Caffeine withdrawal palpitations is a term used to describe the sensations that people experience when they stop drinking caffeinated drinks, such as coffee or tea. In some cases, these sensations can be severe and may lead to hospitalization. In this article, learn about caffeine withdrawal palpitations including what can trigger them, their symptom,s and treatment options.
- What Are Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations?
- What Causes Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations?
- What Are The Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations?
- How Are Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations Diagnosed?
- How Are Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations Treated?
- How Long Does It Take for the Symptoms to Go Away?
- Ways to Prevent or Reduce the Severity of Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations :
- Can Caffeine Withdrawal Cause Premature Ventricular Contractions?
- Healthy Substitutes for Caffeinated Beverages:
What Are Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations?
Caffeine withdrawal palpitations are the sensations that people experience when their body has become accustomed to caffeine, and then they suddenly stop drinking caffeinated drinks. During caffeine withdrawal, people may feel uncomfortable physical symptoms such as jitteriness or shakiness. Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations can occur during the first week of caffeine withdrawal, but may not begin until after the second or third day. In some cases, as many as 8-12 weeks may be required before moods and energy levels return to their previous states prior to drinking caffeinated drinks.
Heart palpitations and headaches are the most common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal.
What Causes Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations?
Caffeine is a drug that stimulates the central nervous system. It occurs when people ingest caffeinated drinks, such as coffee or tea on a regular basis and then suddenly stop drinking them. When people drink caffeinated beverages, they activate neurons in the brain that release neurotransmitters such as adenosine, dopamine, and glutamate. These neurotransmitters attach to their corresponding receptors on nerve cells causing a variety of effects throughout the body including increased heart rate and blood pressure which can lead to these palpitations.
About 33% of all Americans aged 18 or older have at least one cup of tea per day and about 27% of those aged 14 or older have at least one cup of coffee per day. About 80% of the U.S. adult population consumes some amount of caffeine every day and it is estimated that about half the adults in the United States consume 200 milligrams (mg) or more per day (the amount equal to two 5 ounces cups of coffee). Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations can occur after as little as three days, but may not begin until after 2-3 days or up to one week after stopping caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea.
What Are The Symptoms of Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations?
Some common signs and symptoms experienced by people who suddenly stop drinking caffeinated beverages include:
– Nausea and vomiting
– Muscle aches and pains.
Palpitations are heart sensations that are related to an irregular heartbeat or extra beats. For most people who experience caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations, the sensations are rapid beats or palpitations that occur in the chest, neck, or throat. These sensations may be mild or severe enough to cause dizziness, sweating, chills, or shortness of breath. In some cases, caffeine withdrawal palpitations can trigger an actual panic attack in people who have a history of panic attacks. If you do not know if you have a history of panic attacks, make sure to ask your doctor about it prior to stopping caffeinated drinks.
How Are Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations Diagnosed?
Your doctor will make a diagnosis of caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations by reviewing your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor may order blood tests to check for electrolyte imbalances that can occur during caffeine withdrawal. Electrolytes are minerals that carry an electric charge in the body such as sodium, potassium, and chloride. This further helps your doctor diagnose the cause of any irregular beats or palpitations you may be experiencing after stopping the consumption of caffeinated drinks. Typically, blood tests will come back normal when people have experienced milder cases of caffeine withdrawal palpitations. In more severe cases, however, there may be some evidence indicating a need for a change in medications or a referral to a cardiologist for further testing.
An EKG may be ordered by your doctor to check for irregular beats, extra beats, and abnormal rhythms of the heart. In addition, an echocardiogram may also be recommended in order to get a more detailed look at your heart.
How Are Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations Treated?
Treatment for caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations varies depending on individual circumstances. Mild cases of caffeine withdrawal can be treated by drinking plenty of fluids and taking over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol). However, severe cases that are accompanied by chest pain, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath should be treated with caution. These people should immediately stop consuming caffeinated beverages and seek emergency medical treatment if they have any one or more of the following symptoms:
– Chest pain or tightness
– Numbness, tingling, or weakness in arms, legs, hands, or feet
– Difficulty breathing
– Nausea accompanied by a pounding heartbeat
Consult your doctor if you have been experiencing caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations after stopping the consumption of caffeinated beverages. There may be an underlying medical condition that needs to be addressed as well as possible lifestyle changes that can help alleviate some of your symptoms. If you continue to experience palpitations even after changing your diet and lifestyle, further evaluation by a cardiologist may be necessary.
How Long Does It Take for the Symptoms to Go Away?
Individuals who have experienced caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations typically don’t experience any symptoms after one or two days. However, it may take several weeks to a month before your body fully adjusts to being without caffeine. The effects of caffeine will vary from person to person due to your age, weight, and other personal factors such as pregnancy. Please consult with your doctor if you feel that stopping the consumption of caffeine has exacerbated any medical conditions you may have.
Ways to Prevent or Reduce the Severity of Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations :
There are a number of ways you can help prevent caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations or reduce the severity if it does occur. Some of these changes include:
– Reduce the number of caffeinated drinks that you consume each day. For example, if you currently drink three cups of coffee a day, try to cut back by one cup per day until you reach a reasonable limit.
– Instead of consuming caffeine late in the afternoon, shift your intake earlier in the day by one hour per week until your body to less caffeine. In addition, you can switch to decaffeinated beverages or opt to drink them only occasionally.
– Do not have caffeinated drinks within six hours of going to bed. You should also ensure that your bedroom is not too bright, which could contribute to sleep problems.
– If you experience caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations, take a break from consuming caffeinated beverages for three to five days. You may then re-introduce these drinks into your diet one at a time, spacing out the consumption of each by about four days. This will allow you to determine which caffeinated beverages bother your heart and how much of it you are able to drink without experiencing any side effects.
– Try taking a daily multivitamin to make up for any loss of nutrients caused by cutting out caffeine from your diet.
– Avoid smoking or eating foods containing nicotine as this can have an adverse effect on the heart and blood vessels.
– Follow a healthy, low-fat diet to improve circulation and maintain a healthy weight. Include plenty of whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables in your meals as well as low-fat dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheese.
– Consume natural sources of caffeine such as cocoa and chocolate in moderation depending on your sensitivity to it.
Can Caffeine Withdrawal Cause Premature Ventricular Contractions?
Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations may cause Premature Ventricular Contractions in some individuals. The effect that caffeine has on your heart depends largely on how much of it you are accustomed to drinking every day. While over at least a three-week period, cutting back or stopping the consumption of caffeinated drinks can be advantageous for your health. If you are experiencing caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations after doing this, speak with your doctor about ways to reduce these symptoms and schedule an appointment if they continue.
Healthy Substitutes for Caffeinated Beverages:
There are many healthy alternatives available for people who wish to cut back on their caffeine intake or completely avoid it altogether. Some coffee drinkers have found success by substituting espresso made from roasted barley or chicory root for regular coffee. Other beverages that may make suitable substitutes include:
– Herbal teas, such as dandelion and chamomile teas.
– Freshly brewed fruit and herbal infusions, such as blackberry and cherry juice with water added to it.
– Carbonated water mixed with natural juice or flavoring.
– Unsweetened rice milk combined with fresh berries or banana slices (to provide some sweetness).
Caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations are not harmful on their own but can lead to anxiety or depression in some people who consume too much of it. Anyone who experiences caffeine Withdrawal Palpitations while reducing their intake for whatever reason may want to consult a doctor before continuing with this process. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open so that your health care provider can provide guidance and support throughout this period. It is important to remember that there are healthier alternatives to caffeinated beverages available if you wish to reduce your caffeine consumption level down the road.