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Top 20 Symptoms
Allergic to caffeine? It seems like you aren’t alone as hundreds of people have now testified to strange reactions experienced after caffeine consumption.
This article has been compiled from anecdotal evidence. Some people do not metabolize caffeine as well as others. Others are also sensitive to Adrenalin. It pays to know your limits with caffeine. If you suspect that caffeine is causing problems, this can be tested by eliminating it from the diet.
Some time ago, we published a short post about the possibility of allergic reactions to caffeine.
That post received hundreds of comments from those who claimed to have experienced some type of adverse reaction to caffeine.
We have painstakingly sifted through all those comments, compiling the top 20 caffeine allergic reactions in order from most common to least common.
In most cases, these symptoms were reported after only having a little to moderate amount of caffeine through coffee, tea, soda and/or energy drinks.
WHAT IS CAFFEINE ALLERGY?
a caffeine allergy can be deceptive. “The allergic person may experience typical symptoms associated with an allergy which includes sneezing, difficulty breathing, hives and itchy or swollen mouth and tongue, heart palpitations, dizziness or eczema, but these physical cues are often accompanied by psychiatric responses. Depending on how much caffeine is consumed, symptoms of caffeine allergy – also termed by some as a cerebral allergy – can range from mild to severe which include lack of concentration and comprehension, aggression, hyperactivity and disorganized thought processes.
“Students may diagnose their symptoms as a sign of overtiredness making them reach for yet another cuppa or energy drink, which may provide minor relief, but it just continues to jeopardize the body,” cautions van Aswegen.
She says a caffeine allergy is difficult to detect and can take several hours for symptoms to become apparent. Caffeine is also the last thing you associate the response with. Doctors in turn also rarely diagnose caffeine allergy because few know of it and aren’t likely to ask about your caffeine consumption.
Although many people drink coffee, energy drinks, and cola, which contain large doses of caffeine, some may not realize that they are actually allergic to it. Symptoms may vary depending on how strong a person’s allergy to caffeine is.
“How you react to caffeine has a lot to do with how much caffeine you are used to drinking. People or students in this case who aren’t used to consuming lots of caffeine on a regular basis can be much more sensitive or allergic to its negative effects. The converse may also be true. According to medical literature, the longer a person is exposed to an allergen, the greater the chances of developing an allergy to the substance.
“Once this happens, those allergic to caffeine can’t adequately metabolize it. Consequently, they experience hypersensitivity or inflammation in certain organs. So, it pays to know your limits with caffeine.”
Her advice to students studying for end-of-year exams is as follows:
Ditch the caffeine for H2O. Water gives the brain the electrical charge it needs for all brain functions including thought and memory processes
Eat a well-balanced diet of fruit and vegetables at least a week prior to and during exam time
Take a five-minute break every hour to allow your body to produce more glucose – the fuel you need for studying. Rather opt for snacks such as almonds, blueberries, avocados, fatty fish and yogurt
Get enough sleep and avoid the all-nighters. Studies show that all-nighters impair reasoning and memory for up to four days. Review the toughest material right before going to bed the night before the test which makes it easier to recall the information later
Avoid distractions such as listening to music, SMSing or tweeting while studying as this will limit your ability to retain information
“By drinking three caffeinated energy drinks a day, students could be ingesting more than 500mg of caffeine or 1.5 times the amount of caffeine that is regarded as safe for adult consumption. Two to three cups of coffee (300mg of caffeine) a day is considered safe and teenagers should limit themselves to no more than 100mg of caffeine a day,” says van Aswegen.
Is this Scientific Evidence?
At least one scientific study has shown that people can have anaphylactic reactions to caffeine and is confirmed by a skin prick test.1
There is evidence regarding the inability to process caffeine as some people lack the genes responsible for this or the genes aren’t being expressed as they should be. This allows caffeine to build up in a person’s body rather than being broken down properly. These people are described as hypersensitive to caffeine.2
The above data is entirely based on anecdotal evidence, so don’t take it as gospel or scientific, but rather consider these caffeine allergy symptoms as possible since they were reported by a large number of people. If a person suspects a caffeine allergy, he/she should cease caffeine consumption immediately and then assess as to whether it was indeed the caffeine. The symptoms should subside after caffeine is eliminated.
There is a fine line between what would be called caffeine sensitivity and what would be called caffeine allergy, but overall we’re dealing with the body not being able to correctly process the caffeine molecule, so whether it’s called sensitivity or allergy is up for debate.
Skin rashes are common.
Most people in the original article reported several of the above symptoms and some of the caffeine allergy symptoms were quite bizarre. The symptoms that were the strangest included itchy ears & anus suffered by one poor soul and a sweaty butt crack reported by another…
Caffeine allergy has also been linked to a form of ADD and dementia in adults. The claim is that caffeine-induced anaphylaxis impairs people’s abilities to concentrate and remember things. (Src.)
What To Do If You Are Suffering
Please note: A surprising number of products contain caffeine, and some have a lot more than what you think.
Even decaffeinated drinks still contain caffeine – although only a small amount such as decaf brewed coffee.
Education is the best way to prevent an allergic reaction to caffeine.
Created on Oct 19th 2019 05:09. Viewed 258 times.