One of the most common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal is heart palpitations. The severity of these symptoms can vary from individual to individual, but they typically include increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, chest pain, shortness of breath, and anxiety.
As a stimulant drug that affects your central nervous system by blocking adenosine receptors in the brain so it can stimulate them instead, caffeine is an addictive substance that many people have trouble giving up. This is because once you’ve built up a tolerance for caffeine over time with regular use, your body will experience withdrawals when you stop ingesting it or drink less than usual.
In this article, we will take a look at caffeine withdrawal heart palpitations, what causes these symptoms, and how long they tend to last. Then, we will move on to some possible treatments that can help you manage these symptoms so you can avoid negative health effects.
Caffeine Withdrawal Heart Palpitations – What Are They?
Prolonged caffeine use causes the body to become dependent on it. When you then stop consuming caffeine or reduce your usual dose, you can experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms that are directly related to the physical effects of caffeine in the body.
One of the caffeine withdrawal symptoms that can be most uncomfortable is a worsening of heart palpitations. These typically involve feelings of your heart racing or pounding, irregular heartbeats, and chest pain.
Heart palpitations are caused by caffeine’s influence on your cardiovascular system. For one, they can worsen high blood pressure and increase heart rate so much that it becomes a risk factor for cardiac arrest or stroke.
Related: Quitting Caffeine and Weight Loss
Causes of Caffeine Withdrawal Heart Palpitations
One of the most common causes of prolonged heart palpitations is caffeine withdrawal. This occurs because regular ingestion of caffeine changes how adenosine receptors work both peripherally and centrally. Once you reduce intake, these receptors start working again over time, which can cause upregulation in sympathetic tone as well as other side effects like increased resting heart rate and blood pressure.
Since this process takes several days to complete, temporary cardiac dysrhythmias may occur that are related to caffeine withdrawal. These include sinus bradycardia, supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular premature contractions, and atrial fibrillation.
These palpitations tend to diminish with time as your body adjusts to not having its usual dose of caffeine. However, you should always consult a doctor if they don’t go away or if they become severe enough that you experience chest pain or shortness of breath. You may need further medical treatment if these symptoms continue for very long.
Aside from caffeine withdrawal heart palpitations, other common symptoms include • Headache • Fatigue or drowsiness • Muscle aches, pains, cramps, and stiffness • Feeling of nervousness or jumpiness • Lack of enthusiasm • Irritability or frustration.
All of these symptoms can be related to the stimulation that caffeine has on the nervous system. When you stop drinking caffeinated beverages or drink significantly less than usual, your nervous system will struggle to function normally without this stimulant until it adjusts.
This is why regular caffeine drinkers become addicted to the substance and why they usually begin to experience caffeine withdrawal symptoms within 12 to 24 hours of their last cup of coffee.
Caffeine Withdrawal Heart Palpitations – How Long Do They Last?
Although the exact duration of caffeine withdrawal heart palpitations can vary from person to person, one study suggested that such symptoms typically only last between 9-11 days in most people. In fact, another study suggested that caffeine withdrawal has similar negative effects to headaches.
Even though the heart palpitations associated with caffeine withdrawal tend to decrease in severity over time, they can still be quite uncomfortable and may even cause a panic attack if you aren’t prepared for them. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help alleviate these symptoms and make it through the worst of your caffeine withdrawal period as quickly as possible.
Making lifestyle changes like limiting stress levels, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep every night, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day will all improve your overall health. These actions will also help reduce or eliminate any potential side effects that come up during caffeine withdrawal.
Since caffeine can cause a number of nutrients to be excreted from the body, it’s a good idea to include plenty of high-fiber foods and healthy fat sources in your diet as well. This will ensure that your diet contains all the vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients that your body needs on a regular basis. So remember to stay as healthy as possible as you proceed through this difficult time.
What happens when you have heart palpitations?
Heart palpitations are a symptom of several conditions, some benign and some serious. Some causes of heart palpitations are harmless, while others require treatment to prevent further complications or even death.
As heart palpitations can be caused by caffeine withdrawal, an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism), anemia, low blood pressure, anxiety disorders such as panic attacks, food allergies, and chemical sensitivities, pheochromocytoma (a rare tumor of the adrenal glands), coronary artery disease or atherosclerosis leading to decreased blood flow through the arteries in the heart muscle (ischemia), and abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias).
Hyperthyroidism: Symptoms like rapid heartbeat and increased appetite usually accompany an overactive thyroid gland. Although medication can help in most cases, in rare instances it must be surgically removed.
Anemia: According to the American Heart Association, many people don’t have any symptoms with anemia, which occurs when there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout the body. However, a rapid heartbeat and shortness of breath may indicate this condition. In some cases, taking iron supplements or changing diet habits helps restore red blood cell levels to normal range.
Low Blood Pressure: With low blood pressure (hypotension), lightheadedness and fainting are common when you suddenly stand up from lying down or sitting. Although this usually isn’t serious often goes away on its own after a while, it can sometimes indicate other health problems.
Anxiety Disorders: When you have an anxiety disorder, constant worry and fear are common symptoms that affect your ability to function normally in daily life. Panic attack symptoms like palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating and shaking usually appear during the peak of one of these episodes.
How Can I Fight Back Against Caffeine Withdrawal Heart Palpitations?
If you’d like to learn how to fight back against the effects of caffeine withdrawal heart palpitations so you can maintain a high level of health and wellness on a daily basis without requiring any substances, one of the most important things you can do is to improve your overall diet. This entails eating a healthy variety of high-protein sources, low-carbohydrate foods, and lots of vegetables with every meal.
In addition to this, it’s also a good idea to include some complex carbohydrate sources in your diet as well. That means brown rice, whole grain pasta/bread, fruits, and starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes should be included in your meals at least several times per week.
Although caffeine withdrawal heart palpitations have been shown to only last between 9-11 days on average for most people, they shouldn’t be ignored because they can cause severe discomfort and even lead to panic attacks if you aren’t prepared for them.
Fortunately, there are a few simple things you can do to alleviate these symptoms and make it through the worst of your caffeine withdrawal period as quickly as possible.
Making lifestyle changes like getting enough sleep every night, limiting stress levels, exercising regularly, and drinking plenty of water throughout the day will all improve your overall health. These actions will also help reduce or eliminate any potential side effects that come up during caffeine withdrawal.
As mentioned previously, caffeine can cause a number of nutrients to be excreted from the body which is why it’s important to eat high-fiber foods and healthy fat sources in order to maintain a proper vitamin balance in your diet. So remember to stay as healthy as possible as you proceed through this difficult time.
Caffeine Withdrawal Heart Palpitations – Treatment Options
Since caffeine withdrawal heart palpitations are side effects associated with reducing or eliminating caffeine intake, they must be treated symptomatically. Fortunately, there are many different lifestyle changes you can make during this period to help reduce both symptoms and the length of time the symptoms persist.
The good news is that once you stop experiencing caffeine withdrawal heart palpitations, your body will gradually become more accustomed to functioning without caffeine. This means that in several months, it will be much easier for you to avoid both withdrawal side effects and further dependence on caffeine in general.
Caffeine Withdrawal Heart Palpitations – Conclusion
Caffeine withdrawal heart palpitations are related to how adenosine receptors work in the body when someone abruptly stops using caffeine after a period of prolonged use. The process by which these receptors return to their normal function tends to take about 9-11 days, though there can be notable variation between different people. During this time, lifestyle changes like getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and staying hydrated can help reduce the symptoms experienced during caffeine withdrawal.
Once you stop experiencing caffeine withdrawal heart palpitations, your body will gradually become more accustomed to functioning without caffeine. This means that in several months, it will be much easier for you to avoid both withdrawal side effects and further dependence on caffeine in general.