Last week, I had a patient who went to the hospital because he was afraid he was having a heart attack. All of his test results came back normal; no cardiac problems at all. So what caused his scare?
Caffeine. He had recently increased his caffeine consumption. Caffeine can cause heart palpitations and rapid heartbeat. Caffeine also dehydrates the body which may cause the same symptoms. Caffeine is addictive, decreases blood flow to the brain and organs, can cause anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms, fibrocystic breasts, headaches, respiratory and intestinal problems, and contribute to miscarriage. It also stimulates the adrenal glands to cause a temporary “rush” of energy, but weakens the adrenals over the long-term.
For those who are tired in the morning and feel they “need” their caffeine to get going, consider these effects. Caffeine may give a boost in energy, but there is a great detrimental effect on the body. Fatigue is a symptom that there is problem. Drinking caffeine to push the body harder and feel energetic will only fatigue us further. Over time you wear down the adrenal glands and age more quickly. Instead, go to bed and wake up at the same time everyday; schedule for 8 hours of sleep; drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces of water and eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. It may take time to wean off, but the effort is well worth it.