Question: I have recently been under a lot of stress and have lost much sleep. I have been drinking more coffee than ever because I have trouble staying awake in the morning. I feel like I am becoming dependent on the coffee. Is it possible I am getting addicted to the caffeine?
Answer: Millions of Americans start their morning with a cup of coffee and a second or third cup throughout the day. Just because it seems like everyone is doing it doesn’t mean it is OK. Caffeine is a powerful drug and contains some of the same chemical makeup as morphine and cocaine. Caffeine isn’t quite as dangerous ad these drugs, but its effects on the body should be taken very seriously. Taking caffeine consistently and often is more stressful for your body and mind than getting over the actual stress you are attempting to conquer. Caffeine triggers the stress mechanism in the body and can induce anxiety, adverse blood-sugar levels, adverse intestinal function, and adrenal glad dysfunction.
The most common condition to be concerned about when under stress is adrenal insufficiency. As you find your need for more coffee or caffeine increases you are sending a message to the adrenal glands to stop producing energy on their own. Your body registers energy input from artificial source (caffeine) as satisfactory for present time functions. It discontinues producing adrenaline, your natural energy source, and becomes lethargic in its function the less it is utilized. When you truly need an energy boost it is just not there. In severe cases of adrenal insufficiency changing positions from sitting to standing or lying to sitting create light-headedness.
Caffeine has also recently been linked to problems in children, who often consume it in soda. These children had sleep disorders and difficulty with consistent sleep habits. The short-term effects of caffeine can improve short-term alertness, reactive time, focus, creativity, endurance and productivity.
When taken sparingly and not as an alternative for lack of energy caffeine can be tolerated. When dealing with stress it is not a good time to increase your caffeine intake but rather reduce it. Chiropractors are educated in determining the cause of your physical stress. If neurological dysfunctions are contributing to your need for caffeine adjustments to your spine which balance neurological activity may reduce your need.
Quote of the week: “Put your troubles in a pocket that has a hole in it.” – Anonymous