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Can Coffee Give You Migraines

What To Do After Relating Coffee As The Origin Of My Headaches

Can coffee help or give headaches ?

After you have established the headache-coffee consumption relationship, do not consume coffee: we know that this headache has a variable duration, from a few hours to several days, but the result is worth it.

Continue the non-consumption of coffee, and you will realize that the headaches will be less and less until they disappear after this process.

You will even be able to increase the levels of tolerance and the ability to withstand the stress of your daily life.

Also read: Why is coffee addictive?

Paradoxically, you will notice in a few days that you have higher energy levels and that you no longer need to drink coffee to stay awake.

You will be full of vitality .

How Exactly Does Caffeine Improve Headache Treatments

Blood vessels tend to dilate before a headache. Caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties, meaning it narrows blood vessels, restricting blood flow. Since caffeine prevents the dilation of blood vessels, it tends to prevent headaches. There are likely many more ways that caffeine works to reduce headache pain that arent fully understood.

Many OTC headache treatments, such as Excedrin, and some prescription headache medications actually contain caffeine, according to Cleveland Clinic. Because of this, some people might find that a simple cup of coffee relieves their headaches. If youre not a fan of coffee but you want to use caffeine to soothe your headache, consider trying green or black tea both contain caffeine.

However, you should be careful when treating a headache with caffeine, as you can overdose and there are some potential side effects.

On the other hand, caffeine can cause headaches.

Caffeine can make you urinate more, potentially dehydrating you. In turn, dehydration can cause headaches.

Headaches can also be caused by a caffeine overdose. According to Mayo Clinic, overdosing on caffeine can cause headaches as well as a range of other side effects. Daily maximum should be 400 milligrams of caffeine, although some people might only be able to tolerate less. This is the equivalent of about four cups of brewed coffee a day. This can vary depending on the strength of the coffee.

  • chocolate
  • energy drinks
  • some soft drinks

The Science Of Withdrawal

  • Caffeine is addictive because the molecule itself fits so perfectly into our brains adenosine receptors.
  • Adenosine is responsible for telling the brain when it is time to rest or sleep.
  • Since these receptors are blocked with caffeine molecules, dopamine works more efficiently. The excess adenosine signals the adrenal glands to release adrenaline, which further perpetuates the feeling of alertness.
  • Over time, the brain adds more adenosine receptors to compensate for the caffeine, which causes a tolerance to build-up to the caffeine molecule.
  • When a person misses or decides to quit their usual caffeine dosage, the brain is then flooded with adenosine, and dopamine levels drop drastically causing the brains chemistry to be out of balance.
  • The increased adenosine plus a drop in adrenaline and dopamine levels lead to many of the caffeine withdrawal symptoms listed above.
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    So Can Caffeine Really Cause A Migraine

    The short answer? Yes.

    Let us explain: While studies have found no proof that drinking caffeine will automatically trigger a migraine, Dr. Crystal warns that the stimulant is still one to be wary of.

    âCaffeine withdrawal is a known trigger for migraine and other headache types, and caffeine itself may trigger migraines,â Dr. Crystal says.

    Migraine triggers are unique for everyone, but studies show that when it comes to caffeine, the amount consumed may have more weight in whether or not you develop a headache. Research from the American Journal of Medicine shows that three or more servings of caffeinated beverages a day is associated with developing a migraine in individuals who experience episodic migraines.

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    Caffeine Headache: Can Coffee Help or Give Headaches? Cure ...

      Humanity has evolved with the consumption of caffeine with reports that tea was first consumed in China as early as 3000 BC and coffee first being consumed in Ethiopia as early as the 9th century. Every day roughly ninety percent of Americans consume caffeine with over eighty five percent having at least one caffeinated beverage per day.

      Coffee consumption in the United States is the primary contributor of caffeine consumption across all age groups 18 years and older. Recent statistics indicate the United States imports in excess of $4 Billion worth of coffee every year with over 400 million cups of coffee being consumed per day. In 2018 the globally famous coffee chain Starbucks had 14,606 locations in the United States alone.

      Many patients report that coffee consumption can trigger the onset of a migraine while others report coffee can help prevent the full onset of a migraine. These descrepencies can occur due to medications, individual sensitivity, the type and reason for your headaches, or the amount being consumed as this study suggests. Coffee can help prevent the full onset of a migraine as before a migraine occurs blood vessels tend to enlarge however caffeine is a vasoconstrictor that can cause blood vessels to narrow and restrict the blood flow which can create or aid in the reported pain relief.

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      How Caffeine Consumption Affects Headaches

      We metabolize caffeine at different rates so theres no hard and fast rule on how much caffeine one can consume before experiencing withdrawal symptoms. Your bodyweight also affects how much caffeine is safe the heavier a person is, the more caffeine they can consume without negative effects.

      For most healthy adults, an intake of 300-400 mg of caffeine a day is found to be safe in general, which is equivalent to four cups of brewed coffee. However, for some people who are sensitive or allergic to caffeine, even just a small amount can trigger reactions such as headaches.

      Be mindful about the various sources of caffeine, such as black tea, green tea, chocolate, some soda, and certain OTC medications, which can add to your daily caffeine and calorie intake.

      Is Your Headache Triggered By Caffeine

      If youre used to drinking coffee to start your day, you might have experienced a caffeine headache when you dont get your morning cup of joe.

      Youre not alone. In fact, caffeine withdrawal headaches are quite common among coffee drinkers if they dont get their fix. There are many causes, affects, and tips to minimize your headache symptoms when it comes to caffeine.

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      How Caffeine Affects Migraine

      You may think caffeine is a good migraine fix. Why not? Its on Excedrin Migraine. Ive even seen it recommended on Pinterest posts for curing a migraine, which is the holy grail of self help/cooking ideas. This is because caffeine has a stimulant effect that opens up blood vessels in your brain, allowing for some relief of the headache. Although it can be an effective abortive when used very sparingly, unfortunately its not a permanent cure. Using Excedrin for every migraine or drinking coffee can even lead to rebound headaches.

      Theres still conflicting information on this subject, which is understandable considering the great dependency on caffeine that we have. In my personal opinion, people make excuses to have it around because they are so addicted to it, its unimaginable to give up. In my case, I was so desperate to feel normal again, I gave up all my favorite things like aged cheese, red wine, and even my morning latte.

      Sensitivity Or Allergy To Caffeine

      Too Much Caffeine Can Cause Headaches

      Finally, some are very sensitive or even show allergy symptoms when consuming caffeine. Although this is an improbable cause, it is important to verify it to avoid risks.

      Coffee allergies are rare and have almost always been caused by contact with the green coffee bean.

      In the case of allergy to caffeine, like any other food, and the immune response would occur that you would have noticed immediately.

      Or if not, your glottis would have been in charge of keeping you informed.

      In the case of intolerance, or sensitivity, the side effects are less severe: rapid heartbeat, nervousness, anxiety, ongoing headaches, insomnia, stomach pain, and, eventually, gastroesophageal reflux, vomiting, and blood pressure problems.

      Here are some recommendations that you should consider if you have symptoms of a coffee allergy:

      • Drink decaffeinated coffee
      • Consult a doctor

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      Migraine Vs Caffeine Withdrawal

      Another way that caffeine may indirectly lead to an intense headacheor what feels like a migraineis through withdrawal. For example, if youve been drinking two cups of coffee per day for the last number of months or years and stop cold turkey, youll likely feel it one way or another. One effect could be severe headaches, as your body gets used to going without something its grown accustomed to having.

      When caffeine is consumed, it activates adenosine receptors, which is what staves off drowsiness and keeps you alert. As you consume caffeine more frequently, you may require more of it to get the same effect as tolerance builds. Cutting off that supplywhich may have turned into a dependencecan lead to withdrawal.

      If youve recently stopped drinking coffee cold turkey and have been experiencing extremely painful headaches there are a couple of options. The first is to stick it outyou should be over it within a few days. The second is to slowly wean yourself off coffee by lowering consumption daily.

      Caffeine As A Headache Treatment

      Caffeine seems to be an effective acute treatment for migraine, or at least a component for the acute treatment of migraine from a patient perspective, says Roderick Spears, MD, a neurologist and headache specialist at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

      Patients often report that if they can have a caffeinated beverage combined with a medication, its usually helpful during an attack, Dr. Spears says.

      There are also medications to treat headache and migraine both over-the-counter and prescription that contain caffeine and can be helpful for some patients when they are having a migraine attack, says Spears.

      All formulations of the over-the-counter drug Excedrin , for example, contain 65 mg of caffeine per tablet, along with acetaminophen and aspirin.

      Similarly the drug Cafergot, available by prescription, contains ergotamine and caffeine. Each tablet contains 100 mg of caffeine, and the recommended dose is to take two tablets as soon as you notice a migraine attack starting and one additional tablet every 30 minutes up to a total of six tablets per 24 hours if symptoms continue.

      The mechanism of action behind caffeines pain-relieving potential is related to the blood vessels, says Spears.

      We know that blood vessels dilate with migraine, and caffeine is thought to be beneficial because it causes vasoconstriction. Thats what people are addressing when they consume a caffeinated beverage or a medication that contains caffeine when they have a migraine, he says.

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      Migraine Headaches: Still Mysterious After All These Years

      Migraine headaches are quite common: more than a billion people reportedly suffer from migraines worldwide. Yet, the cause has long been a mystery and it still is.

      Until recently, the going theory was that blood vessels around the brain go into spasm, temporarily constricting and limiting blood flow. Then, when the blood vessels open up, the rush of incoming blood flow leads to the actual headache.

      That theory has fallen out of favor. Now, the thinking is that migraines are due to waves of electrical activity spreading across the outer portions of the brain, leading to inflammation and overreactive nerve cells that send inappropriate pain signals. Why this begins in the first place is unknown.

      Migraines tend to run in families, so genetic factors are likely important. In addition, chemical messengers within the brain, such as serotonin, may also play a central role in the development of migraines, though the mechanisms remain uncertain.

      People prone to migraines may experience more headaches after coffee consumption , but coffee itself, or the caffeine it contains, is not considered the actual cause of migraines. Certain foods or drinks like coffee are thought to trigger episodes of migraine, but the true cause is not known.

      Key Points About Caffeine And Migraines

      Caffeine Headache: Can Coffee Help or Give Headaches? Cure ...
      • Caffeine affects pain.
      • Acute treatment of headaches with caffeine is sometimes effective but should be limited to not more than two days per week.
      • For people who experience migraine, caffeine taken three or more days per week, for whatever reason, may lead to dependency and increased migraine frequency.
      • For those who have frequent headaches, avoidance of all caffeine is ideal, and at least until improvement in headache frequency is seen.

      Migraine patients often report that a strong cup of coffee can stop some attacks. This is not surprising to hear. Caffeine is a key active ingredient in many headache medications including ExcedrinTM, AnacinTM, MidolTM, Darvon CompoundTM, FioricetTM, and MigranalTM. Caffeine may aid in the bodys absorption of these medicines, but can caffeine itself relieve headaches? Few research studies have examined this question, but the answer appears to be yes. Caffeine can provide some headache relief. For example, one small controlled study found that caffeine was better than placebo, and as good as acetaminophen, in relieving tension-type headaches.

      We dont fully understand the mechanisms underlying the different effects of caffeine on the brain. However, the specific targets of action of caffeine in the brain and nerves outside the brain are known.

      Robert E. Shapiro, MD, Ph.D., Professor of Neurology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT.

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      Caffeine: What You Need To Know

      Robert E. Shapiro, MD, PhDProfessor of NeurologyUniversity of Vermont College of MedicineBurlington, VT

      Keeler Center for the Study of HeadachesOjai, CA

      Migraine patients often report that some attacks can be halted by a strong cup of coffee. This is not surprising to hear. Caffeine is a key active ingredient in many headache medications including ExcedrinTM, AnacinTM, MidolTM, Darvon CompoundTM, FioricetTM, and MigranalTM. Caffeine may aid in the absorption of these medicines, but can caffeine itself relieve headaches? Few research studies have examined this question, but the answer appears to be yes caffeine can provide some headache relief. For example, one small controlled study found that caffeine was more effective than placebo, and as effective as acetaminophen, in relieving tension-type headaches.

      Caffeine Can Also Trigger Headaches

      Drinking lots of caffeine won’t help relieve a headache. For example, if you increase your caffeine intake, but don’t increase how much water you’re drinking, caffeine can trigger a headache indirectly by causing you to become more dehydrated.

      However, you’re more likely to get a headache from caffeine if you simply drink too much of it too often, because this can lead to dependence.

      If you suddenly stop or reduce your caffeine intake after consuming it regularly typically more than 200 mg per day for more than 2 weeks you may feel the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. According to the Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , headaches are the main symptom of caffeine withdrawal.

      Caffeine narrows the blood vessels around your brain, so once you stop consuming it regularly, they expand. This causes a significant increase in blood flow to the brain, and that’s what can lead to migraine headaches.

      “If you want to get off caffeine, don’t abruptly stop. Taper your intake gradually over a few days. This can help minimize the intense withdrawal headache,” says Stephens.

      According to the American Migraine Foundation, it’s possible to avoid caffeine withdrawal symptoms by tapering down your intake to as little as 25 mg of caffeine a day.

      Recommended Reading: Migraine Healthline

      To Drink Coffee Or Not To Drink Coffee

      Quitting coffee cold turkey isnât necessarily the answer since caffeine affects everyone differently, but having a few alternatives can certainly help you avoid dependency or suffer from a rebound headache. Use a migraine tracking app or journal to carefully monitor your caffeine intake and find the right levels for youâso you can live your best, headache-free life.

      The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely upon the content provided in this article for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.

      Top 15 Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms

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    • HeadachesA caffeine headache usually starts behind the eyes and then moves up the front of the head.
    • SleepinessThis just isnt your normal tiredness, this is sitting up straight but still cant keep your eyes open tiredness.
    • IrritabilityEveryone and everything gets on your last nerve. Its best just to lock yourself in your room during this stage.
    • LethargyForget about productivity at this stage because youll be unmotivated to do anything from the sudden drop in your dopamine levels.
    • Constipation
    • Caffeine withdrawal can cause some people to lose their sense of equilibrium and experience vertigo.
    • Heart Rhythm AbnormalitiesSince caffeine also stimulates the heart muscle, some people experience changes in their heart rhythm during withdrawal. Both low blood pressure and even palpitations have been reported.
    • Need help reducing caffeine ?

    • – it’ll help you understand what caffeine is doing for you.
    • Consider trying the Wean Caffeine supplement . It helps avoid the painful withdrawal symptoms that occur when quitting caffeine.
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      Does Caffeine Treat Or Trigger Headaches

      Many people ask whether caffeine can treat or trigger a headache. The answer is that caffeine can do both.

      Caffeine can provide relief for a headache.

      During a headache, blood vessels swell, tighten or go through other changes, causing an increase in blood flow around the brain. This increase blood flow pressures surrounding nerves, which send pain messages to the brain. This brings on the headache.

      Caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties, meaning that blood vessels narrow to restrict blood flow, thereby alleviating the pain. Also, when caffeine is taken in combination with pain medicines, such as aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen, it increases the absorption and strength of the medication to provide faster relief.

      Caffeine can trigger a headache.

      When caffeine is consumed regularly, the body becomes dependent on its effects. And because caffeine narrows the blood vessels that surround the brain, when consumption is stopped, the blood vessels enlarge. This causes an increase in blood flow around the brain and pressures surrounding nerves. This can then trigger what is known as a caffeine withdrawal headache. Withdrawal headaches can last for a couple of weeks because it takes the body a while to adjust to not having caffeine in its system.

      What should you do?

      Kelli Tornstrom is a nurse practitioner in Neurology in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

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