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If I’m prone to headaches should I cut out caffeine?

Caffeine and headaches have a complicated relationship.

By Sally Wadyka Sep 12, 2013 1:36PM

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Caffeine can really be a double-edged sword when it comes to headaches. It can help alleviate the pain of a headache you already have (which is why you’ll find it on the ingredients listing of many headache medications), but the lack of it can also cause some throbbing pain.

 “Many people find that they do best when they’re almost religious about their caffeine intake—having a moderate dose at the same time every single day,” says Andrew Charles, MD, professor of neurology and director of the UCLA Headache Research and Treatment Program.

What definitely isn’t good for your head is to try to cut out caffeine cold turkey. “Caffeine withdrawal is a very common cause of headache,” says Charles. “You need to taper off of it very slowly over time.” And in addition to cutting your coffee with decaf, you might want to consider popping some pre-emptive pain medication every morning until your body gets used to not having any caffeine. Just be sure to check the label first and make sure you’re not accidently dosing yourself with caffeine along with the painkiller.

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19Comments
Sep 17, 2013 6:34PM
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This article really didn't answer the question.
Sep 17, 2013 2:53PM
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There was a time years ago that I would get such bad head-aches it would bring tears to my eyes. I don't know what made me do it, but I quit drinking regular coffee and went to decaf. It's been close to 20 years now and I've never had one of those killer head-aches since.

Sep 17, 2013 10:45PM
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Diet soda's really give me a head ache.  I believe the aspartame is horrible.  Even in drinks like Crystal Light.

That being said, all soda is liquid candy and there is no reason to drink it at all!...Except for the fact that I love it so much!   

Sep 30, 2013 8:16PM
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You can have my coffee when you pry it from cold dead fingers.
Sep 30, 2013 4:51PM
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I started taking a couple of caffeine pills every morning before heading to work and it really helped get me goin (I hate coffee). But I noticed on my days off i would start getting bad headaches in the afternoon. I finally realised (Im not to bright) it was because my body was expecting it daily dose of caffeine. I think thats what this article is trying to say, caffeine withdrawl is brutal on your noggin.

Sep 30, 2013 11:02AM
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Read the book " Caffeine Blues " by Stephen Cherniske - Clinical Nutritionist .

Caffeine depletes your body of B Vitamins , Calcium / Magnesium , Potassium , Iron and Zinc . It puts stress on your liver and adrenal glands . And it increases Calcium loss and risk of Osteoporosis .

I was addicted to drinking regular coffee ALL day long . I had 8 sessions of Acupuncture for neck pain/stiffness and lower back pain . Excellent results , though not permanent , you have to find out what your " maintenance " level is . Best side effects , I now only drink two cups of regular coffee in the morning to " wake up " . Previously had been addicted to Vietnamese coffee [ French ] . Where they use condensed milk to sweeten it , very bad for your teeth . It's said to rinse out your mouth with water after drinking coffee , to minimize staining .

I also suffer from clinical anxiety and caffeine just makes it worse or is the cause . 

Sep 17, 2013 6:34PM
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In 1979 or 1980 I realized that every time I drank a soft drink with caffeine, I had severe migraine-type headaches and severe stomach pain. I quit drinking anything with caffeine, and the pain stopped.
Sep 30, 2013 8:20PM
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LIFE IS MUCH BETTER WITHOUT A HEADACHE, DONT SMOKE USE DECAFE, EAT GOOD NOT MUCH FAT, STICK WITH LEAN, FAT BAD, LEAN GOOD.

STAY SLIM, LIVE LONGER AND BETTER SEX.

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