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Caffeine Withdrawal Headaches or Migraines? How to Tell the Difference



coffee and quickly start feeling like someone's banging a frying pan against your head, you're probably wondering what's going on so you can stop it. Are you having full-on caffeine withdrawal headaches? Or is caffeine such a magical substance that it is masking underlying head pain from something like migraines all along? When your head is throbbing so hard it's tough to even think. Here, neurologists will walk you through what you should know about this. "

Caffeine withdrawal headaches are most likely your issue here.

These can happen when your brain becomes used to that regular hit of caffeine over time.

Caffeine peps up by adenosine. Lauren Green DO, RD, a board-certified neurologist at the USC Headache and Neuralgia Center and assistant clinical professor of neurology at the United States Keck School of Medicine of USC, tells SELF. As of adenosine antagonist caffeine is an opposing force that helps to wake up with your adenosine receptors. These blocks your brain's absorption of adenosine. Green explains.

All of this can happen with even one cup of coffee. But if you are constantly consume significant amounts of caffeine, you can develop additional adenosine receptors, Dr. med. Green explains. And, in general, your adenosine receptors will become less sensitive to the effects of any caffeine you consume.

That's why you can experience a caffeine withdrawal if you're used Lauren R. Natbony MD, assistant professor of neurology at the Center for Headache and Facial Pain at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, tells SELF.

Yes caffeine withdrawal is a legit phenomenon. It's actually included in the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders which mentions mental health professionals to diagnose various psychiatric conditions. If you experience caffeine consumption (or cutting back drastically), you could definitely experience experiencing withdrawal. Symptoms include intense fatigue, irritability, mental fogginess, and drumroll please-a horrible headache. (Dr. Natbony says people often describe these headaches as "diffuse and throbbing.")

While one-cup-a-day coffee drinkers can caffeine withdrawal headaches and other symptoms, dr. Natbony says it's a dose-dependent relationship. Translation: The more coffee you were drinking, the worse your withdrawal might be. (According to the Mayo Clinic 400 milligrams of caffeine per day is the maximum safe amount for most healthy adults.)

Fortunately, for most people, caffeine withdrawal symptoms usually go away during a week of cutting out caffeine, dr. Natbony says (or within an hour or so of consuming caffeine). instead of quitting cold turkey.

It's unlikely that your post-coffee-cutting headaches are actually migraines you had all along. [19659011] It's an interesting theory, but it's a very unlikely scenario, "Dr. Green says. Neither she nor Dr.

The pathophysiology of migraines is complex and not yet completely understood; Green explains. However, doctors do not know the small amount of caffeine can sometimes help migraine pain according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). It seems as though it may narrowing dilated blood vessels that might contribute to migraine discomfort. But doctors believe there's much more to migraine than fluctuation in blood vessel width. "The vasodilation and vasoconstriction component is not thought to be as important as it [once was]," Dr. Green says.

second, although caffeine can help treat migraines especially in combination with other drugs royalty free stock picture in 3 minutes without registering! migraines, dr. Green and Dr. Natbony explain. Its potential has more that pain has already begun, and even that power appears to be limited. "If it's a mild migraine," Green says.

Another one in this theory is the fact that even if you do not know what you're doing, you'll probably have them in the first place. "It is not possible for someone to have undiagnosed migraines that they did not know about," Green says. According to the Mayo Clinic migraines can begin at any age, but they often start during adolescence. In addition to pain, you'll probably experience other migraine symptoms, such as extreme nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, or aura (sensory disturbances, like seeing zig zags or flashing lights). So, you most likely would have experienced head pain and other hallmark migraine symptoms is totally possible for a person

In a truly unfortunate double whammy, both caffeine intake and caffeine withdrawal are potential migraine triggers according to the US National Library of Medicine . That's why it's so important to If you have migraines.

For instance, even if caffeine does not seem to help you with your migraines, it may prompt additional head pain. And, interestingly, daily caffeine intake can contribute to medication overuse headaches Dr. med. Natbony says. So called rebound headaches, that typically occur in people taking medication for chronic head pain. On the flip side, you could build up so much of it. Green says.

In the end, the relationship between caffeine and migraines is complicated. It's pretty safe to say that if you've never had migraines and start getting headaches when you cut out coffee, it's probably a caffeine withdrawal headache. But if that pain sticks around you on a caffeine, you might want to check it out with your doctor.

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