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_Whitetigress's avatar

Can caffeine deprivation cause death?

Asked by _Whitetigress (4349 points ) October 27th, 2012

I’m probably semi-dependent. I drink coffee and tea all day everyday except for Tuesdays and Thursdays. On those days, I’m beyond mellow. Usually on Thursday I’ll have a headache and feel tired all day. Sometimes the headache feels pretty darn gnarly.

Since caffeine is a stimulant can not having it result in perhaps a stroke? (All I remember from Psychology 100 is that when drugs enter the body regularly the brain will slow down in production of natural chemicals that would normally run the body)

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16 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

No, the bad headache is the extent of the withdrawal. it will be over in 24 to 36 hours.

Why do you skip caffeine on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Do you enjoy the headaches?

Judi's avatar

I had withdrawal so bad once I was throwing up from the headache. I thought I was dying!

_Whitetigress's avatar

@zenvelo I don’t enjoy! Haha. On those days I don’t work (which is the source of where I get my coffee and tea). Hopefully after Black Friday I’ll have an ace Coffee maker. (Congrats on the Giants victory today, I think I remember that you root SF? I’m a SD fan and proud of Bruce Bochy!)

@Judi Oh that’s normal for me! (Or at least I’ve been through that over 30 times confidently) Mine is usually paired with the dreaded diarrhea, but I think that would be if I quit caffeine 2 days in a row.

lillycoyote's avatar

I believe you can actually die of a caffeine overdose, with a large enough dose, but I’ve never heard of anyone dying from caffeine withdrawal. I’m not absolutely 100% certain but it seems very unlikely.

rooeytoo's avatar

Everytime I give up Coke, I start thinking I might die from the withdrawal symptoms (that is when I usually have another coke to keep the grim reaper at bay!)

_Whitetigress's avatar

@rooeytoo How much Coke (THE SODA) do you go through each week?

JLeslie's avatar

It is recommended to wean down when quitting caffeine. I don’t think you can die from it, but it is definitely an addiction, physical addiction. Maybe if the person has other physical problems also. It is a change in the blood vessels that causes the severe headache. caffeine does keep away the feeling of sleepiness, so when you quit you should think about being alert while you drive, that could be deadly, not being alert while driving. That goes away a few days to a couple weeks after quitting.

rooeytoo's avatar

@_Whitetigress – this is a strange schedule but it fits into my traveling itinerary. I have a glass bottle on every other Wednesday, every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. So not a tremendous amount but I heard a doc on a radio talk show recently say that even a can a day doubles your chance of pancreatic cancer. I may have to go back to booze to stay healthy!!!

JLeslie's avatar

@rooeytoo I never heard about a relationship to pancreatic cancer! I have to look that up. I was a cocaholic for many many years. Still crave it, but gave it up for the most part. Lots of cheating the last five years. Don’t you feel like crap Monday late afternoon and Tuesday with that schedule? Sort of under the weather?

LuckyGuy's avatar

You are putting your body through unnecessary. Can you reduce your consumption a little during working hours by either drinking less (or try mixing caf and no calf). On Tuesday and Thursday you can make tea for yourself or eat a few Jolt mints or chew Jolt gum . Five mints have the same caffeine as a cup of coffee.

hearkat's avatar

I was going to suggest supplementing some caffeine on your days off, even if only by drinking black or green teas. Does all that caffeine on work days give you problems sleeping at night or dehydration issues? Caffeine is a diuretic. I try to stop caffeine around 2pm, so I will sleep better at night.

marinelife's avatar

No, coffee and caffeine are not necessary for life.

Coloma's avatar

LOL…too funny! No, but I hear you, I am a coffee addict myself. I only drink it in the morning and this morning sucks because I am out of milk and creamer so am drinking it mixed with hot chocolate. Ick, but better than black.

JLeslie's avatar

I don’t get it. I say be addicted or don’t be. Drink every day with consistency, or pretty much abstain. Why put your body through withdrawal constantly?

Buttonstc's avatar

@LuckyGuy

What a blast from the past !

Anybody else remember Jolt Cola?

Either this is the same company or they bought the rights to the name. I recognize the logo.

I never understood why Jolt Cola only lasted for a few years. I loved that stuff.

This was way back when sugar and caffeine free sodas were just starting to be all the rage; advertising for them non-stop from every company.

And then along comes Jolt which proudly proclaims “All the sugar and TWICE the caffeine.”

Now that’s an advertising slogan that takes guts. (but maybe that’s why Jolt Cola only lasted a few years :)

I still miss it :(

LuckyGuy's avatar

@Buttonstc Yep! Jolt Cola. I loved their tag line. Now they say “Chew More. Do More.” I keep some in my car to ward off the sleepies when I am driving.
The mints are handy items to have before a date. While they won’t make you a better lover, most of the time women prefer their lovers be awake during the act.

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