Many people don’t realize that caffeine is a psychoactive drug, and that it is the most commonly used globally.
More than 60 species of plants contain it with typical sources in the diet coming from coffee, tea, hot chocolate, chocolate bars and energy drinks.
It seems since coffee first started being drank in the 13th century in Arabia; the world has gone crazy for it in all its forms. This is mainly due to the buzz or energy that caffeine gives to people when they consume it.
But caffeine is rarely thought of as problematic, but as you will see below there are many reasons to reduce your heavy reliance on caffeine as these warning signs, if you have any of them, could be a sign you are addicted to caffeine.
1. Chronic Daily Headaches
A study published in the Dutch journal Nederlands Tijsdschrift voor Geneeskunde found that as little as 100mg of caffeine a day can be enough to cause a chronic headache. 100mg of caffeine is the equivalent of one of the following; a cup of coffee, a dark chocolate bar, 2 cups of tea or 2 tablets of an analgesic-coffee combination preparation.
So those daily, frequent headaches may just be a thing of the past once you take all caffeine out of your diet. How will you ever know if you don’t try?
2. Elevated Blood Sugar Levels
According to a study published in the August 2013 edition of Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, caffeine causes alterations in glucose homeostasis (blood sugar balance) as it decreases the glucose uptake into skeletal muscle, thereby causing elevations in blood glucose concentration.
Also, the researchers found it can increase hypoglycemic attacks in type 1 diabetics as well as raising blood glucose levels in those with type 2 diabetes.
Remember, that if even if you test negative for type 2 diabetes but have constantly higher than normal blood sugar levels – that you may have pre-diabetes and if not treated correctly through diet intervention, your risk of developing full blown type 2 diabetes is very high.
3. Restricted Academic Performance
Work or academic performance going downhill? It might be a result of your caffeine addiction. As a study published in Journal of the Academy of Nurse Practitioners concluded that caffeine consumption causes poor academic performance in adolescents and young adults. With the effects being even worse when those in the study took caffeine drinks as well as medications containing more caffeine.
Even subtle changes can mean you are suffering in daily life as a result of a caffeine addiction.
4. Acute Psychosis
The Journal Medicine, Science and the Law reported about a 32 year male who had a short-lasting acute psychosis episode following the consumption of alcohol, caffeine and ‘vigueur fit’ tablets that also contain caffeine.
This same man was subsequently convicted of committing assault when he was in this psychotic episode and after consuming the same cocktail he went on to have another aggressive psychotic episode when never before was there a history of aggression or abhorrent behaviour in this man.
This study then said for public safety caffeine-containing stimulant drugs that can be bought over the counter like those contained in weight control programs should be given out on prescription only and need to include a warning of mixing them with alcohol.
So read the packets of what you might be taking, even if it states ‘natural’ energy boost. Caffeine stimulants come with a variety of different names and on the label it does not always state ‘caffeine’ as is the case with guarana or citrus aurantium – but the effects are very much the same no matter where the caffeine source comes from, or how harmless it seems.
5. Managing Your Eating Disorder With It
A report published in the journal Advances in Psychiatric Treatment stated that caffeine is implicated in the exacerbation of anxiety and sleep disorders, and people with eating disorders often misuse it. This is because caffeine antagonises adenosine receptors, which may potentiate dopaminergic activity and exacerbate psychosis.
Plus, evidence they have suggests that most people living with the eating disorders bulimia and anorexia, use caffeine as a way to speed up their metabolism and lose more weight.
Having an eating disorder is a very serious problem, and requires expert help to help you break free from it. Plus if you are extremely thin, and misusing caffeine then you increase your risk of premature death due to insufficient body weight which will cause the caffeine to cause increase your heart rate and may lead to a heart attack.
-  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12395591
-  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23855268
-  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22324861
-  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11693229
-  http://apt.rcpsych.org/content/11/6/432.full