For many people, caffeine is something that they take on a daily basis, but this doesn’t remove the fact that it is a drug. Those who regularly consume caffeine realize this when they don’t get their daily amount of caffeine and experience withdrawal symptoms. Headache is the most common symptom of caffeine withdrawal.
Radiating dull pain characterizes caffeine headache withdrawal, and this can last for around a few hours to several days. You can experience it at any moment after you decrease your caffeine intake since your body, which was used to a high level of caffeine, needs time to adjust to the change.
Caffeine acts as a vascular constrictor which means it reduces the diameter of the veins. Your veins narrow and constrict when caffeine passes through your blood vessels. This is the reason why people who frequently drink coffee suffer from high blood pressure.
Your contracted veins open up the moment you cut back on caffeine. The diameter of your blood vessels widens and this results in to increase in blood supply to the brain. Headache is the effect of the sudden flow of blood to the brain.
If you are one of those people who want to cut back on or quit caffeine, here are some measures you can do to decrease and relieve headaches from caffeine withdrawal.
How to Relieve Headache from Caffeine Withdrawal
Learn to relieve headaches
First of all, you should learn simple self-massage techniques that help you to relieve headaches from caffeine withdrawal.
Record your intake
While coffee is a major source of caffeine, it is not the only product that contains this stimulant. Food and drinks such as soda, soft drinks, energy drinks, and chocolates are also sources of caffeine. You can also get caffeine from certain medications such as pain relievers.
Identifying the exact amount of caffeine you consume daily may be hard but you need to have an estimate at least. Reading the label of the food or drink you consume helps you determine how much caffeine content they have.
Keeping a record of your caffeine intake doesn’t only help you prevent headaches in the future, but it can also aid you in determining the amount you should cut down every day.
Decrease your intake gradually
You can easily relieve headaches from caffeine withdrawal by reducing your intake slowly. Some people tend to abruptly cut caffeine from their diet because they want to start living healthily as soon as possible, but the sudden change will only result in withdrawal symptoms.
It is better to reduce caffeine intake gradually to give your body time to adjust to a lower level of caffeine and decrease your chance of having headaches.
Since people have different tolerance levels, the amount of caffeine one needs to cut down varies from one person to another. However, it is suggested to remove ¼ of your coffee for every 3 to 5 days. This gives your body sufficient time to adjust.
Also, remember that there are more food and drinks containing caffeine which is why it is important that you always have a list. Whatever caffeinated food or drink you are consuming, the primary goal is to reduce its portions little by little.
If you’re a chocolate lover, you can avoid withdrawal headaches by eating lesser amounts each day. You can also look into healthier alternatives such as decaffeinated coffee. Try mixing it with your caffeinated coffee first for a week or two before entirely using it as your daily coffee alternative.
Get enough rest
During your caffeine withdrawal period, taking plenty of rest can prevent headaches from happening.
Due to its stimulant properties, coffee can give you additional energy. Decreasing your caffeine level leads to tiredness and headaches so getting lots of rest or sleeping for at least 8 hours a day will lessen the occurrence of headaches.
Drinking lots of water is one of the best natural remedies you can do for your body. Blood flow to the pain-sensitive structure in the brain improves when you stay hydrated.
Try to consume at least the recommended 8 glasses per day and see how much it can help in reducing your headaches. Filling your favorite coffee thermos or bottle with water is one way to trick yourself into drinking more water.
Get a massage
Getting a neck or head massage is another solution to getting rid of headaches caused by caffeine withdrawal. Sometimes your body only needs to reach a particular relaxation state to stop your headaches. You can have a massage at a local spa and choose from their different aromatherapy options.
Drink peppermint tea
You can replace your morning coffee with peppermint tea and stay caffeine-free. Peppermint has soothing abilities that can enhance your overall mood. It also improves blood circulation and has astringent properties that can heal your headache and make you feel fresh in the morning.
Here’s how to make simple peppermint tea to relieve headaches from caffeine withdrawal.
- Add 2 cups of water to the pan and bring the water to a boil.
- Put 7-10 parsley leaves and cover the pan.
- Let it simmer for around 2 minutes then transfer the mixture to a bowl.
- Let it cool first before adding 1 teaspoon of honey.
- Squeeze lemon juice into the mixture and stir it well.
- Relax and enjoy your peppermint tea.
Caffeine withdrawal headaches are easily managed. However, if you experience any severe headaches, or if they do not lessen even after taking several measures, consult a doctor immediately for proper treatment and diagnosis.