Health Tip – Jan. 31 – Do You Have Caffeine Use Disorder – Or Do You Just Love Coffee?

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Dee Dee - Health Tip

Dee Dee – Health Tip

It seems most people need a jolt from java in the morning (and maybe a few more boosts later in the day), but for some, that regular hankering can actually be Caffeine Use Disorder (CUD). The World Health Organization recognizes CUD, as they do other drug dependencies—not that you’ve necessarily heard of CUD before. So how do you know if you have it?

Not surprisingly, CUD symptoms include a strong urge for caffeine, an increasing tolerance to it and trouble regulating how much of it you have. The negative effects of caffeine are often not recognized because it’s a socially acceptable and widely consumed drug that’s well-integrated into our customs and routines.  But CUD is very real. In fact, sufferers who give up their cups of joe may experience withdrawal symptoms as users of other drugs do. These include headaches, fatigue and a lack of focus.

Doctors advise  sticking to less than 400 mg of caffeine every day—the amount in two or three 8-oz cups of coffee. Pregnant women shouldn’t have more than 200 mg daily, and those with anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart problems and urinary incontinence should also limit it.

To tell if you have CUD, try nixing caffeine entirely and watching for those withdrawal symptoms. For the large majority of people, it’s not going to be an issue. Even though a small percentage may experience withdrawal when they do this test, millions of Americans may have CUD. If you get those withdrawal symptoms, gradually reduce your caffeine intake over a few months. For instance, try cutting your daily number of cups of coffee or drinking half-caff blends.

In short, there’s hope if you find that you just can’t live without your Keurig.

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