Author Topic: Decaf Coffee and Symptoms of Anxiety?  (Read 17750 times)

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Decaf Coffee and Symptoms of Anxiety?
« on: February 15, 2010, 05:48:15 PM »
Had decaf coffee this morning and feeling awful, really awful now. I know it was decaf (Dunkin Donuts) but I feel so much anxiety. Also running to bathroom like I drank too much water. Two panic attacks in an hour too. Can you tell me if decaf can make these symptoms? I'm confused.


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Re: Decaf Coffee and Symptoms of Anxiety?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 02:16:35 AM »
Dear Mario,
It's interesting to note that all decaffeinated coffees are NOT created equal. Decaf that is drip-brewed at many of the chain establishments is very different from caffeine-free coffee. In fact, the caffeine content may run as high as 32 milligrams of caffeine. A few cups and you're right up there with the caffeinated coffee drinkers.

Big surprise...even decaffeinated coffee stimulates the "fight or flight" panic response, regardless of the amount of caffeine. It has been found that coffee may contain other properties besides caffeine that may stimulate these actions. Also, caffeine affects blood sugar levels, causing temporary surges followed by sometimes steep decreases...which may leave one feeling anxious and jittery.

Another side note...Stress hormones are released by the adrenal glands because caffeine fools your body into thinking that you are in a stressful situation.

Caffeine will also work as a diuretic which explains your other problem.

Remember, there is a degree of caffeine in the majority of coffee products unless marked "Caffeine-Free" and yes, there is a good chance your reactions were triggered by the decaf coffee.

If you are someone who rarely uses caffeinated products, the effect could be far greater than someone whose system is used to caffeine.

If you do love the flavor of coffee I suggest you switch over to the instant brands as they contain a great deal less caffeine...but for the time being, I strongly suggest caffeine free products especially if you are more than mildly sensitized.

The effects of caffeine are limited but if this ever occurs again:

- Flush it out with plenty of water
- Go for a walk, preferably outdoors...cooler air helps transfer the energy to warm the body.
- Remind yourself that these feelings are temporary...and watch your inner dialogue.

Best wishes,

Dr. Ronnie Freedman
Anxiety Busters, Inc.
Program Order Line: 1-800-670-HOPE
In Office and Telephone Counseling Line: 1-215-635-4700
10:00 AM - 10:00 PM EST
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 11:12:09 AM by DrFreedman »