Caffeine has its benefits!  A caffeine research overview shows us that the ‘drug’ boosts alertness and wakefulness, increases fat breakdown (lipolysis), and may lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease, among many other benefits. But like anything even water excess consumption  can  be a bad thing. The reality is caffeine is everywhere not just in a ‘cuppa’. Caffeine is in Teas, pills, power drinks even with CBD (touted to give a focused burst energy).

‘Caffeine Use Disorder’ is actually a recognized mental disorder!  Your doctor can find it listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5)  2013 update to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).’* I must share that there is a  Journal Of Caffeine Research that has been around for over 40 years. 

Point of this blog is to share how the diagnosis of this condition is made. Presence of at least 3 of the listed findings within a 12 months period. They are:

1. a strong desire for, an inability to cut down on caffeine consumption

2. continued use despite knowledge caffeine has adverse effect on your body. For me it brings on atrial fibrillation an abnormal heart rhythm that can can cause stroke. 

3. presence of withdrawal symptoms when stop use. These include: headache, fatigue or drowsiness, dysphoria, trouble concentrating, and even flu-like symptoms.

4. dependence like with any substance, more is needed with time. You will develop physiological and behavioral tolerance. The body get used to it so caffeine no longer keeps you awake, nor causes diuresis (urinates allot) and the blood pressure doesn’t increase from consumption. Isn’t the body amazing – it adjusts.

5. failure to meet commitments – work, school at home. 

6. continued use despite evidence of caffeine abuse causing interpersonal problems include arguments with a spouse about the consequences of caffeine consumption, resulting medical problems, or cost.

Our society freely accepts open use of this drug – Starbucks on every corner is the best example. It is a legal drug.  You may not know but it has many medical uses, examples include it’s use, IV to delay a baby’s delivery also to wean premature infants off ventilators.