Your Twitter Questions Answered: Caffeine Withdrawal and Overdose

Even though we all enjoy the benefits of caffeine in our coffee, tea and energy drinks, caffeine is still considered an addictive drug — not that different from nicotine or alcohol.

As we explore the effects of caffeine on our bodies, we can assess how much it acts like a drug. First of all, our bodies develop a tolerance to caffeine after some exposure, which means that your body requires more caffeine to get the same desired (or undesired) effects. If you become a coffeeholic, you may realize that you require more and more coffee to stay awake in the morning.

Second of all, if some coffeeholics miss their regular cup of Joe, they may experience some gruesome withdrawal effects. The addicted body expects the drug, and if it doesn’t get what it wants, it can hold your body and brain hostage. For example, some people who are regular coffee drinkers may experience a caffeine-withdrawal headache if they go without coffee for awhile. These withdrawal symptoms could last for hours, days or weeks after one stops taking caffeine.

Caffeine withdrawal looks worse in those who are more addicted, like Therese Knepper who asked the following question on Twitter:

@mtk702: @DrOz I have been 14 days w/o caffeine, compared to at least 32 oz. a day. Why am I experiencing constipation? I’ve increased water. Read more  »