Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Can Coffee Give You Panic Attacks

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Caffeine and anxiety: what coffee is ACTUALLY doing to your body to make you anxious

Panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder, or OCD, are types of anxiety disorders. These conditions may cause panic attacks, compulsive behaviors and obsessive thoughts, sometimes resulting in a disabling impact on one’s life. These disorders may be treatable with a combination of medication and psychotherapy. Avoiding certain foods and following a diet that emphasizes nutrient-rich whole foods may also help control anxiety disorder symptoms.

How To Tell If Caffeine Is Increasing Your Anxiety

Not sure if your coffee habit is affecting your anxiety levels? Keep a diary to track your caffeine consumption and your anxiety symptoms, Sweeney suggested. Then see if any patterns emerge.

For example, on a day when they felt particularly anxious or had more trouble sleeping, was that the same day they had an extra cup of coffee? she said. could also tell whether the pattern of caffeine consumption relates to anxiety symptoms, such as whether having two cups one right after the other results in greater anxiety than two cups spread across the morning, or whether consuming caffeine later in the day coincides with greater trouble sleeping.

How To Kick The Coffee

A common practice is to replace coffee with an alternative, like green tea or if the taste of coffee is too good to give up, a decaffeinated substitute. This is effective in allowing coffee drinkers to continue their daily routines and consume similar drinks while drastically reducing their caffeine intake and the side-effects associated with it.

If you feel that coffee could be adding to your feelings of anxiety, reducing your intake is a good place to start. If youre a regular to the heavy coffee drinker, going cold turkey can induce withdrawal symptoms and for a while could make you feel worse, so if youre concerned about the process to consult a professional for guidance on the best solutions for you.

At Northern Healthcare, our professional team can create health and recovery plans tailored to each resident, this includes creating coping strategies for anxiety symptoms. We operate by a clinical referral process which is to be submitted by a health or social care professional.

Find out more about our referral process here:


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Links Between Caffeine And Anxiety

Edited and medically reviewed by Patrick Alban, DC | Written by Deane Alban

Caffeine is a psychoactive drug that can cause or exacerbate anxiety and other stress-related signs and symptoms in many ways. Learn what you can do.

If you have an anxiety disorder, and youre concerned that caffeine is making it worse, your suspicions may be right.

Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that can significantly contribute to anxiety disorders.;

Theres evidence that quitting caffeine can be even;more beneficial for anxiety than taking prescription anti-anxiety drugs!

Here are 15 ways that caffeine is linked to anxiety and what you can do about it.

What Are The Differences

Coffee And Caffeine May Decrease Anxiety Symptoms

Here are some of the features that distinguish them.

An anxiety attack, or anxiety:

  • can have a specific trigger, such as an exam, workplace issues, a health issue, or a relationship problem
  • is not a diagnosable condition
  • is less severe than a panic attack
  • usually develops gradually when a person feels anxious
  • involves physical symptoms, such as a racing heart or knot in the stomach

A panic attack:

The term anxiety attack is not listed in the American Psychological Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th Edition .

Panic attacks, however, are a symptom of panic disorder in the DSM-V. Only a licensed professional can diagnose panic disorder.

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Caffeine Induced Anxiety Symptoms

Increasing the bodys metabolic rate also increases heart activity and breathing rate. While this is clearly a benefit to someone looking for a boost of energy, these effects can be indistinguishable from an attack of anxiety to a sufferer of the disorder.

In fact, the symptoms of caffeine consumption mirror the symptoms of anxiety:

  • Nervousness
  • Fast heart rate
  • Gastrointestinal problems

Those who feel anxious after a cup of coffee are often conflating the effects of the caffeine with the familiar feelings of anxiety.

What About Sugar In Coffee

So you dont take your coffee black and need a little sweetness in your life? Sugar and other artificial sweeteners are similar to caffeine in that it cant cause anxiety, but can worsen anxiety symptoms. It is best to stay away since they can cause effects such as fatigue , blurry vision, and upset stomach. These side effects can lower your mood which just contributes to anxiety.

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Keeps Wrinkles At Bay For Longer

There are many factors when it comes to development of wrinkles, but a big one is how well your body can continue making collagen, a protein that provides structure to skin, as well as tendons and ligaments, according to previous research. As we age, our collagen production decreases naturally, research notes, which can affect skin resiliency, elasticity, and hydration. What speeds up that process? Too much UV light, tobacco, excessive sugar intake, and surprisingly, a large amount of caffeine.

“As research has shown, caffeine actually interferes with collagen synthesis,” says Los Angeles-based registered dietitian Melissa Hooper. “When collagen stores begin to decline, which occurs around age 30, it creates wrinkles. Cutting out caffeine is a simple and inexpensive dietary change that can be done to support collagen stores and help delay wrinkles.”

How To Cut Back On Caffeine

What causes panic attacks, and how can you prevent them? – Cindy J. Aaronson

Do it gradually.

Experts recommend reducing your intake slowly over the course of two to three weeks. If you go cold turkey, youre more likely to deal with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms like headaches, fatigue and mood disturbances.

Caffeine withdrawal symptoms can be uncomfortable but usually go away within the first week of stopping, Juliano noted.

It may also be useful to track your anxiety levels in a journal throughout the weaning process, Sweeney said.

Change up your coffee order.

Some may be surprised to learn that one shot of espresso actually contains less caffeine than one cup of drip coffee.

A 1.5-ounce shot of espresso only contains about 75 to 90 mg of caffeine compared to a 12-ounce drip coffee that may contain 200 to 300 mg of caffeine, Juliano said.

If you like tea, youll be glad to know that even caffeinated varieties such as green tea or black tea tend to have less caffeine per serving than brewed coffee. In an 8-ounce cup, green tea has about 25 mg of caffeine and black tea has about 50 mg, according to the Mayo Clinic. But again, caffeine content can vary based on the brewing time, temperature and other factors.

Supposing, however, you consumed the same amount of caffeine from coffee as you did from black tea, would the beverages have different effects on your anxiety levels? According to Juliano, there isnt sufficient data to say.

Switch to decaffeinated coffee or herbal tea.

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Caffeines Role In Our Society

Caffeine is being offered to us in a variety of ways. There is a coffee shop on every corner and a convenience store on the other corner. They are selling us what we need, energy. We put less gas in or cars so we can buy two monster drinks loaded with triple shots of caffeine. We get the double espresso for our drive to work and the ginseng green tea with extra zest to sip on throughout the day. We spend between five and ten dollars a day on our caffeine cravings. Could we make our own at home and take it with us in a thermos? Sure. But only a few do this and come on lets face it, they are kind of nerdy. Why? Because people in our society like to be seen holding the Starbucks coffee cup, not the bobo cup we got from our cabinet. And it is even cooler to have the refillable cup, making the statement that we are there so often we earned ourselves a refill cup. Guess what? We all fall into this trap. Just this year American independent coffee shops equaled 12 billion in sales.

Some Patients Are Experiencing Panic Attacks And Anxiety

For some patients, fear of the unknown is so debilitating it’s causing symptoms of clinical anxiety for the first time.

Or is that racing heart and difficulty breathing due to COVID-19? That, too, is tough to know.;

Dashauna Ballard, who started developing COVID-19 symptoms including intense sinus pressure, fever, and extreme fatigue on March 30, said the experience has “unlocked” panic attacks, which she’d never had before. One was so intense it sent her to the hospital, and she almost succumbed to another when she thought about losing her breath while sleeping.;

“I asked myself, ‘What would happen if I stopped breathing? Am I going to die?'” Ballard, who’s staying with her parents in Selma, Alabama, where she’s still recovering, told Business Insider.;

Martha Barrera, who lives in Orange County, New York, has a similar experience. She got sick on March 18 and is still battling symptoms. She too never had anxiety before. Now, she has night terrors and lays awake between 3 am and 7 am, worried that she might stop breathing.

“Knowing how terrible it makes you feel and not knowing when all of this will end or what will happen to you next is the most terrifying part of this illness,” she told Business Insider. “We are the guinea pigs. We are the ones that have to figure it out for everyone else. I have never felt so alone or scared.”;

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Less Anxiety And Better Immune Function

Just to revisit that cortisol bump for a moment: That surge of cortisol does more than give you a temporary feeling of energy, says Kenney. Regular consumption may start to make you feel less like a warrior and more like a worrier.

“The way caffeine causes cortisol, in particular, to stay elevated is similar to those experiencing acute stress,” Kenney says. If it’s only the caffeine that’s spiking your stress response, that’s one thing, but on top of other daily stressors, it can ultimately put you at higher risk of stress-related issues like lower immune function, according to a review published in October 2015 in Current Opinion in Psychology.

Okay So How Much Caffeine Is Too Much

11 Startling Causes of Panic Attacks

According to the experts, a typical dose of 400 milligrams per day is more than enough. Note that if you are pregnant, keep doses to less than 200 milligrams daily . Having too much of this powerful stimulant can put you at risk for having symptoms like fast, irregular heartbeats, and muscle tremors.;

If you do happen to go a wee bit overboard on the caffeine, dont panic. Just stop drinking your caffeinated beverage and replace it with lots of H2O to rehydrate. One cup of water to one cup of coffee or one 8 oz. energy drink is a good ratio. Then, take a walk to shake off the caffeine and help ease some of that restlessness.

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Lower The Risk Of Heartburn

According to Linda Nikolakopoulos, RD, who is based in Boston, caffeine is often a main trigger for heartburn and acid reflux, and her clients have seen tremendous success with alleviating symptoms by going caffeine-free. Previous research has shown that coffee, in particular, can boost heartburn risk but even tea to a lesser extent can be problematic. That’s because coffee has a high degree of acidity, similar to other drinks with high acid content like orange juice.

“This can be a game changer if you suffer from these issues,” she says. “Cutting back or eliminating caffeine is one of the first strategies I recommend, because it can provide great relief.”

Potentially Better Bone Health

Related to vitamin deficiencies, caffeine’s effect on bone health has been a subject for debate. On the “skip the java” side is previous research in the Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which found that higher caffeine levels interfered with vitamin D absorption, reducing the way the vitamin responded in osteoblasts, the cells responsible for building bone.

That mechanism, and the strong link between vitamin D and calcium, may be why another study, which was published August 2017 in Archives of Medical Science, found that regular, high caffeine consumption is associated with reduced bone mineral density and increased urinary calcium loss.

On the other side of the debate, its suggested that these effects are minimal in those who get the recommended amount of calcium daily, and that these effects can be offset by adding a small amount of milk to a cup of coffee or tea.

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The Higher You Go The Harder The Crash

Yes, caffeine can help us by giving us a small jolt of energy. But in the long term, caffeine may actually be contributing to our lack of energy. The body needs water, which can give us just as much if not more energy. And I dont mean the caffeinated water sold in some stores. The effects of dehydration can lead to severe anxiety.

The more caffeine you drink, the less water you intake. Depending on how your body metabolizes caffeine, it could even make you feel drowsy and more tired than before you drank it. Whoa. Slow down. Caffeine can make me tired? Yes. And thats not all it can do for you.

Believe it or not, you can become intoxicated on caffeine. Its true. You can even receive a DUI traffic violation if your caffeine intoxication is causing you to be a danger to society while you are driving. I promise you do not want to go to jail for being jacked up on caffeine.

Bottom Line: Embrace Caffeine In Moderation But Stay Aware

If You Understand THIS, You Can STOP Panic & Panic Attacks | Dr. Rami Nader

What if you can’t imagine life without that morning mug of coffee? Like so much in nutrition, caffeine can be a “used in moderation” type of fix.

Dr. Nagelkirk says staying under 400 milligrams per day is a good target, which is still a robust amount the;U.S. Department of Agriculture notes;that one 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee has 96 mg but also to stay aware of how it affects you.

You can also dial back by choosing a less-caffeinated options, like black or;green tea. The;Mayo Clinic;puts one 8-ounce cup of black tea at 47 mg and an 8-oz cup of green tea at 28 mg.

Its worth noting that more research is needed to determine exact effects and dosage that may be causing adverse effects. Also, some people are genetically predisposed to be hypersensitive to caffeine, so their recommended amount may be different from someone without this predisposition. Thats another area where more research would be helpful.

That said, if you’re struggling with any of the issues on this list, try cutting out the jump juice and see if it brings some relief. And get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked, too.

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Will Cutting Out Caffeine Reduce Anxiety

Everyone is different and likely to have differing levels of success with reducing anxiety through moderating caffeine intake. Cutting out caffeine can certainly be helpful for some people as they try to reduce anxiety and panic attacks. Keep in mind as you experiment with caffeines impact on anxiety that you may see a difference or you may not.

You won’t “cure” your anxiety by cutting out caffeine but it is possible to notice some positive effects of moderating or eliminating your caffeine consumption.

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Research And Statistics: Who Has Agoraphobia

Because agoraphobia has only become a formal diagnosis relatively recently , the data vary on how prevalent it is. The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , which classified agoraphobia as its own diagnosis, notes that approximately 1.7 percent of the population has agoraphobia.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health ,;the lifetime prevalence is 1.3 percent. The NIMH reports that 0.9 percent of the adult population;in the United States experiences agoraphobia in a given year.

Among adults with agoraphobia in the past year, notes the NIH, an estimated 40.6 percent were seriously impaired by agoraphobia. Impairment was moderate for 30.7 percent had moderate impairment, and 28.7 percent.

The mean age of diagnosis of agoraphobia is in the mid-to-late twenties. And women are diagnosed with it more frequently than men.

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Can Caffeine Induce Anxiety Attacks

by Patient Advocate

The short answer is a definite yes. In looking over some of the more popular member generated content here on Anxiety Connection, I stumbled upon a post written by member Linda back in 2007 where she makes an amazing discovery about the source of her anxiety attacks. In her post entitled, “No Coffee, No Anxiety” Linda explains how she would have chronic anxiety and panic attacks during a stressful period in her life. Despite the fact that the stressors went away, she continued to have problems with anxiety. Then she found the one thing that really helped. Here is an excerpt of Linda’s story:

“I stopped drinking coffee because I noticed that it was making me feel a bit nauseated on a regular basis. I didn’t remove caffeine completely — I started drinking tea instead. It was about two weeks without coffee when I realized that the anxious feeling was gone. Completely. The ONLY change I made in my life at the time was cutting out the coffee. That was more than two years ago and the anxiety has never returned, even in stressful situations. It may sound crazy, but I’m a firm believer that coffee was the cause of my anxiety.”

For example here are the criteria outlined in the DSM-IV-TR for Caffeine intoxication:

-Recent consumption of caffeine, usually in excess of 250 mg

-Demonstration of 5 or more of the following signs during or shortly after caffeine use:

  • Restlessness o Nervousness

  • Periods of inexhaustibility

  • Psychomotor agitation

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