Caffeine is a substance found naturally in the leaves and seeds of many plants. It is also artificially manufactured to be added to certain foods.It is considered a stimulant because it activates the central nervous system, increasing the level of vigilance.
Caffeine is found in tea, coffee, many soft drinks, pain relievers (pain relievers) and other over-the-counter medications. Caffeine tastes very bitter in its natural form. However, most drinks that contain it are sufficiently processed to camouflage or disguise its bitter taste.
Caffeine produces an "injection" of energy for most people.Something like a "rise" and a temporary mood enhancement. Other people feel this energy injection in a negative way, so they stop using it.
In addition, many people feel that caffeine increases their level of alertness. The secret lies in moderation.High doses of caffeine can cause anxiety, dizziness, headaches and nervousness.Caffeine can also interfere with the normal rhythm of sleep, without taking into account our biological rhythms.
Caffeine can be addictive
We generally consider that caffeine is safe when consumed in moderation. Experts believe thata moderate amount of caffeine for an adult is between 200 and 300 mg.
However,consume only 100 mg. caffeine a day can cause a person to develop an "addiction" to this substance. This means that we can develop withdrawal symptoms (such as fatigue, irritability and headaches) if we stop using them suddenly.
The caffeine we eat comes from different sources. These include coffee, tea, soda with caffeine, energy drinks, over-the-counter pain relievers, cold medicine, energy supplements, weight loss medications and chocolate.
Caffeine is also increasingly used as an additive to vitamins and food products.Over 85% of children and adults regularly consume caffeine.Some caffeine users therefore have symptoms consistent with problematic drinking, including tolerance and abstinence.
The essential feature of caffeine intoxication is the recent consumption of caffeine and at least five signs or symptoms. These symptoms occur during or shortly after caffeine consumption.
The symptoms of caffeine intoxication are agitation, nervousness, excitement, insomnia, flushing, diuresis and gastrointestinal discomfort.. They may appear in low doses in vulnerable people, such as children, the elderly or people who have never been exposed to caffeine.
The symptoms that usually appear with levels of more than 1 gram a day are:muscle spasms, thought and speech delusions, tachycardia or cardiac arrhythmia, dperiods of indefatigability and psychomotor agitation.
Caffeine intoxication may not occur despite high caffeine intake due to the development of tolerance. For diagnosis, the signs and symptoms must cause clinically significant discomfort or deterioration in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.
Moreover, thesigns and symptoms should not be attributable to another medical condition. Nor should they be better explained by another mental disorder or intoxication with another substance. These criteria we have cited come from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).
Moderation is the key
As for almost everything, the key lies in moderation. Sensory disturbances (for example, ringing in the ears and flashes of light) can occur with high doses of caffeine.
Although high doses of caffeine can increase heart rate,lower doses may decrease it.It has not yet been determined whether excessive caffeine consumption can cause headaches.
The physical examination allows us to notice: agitation, anxiety, sweating, tachycardia, facial flushing and increased intestinal motility.So, as we said before, themoderation of our consumption is very important.
How does caffeine intoxication develop?
Caffeine has a lifespan of about 4-6 hours in the body.Symptoms of caffeine intoxication usually occur in the first few days and have no lasting consequences known.
However,People who consume high doses of caffeine (eg, 5 to 10 grams) may require immediate medical attention. Indeed, such doses can be fatal. With age, individuals tend to have more and more intense reactions to caffeine.
The main complaints are interference with sleep and feelings of hyper-activation. Caffeine poisoning has also been observed in young individuals following the consumption of high caffeine products, including energy drinks.
Children and adolescents may be at increased risk of intoxication due to several factors. Among them we find the low weight, the lack of tolerance and the little knowledge on the pharmacological effects of caffeine.
Do not underestimate the power of caffeine and consume it in moderation. The deterioration caused by caffeine intoxication can have serious consequences. Among them, decreased performance at work or school, increased difficulty in regulating emotions or non-compliance.