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Caffeine addiction... How to quit?

Old 09-25-2016, 02:26 PM
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Caffeine addiction... How to quit?

Has anyone else had an addiction to caffeine and was able to beat it? Did you go cold turkey or taper, and if you tapered how long did it take to do so? Also how much did you drink daily?

So going back, about a month ago I decided to quit drinking alcohol. I won't get into all the details (I've posted very long posts about how that went) but I also decided to cut out the caffeine and fruit juices (that I often drank with vodka) and the alcohol withdrawal wasn't bad at all, only complete loss of appetite for a few early days.

Well I still had a huge stash of Dr. Pepper and decided I may as well go through that as husband doesn't care for it. So continued to drink that up. Day before yesterday I ran out mid-day. Then yesterday woke up feeling horrible, thought it was delayed alcohol withdrawal. Shaking, sweating, feeling insanely anxious, then started vomiting, it got worse during the day.

Also the sinus pressure and severe headache that I thought was an infection, which I've had before due to bad allergies and now living in a farmland area so my doctor believed so, too, after 10 days of antibiotics a couple weeks ago it had completely gone away seemed to come back that day worse than ever.

Sent my doctor an email, and he phoned me after office hours closed as he has in the past (which is why I keep him as my doctor even though it's a 1 1/2-2 hour drive.) He had prescribed me Librium when I was 4 days sober, I took 1 pill and felt insanely drunk, stumbled and fell down twice. Didn't take it again, still had 11 pills left, but didn't want to try taking it until my husband was home, perhaps he could prescribe me something different. He listened to my symptoms and due to my having no bad alcohol withdrawal symptoms asked if I recently quit caffeine. Uhh... Yes.

Apparently caffeine withdrawal can have similar symptoms to alcohol withdrawal, and it can be very difficult to quit. I do recall hearing caffeine can be difficult to quit, but assumed it would be sleepiness, cravings, something I could handle. I drank an average of half a 2-liter bottle a day, starting when I wake up and continue until right before bedtime, I've been doing so since I was a teenager (perhaps 35 years.) In college I'd sometimes forget to buy more and didn't have my morning drink and would notice halfway through the day I'd feel tired and hugely crave it so I'd head for the vending machine asap.

Now for years I'd buy it every time it was on sale when I was at the store, and didn't realize I had so much stocked up in the pantry. My doctor suggested I try drinking some caffeine to see if the symptoms would lessen, but if I continued to feel that bad a trip to the ER would be needed. I quickly chugged 2 cans of my husband's Mountain Dew, burped like crazy, but actually started to feel better and felt perfectly fine after about 2 hours. I also now realize that consuming no alcohol and cutting so far back on sugar abruptly was bad idea, just didn't connect the dots in my head or think it would be that bad.

Any advice on cutting out the caffeine would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-25-2016, 02:46 PM
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So... I'm not sure if this is a pattern right now for you or not, but I found myself increasing my caffeine intake after quitting alcohol. My poison was coffee. Went from one cup a day to a pot a day in 4 months. I get anxious in the morning after drinking alcohol, so I usually drink only one cup.

I treated my caffeine addiction the same way I quit smoking. I weaned off of it. 10 cups a day, the next day 9 cups... I don't drink caffeinated sodas when I go through detox. The caffeine crash combined with the sugar trip was too much. I use Reed's ginger ale or Hansen's soda. I'll still get sugar hangovers though.
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Katzen (09-25-2016)
Old 09-25-2016, 03:14 PM
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Years ago I was drinking a 6 pack + a day of diet coke. Wasn't feeling well at all. Now, I have just one can in the morning. I dislike coffee, so the one can in a.m. for me.
I just tapered off, over a couple for weeks.
I had two cans today, now I have a headache.
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Katzen (09-25-2016)
Old 09-25-2016, 03:44 PM
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Stop the sodas first. Drink more water (you can get used to it).

Then reduce coffee consumption, if you can.

If it's just soda, replace every other soda with water.

That was how I reduced. Now I have 2 morning cups and plenty of water the rest of the day.
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:06 PM
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I also had similar problems with my caffeine intake getting higher after I quit alcohol.
I'm a big coffee drinker yet I have learnt if I drink it after lunchtime I will awake half the night! I have switched to de-caff for the evenings when I fancy a cup.
A friend of mine found the caffeine made him so anxious that he now only drinks decaf as a rule, that's t-bags and coffee!
As far as carbonated sugary drinks are concerned they are not healthy no matter which brand you consume.
Drinks lots of these types of drinks can cause problems that can be very difficult to control.
The best way to control cravings from any type of drink and to help your body to stay within optimum hydrated measures then water is highly recommended.
Good luck!

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Old 09-25-2016, 04:11 PM
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I don't control caffeine, it helps my ADHD. But once upon a time I did and I just switched CT to Sprite and decaf.
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:30 PM
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Could it be possibly be sugar withdrawal instead? With the amount of pop you are drinking I could see when u go long enough and your sugar levels drop, that it could cause you to feel so sick. Just a thought.
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