Caffeine intolerance

Consumption of caffeine drinks has increased dramatically in the last 5 years and consequently the numbers of individuals suffering adverse effects is greater also.

Caffeine intolerance or allergySome people suffer an intolerance to caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant which means it can make you feel alert and less sleepy for a short period of time. Caffeine is also a natural diuretic which means it can increase the amount of urine you produce.

Caffeine can be found in everyday drinks such as tea, coffee, chocolate, and some energy/fizzy drinks. It has been documented that people can become addicted to caffeine without even realising they are dependent. Furthermore, they may experience withdrawal symptoms that can include headaches and irritability, perceived loss of performance both physically and mentally.

People suffering with intolerance to caffeine have reported feelings of disorientation, loss of judgment, anxiety, dizziness, agitation and a hyper activeness. People have also complained of palpitations (a feeling that your heart is pounding) and trembling.

Some people also find they cannot have drinks with caffeine in late at night as they then find it difficult to sleep.

There is now an increasing range of caffeine-free drinks available in most high street supermarkets, so you can still enjoy that afternoon cup of tea or bedtime coffee without suffering from any side-effects.

Take a look in our allergy directory for a list of companies who manufacture and distribute caffeine-free products.

Sources used in writing this article are available on request

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Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 26 October 2015

Next review: 26 October 2018