August 14, 2017

Adverse Reactions to Caffeine

Since caffeine is a stimulant of the nervous system, it is widely used in the world. When consumed, it stimulates the central nervous system, increases the contraction of blood vessels, improves the function of the lungs and the heart, and acts as a diuretic. Caffeine in its natural form can be seen in some varieties of coffee, tea, chocolate, energy drinks, diet pills, and some painkillers. Caffeine can also be found in prescription and over-the-counter headache remedies. For most people, a moderate daily amount of caffeine is safe, aids in productivity, and improves alertness and mood.

Coffee contains chlorogenic acid, as well as caffeine, which, according to physicians, can cause an allergic reaction. One of the reasons for the allergy to this alkaloid can be a problem with immunity, diseases of the stomach and liver.

Allergic Reactions to Coffee Components

Symptoms of allergy to this alkaloid resemble unwanted allergic reactions to various other foods, including such common symptoms:

  • skin reaction, which can be manifested by itchy skin, the appearance of red spots on the skin, hives;
  • Cough, shortness of breath, sneezing;
  • Digestive reflex, for example, flatulence, diarrhea, hiccough.
  • unpleasant strong chills;
  • rapid heart rate;
  • migraine attack.

There are a lot of case reports regarding allergic reactions in the medical literature. The most famous report dated 2003 details describes the case of a 21-year-old man who experienced anaphylaxis after drinking much coffee or cola drinks. Decaffeinated colas and other products containing small amounts of caffeine (tea and chocolate) did not trigger allergic reactions in him. Allergy blood test and allergy skin test for IgE allergic antibody were positive for caffeine.

Many other studies have mentioned people who have experienced different allergic reactions such as urticaria and angioedema due to consuming caffeine. Most of these studies stated that the people with caffeine allergy had positive skin testing to caffeine.

Moreover, there are some caffeine allergy researchers who have suggested that people experiencing hives caused by an unknown cause could be most likely experiencing allergic reactions to caffeine-containing products.

Certainly, it is recommended for people with chronic hives caused by an unknown cause to stop consuming caffeine-containing products for a period of time to see if the hive problem resolves.

Intolerance to Coffee

Caffeine is a chemical substance, contained not only in coffee but in various beverages and medicines. Some people suffer from intolerance when drinking an invigorating product. This condition is slightly different from the allergic reaction to caffeine and usually causes discomfort, rather than a threat to life. However, such mental and physical symptoms as a headache, stomach upset, fatigue, anxiety and other symptoms may occur. Additional symptoms of intolerance to this product are insomnia, headache, anxiety, mood swings and, as a result, caffeine addiction because this substance is addictive.

The intolerance of this substance is caused by the lack of enzymes necessary for its digestion. Therefore, such people do not experience a stimulating effect, they have a fatigue, distracted attention, and other overwhelming symptoms.

In order to protect yourself as much as possible from all possible negative manifestations due to the use of coffee, it is necessary to exclude it from your diet. The problem caused by this alkaloid can be provoked by products such as chocolate, cocoa, tea, cola. If there is no willpower to avoid these products completely, then your constant companions are medicines against allergies. Treatment of immediate symptoms of caffeine allergy includes the use of injectable epinephrine and antihistamines.

Scientists have proven that an allergic reaction to caffeine is sometimes accompanied by an allergy to legumes. In this case, you must stop smoking and eating meat, as nicotine and purines are similar in chemical composition to the alkaloid.

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