Caffeine, You WERE My Friend

I have always been a lover of coffee and tea. I thoroughly enjoy the taste and how a cup of goodness can make me feel cozy and happy.

No matter the season, I always prefer iced tea or coffee to hot, but on a cold winter day or when feeling under the weather, a hot cup is just what I need.

The Beginning

I have always enjoyed coffee and tea purely for the taste of it and when I first started drinking it, I would drink solely decaf.

I was in love with all of the beautiful flavors that were in my cup, and I loved the idea of there being so many options to choose from depending on what I wanted to enjoy that day.

My Favorites

There are many varieties of coffee and tea that I love, but some of my favorites are iced mochas, iced chai, Earl Grey, and the ever-famous plain coffee with flavored creamers.

A few years ago, I started drinking coffee not only because of its delicious flavor, but because I needed an energy boost. I was working a very demanding job in the medical field, and I needed caffeine some days to get me by.

Fast forward to today and although I am not working at the moment, I am very busy taking care of my family and a lot is going on every day. I started drinking coffee every morning, just one cup to get me through the day.

The Perks 

I started to feel like a superwoman on caffeine, I felt that I could do anything and no matter how much sleep I lost, I could still keep going. Who knew that one simple cup of coffee could do so much?

Coffee made me feel alert and alive, and it made me feel like I could make it through the day without crashing midway through. I would wake up each morning and make a small cup of iced coffee and add in my favorite flavored creamers. It was Heaven to look forward to every morning!

Weird Symptoms

A little over a month ago, I started feeling chest pain, a racing and irregular heartbeat, and my anxiety was through the roof. I also noticed some hormonal changes in my body. I chalked it up to anxiety and stress and went about my day.

Several weeks went by and I started feeling lightheaded upon activities like climbing the stairs and standing up from a sitting position. I could feel my heart pounding and I could feel palpitations in my chest. I knew that it was time to make an appointment with my doctor.

Medical Testing

I went through some testing to make sure that it wasn’t heart-related and thankfully it was not, but this left me wondering what the cause of my symptoms was. As my doctor asked me about my lifestyle habits, the topic of caffeine came up and I told my doctor that I only drink one cup a day.

To my surprise, my doctor informed me that some people are very intolerant to caffeine and that even one cup truly disrupts the body for sensitive individuals. This was news to me; I wasn’t aware that one simple cup could cause so many problems.

I was a little skeptical but given that I am very sensitive to any medications that I take, I was on board with what my doctor was saying. Maybe I was one of the few with caffeine intolerance. I was instructed to cut down and then eliminate my caffeine intake.

Here We Go 

The day after my appointment, I started using a mixture of half decaf and half caffeinated coffee. I then tapered it down to strictly decaf a few days later. I missed the perks of feeling energetic and having a clearer mind, but I was still able to enjoy the delicious taste that I love.

A few days later, I started experiencing some unpleasant symptoms. I was getting daily headaches, and feeling very nauseous, I felt dizzy and lightheaded. I felt like I was hit by a bus.

Just like that, I was in caffeine withdrawal. My doctor was right, one simple cup, and I was “addicted” to the point that my body was experiencing withdrawal from losing that one cup of coffee. I never knew that my body was relying on this stimulant as much as it was.

Today

Since this happened only a few weeks ago, I am still trying my hardest to gain energy naturally. I still drink my decaf coffee every morning and sometimes I wish that I could add in a little caffeine.

It is amazing how what we eat, and drink affects our bodies so greatly. If something feels off with you and your body, definitely make sure to get it checked out. It could be something like needing a simple lifestyle change like this one.

Ever since I cut my morning caffeinated coffee, my anxiety has lessened greatly. I have an anxiety disorder, so it will always be there, but the degree is much less. I no longer have a racing heart or feel lightheaded.

Your Turn

I would love to hear more about you! Are you a tea or coffee drinker? If so, have you experienced any of these unpleasant downsides of caffeine?

Have you ever had to change a lifestyle habit because it hurt more than it helped?