Only a slight headache yesterday. Super cranky and short tempered yesterday but much better today.

By anon109266 — On Sep 06, 2010

I am now on day four since quitting cold turkey.

Day one wasn't too bad. I would liken it to the calm before the storm.

Day two was when the massive headaches began, accompanied by overwhelming tiredness. I slept a lot during the day, only to continue sleeping even more at night.

Day three was when I started having flu like symptoms with severe aching in my legs and arms. The pain was incapacitating.

Day four seems the same as day three. I am aching all over.

By anon109054 — On Sep 05, 2010

i am not a coffee drinker. i have always tried to eat and drink only healthy things, so i drink weak green iced tea all day long, sometimes a gallon a day. then i heard that all teas contain natural fluoride.

so i gave it up, and started drinking iced herb tea, with the same five or six tea bags per gallon, made with distilled water, as i used with the iced green tea. but i began to have headaches, lower back pain and muscle cramps, along with some bladder pain, and a sick stomach.

i am a vegetarian, and eat very little dairy, so i usually feel really good. the only positive thing i can say is that the breast pain i was beginning to have from the caffeine has gone away. i am very tired. at any rate, drinking green tea is not a solution, as it also contains caffeine. 25 years ago, when i gave up coffee, i had withdrawal symptoms for over two months.

By anon108299 — On Sep 02, 2010

I have been taking two excedrin almost every morning for some 20 years. I have often tried to quit and am in one of those attempts right now.

My morning routine starts with excedrin at 5:00 am and by one or two in the afternoon am sleepy and fatigued. However, up to that time I feel grand, am very productive, and have succumbed to this long-term habit. As I age, I notice that trying to quit brings on anxiety. I know it is a terrible habit and lately my stomach has become irritated forcing me into this latest attempt at quitting.

Advice: Don't start! It is insidious and I am set on stopping altogether this time.

By anon104997 — On Aug 18, 2010

I've been a 3-4 cups a day beaner for the last 20+ years and yesterday I decided not to have any coffee because I slept in and the temperature was hitting in the mid-90's. I had a splitting migraine in the evening and couldn't sleep. I thought my head was going to explode.

On a whim I look up caffeine withdrawal symptoms and happened on this site. Thank you everyone for sharing your experiences.

I didn't realize how caffeine could have that kind of effect on the body. I am encouraged that people are overcoming this addiction and I am on a journey to quit the bean.

By anon102987 — On Aug 10, 2010

This has really helped me understand caffeine withdrawals. Went shopping and started to have pains in my hips and legs. My lower back is aching, headache all day two days ago. This is the fourth day without caffeine.

By anon101844 — On Aug 05, 2010

I stopped cold turkey from caffeine. I had a terrible headache and felt weak for about five days. I am never going to have caffeine ever again. I will drink only decaf tea and coffee.

My head was pounding and I was in bed for 10 hours the first day and I was tired for about four days after. DB

By anon99244 — On Jul 25, 2010

I've been working on understanding stress-response-anger management, that type of thing. As we have worked through the process, we began looking at parts of my intake - no breakfast, rarely eat lunch - but would crank down diet coke at the rate of five or six in an eight hour work day. Never really gave caffeine a second thought, really.

Never seemed to have those symptoms of a classic caffeine buzz.

Quit caffeine four days ago - just cold turkey - figured if I was going to do it - just do it. By mid-Thursday, I thought my head was going to blow off my shoulders and it felt like my neck was never going to turn again.

Today, my joints - especially my hips, knees, ankles feel like they are about to break. But, I do have to say, overall on the attitude side I can feel good things start to happen. It's been rough finding non-caffeine substitutes, but I am making it happen.

I appreciate the tip about caffeine in pain relievers - I wouldn't have thought of that either. Keep it up gang - and keep posting so I can learn more! Nice to know that I am not the only one doing this!

By anon98952 — On Jul 24, 2010

Great to read that I'm one of what appears to be many weaning themselves off that 'wonderful' brew of coffee. Ah yes, the aroma and ritual. Friends invariably say, let's meet for a coffee, the coffee society/lifestyle is exploding, certainly gaining a lot of momentum in Australia.

I'm on my sixth day of nil coffee intake after stopping cold turkey. I have stopped coffee consumption in the past but have invariably fallen off the wagon, much to my disappointment. This time my withdrawal symptoms are ten times worse than the last cessation of caffeine: blinding headache with fierce vomiting on the second day; muscle aches especially in the lower back. I took to my bed and told the kids to have weetabix for dinner!

My husband walked through the door from work to a house in chaos, a kitchen in distress, children out of control all because mum was incapacitated from withdrawing from her innocent daily cups of coffee. That scenario I will not allow to happen again. As someone earlier had written, you come to an age (50) when it is definitely time to quit such an insidious drug.

By anon98118 — On Jul 22, 2010

I've been addicted to Mountain Dew for almost 11 years. It causes several health conditions that I am no longer willing to deal with as I get older. I've given up Dew several times over the years but never for a long period of time, only to substitute it with another caffeine product. This time I gave them all up cold turkey five days ago, and this headache has me about to kill someone. lol.

I know that it's a process and the benefits that are on the other side of the headaches, but god when do they end? It's been five days already!

By anon97824 — On Jul 21, 2010

I have been drinking coffee for years, brewed strong and black! I was drinking upward of 10 cups a day. I decided to stop on Thursday of last week - it is now Wednesday and I still have a headache and still feel weak. Is this normal? -coffeeaddict-

By anon97147 — On Jul 18, 2010

Well it wouldn't let me register. Otherwise i go by freewriterguy. I kept getting massive headaches while I was on coffee after about 18 years of use. I had given it up for a couple days. I used to do this to give my body a break but after two days, i stopped at starbucks for a latte, and starting that night and for the next three days, I had a headache. I got headaches when I tried to quit before that lasting one to three days, but this is the first time I get headaches from drinking coffee. It's been a week now, and no headaches, just tired all the time.

I have to nap every two or three hours, kind of like when I had mononucleosis once, and that was the worst illness I ever had because it lasted for a couple of months.

By anon96897 — On Jul 17, 2010

I thought I was in the clear after the third day of no coffee. No more pounding headaches. And yet, I thought I was coming down with the flu. I can't believe it's actually a symptom of caffeine withdrawal.

My whole body aches and I'm exhausted. I've been sleeping nine to 11 hours a night. I feel depressed, too. I don't feel like doing anything or going anywhere or seeing anyone. I'm also trying to stop drinking alcohol too, since I'm planning to start trying to get pregnant in a couple of months. Maybe the depression is because I'm quitting too many lifestyles at once?

I hope the flu-like symptoms end soon. I can hardly get anything done.

By anon94534 — On Jul 09, 2010

I was 14 and now 15, I started drinking coffee at about 12 and a half, not a lot though. I started with mochas then bumped up to lattes then to cappuccinos then espressos and then all the way to double shot macchiatos in my starting days of 14.

I liked the taste and the whole culture of coffee. I mainly had them at cafes with my family and then I started making them myself at home with an espresso machine then when i got money I would by either a large latte or double macchiato before school. I made me more lively and sort of made me happier and more able to concentrate better in class and perform better in tests and believe me the results show.

Then when I had no money after about six months I, couldn't get a coffee. I started getting severe headaches and felt depressed and my mind was foggy. I had to go to sick bay because of it. Then when I had a coffee, after about 5-10 minutess my headache went away. So I realized I am addicted and then I stopped drinking coffee and after about one and a half weeks the headaches went away. I still, however, did not feel that great. I am no longer addicted to coffee but I have one or two every two or three days.

By Ergolad — On Jul 08, 2010

Any withdrawal symptoms should have abated by two weeks georg. I suggest consulting a physician if you have been feeling "light-headed and dizzy" for that long.

By anon93706 — On Jul 05, 2010

off for two weeks, feeling light-headed and dizzy. Is this common? Maybe blood pressure related? --georg

By anon93185 — On Jul 02, 2010

I cut down from about eight cups of tea a day (I don't drink coffee or fizzy drinks), alternating them with decaf and over a period of two weeks, weaned myself onto decaf.

During this period I had crippling headaches, irritability and was sleeping a lot.I also had a couple of days where I cried and was very very depressed and had flu like symptoms. Then I quit decaf and hit the stop button on caffeine altogether and phase two of symptoms were muscle cramps in my limbs, back pain, sluggish circulation at night, fatigue, terrible afternoon slumps and loss of appetite.

This tapered down to phase three which was joint pain, general listlessness and tiredness and some blurred vision. I'm now coming out of it and the symptoms have mostly gone but I feel a bit depressed.

I believe this low is simply the effect of coming off a pick me up that I've been having for 23 years. I've done this to support weak adrenal glands and although I will miss my tea (I'm English!) the long term benefits to those of us who are prone to stress and anxiety will be well worth it. Good luck to everyone who does this. The symptoms will abate eventually so don't be alarmed if you have strange symptoms. Everyone is different and some suffer worse, or differently than others.

By anon92800 — On Jun 30, 2010

Well it is a day later from my last post and I must say my symptoms have decreased like you wouldn't believe. From the immense pain I was in yesterday, I only have a remnant of it. Kind of feels like you know you have been in pain, but you are not any more (if that makes sense). I still need a cushion for the seat in the bathroom (sorry again), but apart from that everything is remarkably better.

The only thing I have done is to completely stop the energy drinks and drink lots of water. I mean a lot. I drunk 10 litres yesterday and I am on for the same amount today. Seems to be doing the trick. My head is a little wishy washy (technical term) from all the water I have been drinking, but apart from that I am on the mend.

Good luck to everybody struggling. It is bloody horrible.

By anon92598 — On Jun 29, 2010

Well it has been three days since my last intake of caffeine. I got carried away with those new funky trendy energy drinks (Relentless, Rockstar, etc). I got made redundant last July, but there was hassle at work for the previous two years.

I started to get these drinks to give me a pick me up, but ending up drinking about five of them per day - every day.

Anyway, recently I started to get pains in my chest and down my left arm and then proceeded the sh1t myself. don't want my kids growing up without a dad and all that.

I have stopped drinking them altogether instantly. My symptoms are: pounding headaches - feels like elephants are breakdancing on my head. Shivers. I am bloody freezing. I have never been so cold. My bones hurt.

My skin hurts. I want to go to sleep. I can't concentrate. I can't get off the toilet (sorry). Sounds seem to be three times as loud as usual.

My joints are killing me, especially my knuckles and knees.

I am at work and just want to go home and curl up in a little ball. Andy S (UK)

By kickthatbean — On Jun 23, 2010

I read that caffeine ages you. That is a reason to make me want to stop. I think I will perhaps cut down to one cup on the weekend. If you have a double shot mocha on Saturday you know you're going to crave one on Sunday. I guess moderation is the key not to fall off the wagon as I have on many occasions.

Even decaf ages you because it's a diuretic.

I highly recommend that you slowly reduce caffeine intake daily. If you normally had a venti double shot latte in morning, then try a single shot the next couple of days, then switch to green tea latte, and then hot chocolate without coffee which has caffeine, and then none.

Wish me luck. My first day with switching to a single shot coffee. I felt tired and did not want to get off the couch.

I plan on only having one cup per week as my goal. I do find coffee to keep my spirits up and gives me more energy but I plan on switching to juicing as I own a high quality juicer. I will make carrot, apple, celery, etc. I'll keep everyone posted on how I feel in about a week. Perhaps juicing will give me more energy. Good luck to everyone who is trying to get off the bean addiction or other caffeine products.

By the way, I want to be a more relaxed person, so perhaps getting off the bean will help with that. I'll keep you all posted to let you know. Good luck to you all. We can do it.

By anon91578 — On Jun 22, 2010

I am on day 10 of no caffeine. I have had three cups of coffee a day for the past 11 years. The headaches and muscle aches were awful, but what was even more bizarre were the breakouts! My face looked awful!

I called a dermatologist and she said when your body is detoxing it is very common for this to occur. Well day 10 and my skin now looks amazing. Seriously. Better than it ever has. I drink more water now, I sleep better, I'm not nearly as irritable as I used to be, and I'm much more focused. Stick with it; the results are so worth it. I'm never going back.

By anon89799 — On Jun 12, 2010

I'm 19 years old and my problem wasn't coffee, it was soda. I drank around three to four liters a day by myself. Actually, a couple of weeks ago, I drank four 12-packs of soda within a week. Now other than that, I'm pretty healthy. I run and I'm a intermediate boxer.

Many times I tried to stop drinking soda because I wanted to enhance my workouts and gain some muscle weight. I could not even go a day without soda and I would end up going back to the habit.

But recently for fear of diabetes which I hope I don't have, I have stopped and I'm on day three. The headaches left yesterday but I do have nausea and diarrhea. I'm also sleeping a lot which I think is because of my body trying to adjust to the loss of caffeine and I have lower back pain.

But yeah man, I feel you all and wish you guys the best.

By Rupesh Pawani — On Jun 11, 2010

Symptoms of caffeine withdrawal are tiredness and lack of alertness, depression and irritability. Some people will have problems concentrating, and some can actually develop flu-type symptoms that include nausea and muscle pains.

By anon89606 — On Jun 11, 2010

Well I am a big coffee drinker and always have been. I can remember having my first cup at the age of six, so yeah, not a good start.

Over the years I started to drink more and more coffee and coke. I cut out the coke and found my self drinking more coffee. On a normal day that's no-stress, I drink about eight cups of coffee. It doesn't sound like much true, but here is the thing: the cups hold 750 mls of coffee so that works out to six liters of coffee.

In the last day or two I've been cutting back be cause it's been making me sick. I've been having only one cup a day and boy, can I tell you I feel terrible. I am moody, depressed and just don't feel right at all.

since this is just my second day, I am going to see how I go, but I hope these terrible feelings, which I assume come from the severe caffeine cut back, ease off soon.

By anon89006 — On Jun 08, 2010

I was drinking between 10 and 15 mugs of coffee a day. Today is my second day caffeine free and the withdrawal has really started to kick in.

I have the mother of all headaches, my legs feel like I've been kicked by a horse and I feel so sick! I'm not sure if it part of the withdrawal but my head is all over the place, and I can't concentrate on anything! I even managed to leave my debit card at the supermarket tills!

It can only get better, right?

By anon88185 — On Jun 03, 2010

Great page! I just moved apartments and have not had my coffee maker for the last four days so I have not been having my two or three cups of coffee each day. I have had headaches, sleepiness and a complete inability to concentrate - I had no idea that it was actually caffeine withdrawal!

By anon87847 — On Jun 01, 2010

I think the problem is our society is too stressful. People don't know how to control it. People work long hours, have lots of kids to worry about, so much stress. And there's so much boredom. People who do the same job every single day. The same tasks day after day. They get a boost from coffee.

Studies have shown that coffee boosts performance when you're doing a task you would find boring without coffee. Basically, coffee is a drug, yeah, but it's a control mechanism. Life is not black and white. We use drugs to cope.

The military is the same way. For the life of our country the military has researched this topic to get the most out of its troops. Troops get tired, bored, inattentive, and so on. Drugs and training can counter our natural impulses. They give us a method to control our natural shortcomings. It's not pretty, but what other choice is there? Sometimes life doesn't give us a choice, and any kind of real change is not going to be easily won.

By anon87845 — On Jun 01, 2010

I was drinking too much and decided to quit. Not because of anything I read. It was mainly because of a drug class I took in college and because I thought I was drinking too much tea and coffee.

I never noticed any withdrawal symptoms and even a month after it was hard to tell the difference. I do feel proud that I am not drinking it, but it's kind of an empty victory.

Honestly, I almost wish I could drink it. Why? It was nice to have the boost when I'm doing something I'm already bored with. In my case, there are a lot of things I am bored with, but still need to do. Like work, schoolwork, projects, etc. In those cases, coffee really helped. Without it, it's a lot harder to get going.

By anon87018 — On May 27, 2010

This is the second time this happens to me. Five days ago I drank too much, and after that I worked out very hard, then I got very sick, dizzy, nausea, chills, etc. It was like a bad panic attack.

Since then, like seven days ago, I stopped drinking coffee altogether. Also because after that episode my heart became very agitated (palpitations) very scary, therefore I can't drink coffee. And I really don't want to drink any more.

This last seven days I've been very sick, with lower back pain, leg pain, palpitations, sweats, hip pain, extremely bad headaches, vomiting sensation, depression, lack of concentration, feel like napping around 1 p.m. So I after that, I just can't imagine what it does to my body.

I've been drinking chocolate milk and green tea to keep me awake, but today I almost fall sleep while driving, very scary. I had to come home to sleep for a while.

I even got tired in the middle of a test this week, lack of concentration and even forgot stuff that I knew very well. I even made few stupid mistakes, because I needed to finish soon, due to my headache.

I can't take this anymore, I miss my normal life. Work out, dance and feeling happy. It is killing me. Pamela

By anon86227 — On May 24, 2010

I understand people are more likely to post if something unpleasant is happening to them, so I wanted to post that after deciding to stop coffee (I could easily do six espressos a day), I feel 100 percent fine. After four days, no headache, no pains, no sleep problems.

The only difference so far is decreased appetite (for which I'm very glad), and no 2 p.m. slump (for which I'm super happy). Everybody is different, so there is a good chance that if you decide to quit, you'll have no adverse effects at all.

By anon82453 — On May 06, 2010

Starting from 30 cups daily -- final update.

In my previous update (anon81487, Comment 95), I mistakenly wrote, "I started from at least 30 cups of decaffeinated instant coffee daily". Actually, I should have written "30 cups of regular instant coffee daily". The 30 cups plus weren't "decaffeinated". Sorry for any confusion or misunderstanding caused.

I was previously consuming over 2,000 milligrams of caffeine daily.

Facts: According to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.), an acute overdose can be caused by ingesting over 300 milligrams. There are reported cases of overdose requiring hospitalization after ingesting 2,000 milligrams. For an average size adult the lethal dose of caffeine would be equivalent to about 90 cups of coffee. Most fatalities from ingesting a lethal dose have involved caffeine pills. (However, caffeine allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance can cause dangerous symptoms at small doses!)

For me, the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal were quite unpleasant, but decreased steadily. I wouldn't want to repeat having withdrawal symptoms of the same magnitude. However, since I had developed an intolerance (or sensitivity) to caffeine, going through withdrawal was much preferable than the alternative!

By anon81795 — On May 03, 2010

Caffeine is my favorite alkaloid. I'm embracing the addiction. You'll get my coffee when you pry my cold dead hands from the mug.

By anon81487 — On May 02, 2010

Starting from 30 cups daily -- Update.

It's now four days after my previous comment below (anon80824, Comment 92). I mentioned adding a bit of regular instant coffee to my decaf to ease the intense headache that I was experiencing from caffeine withdrawal. That helped, but I wanted to go through caffeine withdrawal in a more controlled manner.

So that same day I made a 20 percent mix. I added three spoonfuls of regular plus 12 spoonfuls of decaf to an empty coffee jar. (3/15 = 20 percent) One mug of coffee using a spoonful of that mix was too much caffeine for me, as evidenced by the return of my fever (due to my developed caffeine intolerance). So I added five more spoonfuls of decaf to the mix to get close to a 15 percent mix. I drank that for one day.

Still a bit too much caffeine. I added more decaf to make a 10 percent mix, which I drank for one day.

Yesterday and today I drank only skim milk and water. No coffee of any kind. The negative symptoms of caffeine withdrawal almost disappeared! Only very mild flushing and a very mild headache. Comparatively insignificant.

I'm now over caffeine withdrawal. It took me 10 days, but keep in mind that I started from at least 30 cups of decaffeinated instant coffee daily!

If you drink less than that, your caffeine withdrawal effects should be milder and probably shorter-lasting. I'll be avoiding caffeine for the next few weeks. I really don't care if I ever have caffeine again. I can live fine without it.

I'm not giving you medical advice, since I'm not your doctor. I'm only trying to be helpful by reporting my rather extreme case. I'd suggest that you read about the effects of caffeine, and ask your doctor if you want personalized advice.

P.S. Please disregard my previous suggestion about including the date in any future comments. I did that last time, and it was edited out. It'll save the wiseGEEK moderator time if we don't include the date.

By Ergolad — On May 01, 2010

Going on about a year now. I'm not a caffeine Nazi per se, I eat the occasional chocolate, have green teas (usually flushed 15-45 sec to remove some caffeine), herbal teas and drink decaf every now and then. Overall feeling good and still working crazy hours without the caffeine handcuffs. My favorite beverage these days is green tea with blue agave. I also enjoy getting herbal and low caffeine specialty teas at Teavana. Keep it up everyone!

By anon81298 — On Apr 30, 2010

I decided to quit caffeine because it was ruining my sleep. I started a new job at the pharmacy and always had to be alert and on. I was never really i soda drinker, but i love coffee, so i would have a cup of coffee before work and at least two diet cokes.

I have had no caffeine in three days. On the first day i had a major headache, and I've lost my appetite because i feel nauseous also I've started having anxiety attacks and some depression. How long will this last?

By anon80824 — On Apr 28, 2010

Starting from 30 cups daily.

I live in Canada. My caffeine problem only manifested itself a month ago, even though I'd been drinking coffee for years. I've read most of the other comments here, but my case seems a bit more extreme.

I was drinking about 10 mugs of instant coffee daily, on average. My coffee mug holds 750 ml. So that's about 7 1/2 litres daily.

For the benefit of those in countries that don't yet use the metric system (only Burma, Liberia, and the United States), I'll convert that:

My 750 ml mug holds about 3 cups.

My 10 mugs daily would be 30 cups or about 2 US gallons.

I've had hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) all of my life, so I need to drink a lot of liquid to avoid dehydration. I preferred coffee, but sometimes supplemented it with a cola that also contains caffeine. Caffeine didn't used to affect my sleep or have any other negative effects. Until a month ago, that is.

I'm about 1.9 m tall (over 6 feet), and weigh about 120 kg (over 260 pounds).

The fact that caffeine is a diuretic likely contributed to my high coffee consumption.

The warmer spring weather recently probably caused me to perspire more, thus increasing my coffee intake to even over my above-mentioned average. (Yikes!)

For about three weeks I experienced daily episodes of severe flushing lasting for six hours or so, which felt like a high fever to me. The flushing started an hour or two after waking up, no matter what time I awoke.

I'm a "flusher", previously having had to discontinue taking niacin, Niaspan (extended-release niacin), Verapamil, etc., because of intense flushing.

This time the severe flushing was sometimes accompanied by a mild headache and loose bowels. After reading up on it, I had it narrowed down to either caffeine or nicotine (from smoking cigarettes), since an overdose or acquired sensitivity to either could account for my symptoms.

So after three weeks I mentioned it to my doctor. It would be an understatement to say that he was surprised at my daily coffee intake. He suggested that I switch to decaffeinated coffee, which I did.

The flushing and occasional loose bowel symptoms disappeared after a couple of days. Good. However, the headache became extreme and longer-lasting, until it was 24 hours daily. Even during sleep. The headache was centered behind and above my left eye, and was worse than any previous headaches I've ever had.

Caffeine overdose and caffeine withdrawal have symptoms in common. For a week now it's been a balancing act for me. When I start to get the nasty headache I add a tiny amount of regular coffee to my mug of decaf. If the fever (flushing) returns, that means I've added too much regular to the decaf. This method works for me. It's allowing me to switch to decaffeinated coffee while minimizing the flushing (due to too much caffeine) as well as the headache (due to caffeine withdrawal).

My body has been getting used to less and less caffeine. Soon I'll be only drinking decaffeinated coffee. And juices and water, of course. After that, I expect to be able to have a single "social" regular cup of coffee or a cola from time to time, but that remains to be seen.

P.S.: It might be helpful if any future comments here included the date of the comment.

By anon78781 — On Apr 20, 2010

About five years ago, I drank 5-7 medium cups of black coffee a day. I went down to two venti lattes a day a before I stopped about 10 days ago, cold turkey.

For the first three days I had a very painful headache. I took Aleve, because it did not contain caffeine and that helped my headache. For the past 10 days, I have suffered from yawning all the time, tiredness, fogginess, some stomach problems, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, and sleepiness (extreme).

The headaches are gone, intermittently after 10 days I still have the above the above symptoms some days and some days I feel fine. I am glad I am off of caffeine. If it is doing all of this to my body, it is definitely not good in large consumption.

Now, I drink herbal teas, water, milk, and 100 percent fruit juice. I do not eat chocolate. I plan to stay off of caffeine.

By anon75094 — On Apr 05, 2010

Moderate caffeine intake should not cause too many problems. If you use caffeine pills such as slimming pills or caffeine tablets to relieve tiredness never take more than the stated dose, this is where the problems lie. The body can only use so much caffeine at one time. An overdose can cause severe headaches. Caffeine as a slimming aid is used as a diuretic and to speed up the metabolism, taking more may not increase the effect but only intensify the withdrawal. Never take more to reverse the withdrawal as this will only create a vicious circle (withdrawal - more caffeine - withdrawal). If using caffeine to relieve tiredness (pro plus etc) only use it when absolutely needed. It will not relieve all the symptoms of tiredness, it will only keep you awake, you will still feel groggy and irritable. BIG TIP never use caffeine to help with the intoxicating effects of alcohol, yes it does seem to work, but it will only keep you awake and seem to be controlling the affects. Even very intoxicated you will struggle to sleep, and remember caffeine can cause anxiety, alcohol is a depressant. Used in moderation for most people without health problems caffeine is safe in moderation. If you feel that your use of caffeine is out of control or becoming addictive, seek help. Caffeine is a drug and its misuse causes problems like the misuse of any other drug legal or not/

By anon75050 — On Apr 05, 2010

Almost two weeks now after going cold turkey and still I'm getting bad anxiety, although sleeping much better.

I used to drink about four or five cups of ground coffee plus chocolate a day -- way over the recommended amount, i know.

Has/is anyone else suffering the same symptoms this long after quitting caffeine? --James

By anon74231 — On Mar 31, 2010

Holy crap. I was prepared for the headaches, but the pain in my hips and lower back was so bad it woke me up last night. (Day three of no caffeine) I hope everybody's right and this passes in another day or two.

By anon74034 — On Mar 30, 2010

Been a heavy soda drinker since I was a toddler. My mom was a major caffeine addict so it was all we had around the house. Am now 22 years and have already had two teeth simply rot out of my face, am 40 pounds overweight and at risk for hypertension.

I averaged up to 2 1/2 liters of coke a day and had constant mood swings and insomnia along with intense anxiety. I'm on day three of quitting and it's miserable but I'm coping. The intense headaches and lethargy along with nausea are the worst symptoms I've had so far and I know it will get worse before it gets better but I know it's worth it.

By anon73909 — On Mar 29, 2010

I quit three days ago. I knew about the headaches (which haven't been too bad) but was surprised by the flu-like symptoms. Whole body very stiff, and sinuses draining steadily. It's weird. I'm sleepy a lot too. But yeah, the muscle aches -- man. -Beth

By grants1150 — On Mar 29, 2010

Has anyone experienced symptoms for longer than two weeks? I am just past the two week mark and I am still getting mild headaches and fogginess.

By anon73782 — On Mar 29, 2010

I'm a lorry driver and Ive been drinking about three to five cups of ground coffee, plus chocolate, etc., every day. Just after Christmas, when I was given a coffee machine I started getting anxiety issues.

I went to see the doc a few times. The first time he gave me sleeping pills which did nothing because my stomach was all knotted up due to anxiety.

I went back to see him, and he then issued my antidepressant without even asking about my diet!

Thankfully, my wife looked online before i started popping these pills and realized that it could be a serious caffeine addiction.

I'm on day six of no caffeine (went cold turkey) and the anxiety is still present. The headaches went after day three but I'm still feeling extremely tired. I'm sleeping much better (once the stomach dies down) and my brain has stopped running at 200 mph.

I hope it ends soon as it's really ruining my life/job which I once loved. --James

By anon73223 — On Mar 26, 2010

Substituting herbal teas for coffee is what helped me. I also stopped eating chocolate. I didn't realize how much caffeine some popular chocolate bars contained!

By anon73148 — On Mar 25, 2010

I started taking caffeine 25 years ago soda and caffeine pills to start,then got up to three 200 mg pills a day plus soda and coffee. last week I had what i think was an overdose reaction that lasted two hours: shakes, blurred vision, sweats, chills the whole works. I decided to quit that day and it has been horrible since.

I've had anxiety, chills, hot flashes, can't concentrate, haven't been to work, went to the doctor and so far all tests are negative. i'm getting a cat scan or mri tomorrow just to make sure nothing neurological is wrong, but it is terrible.

I'm tired, nauseous, no appetite, mostly am drinking very small amounts of watered down green tea just to keep the migraine at bay and it has worked somewhat but I still have minor headaches off and on, muscle aches and I'm very tired. I fall asleep a lot then just wake up with a start. Sorry this is so unorganized but but it

s hard to keep a steady train of thought. thanks for all the posts that helped me realize that I'm feeling withdrawal and not a major medical or psychological problem.

By anon73022 — On Mar 25, 2010

i too am coming off caffeine. this is about the tenth time i have tried to quit and you would think i would be able to handle the withdrawals by now but i can't.

the hardest to shake are the nausea, anxiety, and lack of energy. i am on day four and am still taking in a little caffeine to help with the symptoms. tomorrow i go cold turkey.

i know that once i am through this tunnel life is a lot better on the other side. i look forward to less stress, anger, better sleep patterns and a more positive outlook on life. i feel life has slowed down already for me and i can't wait to start having fun again! it is comforting to know others feel the same because sometimes i think i am going crazy.

By anon72810 — On Mar 24, 2010

Thank you all! What an amazing few weeks it has been! Had no idea going off caffeine would be so hard for so long!

I knew about the headache for a few days, but the body aching, the moodiness, the fogginess, the chills, the wanting to take a nap all day even with eight hours of sleep -- holy cow! And the anxiety and the grumpiness! And the mind games I find myself starting to play to try to get a fix - it is all very amazing how many things feel so off!

Guess this stuff is a lot worse than we all thought. Thanks to this site, now I actually feel okay about feeling so crappy even 10 days out!

By anon72708 — On Mar 24, 2010

I posted two days ago feeling absolutely rubbish at the 10-day stage. I could hardly keep my eyes open and was really struggling with life in general as a result.

After 12 days the tiredness just stopped dead all of a sudden, together with the headache. No other symptoms to report and I feel better than I have done in a long long time. Keep with it everyone. It's worth it.

By rylie56 — On Mar 21, 2010

Reading these posts has been very enlightening to me. I began a Daniel Fast six days ago, and this involves a drastic change in diet. The easiest way to classify it would be to say that it is an extreme vegan diet. I am also diabetic so this has been a journey in discovery.

Because of the diabetes I have already, I had to do some minor amendments to this fast, but couldn't figure out why the aches and pains, and especially the headache, just wouldn't go away. I was told that the caffeine headache should be gone after only a day or two, but now I understand that might not be true for everyone.

I have been tempted to give in to my coffee addiction to 'test', and I am so glad now that I haven't done that. I now understand that the headache that rules my days and ruins my nights is from caffeine withdrawal, as well as, the aches and pains, and the overwhelming dizziness and tiredness.

I still have the symptoms, but now I understand that I can continue with my 21 day fast/abstinence, and that I should never go back to the caffeine! I am already looking for an acceptable replacement with no or very little caffeine. Thanks for the information.

By anon71873 — On Mar 20, 2010

I stopped smoking four weeks ago. After about two weeks I got a terrible bout of sinusitis and became very dehydrated. As a result I swapped my two litres of diet coke a day for as much water as I could drink. By this point the sinusitis was easing.

After 1 1/2 days I had a headache like no other I have ever had before. It was excruciating but was gone by morning. After four days I had throbbing pains on the left and right hand sides of my lower back. I assume this was something kidney related and it lasted only two days and the pain was quite mild.

I am now at day 10 and the tiredness is driving me up the wall and I have a constant throbbing but mild headache above my eyebrows. I have things to do and I'm struggling as I have no energy.

On the positive side, I feel much more calm, like life has slowed down and I feel more focused and in the moment. God knows where I was before.

Having read everyone else's posts I feel I have got off quite lightly. I don't feel great right now but I'm determined to ride this out once and for all.

It's nasty stuff and for me there is no going back. I want to live free. Good luck everyone.

By anon71473 — On Mar 18, 2010

My names Emilie and i am only 19 but I drink caffeine constantly. I have at the minimum two red bulls and six colas a day.

I am also an ex cocaine addict so i am trying to quit caffeine now as well, because it is an unhealthy stimulant.

Unfortunately my withdrawal symptoms are terrible: fever, migraine, chills and extreme irritability, not to mention being very tried yet restless at the same time.

I unfortunately succumbed to the siren call of the caffeine. So I ask? how do I do it? how do i stop drinking caffeine?

By anon71172 — On Mar 17, 2010

I used to be a caffeine junkie too and I didn't even know it at the time. My beverages of choice were lots of iced tea and coca cola. Since I never bothered with coffee, I never really considered the amount of caffeine I was ingesting.

But then I started having so many side effects like twitching face muscles, clumsiness and a heavy beating in my chest (heart palpitations I suppose). I was so convinced that I had Parkinson's disease or something worse. And of course my comfort food was more caffeine, which only made matters worse.

After a neurological examination which proved I was healthy, I was so relieved when the doctor suggested that I simply cut down on caffeine. Within two weeks all my symptoms of twitching and heart palpitations had disappeared. Sure the withdrawal symptoms were a pain, (headaches like you wouldn't believe for the first week), but the benefits outweighed the negatives. Now I can enjoy one or two cups of cola or tea a day without side effects.

By pmichel — On Mar 12, 2010

I have ingested caffeine daily for the past 34 years. Coffee every morning and Diet coke in the afternoon.

Recently I quit the Diet Coke but still had several large mugs of coffee a day. The large frappuccino at Starbucks was a special treat. Meeting friends and family was always over coffee. Company? Let me put a fresh pot of coffee on!

Eight days ago I quit caffeine altogether. The headaches were unbelievable. They came and went and came back again. I took Advil for several days. On Day three leg and back pain kicked in and really scared me. I did not attribute it to withdrawal, but after reading, now I do.

So today I feel like I am coming down with the flu, with body aches, chills. This pisses me off no end! It is Friday, and I want to get off work and do stuff!

I took a couple of Advil and hope that helps. Am drinking lots of water.

I am really astounded to learn how bad it is for you. I had no idea! To me, the level of withdrawal, how bad we feel, is testimony to how bad this stuff *has* to be for us.

The kicker for me, and I will turn 50 this year, is when I read how coffee ages you. What? It ages your skin because it is a diuretic. And interferes with weight loss! And instead of giving you energy takes it. Well that was it for me. I will get through this.

Already, when I am not feeling miserable and really I am not all the time, I feel a sense of calm that is just lovely. It is like I have slowed down, my thinking has slowed down, allowing me to stay in the moment.

By jasonk — On Mar 10, 2010

After 10 days of going cold turkey I was still getting headaches all day, every day. They were in the left hand side of my forehead, and caused my left eye to close. My eye also watered, and my left sinus area was also affected.

I had a cup of tea this morning, and I haven't had any headaches today yet. I just had a cup of green tea (eight hours after my first cup of tea) so I don't get any headaches this evening.

I think I will stay with the two cups of tea a day for a few weeks then try and give up again. Hopefully my body won't react so bad when I go from two cups of tea a day to nothing.

By anon69517 — On Mar 08, 2010

Just a quick note. I am on my day five of caffeine withdrawal. I have been drinking coffee for four years, and, in the big amounts. Being a student, and still working for a major coffee chain, does not help me in quitting whatsoever.

So far I've been experiencing on and off higher than normal blood pressure, headaches, severe anxiety attacks. To make matter worse, I still have to go and do my job, that is serving coffee to people. When I enter the store, where i work, I immediately feel like running away.

It's time to think of changing jobs.

I don't wish anyone to go through something similar to this.

By leelewin — On Mar 08, 2010

Day One, Hour one: My name is Lee and I am an addict. I drink twenty cups of tea a day, sometimes more – my mug is almost never empty! It has been about one hour since my last cup and I am already starting to crave a brew!

I joined the gym a couple of months ago and changed my diet completely. I have got much fitter and feel healthier, however there is one thing I cannot seem to shake and that is the lethargy I feel when I've not got regular caffeine! I become very unproductive and drowsy, not to mention grumpy. This was the last thing on the list to a healthier lifestyle and the thing I am least looking forward to giving up.

Thanks to all who have posted because at least I know what to expect! I went for four days without caffeine once and by the fourth day I got the shakes so bad I felt like a crack addict! Lol. I am not looking forward to this. I'll post again and let you know what horrific symptoms I experience!

By anon69166 — On Mar 06, 2010

I decided to stop drinking soda almost a week ago. I went from drinking six to eight cans a day to nothing.

It's been six days and I feel so bad. I have this incredible feeling of pressure in my chest and my head. I still have slight headaches. I feel like I can't concentrate and sometimes my vision is blurry. I'm so tired that I can hardly stay awake!

I hope to feel better in the next few days. I'm drinking water, orange juice and sprite. Keeping my fingers crossed this works.

By anon68449 — On Mar 02, 2010

I am addicted. I should stop but I don't want to.

By anon68215 — On Mar 01, 2010

When I stopped drinking coffee and tea I got the worst headache of my life, and was nauseated all day, until I was sick. The next day I was fine. But now if I drink just one cup of coffee, or tea, I get the withdrawal symptoms all over again, maybe 24 hours later.

This makes it easier to decide to never go back. We don't need caffeine, and not buying coffee and sodas stops us giving money to some of the worst multinational companies!

By jasonk — On Mar 01, 2010

I'm on my second day of coming off of caffeine. Last night I slept the whole night with a pain in my head above my left eye. Today the pain comes and goes, and seems to come back every time I drink a glass of ionized water. I'm also getting some double vision when the pain goes behind my eye.

I'm hoping the ionized water will speed up the detoxification period as it alkalizes the body.

I will give another update in a couple of days.

By anon67630 — On Feb 25, 2010

So I really hope that my symptoms are because of caffeine and not something else (like a parasite of anxiety that requires some from of medication).

About seven weeks ago I got really sick: anxiety, intense nausea, constantly wanting to vomit, but not actually throwing up, a low grade fever, chills, and an inability to sleep. I'd start to doze off, but then I would snap back awake.

I would also feel chest pressure like my heart was beating extra hard. Went to the hospital but they couldn't diagnose it. I had an EKG, echocardiogram, and a stress test done because they thought it was my heart but everything came back negative.

On the sixth day I started feeling a little better so I got back onto my normal schedule of coffee drinking (about three to give cups a day) I was doing well for over a month but last week all the symptoms came back.

The feeling of needing to vomit subsided after about four days, but I still have little to know appetite. I've lost 22 pounds since this started and I was skinny to begin with. On the day the symptoms came back I had half a Rockstar in the morning, followed by two Excedrin, and a 24-ounce cup of high rev cappuccino from the gas station.

Now on day seven of only having one Excedrin a day, I still feel anxious, jittery, cold and have no appetite. For me the symptoms get better the later in the day it gets but come back hard in the morning. Just wanted to share in case anyone out there is going through something similar.

Like I said in the beginning, sure hope this is from the caffeine and I'm almost over it.

By anon67305 — On Feb 24, 2010

I am beginning my third day of no caffeine. It was rough sleeping last night. Every bone in my body or muscle (not sure) hurt and I tossed and turned all night. This morning I am still sore in my muscles/bones. Awful.

My headache is slight. It is an addiction and yes, not easy to not drink coffee - but as someone said to me, "if you were in AA would they allow you to have just that one beer because you needed it?" The answer of course is no, so I am struggling and praying and will make it through.

Next week is vacation time for me and I want to feel good at home on vacation so I chose this week to stop! I'm miserable at work but not on my vacation!

By anon67269 — On Feb 23, 2010

It's been some time since my last post! Drinking a little to slowly come off is OK! I just started up not too long ago and it really drains me so much! I'm going back off it once more! Being off it i had so much for energy then drinking it! I just like that warm cup in the morning!

By anon67086 — On Feb 23, 2010

Due to an anxiety attack some 3 days ago, i've decided both to stop smoking and drinking coffee.

Smoking is OK, i haven't touched a cigarete ever since, now coffee... I had to drink one this morning to ease up the headache (it's OK, i used to drink some 4 or 5 strong ones).

My head feels so light it looks like i'm in a dream...

By anon66868 — On Feb 22, 2010

Quiting coffee has never been easy. I have successfully quit on many occasions, but that darn coffee aroma always got me hooked back again. In my latest attempt, I have purposely coincided with my days off work. Headaches, mood swings, sleepiness, and the like. I hope to stay off caffeine and coffee for good this time.

By anon66665 — On Feb 21, 2010

I have given up caffeine for lent and boy oh boy, am i starting to regret that!

I am a big tea drinker and have just recently started drinking copious amounts of coffee too. Day one, i had the worst migraine ever and seem to have had a mild headache ever since. Randomly broke down crying yesterday over my dissertation. Cannot wait for this to pass. It just goes to show what an effect caffeine has, if it can make you feel this bad for not drinking it, just think what it must be doing to our health.

I think maybe this might be a big lifestyle change.

By anon66457 — On Feb 19, 2010

i have been exactly one week without coffee and i have been having seriously hard time concentrating in school. i have also had a migraine for three days straight. i have been cold for about five days and i can't sleep well. i also feel nauseated by everything and am having a hard time eating because i feel so sick. any suggestions? --LISS16

By anon66337 — On Feb 19, 2010

it has now been officially two and a half weeks since i have stopped drinking caffeine and smoking! i was heavily addicted to drinking diet coke or any soda my intake would maybe be, six cans a day. who knows?

i would usually wake up drinking the stuff and then end my day drinking it.

the first week was the worst. the panic attacks and the headaches were the worst by far. i had lightheadedness for so long and my head is still somewhat heavy. i really thought i had a brain tumor and would be in tears to my boyfriend. i just want to feel normal again.

anyway i am still going strong. but i wonder when i will feel completely normal. i hate it.

i wish all of you luck. i truly do!

By anon65922 — On Feb 16, 2010

Into my sixth day off the bean. I feel like I have a vise around my head and it comes and goes. Nausea off and on and I have been getting cold chills off and on. Has anyone had the chills as well? I know each day I will feel better and it's worth the non attachment! M

By anon65443 — On Feb 13, 2010

Day two of no caffeine. I spent the last week drinking half-caff coffee.

I have been drinking one to three pots of strong coffee a day for 13 years. I averaged two 12-cup pots a day.

I tried quitting before but I love coffee. But I found I can't drink decaf. For the first time ever I pitched almost a full pot because it wasn't hitting the spot. There was no jolt.

I had a light headache last night. To wean off it, I had one cup of green tea which kept it from getting worse.

I last quit eight years ago, but only for a few weeks. In all, I don't think I truly quit, but I remember horrible head aches!

Hopefully two weeks from now I'll be getting good sleep. I could drink a pot of coffee and go right to bed, but I had to have more when I woke up to function and by the end of the day I didn't get much done. I had no "real" energy.

I will post again in a couple weeks as a follow-up.

As a side note, I've been hitting the gym three days a week and hope to combine coming off caffeine with the energy level increases exercise creates. Scott in Ohio.

By anon64665 — On Feb 08, 2010

I can't believe caffeine had all these negative side effects. I have been off caffeine products for four days now. It has been hell. The headaches are unbelievable.

I'm so glad I found this informative web site with people just like me, going through caffeine withdrawal just like me. It really is encouraging. We will beat this. Thank you for sharing your stories. I don't feel so alone now.

By anon62945 — On Jan 29, 2010

O.K. Rather than being a coffee drinker I'm a tea drinker. But i think I'm seriously addicted. Last new years i went out to a party, and well at a new years party there's alcohol, not tea.

I never suffer hangovers (touch wood) so when i got this headache the next day i was like "whats going on?" and it was no ordinary headache.

it felt like i was hit by a bus or something and i felt unbelievably bad. this lasted until a few hours later i got a cup of tea. i thought nothing else of it.

Then the other day i left the house and was out all day, not a cup of tea in me since the night before, when all of a sudden, the worst headache came on, which as before vanished as soon as i had some tea.

now when i say i drink tea, i mean i drink tea. i drink anything from 4-25 cups a day. once i had a whole box of teabags. From anyone who has given up tea, how did you deal with the headache and the cravings. And were there any other withdrawal symptoms? Thanks :D

By anon61544 — On Jan 20, 2010

at least you all made a choice. i got a really bad case of food poisoning several days ago. as a result, no morning cup of coffee and no soda, just water and gatorade. i thought i was just still sick from the food poisoning and it turns out that i was, and am still experiencing these same withdrawal symptoms: headaches, dizziness, and wicked muscle pain and stiffness.

after reading all your posts I'm going to ride this out and try to eliminate caffeine for good. week from hell. maybe some good will come from it now.

By anon60743 — On Jan 15, 2010

On Day five of giving up the C stuff. I used to drink one diet coke a day but want to get off it. I've found that drinking ice water throughout the day helps to stave off the headaches.

By anon60145 — On Jan 12, 2010

I've quit coffee for almost three weeks now and I feel a lot better than I did before. I'm clear headed, not as irritable and sleeping a ton better.

for the last couple of years, I've had severe bouts of feeling extremely cloudy headed, or whatever you want to call it - sometimes, I won't be able to think straight for an entire day.

the part that I hated the most is that I would become kind of anti-social because I didn't have enough energy and/or clear headed enough to have a conversation with someone; I'm a pretty extroverted person, so this really bothered me. Every time I felt like I didn't have enough energy, I would always turn to coffee, and drink up to five cups before noon.

I always thought coffee kind of saved me and would get me through the day, but looking back on it, coffee was the very thing that was making the day harder to endure.

I quit coffee over a long, Christmas weekend, so I could really sleep in and not rely on coffee. I came back to work feeling really clear headed, but have been pretty lethargic ever since, but I'll definitely take the lethargy over the inability to think.

oh, and I've been sleeping a ton better during the last couple of weeks.

By anon59124 — On Jan 06, 2010

i always quit cold turkey because if i tell myself just one coke then it turns into 2 or 3! to deal with the headache i take excedrin which has caffeine. really seems to help with the headache and with the sleepiness.

i'm pregnant this time and just quit two days ago, so i can't take the excedrin but wasn't drinking too much (two cokes at the most a day) but crave it more when i drink it. good luck to everyone. You will feel so much better after a week or so. i was having a lot of joint pain and stomach aches and all that went away last time i quit, so it was well worth it.

By anon58192 — On Dec 30, 2009

Well this is my first day without caffeine and I'm already dying of a moderate headache. I know the difference if it was a regular headache or caffeine withdrawal. i actually do not feel comfortable but very nauseous this entire morning.

All day I have been drinking water water water and its getting worse, though, because while typing this out I realized that I feel very uncomfortable and can't seem to focus well.

I will continue to drink water until the caffeine is flushed out. god help me lol. Seriously! -Luka

By Ergolad — On Dec 21, 2009

Seven months or so now and still going strong. Have the occasional Arnold Palmer or green tea, but for the most part my caffeine intake has been pretty minimal. Still off the bean. Have found a few decaf coffees that I like, but can take it or leave it. Happy to be on this path.

Happy Holidays all!

By minniemouse — On Dec 17, 2009

Hi battlers. I have just completed day four of my withdrawal from six-plus strong mugs of coffee each day. I have eased the symptoms by doing it gradually. I don't see the sense in making it harder than it is by going cold turkey.

From twelve heaped teaspoons plus of instant coffee each day, I am down to just two level teaspoons each day of instant coffee.

This gradual reduction helped, I think, to not have the awesome headaches some of you guys have experienced, but I still feel like I've been hit by a bus.

My body forced me into this withdrawal by throwing me heart palpitations, severe giddiness, lightheadedness and my B.P. went up to 195/108. I was dehydrated too.

That took me to my doctor. All blood tests, E.C.G., come back fine, so that only leaves my addiction to caffeine causing the problems.

Right! I've been putting off withdrawing from caffeine for years!

My anxiety went through the roof on days one and two, but it is starting to abate a bit now and I've started meditation exercises to help.

I've also been depressed big time, shaky, nervous, scared, nauseated and pretty much feel confused.

It's enormously comforting to read all your stories and know I'm not alone in this and there is an end in sight.

I'm looking forward to no more tremors in my hands, no more heartburn and better sleep patterns. My B.P. is down to 150/80 already.

Hang in there, everybody!

By anon56710 — On Dec 16, 2009

For those wondering about duration, it varies from individual and intake. Common answer is nine days or two weeks, but this is entirely determined by your regular consumption. Doctor told me a month before the muscle tension and headaches dissipate along with the fog.

By anon56697 — On Dec 16, 2009

I've stopped drinking caffeine because I want to get pregnant and I know it isn't good for the baby and it has been really hard on me. I've had terrible headaches and really bad nausea to the point where I almost threw up and I can't concentrate. This has been one of the hardest things to do.

By anon55592 — On Dec 08, 2009

I had been drinking pepsi for 30 years. I stopped one week ago due to having surgery for kidney stones. I feel so terrible: foggy head and real blurry vision, major depression. I hope this goes away real soon. Good luck to all trying to kick the habit.

By anon55428 — On Dec 07, 2009

I have been drinking coffee for 20 years. Coffee has always been a part of my morning routine as far back as I can remember. I've decided to quit because I wanted to see if it would make a difference weight wise. It's been two days and I feel like someone is trying to push my eyes out of my head with their thumbs.

I want to stick to this but I'm not sure, I don't handle headaches very well. I'm even having a hard time opening my eyes. This is going to be a tough ride.

By anon53458 — On Nov 21, 2009

You guys need to realize that you are drug addicts, plain and simple. The only difference is, like nicotine and alcohol, it's fairly cheap and easily available, and can't forget, socially acceptable. If that weren't the case most of you would be no better then a meth or crack fiend trying to get the next fix.

You have to realize all of us have addictive tendencies and from a very young age have been programmed to react to this. First sugar, then caffeine, then alcohol, then nicotine, then "Fill in your choice".

You can thank your corporations lobbying to keep these poisons the way they are and let the inertia effect progress to the next generation like they have been doing since the dawn of the corporation's influence.

I've quit all of the above and have been going strong for close to 10 years of my 31 already on this hypocritical and greedy planet of ours.

By anon53368 — On Nov 20, 2009

Today is my first day of not drinking any sodas or coffee. I decided to go cold turkey and endure the headaches. I must say, it is a little difficult for me, but I am determined to do this.

Thanks to all you after reading your comments. You all are encouraging! Be blessed!

By anon53273 — On Nov 19, 2009

Give up my sweet baby coffee? Never! I've had to quit cigs already, so I know i could quit caffeine if needed (although quitting smoking was hell). I see no reason to, though.

A cup in the morning gets me up and going, helps with my chronic constipation issues, and just tastes delicious. I think everything in moderation is the key. Have a cup or two in the morning, and then don't have any other caffeinated drinks the rest of the day. It gets you up, gets you moving (in more ways than one hehehehe) and the taste is amazing. Drink on children.

By anon53215 — On Nov 19, 2009

I have been pretty sick lately so I decided to detox. I bought a juicer and started a real mission.

I stopped my double espresso cafes that I had

every morning and I feel like someone hit the back of my head with a baseball bat. Hope this feeling does not last long. --Jan

By anon52536 — On Nov 15, 2009

I've decided to go off all caffeinated products because I'm experiencing acid reflux. I'm on day two of going cold turkey and just got up with a moderate headache. I'm determined to persevere.

By anon52239 — On Nov 12, 2009

I'm in the same boat as all of you. The reason I'm thinking about quitting is because I decided a year ago to try and get pregnant and I can't get pregnant.

My husband went to have his sperm tested and it turns out even though his sperm is sluggish, his overall sperm count is fine. So I know it is me. Ever since I was a child I was exposed to diet soda -- mostly diet pepsi -- and I used to drink it a lot when I was a teenager and then into adulthood.

At one point when when I was an adult I was running to the bathroom so many times at night that I couldn't sleep until the wee morning hours.

I had a series of urinary tract infections in my twenties that led me to urologists and even then I was still running to the bathroom at night. In the last two years I have reduced my soda intake from three cups a day to one or two. I have my diet coke in the morning and then a cup of diet pepsi at night.

Sometimes I only have the diet coke in the morning. It just bothers me so much that I didn't know that diet soda with caffeine can contribute to infertility and if I had known then what I know now, I would have stopped soda a long time ago.

Even though people have said to me they drank lots of soda and still got pregnant, for me it is doing the opposite. So yesterday I tried to quit and my god, I was so sick I thought I was going to die and then I realize these were affects of withdrawal.

So now I'm going to have to plan this more gradually. And when I do I'm going to have to be prepared with water and green tea and possibly learn to make fruit smoothies.

I will stop drinking soda at restaurants and tell the waitress: "water only!" It is just sad to me that caffeine is a drug addiction and that many people are so unaware of this. And if we make people more aware of this, we wouldn't have so many problems we have today.

By anon51356 — On Nov 05, 2009

I had no idea about coffee withdrawal. I was drinking two or three cups of strong coffee a day and then three to five diet sodas after work. I never drink coffee on the weekends. I decided to give up soda and switch to decaf and I am day four of this miserable hell.

I had to go to the doctor because I thought I had an aneurysm that was going to burst. The pain incapacitated me for hours at a time. Lights were too bright and smells only worsened it. I couldn't leave my desk. The worst thing though, was that I could feel it coming on and there was nothing I could do about it.

By anon51297 — On Nov 04, 2009

i was just wondering. i took a supplement called No2 Black Powder last week and i have been a constant diet coke drinker for a while -- at least four or five a day for a year or so. little did i know the Black Powder had over 300mg of caffeine in it and i had an overdose of the stuff. I was in the ER twice. then i decided to quit cold turkey off caffeine a week later. and i have nausea and a general fogginess in my head a blurred vision i had some headaches but not as bad as most. i have anxiety and jitters. is this normal for caffeine. and since i used to drink so much how long do you think these effects will last?

By anon49985 — On Oct 24, 2009

Midol with caffeine is good for weaning off. one a day for a couple days, half a day for 2-3 days, then nothing.

By anon49933 — On Oct 24, 2009

I've been drinking coffee for years now, at least 5 or 6 years so far. I'm 19, and up to measured out about 6-8 cups of coffee. just going 8-10 hours with it awake is enough to give me a headache. i stayed overnight in a hotel with some friends once, and the next day went out and had fun, and the headache was unbearable just going that short amount of time without any coffee. i took some ibuprofen and felt some relief but had to make up for it some what by drinking pop all day. coffee isn't something i plan on ever giving up. i enjoy it, so i see no need to. but good luck to anyone out there trying to cut back or get rid of caffeine altogether. hope it goes well for you and once you get past all the withdrawal symptoms just know it's worth what ever you want to accomplish. i'm very proud of you all.

By anon49547 — On Oct 21, 2009

I gave up caffeine about two weeks ago due to having palpitations and generally aggravating my anxiety i was on around 7-8 cups of strong coffee a day and when i was out with friends i tended to have a few red bulls too.

The first few days i didn't really suffer too much. i didn't get any headache at all that many people complain about. it was only on the third and fourth day that i started to get restless and argumentative for apparently no reason. Also i felt the need to be at home as my anxiety worsened.

After the first week i began to suffer with mild insomnia and found myself drinking more which only helped in the short term but still not giving me the sleep i needed.

Then came depression - i have just recently split with a long term girlfriend - but this was aggravated by the withdrawal i think. I started to feel detached from the world and unfocused, also i have a few exams coming up and normally while i was still consuming caffeine i could study for hours but i found it hard to even read and understand a single page, now two weeks on after a bit of exercise and trying to get out of the house i feel much better for it.

Caffeine withdrawal isn't a joke but in the end it's better for you. I wish i could have weaned myself off it over a few weeks instead of just quitting straight away. i think that is a better option :)

By anon47917 — On Oct 08, 2009

I'm quitting caffeine all together. I started off drinking caffeine free soda at home and only having regular at dinner, but then I read that the lithium I take multiplies the effects of caffeine, which would explain why I couldn't sleep at night after drinking only one to two cups of caffeinated soda. So I've been totally off caffeine for 3 days, and I have been having mild headaches, grumpiness, sleepiness, and inability to focus. I am sleeping much better though, through the night! The withdrawal symptoms are annoying, and interfere with my school work, but are so far relatively mild.

By anon47542 — On Oct 05, 2009

I have been off caffeine for 18 days now. I still have mild headaches, and I'm getting fewer cravings. But I am still having trouble sleeping and have severe depression. All the sites I've been reading say that it should take up to nine days, two weeks at the most, but I've been almost three weeks and still feel crappy? Did anyone else feel this way?

By anon47481 — On Oct 05, 2009

I could,and have, drank a 2 liter diet soda a day *easy*. Decided to quit caffeine cold turkey like I did smoking. Quit yesterday. Today, I am experiencing tiredness, very sleepy, mild depression, and inability to concentrate. Hopefully this gets better soon.

By anon45395 — On Sep 16, 2009

Hi everyone. It's my first day after going cold turkey on coffee. I cannot describe the feeling that my head would explode and I felt so nauseated that I vomited everything I ate today I had to leave work earlier as I was unable to function and immediately went sleeping. After six hours I had milder headaches but still the nausea is here. I hope I will get over it and *never again* put a drop of this poison in my system!

By anon45213 — On Sep 14, 2009

ive been drinking lots of energy drinks recently. then the shop i go to stopped selling them so i never had one for about four days. after that the headaches and dizziness were unbearable. i had to go somewhere else to buy one.

By anon45118 — On Sep 13, 2009

OK so picking the first week of September to go through this, not smart. Omg migraine was ridiculous. It lasted two whole days. I tricked my brain to thinking it was still getting it with caffeine free pepsi, psychosomatic maybe, but after a few days of that I stopped soda altogether. I'm so sleepy now. I want to crash at 9 p.m. every night. I satisfy my sweet tooth with that crystal light mix in bottled water (yuck. I hated the taste of water). In the home stretch, I have three more days to go to get to my Day nine. My pants actually have more room in them now too, go figure.

By anon44838 — On Sep 10, 2009

I'm on soda hiatus-- my girlfriend wanted me to stop, so I bet her I could hold off on soda for 4 weeks. After that, I can have some, but not much. It's been 7 days, and I've had none of these symptoms. Got lucky, I guess!

By Ergolad — On Aug 29, 2009

Did I mention that I have also lost 10 pounds since I went off the bean? Yeah. Of course that's combined with increased activity and adjustments to my diet: more fresh vegetables and fruit, less red meat and carbs, and drinking plenty of water. Taking the approach of focusing on making sure I get what I do need rather than denying myself what I think I shouldn't have. Usually by making sure I get my fill of all the healthy things I know are good for my body, by the time I get my fill I no longer crave the less healthful options.

By anon43370 — On Aug 28, 2009

i was drinking a half case of pepsi a day: 144 ounces. i recently decided im overweight and need to quit because the calorie intake is ridiculous. so i switched to diet pepsi, and because it tastes horrible, i am not drinking as much (maybe 3-4 cans a day) and they have lower amounts of caffeine anyway.

symptoms so far: Headache- Moderately severe;

Depression- Severe; Vision Problems- mild;

jitters- severe; anxiety- severe.

can't wait for it to stop. a few months back i went straight cold turkey off of pepsi. i felt like killing myself the pain was so bad and wouldn't go away. worst headache in the world and i have a very high pain threshold. *sigh*

so i'm hoping my headaches don't get worse and i will be fine. not quitting caffeine -- just cutting back :)

By Ergolad — On Aug 25, 2009

Almost four months off the bean and going strong. Working crazy hours and feel more energized and free, not bound by some caffeine delivery routine. Have also discovered that I really do like the taste of coffee and have found some good local decafs, but rarely drink them. My preferred beverage these days is H2O and EmergenC.

By anon42876 — On Aug 24, 2009

Been off caffeine for 3 to 4 days - headache was unbelievable. The muscle stiffness I experienced in my legs especially was just as bad. In any case, I don't feel depressed at all because I'm so excited about kicking the habit. Found a really good decaf coffee made in Campos - NSW, Australia. Tastes great and I'm really fussy. Hope this helps. Deb

By anon42854 — On Aug 24, 2009

Man oh man, withdrawal is no joke. I am trying to wean off slowly and at only 3/4 of the normal amount I drink. I feel literally like I am hung over from drinking too much alcohol from the night before. Don't ever start is my best advice.

By anon40066 — On Aug 05, 2009

I quit drinking pepsi yesterday - I was drinking one liter bottles. Sometimes more than one per day, sometimes a few 20oz bottles a day. I bought some no doze for the caffeine, took one pill today when i started getting a horrendous headache at work (i work at a gas station. it's been hard to quit in the past - we get fountain drinks for free) I figure i could quit drinking the sodas first, while weaning myself off the caffeine. i've found some great ideas in these comments! -LM

By anon39175 — On Jul 30, 2009

I decided to give up caffeinated tea. My goodness I didn't even think about the withdrawal symptoms. I had the most awful, painful, brain-splitting headache that lasted for 3 days. It was like being hit by a truck. I also a few days later had pains in my thighs and calves that prevented me from sleeping. Nothing ever prevents me from sleeping! Anyway it was too much and I started back on caffeine tea again. From tea=love in Greater London

By anon37221 — On Jul 17, 2009

Hi to everyone trying to give up caffeine..You might want to check out the book " Caffeine Blues" by Stephen Cherniske,M.S. He gives you a program called off the bean. It really helps you to give up the wicked stuff without withdrawals. Also give you so much info on what the stuff can really do to you. Hope this helps. His book really helped me I'm on day 4 of weaning off and not feeling too bad at all.

By Ergolad — On Jun 08, 2009

3 weeks and going strong! Took a little over a week for the withdrawal symptoms I described to subside. Occasionally crave the taste of coffee and am on the lookout for a good decaf. So far the few I've had were swill! I *did* have a *great* decaf at Think Coffee while visiting NYC. Met a friend there and with little optimism gave the decaf a try. Was pleasantly surprised. Unfortunately no Think Coffee locations in Los Angeles and they don't seem to have an online store. I ain't out to advertise for them, but as decaf goes, that was frigg'n good cup.

By Ergolad — On May 19, 2009

At 37 I have been on and off caffeine for a few years. Believe it or not I didn't start drinking coffee until I was 34 years old and rarely drank caffeinated beverages before that. My daily consumption ranges from a 20 oz. press-coffee and an espresso to about 40 oz. a day. (FYI-20 oz. is a Venti coffee at SB.)

Here are a few of my observations about caffeine in general, and withdrawal when you're trying to kick it. I started drinking coffee because I was tired. Plain and simple. Having a history with addiction, but never really into stimulants before, I was really taken in by the appearance of energy & focus that came with drinking coffee. When I first started drinking coffee regularly my work schedule (12-18 hr days) was incredibly demanding and coffee appeared to give me an edge. Ironically, two years before I had a similar work schedule and didn't drink *any* coffee or caffeine. During that caffeine free period, though I got tired at times, as would be normal working such long hours, my performance and level of focus I think was superior.

We can't discount the fact that caffeine *is* a drug. If you are someone prone to addictive behavior this is something to consider. I think there is a psychological benefit in doing something "drug free." Though caffeine is obviously in a totally different class when compared to recreational drugs, I would venture to say the base addictive response is similar. And for those with a history of addictive behavior it can act as a trigger, maybe not relapse into the previous behavior, but a more subtle psychological trigger to a lot of unhealthy thinking that comes with addiction. Not to be an alarmist, and a small minority is likely to have this come into play, but for those familiar with addiction I think it's worth considering.

One of the things I was really surprised by was the aches and pains I feel when I'm off coffee for a few days. The headaches I expect, and the mood swings I was prepared for, but the classic flu-like symptoms have been a bit of a surprise. I found I'm super-tired, having to take 2-3 hr naps late in the day, and my muscles ache, particularly my forearms, legs and calves. Interestingly enough, I remember when I first started to drink coffee feeling these mysterious aches and pains. In hindsight it make sense.

Emotionally I'd always heard people get "aggro" when they are off caffeine. My first few days I was downright depressed! Generally feeling pretty positive and optimistic, this one took me by surprise and actually got me worried a bit. The good news is it passed fairly quickly lasting only a day for me.

Searching the internet for "caffeine" can be pretty enlightening as to understanding the mechanisms behind caffeine withdrawal.

In my past attempts to go without caffeine I've weaned myself off, continuing to drink tea and decaf coffee in modest amounts. Though I think this can be an effective strategy, this time I'm going with the all or nothing approach, to really try and limit my caffeine intake and avoid it all together for a while. Eventually I'd like to get back to drinking low caffeine teas noted for their well documented health benefits, such as green tea.

For those looking to reduce their caffeine intake here are a few suggestions (keep in mind, as an earlier post mentioned some of the coffee chains have highly caffeinated teas): green tea, white tea, decaf teas & coffee. If you want to go caffeine free altogether consider the large variety of herbal teas available. I really like roobois & roobois chai. When going decaf, note that if something is "decaffeinated" it likely still has a small caffeine content. Here's a trick you can do with hi-quality caffeinated teas that can tolerate multiple infusions, consider doing a quick 30-60 second brew, discard that infusion and then drink the 2nd and 3rd brew. Most good quality teas are good for 2 or 3 infusions and I've heard 80-90% of the caffeine is released in that first batch.

Speaking of brewing tea... Oh, the coffee making ritual... I love grinding the coffee, foaming the milk, the smell... I love buying new coffees and trying them out... I love french presses, espresso makers and gadgets of all kinds. I love that first sip in the morning. I love all the paraphernalia and the process so much that I often get satisfaction from just making a coffee and not even drinking it! Well, not really.

But all this, love, love, love is counterproductive. What I don't love is coffee breath. I don't love my whole day being "off" if I miss my coffee. I don't love that I find I structure my morning around it, so much so that I'll be late somewhere to satisfy my jones. I don't love getting the jitters when a coffee is stronger than I expect. I just don't love the idea that I'm "on something" as part of my daily routine when it is not medically necessary.

We can argue until we are blue in the face the pros and cons of coffee drinking. I invite you to search out the different perspectives on the topic. There's a load of data out there. Ultimately it all seems to converge around moderation. But what I ask you to finally do is honestly ask yourself, are you OK with your consumption of coffee? If that results in a resounding "Yes!" then I say go for it. But if your drinking coffee has a negative overall effect on your well being, then you will only compound that problem by denying that observation. For me, what happens when I come off coffee, and my need to keep myself regularly dosed so I don't experience that, is enough to motivate me to stop. Sure there are a lot of things that we require, that if we were to stop doing them, we would feel a negative result. But coffee is optional.

As you may have noticed there's a lot of past and present tense being mixed up in this post. That's because I'm 3 days into my latest attempt to get off the caffeine. This will be the 3rd or 4th time I've tried over the last 4 years. I usually go for about a 2 weeks to a month and then jump back in head first. Every time I try to stop the withdrawal symptoms seem more pronounced. This post, in a way, is a tool for me to express myself and verbalize my relationship with caffeine, to help me think through how I feel about it. I think one of the biggest parts in changing a negative behavior is truly identifying the effect that behavior has on your life. You've got to truly *want* to change, and owning that can be reinforced by reflecting on the impact that change will have on your life. Good luck!

By anon31234 — On May 01, 2009

I have been off coffee for for 4 days and have had a bad headache and flu like symptoms. I am not sure if this is related to my not drinking coffee, but I am certainly not feeling very good two days into not drinking coffee. If this is withdrawal from caffeine I can't imagine what long term health effects caffeine must have on my body. Waiting to feel better.

By anon30439 — On Apr 19, 2009

Darn coffee. Pretty easy to get stuck in that ritual. For me, coffee is fine as long as I am quite active physically which seems to counter act the negative effects. Probably because it metabolizes faster. However, whenever I cut back on the activity caffeine catches up with the negative effects pretty quickly.

I quit using green tea, in tea bag form. It's still caffeine of a type of course, but it doesn't seem to have all the negatives that coffee does. More notably, green tea doesn't seem to mess up blood sugar as much as coffee does. Green tea also allows some re-hydration over time, a week or two *and* it seems much easier to give up than green tea.

There is still caffeine of course. For me even dropping from 1-2 green teas a day (40-100mg of caffeine) still makes a worthwhile positive difference.

Weaning from caffeine is usually a better choice than quick stopping. You can do it but it can make for a few miserable days. Beware of green tea from coffee stores, a lot of these places have pretty strong, caffeine wise, green tea.

After quitting for a week or so, just one green tea has quite a major affect on me: sweating, flushing, heart rate, dopamine high, etc. Seems like I am somewhat sensitive to caffeine effects. That is surprisingly easy to overcome since there were times drinking 3-4 pots a day didn't have that effect. I'm sure it had a pretty negative effect of course, but you get used to it quickly and it just becomes the new normal for you.

By kjay — On Mar 23, 2009

So it's been a long time since my post! I have been off the caffeine for a long time!! *Wow*!! I have more energy and fell good!! It's crazy to think it has control of your life! Keep it up guys!

By anon28806 — On Mar 22, 2009

Wow! I didn't think that people could go through these kinds of things.

This is my week off from work and since I don't have to wake up early for work, making coffee was the last thing on my mind.

It's been 3 days and I'm hurting. It feels like I'm catching a flu virus or something until my boyfriend told me it's because I didn't have coffee for awhile. I didn't believe him so I had to look it up. Wow! Coffee ruined me....

By anon28514 — On Mar 17, 2009

I have had major addiction to energy drinks. I have consumed more than enough to probably kill someone, about 4 a day. Then, under peer pressure, I decided to stop. Now I am experiencing a lot of symptoms including blurring vision and my left eye is twitching constantly. Is this because of the large caffeine intake?

Well it has been 11 days I hope it goes away.

By Trenell — On Feb 19, 2009

Hi Everyone! I too was consuming way too much Caffeine for the past 3 months. Sadly, I didn't realize that the Green Tea that I was drinking had caffeine in it! I thought that it would say it on the ingredients but it didn't.

I have stopped consuming caffeine for almost a week now and I just realized today the way I was feeling for the past week was due to caffeine withdrawal symptom's.

I experienced nausea, slight headache's, nervousness, and light depression. Now that I know that it was due to caffeine withdrawal, I can relax more.

So hang in there Guys we can do it!

By anon26212 — On Feb 10, 2009

Yes, I have decided to stop drinking soft drinks, and although, I only drink one 20 oz bottle per day, that was enough to become caffeine addicted. I also use caffeine to help with migraines because it's certainly helps.

I am on my 3rd day now without caffeine, and have only had a slight headache. I just had acupuncture last week to get over a migraine so I'm hoping that helped.

My eyes were very light sensitive, too, though after no caffeine too, so I do think it's possibly a withdrawal symptom.

Also, sometimes, I used Excedrin for my headaches since it has caffeine, and although, it has more caffeine in it than a soft drink. I don't seem to want the Excedrin again the next day. It also doesn't have all the other bad stuff in it that soft drinks have.

By anon25407 — On Jan 28, 2009

To Vanderlith,

No idea when you posted, but I have recently decided to quit caffeine, not only because I am severely addicted but because I'd like to quit drinking soda. I have noticed that drinking tea really helps. There is a small amount of caffeine in tea, but a small enough amount that I am still having withdrawal symptoms, including blurry vision.

Tea should help. Also, at least nine hours of sleep seems to help as well.

By Nedra — On Jan 12, 2009

I am just starting to come off caffeine. I also suffer from migraines. I always used caffeine to help get rid of the headaches. Would the caffeine withdrawal cause my eyes to be sensitive to light or am I having a mild migraine?

By vanderlith — On Nov 29, 2008

Hi I too am trying to quit caffeine and so far I only lasted 1 week, since my vision has been going blurry once in awhile until I drink a pepsi. do you have any tips for me?

By kjay — On Jun 08, 2008

Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms:

My name is Keith I have been off coffee now since the 20th of last month!! Caffeine was making me very tired and sleepy! Read an article that caffeine withdrawals could last for a few months!! I have been feeling very blah for a while! I have the brain fogginess still!! Is that normal!! I was drinking up to 6 espresso drinks and maybe 1 to 2 rockstars!! I hope I start to feel better soon!!

Thanks, Keith

By breadcrumbs51 — On Mar 29, 2008

It helps to drink just a little bit of caffeine when you get a caffeine headache - just enough to stop it, but only if you can stop! If you can't stop, better to just power through or use a different pain reliever without caffeine.

Tricia Christensen
Tricia Christensen
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a The Health Board contributor, Tricia...
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