“If you are dealing with anxiety, you must give a thought before having another cup of coffee.”
There is no doubt that caffeine helps with concentration and provides an energy boost. However, coffee can be a problem for people with anxiety disorders.
Caffeine is not the enemy but it’s really important to know its healthy limits. People with anxiety disorders must consume it strategically as it can activate and can mimic or exacerbate the symptoms of anxiety.
According to the Sleep Education, “A normal dose of caffeine for an individual is 50-200 milligrams (mg)”. Caffeine works best when you take it on an intermittent, on-and-off basis. Higher doses can have much more potent effects. Consuming caffeine more than 400 mg at once may lead to feeling over stimulated and anxious, and bring on symptoms such as racing heart, nausea or abdominal pain. Drinking 500 mg or 600 mg of caffeine can have the same impact on you as a low dose of amphetamine. Moreover, when you consume coffee daily, it is less effective as a simulant as your body builds up a tolerance to it.
Effects of coffee
Caffeine can make you overreact to situations that aren’t dangerous or troublesome. Too much caffeine can also make you irritable and agitated in some situations. And if you already have an anxiety disorder, caffeine can worsen your symptoms.
The side-effects of drinking too much coffee include:
- Sleep problems
- Increased heart rate
- Changes in mood
Caffeine can have a drug interaction with medicines for liver disease, seizure disorders, chronic kidney disease, thyroid disease, or certain heart conditions, leading to potential health issues.
How to control your caffeine intake and control anxiety attacks?
Do you know how many milligrams of caffeine you kick-in everyday? Keep a track of your coffee and other caffeinated beverages intake and make sure that you don’t drink more than the FDA recommended limit. Make sure to avoid caffeine after 6 pm so it doesn’t interrupt your sleep cycle.
If caffeine is not responsible for your anxiety, evaluate your other daily habits. If you don’t exercise, eat unhealthy food, and not taking enough sleep, the effects of caffeine are likely to increase. But if you’re taking care of yourself and still feel anxious, then it’s possible that caffeine is the culprit. If you get regular anxiety attacks, consult with your healthcare provider. Your doctor may recommend you to reduce your coffee intake and observe whether that makes a difference in your anxiety level or not.
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