Coffee Addiction: Effects, Symptoms, and Risks

Coffee Addiction: Effects, Symptoms, and Risks

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Coffee addiction is rampant in the United States, not to mention the world. More people than not have at least one cup per day. What is it about this drink that lures so many people in? Is it the caffeine, the taste, or just having a warm beverage in their bellies? Is it the feeling of being energized, spunky, or alert? Why would someone need that extra shot or two of espresso? It is truly different for every person, but the fact is, coffee can have an unsatisfactory effect on the mind and body.

What many don’t realize is that the caffeine high is artificial. It sends the person’s mind and body on an extreme high, and once it wears off, they plummet down very quickly. This physical and mental rollercoaster is how the body will function all day, usually having to consume more and more to keep from crashing. By the end of the day, the body is extremely exhausted. Caffeine is considered a drug and very large amounts are found in coffee.

Anyone that needs one cup per day is said to be addicted. It has been stated that this is mainly an addiction of the mind, but it has been proven that caffeine affects how the body works and functions. Of course, the mind could play a role, maybe the actual habit of pouring that first cup in the morning or stopping by your favorite java shop. Some of the negative sides of caffeine are increased pulse and heart palpitations, along with making a woman’s breast sore during PMS. Many people with certain health complications are completely restricted from having coffee, or any caffeine, in their diet.

Women are especially at risk for consuming too much coffee. Studies have shown that it increases estrogen levels, cortisol levels, and interferes with the absorption of vital minerals and vitamins. Heart attacks and some cancers have also been linked with too much consumption. Anyone suffering from anxiety should try their best to steer clear from coffee to avoid that spiraling “high” and plummeting “down”. It also triggers the “fight or flight” response. Anyone who is already nervous by nature will only heighten these reactions and be more on edge.

Trying to “come off” coffee can be as hard as someone quitting smoking. The addiction can be so strong, whether it being physical or psychological, that the withdrawal symptoms can be quite severe. Headaches, fatigue, moodiness, and depression are only some that one might experience. Symptoms usually do not last long, but can continue for well over a week and start soon after the last amount of caffeine was ingested. This in turn, often times, leads to insomnia.

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So here is the question: What is worse, being addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, or a plain-Jane cup of Joe? It really depends on how strongly you are addicted and the actual person him/herself. There are many great and gentle ways to ease yourself off of coffee and not experience a lot of the withdrawal symptoms. If you feel you may be addicted, do your best to at least start limiting your intake in order to keep your mind and body healthy.

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