Bad reaction to caffeine?

Not sure if this belongs in this forum or General Questions.

Does anyone else have a reallyreally bad reaction to caffeine?

If I make regular caffeinated coffee at home, an hour or so later I just feel BAD. A little shaky, but it’s more just an all over mental-emotional-physical BAD feeling. There is a physical component to it, but the bad part is sort of a mental feeling of being pressed-in from all sides, a feeling of being shoved into and confined in a tiny box. It’s a depressed feeling, a lack of energy (which is contrary to the way caffeine is “supposed” to work, right?).

I can’t seem to identify anything else to attribute it to. I don’t seem to have this reaction to sodas (but don’t drink them much). If I have coffee out somewhere, I don’t notice it, but maybe because I’m out and about talking to someone else, so I’m distracted. At home, it’s just me.

Since I got my new Aeropress (which I love), I’ve been making mostly decaf, but got some caffeinated by mistake and the couple of times I’ve made it, I just feel awful (as I do right now) a while later. It lasts for several hours.

Does anyone else have what they consider extreme reactions to caffeine?

Caffeine can definitely cause anxiety, and some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others.

We’re putting requests for medical anecdotes and advice in IMHO these days, so let me move this thither for you.

twicks, who used to think her problem was with caffeine, but has realized it’s something else in coffee that does funky stuff to her system

I definitely react badly to caffeine. I feel similarly to what you describe, just all-over BAD, as well as extreme irritability (I mean EXTREME) and a certain amount of paranoia (not like the boogeyman is coming for me, but like people are mad at me or are pissing me off on purpose or are sort of ganging up on me) For years I couldn’t go near anything containing even the littlest bit or I would be a real mess, but somewhere in my twenties I started to be able to have decaf coffee or tea (only occasionally) and chocolate.

Thank you for this post! This is very much the way I feel. I was afraid to mention the paranoia, 'cause I didn’t want to sound toooo crazy, but YES!! Thank you. :cool:

Twickster, what do you think it might be…? Not all caffeinated coffee has this extreme effect on me.

It can cause it or it might be a placebo effect.

Anxiety disorders are notorious for false, cause and effect relationships. This is why people get agoraphobia. They have a panic attack and associate the panic, with the fear so they don’t go there. But the panic attack happens in another place. Then they don’t go there, and so forth. Eventually they can’t leave their houses due to the panic.

So you could be associating the coffee in your house with anxiety and that is what is causing it, not the caffeine.

Coffee depending on how it’s brewed has 150 - 200 mg for an 8 oz cup. Soda averages about 35mg for a 12oz cup. Mountain Dew comes in highest for regular pop with 54mg.

Now you certainly could be the type of person who’s sensitive to caffeine. Some people are. In fact some people are just the other way, caffeine doesn’t even keep them away at all.

The only way to know for sure would be to do a double blind test and drink a cup and see what your reaction is. You’d do this over a period of days to see if you’re reacting to the caffeine or the anxiety.

Also remember if you are very sensitive even decaf coffee has small amounts of caffeine and some pain relievers also have caffeine as well

I realize the OP wasn’t saying anxiety but the problem could be brought about to stress

I definitely suffer from panic attacks even when I don’t drink coffee. I am aware of the symptoms and take xanax when I feel one coming on. I’ve gone through extended periods when coffee/caffeine didn’t bother me. But lately it *has *been bothering me. I’m not a “caffeine addict” or anything. I’m not like my exBF whose first thought upon waking was “gotta have coffee” no matter WHAT ELSE (and I DO mean “what else”) was on offer… Because I’m not always bothered by it, when it hits me hard with just the reaction that Elret described, it surprises me and actually pisses me off… especially when the coffee is particularly tasty. I feel cheated. :frowning:

Hell caffiene can induce heart arrythmia in me, so it’s permanently off my list (which includes chocolate, alas :()

People with anxiety disorders very frequently cannot tolerate caffeine very well. It’s why I no longer drink caffeinated beverages. Not even decaffeinated tea or coffee–I stick with herbal tea.

The only time I consume stimulants is in the form of chocolate, and then only a few bites, and only when I have a migraine. And, even then, it’s the crash afterwards that I enjoy.

So…back during college my friend Fred probably was better off avoiding caffiene like he said he would after claiming that it made him feel like he was going to have a heart attack?

I’m just obnoxiously hyper after excessive caffiene. The phrase “like being attacked by squirrels” has been bandied about…

Don’t know, don’t care – but more than a cups and a half and I get nauseous. I deal with it by not drinking much coffee. I’m as caffeine dependent as anyone else, but I get it from black tea and diet Dr Pepper.

These comments have been extremely helpful. :slight_smile:

haha! Glad to help! I don’t mind shouldering the crazy for a good cause. :slight_smile:

I’m sensitive to caffeine - I can only tolerate small amounts (like a quarter cup of coffee or a half cup of coke). Chocolate doesn’t bother me at all, probably because it has theobromine in it, not caffeine (similar to caffeine but not the same). Too much caffeine makes me terribly jittery.

My husband is the opposite - he can drink caffeine with no problems and fall asleep at night, but he doesn’t like any teas or coffee, so he never drinks it, either.

Really! I did not know that! That must be why I can tolerate a fair bit of chocolate (though there is a limit) but not ANY coffee or tea.

There’s quite a bit of debate about caffeine in chocolate, but I know anecdotally that I can tolerate very little coffee, and a lot of chocolate (although I do try to keep the chocolate eating to a dull roar). A link talking about the differences.

Fascinating! Thank you!

I have no definitive answer for you, but I will share a personal anecdote. Note that my problem is different - no anxiety - but the point is that caffeine seems to have a strong impact on me.

I have been struggling with chronic fatigue for the past 5 years. Not just tiredness, but confusion, inability to do logic (I’m a programmer) and memory issues.

This year we made some headway with it. Amongst the many changes, I was advised to give up caffeine and cola-like drinks. As I said, I’ve been seeing good progress.

About 10 days ago, because I was just so *bored *with water, I started drinking diet Mountain Dew. It was not on the list of cola-like drinks I should avoid, but is very high in caffeine.

After about 5 days, I started having really bad headaches, and seemed to relapse with the fatigue. I woke with headaches and went to bed with headaches.

Last Saturday and Sunday I napped most of the day.

I stopped drinking the Mountain Dew and I am back to having mostly good days.

Was it the caffeine? Well, others will be quick to remind us that there is not a strict enough set of data to make a conclusion. No double-blind tests and a very small sample set.

But I believe there is correlation and will continue to avoid caffeine.

DH has had to give up caffeine after it produced some pretty scary effects. Muscle weakness, the shakes, heart palpitations, dizziness, etc. Docs couldn’t find anything and some of the specialists were starting to think “hypochondriac” - that makes you feel SO much better. :rolleyes:

He stopped coffee cold turkey and it all went away. No one has any idea why, but we’re happy he’s better.

very good to hear all of this. I myself suffer from anxiety and paranoia after even small amounts of coffee. I have had the most serene, enjoyable periods of my life when I have managed to quit. However, I still turn to caffeine as a coping agent during periods of stress. I know this makes no sense what so ever, but it is what I find myself doing.

Good to hear all the input and that I am not alone in my experience.