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Caffeine Intoxication

Do you like your coffee? Your tea? Your chocolate bars?

Caffeine Intoxication is believed to be a condition in which the consumption of caffeine causes an individual to distress and as well as impaired functioning. Furthermore, caffeine is believed to be the worlds most popular psychoactive drug and it is also believed that an average American consumes about 300 mg of caffeine on a daily basis (i.e. in coffee, tea, energy drinks, candy, chocolate, or soft drinks). However, although many of us may enjoy caffeine and some of the feelings that it may bring along such as an increase in energy, too much of it can result in caffeine intoxication. It is important to note that caffeine can remain in an individual’s blood for 1.5 hours up to 9.5 hours. In addition, it may have a significant impairment and serious consequences in an individual’s work and school and may lead to social indiscretions and failure to fulfill obligations.

What are the symptoms of Caffeine Intoxication?

For an individual to reach Caffeine Intoxication (a typical high dose will exceed 250 mg), 5 or more of the following must be present during or shortly after the caffeine consumption, according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM-5):

  • Restlessness
  • Nervousness
  • Excitement
  • Insomnia
  • Flushed face
  • Diuresis (increased production of urine)
  • Gastrointestinal disturbance
  • Muscle twitching
  • Rambling flow of thought & speech
  • Tachycardia (abnormally rapid heart rate) or cardiac arrhythmia
  • Periods of exhaustibility
  • Psychomotor agitation

Other symptoms may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Confusions
  • Fever
  • Increased thirst
  • Dizziness
  • Convulsions
  • Trouble breathing

What causes Caffeine Intoxication?

Environmental factors seem to play a role in the cause of Caffeine Intoxication. For example, such intoxication is seen more often among individuals who do not typically consume caffeine or in those who recently increased their caffeine consumption.

How is Caffeine Intoxication treated?

Typically, such intoxication is treated through medications. For instance, medication is used to manage certain symptoms of the intoxication such as anxiety, nausea, or stomach pain.

How can Caffeine Intoxication be prevented?

It is important for an individual to carefully monitor the amount of caffeine that they intake. However, the amount of caffeine that your body tolerates will vary from one individual to another. Researchers suggest limiting yourself and not have over 400mg of caffeine however, it may be less if you are more sensitive to it.

What can I expect if I seek treatment?

Typically, Caffeine Intoxication is treated without creating long-term problems however, it is important to note that the intoxication can be deadly, especially for young patients such as infants and toddlers. Now, you may be asking yourself, how can a toddler or an infant have a Caffeine Intoxication? It often happens when the mother consumes caffeine and as a result the breast milk that is being fed to the toddler has an excessive amount of caffeine.

How can I help myself deal with Caffeine Intoxication?

  • Drink water (aim to drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee that you drink)
  • Exercise, if you can (i.e. walk, stretch, lift weights or get on an elliptical)
  • Snack on healthy, low-sugar foods (i.e. bell peppers, cucumber, or celery)
  • Try some breathing exercising