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Coffee - Caffeine Addiction

If you just have to have your morning cup of coffee, you might be addicted to caffeine.

You are dependent on a chemical when you become sick from not being able to take it. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that when some regular coffee drinkers are suddenly deprived of their morning fix, they suffer from headaches, fatigue and depression and are unable to function at their usual level of efficiency. Students may be unable to learn and writers may not be able to write. The article in the Journal of the American Medical Association described one worker who made costly errors and another who kept her head on the desk in a dark room. Most of the people withdrawing from caffeine went to bed early.

Moderate use of coffee, tea or soft drinks with caffeine is not harmful to most of people, but excessive caffeine can make you shaky, raise blood pressure, cause irregular heart beats or interfere with sleep. If you have these symptoms and want to stop drinking caffeinated beverages, doctors recommend that you stop cold turkey at a time when you don't need to function at your best for a few days. The headaches, fatigue and depression should pass in a short time. Nobody should associate caffeine dependance or addiction which is relatively harmless with alcohol or nicotine dependance which have severe health consequences. Each year, misuse of alcohol causes more than 100,000 deaths in the United States and smoking causes more than 400,000 deaths.

More on caffeine

JAMA, October 5, 1994

By Gabe Mirkin, M.D., for CBS Radio News

Checked 2/2/14

June 10th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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