Chronic migraines can be an excruciating, debilitating disorder. Millions are affected, and the attacks go far beyond the intense headaches so many associated with being the only symptom of a migraine. A migraine causes extreme sensitivity to light, sound, smell and touch. Sufferers may experience nausea, weakness, fainting, hallucinations and visual impairment.

For many these symptoms occur multiple times a month, greatly impacting their quality of life. Advances in medicine, though, are providing migraine sufferers with merciful relief and restoration of normal living.

What causes migraines?
This varies from sufferer to sufferer but the origin of these excruciating attacks is the same for all who have ever experienced one of these horrific headache ordeals. The causes of migraine headaches begin in the brain. Here, blood vessels enlarge and nerve fibers around these blood vessels release chemicals. As the attack continues, an artery located just below the surface of the temple, on the outside of the skull, enlarges, releasing even more of the chemicals that cause inflammation and pain. This then causes even further enlargement of the artery. A migraine attack does not just affect the head, however.

This type of headache affects the sympathetic nervous system which triggers the body to respond with the unpleasant other symptoms of a migraine attack. Vomiting, diarrhea and sensitivity to light and sound are all common in migraine attacks. These attacks also limit the body's ability to absorb food which can quickly lead to malnourishment, weakness and dehydration, all very dangerous conditions. If left unattended, these symptoms can become severe very quickly.

Know Your Triggers
Causes of migraines are known as “triggers”. These vary widely depending on the sufferer and what affects one person severely could have little to no impact on another.

Some of these triggers are physical or emotional such as stress, sleep deprivation, hormonal changes due to menstrual cycle or pregnancy and physical exertion. Others are physiological such as not eating enough, dehydration, alcohol consumption, smoking, overstimulation of the senses, especially with bright light or strong smells, and allergies.

Consumption of certain foods and food groups are linked to migraine attacks as well. These foods include those containing tyramine, a compound found in aged cheeses, wine, smoked fish and some beans, MSG and nitrates, such as deli meats. Other foods that should be avoided by those sensitive to migraine attacks are chocolate, peanut butter, bananas, avocados and pickles. There is no real explanation as to why some of these foods tend to trigger attacks, but others are related to the food's effect on the blood vessels of the brain.

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symptoms of sleep deprivation headaches

30 thoughts on “Symptoms Of Sleep Deprivation Headaches

  1. Ellie

    I get really bad headaches, should I see a doctor?
    I have been getting headaches almost daily for about 3 years. I take panadol several times a day, and have nearly everyday, which I know is not good for my liver. The panadol doesn’t work, but I feel obliged to take it anyway, because it makes me feel sick when I don’t take it.

    They have been getting worse recently. People say “Go and get your eyes checked” but I have contact lenses and get my eyes tested every six months, so it has nothing to do with my eye sight.

    Anyone else had the same problems?

    1. just me

      The first thing you have to evaluate is what kind of symptoms you are having.

      Are the headaches on one side of your head or both?

      Where are they located?

      Have you been stressed out, sleep deprived, exercising a lot, dieting?

      Are you sensitive to light or sounds?

      Do you see an aura (circles of light)?

      Do you have any other symptoms?

      Pretty much, depending on those kind of questions can let you know more about your headaches. If you are worried, I would see a physician.

      There are several types of headaches – here are a few:

      Episodic/Tension: both sides of your head, non pulsing, pressing, squeezing feeling – dull ache. Treated by over the counter analgesics such as Advil.

      Cluster: very severe, one sided around your eyes and your temporals (the sides of your head by your eyes) – lasting 15-80min. You can get sweating, puffy eyelids, drooping eyelids, tearing, congestion, etc. Cluster headaches are more common in men than women.

      Migraines – the worst – You need 2 of the following: One sided, throbbing, worse with movement, moderate/severe. And one of the following: nausea/vomitting, sensitivity to light and or sounds.You can also see an aura (circles of light). You could also feel weak, numb, etc. In addition, sometimes people tend to feel cold right before an attack. Again, Migraines are triggered by stress, sleep deprivation, exercise, trauma hormonal changes, among other things. In order to Treat Migraines, you could either relieve the above things, or see a doctor and perhaps get prescribed Triptans (aka Imitrex).

      Again, if you are experiencing frequent headaches to the point where you are having a lot of trouble concentration and doing your normal activities, see a DOCTOR.

      I hope that helps! Don’t worry, just see a doctor, and I’m sure things are fine.

      P.S. Your friends aren’t totally off base when they tell you to get your eyes checked. Your eyes are right up there with your brain, so if you were to have eye problems (not just vision, but with the eye itself) that could cause pressure on your brain causing headaches.

  2. J

    What are the symptoms of sleep deprivation?
    Please don’t add things that just have correlation (unless there is a significantly high correlation)
    I’m doing this for a project, and I’m going to be presenting this to my school’s administration staff as well so… serious answers would be appreciated.

    1. Nakkiel

      Irritability, muscle aches, hallucinations (Only really happens after a few days without sleep because you go through REM sleep while awake), nystagmus (Same conditions as hallucinations), bloodshot eyes, increased stress, impaired memory, confusion, sensitivity to cold, headaches, hyperactive behavior (Similar to ADHD but temporary), periorbital puffiness, decreased reaction time, tremors, and impaired immune system.

  3. Anonymous

    Is there a way I can test if I have sleep apnea without having a sleep study?
    I suspect I have it, as I have the symptoms of it. But I think my classmates would have said if I stopped breathing while sleeping in class (I was always sleeping almost all day, every day in school). Which is why I lost my place in school.

    So, is there any way I can test If I have sleep apnea without having a sleep study? or any similar sleep disorders?

    1. Dochallcom, PhD

      Essentially, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a medical diagnosis. In consequence, your analysis for this sleeping disorder would need to be confirmed by a physician.

      Due to the critical nature of this malady, professional treatment is necessary as airway blockage can cause you to stop breathing for periods of up to 20 seconds at a time. This can occur as often as every few minutes throughout the entire night.

      Under normal conditions, the muscles found at the back of your throat continually hold your airway open so air can get to your lungs. These muscles relax somewhat as you sleep. Yet, if your airway is markedly narrow, these muscles can actually block your airway when they relax.
      Typically, symptoms such as mood changes, depression, irritability, sudden waking from sleep, shortness of breath, waking with a dry mouth or sore throat, morning headaches, chronic loud snoring, and possibly memory problems, remain common in OSA.

      The following scale is employed to determine likelihood of OSA. Take the test and see where you fall in the probability ranking.

      The Epworth Sleepiness Scale

      How likely are you to doze off or fall asleep in the situations described below under normal circumstances (i.e., excluding times of over-exertion and sleep deprivation)?
      Use the following scale to choose the most appropriate number for each situation:
      0 = Would never doze
      1 = Slight chance of dozing
      2 = Moderate chance of dozing
      3 = High probability of dozing

      Situation (rate each on a scale of 0-3)
      •sitting and reading
      •watching TV
      •sitting, inactive, in a public place (i.e., theatre or meeting)
      •as a car passenger without a break for an hour
      •lying down to rest in the afternoon as circumstances permit
      •sitting and talking to someone
      •sitting quietly after lunch (without alchohol)
      •in a car, driving, but while stopped for a few minutes in traffic

      If your points total 10 or more, you are considered borderline sleep-deprived. If 12 or higher, you should seek medical attention immediately.

  4. tb

    Would your body eventually adapt to a lack of sleep?
    I am not going to attempt this, so do not lecture me.
    If someone were to sleep about 4 hours each night, and did it almost every night, would their body eventually adapt to the lack of sleep? I know it is possible to die of sleep privation, and I know it is very unhealthy for you. Would the body conjure a natural alternative to sustain energy? I do not think any tests have been done, because there probably aren’t many people who are willing to try it. Answers would be appreciated, thank you.

  5. KatGuy

    Can you get rid of perennial allergies caused by relocation?
    I moved to Portland Oregon from Wisconsin almost 6 years ago. From 2001 to 2003, every winter there would be dark circles under my eyes – I thought it was due to sunlight deprivation. Then in winter 2004 my eyes became severely red and puffy; I’ve improved since then but there are still some puffiness and redness all year round. An allergist recently told me that the relocation caused these problems, and she’s given me Singulair and Zyrtec. Is it possible to get rid of these perennial allergies permanently?

    1. Lord Serpentor

      My day to day experience with Swine Flu (H1N1)

      Today is my 5th day of having the swine flu. Pure misery. I will give you my experience.

      Zero day: had a tickle in my throat and tonsils all day. Went to the gym and felt slightly fatigued enough to know I wasn’t right. This is when my body started shedding the virus (I was contagious).

      Day 1: woke up with a violent cough that progressed throughout the day and I aquired a low grade fever (99.5*f). Lower back and legs started to hurt really badly. Extreme headache set in. Came home from work and found out my 8 year old child tested positive for influenza. Went to bed early… I tried anyway.

      Day 2: could not sleep at all. Violently coughed all night. Extreme headache. Felt like my eyes were going to pop. Extreme shakes and chills. The bed felt as if i were laying on a sidewalk in phx during summer. Fever now at 102.5. I could not get out of bed only to use the restroom. photophobia set in. covered windows with blankets. Throat hurt as if I had swallowed a box of razorblades. Started getting a bitmof anxiety from the virus and sleep deprivation.

      Day 3: woke up after 2 hours of sleep @ 0700 and felt like total garbage. Something was wrong. I didn’t think it could get any worse. My fever was higher @ 103.5*f. I started to worry. I walked downstairs to get advil and my vision started getting fuzzy and my hearing started making this loud deep humming. I then fell to me knees. I was passing out. I realized I was dehydrated. I was drinking about 2 gallons of H2O a day but the fever was sucking it down like an SUV does with petro. I laid in bed all day thinking and feeling I may die and that it might not be a bad idea at this point. Profuse sweating. All the above symptoms still apply x10. A deeper cough with more production presented itself along with a stabbing pain in my back left lower quadrant.

      Day 4: slept 5 hours. Felt a little better. Fever was 101.5 when I woke up. Back stopped hurting. Headache was almost gone. Cough was worse than ever. Still fatigued and malaise. Went to doc for back pain and he said H1N1 had caused secondary infection pneumonia. Started antibiotics and steroids.

      Day 5: insomnia was gone. Slept 8 hours. Headache gone, no aches, a little more energy. Cough still presistant and productive. Psychological pain from being stuck in bed. Still feel drained butni know i’m on the downslide.

      This flu (H1N1) did not make me vomit or have diarrhea although my daughter had it. I was able to eat as much as
      I could of whatever mostly plain ham sandwich, yogurt and chicken soup. Drank plenty of water and Gatorade for lost electrolytes. Still took multivitamin. Watched movies all day and night and used iPhone constantly. I am. 30 year old white male. I work in healthcare and I have a great exercise routine, diet and take all precautions. My point is that I did everything in my power to stop contration of this H1N1 and I still got it. I just prolonged the inevitable. It was the most miserable experience ever. I prayed daily. If you don’t know Christ now is a good time because this will bring you to your weakest point mentally and physically. Stay hydrated, take ibuprofen every 5 hours as Tylenol took too long work, rub vicks on your chest and nose. Talk to family and friends. They will boost your morale and give you mental strength. Accept that you are temporarily worthless and find peace in it. Welcome to hell.

  6. Mark Morrison

    Can sleep deprivation cause these symptoms?
    When I went to sleep it was about 5 in the morning. I slept for about 5-6 hours and when I woke up I felt pressure behind both eyes that progressed into a a full blown headache. The pain is located behind my eyes/front of the head. I also feel very tired.

  7. How and why is alcohol said to increase anxiety?
    have read that it does this..but was wondering how it does this and why it does this?

    1. Swaqq

      1. Mood

      Alcohol can affect our mood because it can affect the level of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a feel good brain chemical that when in short supply can cause feelings of anxiety and depression.

      2. Drop in blood sugar

      A drop in blood sugar can cause dizziness, confusion, weakness, nervousness, shaking and numbness. These symptoms can most certainly trigger a bout of anxiety.

      3. Dehydration

      This has been known to cause nausea, dizziness, fatigue, light-headedness and muscle weakness. These symptoms wouldn’t cause anxiety per say but they add to a sense of illness which fosters anxiety.

      4. Nervous System

      The nervous system is affected because in order for the body to fight off the sedative effects of alcohol it puts the body into a state of hyperactivity in order to counteract this effect. This hyperactivity can lead to shaking, light/sound sensitivity and sleep deprivation.

      5. Heart Rate

      Your heart rate can become elevated as a result of consuming alcohol which can cause a palpitation false alarm and put you into a state of anxious anticipation. Is it a heart attack or isn’t it you might ask. This “what if” questioning can increase your general state of anxiety.

      6. Concentration

      A hard night of drinking can also make you hazy, bring on headaches and create a sense of disorientation.

      So if you’re going to have a glass of wine with dinner I don’t think you should be concerned. On the other hand, if you’re a heavy drinker, or binge drinker, then this might cause a real problem for you.

      According to The Times Online, scientists don’t know exactly why all this happens but they do suggest that you eat before drinking, drink water in between drinks, and stay in bed if you are hung over to avoid all the problems I outlined above.

      Some would say that maybe you shouldn’t drink at all if you have an anxiety disorder – that’s debatable. Do you think that alcohol should be avoided at all cost when someone has an anxiety disorder?

      I don’t think that alcohol should be avoided if drinking is part of your social repertoire, however, I also know that moderation and good sense should be your guide.

      In addition, although alcohol does have a sedative effect it should not be used as a coping tool. This type of behavior can lead to alcoholism and worse yet, more anxiety.

      So if you know that you’re a light weight, or if you already know that alcohol makes you anxious, don’t bother. Maybe I don’t need to say it, but really some people just don’t know when to say no.

  8. morgan.mowry

    What is Arnold-Chiari malformation? Is there any different symptoms for it?
    I know it has something to do with with the fluid stuff, but I don’t have any of the symptoms that are normal from it (I am 14). The doctors only found it when they were looking for anything else that could be causing what I call “blackouts”. My eyes kind of black over from the outside and I have passed out from them before. My legs feel very spaghetti-like, but I can normally function properly. If anyone has answers for either of my illnesses please help!

    1. ashley

      some symptoms for it are: The brainstem, cranial nerves, and the lower portion of the cerebellum may be stretched or compressed. Therefore, any of the functions controlled by these areas may be affected. The blockage of Cerebro-Spinal Fluid (CSF) flow may also cause a syrinx to form, eventually leading to syringomyelia. Chiari is often associated with major headaches, sometimes mistaken for migraines. Chiari headaches usually include intense pressure in the back of the head, aggravated by laughing, coughing, sneezing or straining. Chiari also includes extreme muscle soreness, facial pain, hearing problems, and low energy levels. It also can cause insomnia cycles of sleep deprivation followed by inabilities to remain awake cycling between them. 15% of patients with adult Chiari malfomation are asymptomatic.

  9. w

    Do you have any success stories on how to cope with electronic harassment?
    Do you have any success stories on how to cope with electronic harassment?
    the research and development of mind control and surveillance technology have
    advanced far beyond what most Americans would imagine .

    privacy abuses conducted by the intelligent agencies CIA, FBI, and NSA
    because of the secrecy and lack of congressional oversight during past decades have touched the life of many of us .

    symptoms of electronic harassment can include:

    difficulty sleeping and sleep deprivation.
    burning sensations on your skin or internal organs.
    pricks on various parts of your body.
    energy moving inside your body.
    constant fatigue
    hearing voices with no other signs of mental illness

    Organized Stalking which usually accompany or comes before electronic harassment if:

    sensing that you are being watched and followed everywhere you go.

    rude behavior from people you don’t know for no apparent reason.
    people have have access to your thoughts.
    most or all your friendships become strained for no apparent reason.
    vandalism on a regular basis.
    frequent appliance or electronic malfunctions and repair.
    difficulty keeping a job
    business deals consistently fall through for no apparent reason.

    your things are not in the same place you left them or small items may be missing.
    frequent appliance or electronic malfunctions and repair.

    Do you have success stories you can share to cope with,stop and block electronic harassment and organized stocking.being aware of the problems and pushing the government to enact laws to stop these abuse is the ultimate solutions; in the meantime those of us who are victims need to cope.

  10. laxgab44

    is it normal for a 16 year old to have headaches everyday?
    I’m 16 and for the past about 6 months or so, I have had a headache everyday. I feel as if i am horribly plagued and wish that they would go away! how normal is that?

    1. zeldaslexicon

      Headaches are a common symptom that can have multiple causes. Stress and tension are common triggers, as are sleep deprivation, eyestrain, hormonal fluctuations, and allergies.

      Frequent headaches need evaluation, but be aware that finding the cause can take some time, simply because there are SO MANY causes! A good first step is to have a comprehensive eye exam. Glasses or contacts may be the solution!

      Next, keep a headache “diary” of your symptoms. When do your headaches occur? Do you wake up with them in the morning, or do they come on gradually during the day? Do you notice they occur after eating certain foods? Does Tylenol or Ibuprofen improve the pain? Where is the pain located – on one side of the head or all over? Do you experience other symptoms with the headache – like nausea, or visual disturbances, etc? You doctor will need all this information to help tease out the cause of your frequent headaches and help you find relief.

      Hope this helps. Good luck to you

  11. =MAF=

    What does sleeping do (for people who actually sleep)? Did you know that you do not have to sleep?
    I admit that I do rest a few hours a day, like 4, but I do not truly sleep. I have adjusted the amount of meals I eat, and medications to allow me to go with out sleep. In fact, yesterday, I tried to sleep and can not. I am fine like this, and think sleeps a waste of time, I can clean my room or maybe the whole house in one night, I watch a lot of TV, and spend time learning what ever I need to know online. So why do some people like sleep so much? Whats the point in wasting that much of your live doing nothing but laying there for hours a day?
    The only issue is that I have randomly shut down about four times in a year. But this usally is not to bad.
    Sleep is NATURES way of dealing with stuff, I do not like anything about nature, so you can not use that as a point.
    And no, buy medication, I do not mean meth. I don’t use that.

    1. Silverwolf

      Medications…you mean speed or caffeine of some sort? You’re trading a life-threatening addiction for the ability to clean your house all night? Hmmmm….

      Take a look at this…

      Effects of Sleep Deprivation

      Lack of sleep may result in

      blurred vision
      slurred speech
      memory lapses / memory Loss
      general confusion
      color blindness
      pale skin tone(looking pasty)
      decreased mental activity
      decreased concentration
      Decreased ability for the immune system to fight off sickness
      Weight gain
      increased blood pressure
      Aching muscles
      Faster aging
      Slowed reaction time
      ADD like symptoms
      Daytime Naps
      As a cause of diabetes
      Effects on the brain
      Effects on growth
      Impairment of ability
      As a cause of obesity

      Does it still sound like a waste of time? Goodnight…

  12. trevor

    What happens to a person without sleep?
    I mean if, hypothetically, they were forced to take a stimulant that kept their bodies awake. What physical and mental effects would it have on the body?

    1. Descartes

      Well, according to a study in England, if a person stays awake for 17 hours, their bodies act as if their blood alcohol level was .05%. However, there are many other symptoms sleep deprivation can cause (which is essentially what you are doing to your body if you don’t sleep). Some of these things are: aching muscles, confusion, memory lapses or loss, depression, hallucinations, hand tremors, headaches, malaise, sensitivity to cold, bloodshot eyes, periorbital puffiness, commonly, known as “bags under eyes” or eye bags, increased blood pressure, increased stress hormone levels, increased risk of diabetes, increased risk of fibromyalgia, irritability, nystagmus[disambiguation needed ] (rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement), obesity, temper tantrums in children, and yawning.

      Basically, you should get sleep. Your body needs it and all it will make you do is feel like crap.
      However, if you decide to stay awake, don’t stay up for more that like a week of so because you could die. Just an FYI.

  13. Anonymous

    What are the effects of sleep deprivation?
    Please list the most common, but if you want to add more, then go for it! I’m on 48 hours (I was busy with writing a musical composition, so that’s my reason for running on little sleep. The work is now complete, and I’m off to bed here soon. I was just wondering because I read up on some effects that can be as serious as psychosis if it gets out of control…

    1. Sean

      I remember you answered a question of mine about music a few days ago lol!

      Sleep deprivation makes the following symptoms more likely:
      aching muscles
      confusion, memory lapses or loss
      hand tremors
      bloodshot eyes
      periorbital puffiness, commonly known as “bags under eyes” or eye bags
      increased blood pressure
      increased stress hormone levels
      increased risk of diabetes
      increased risk of fibromyalgia
      nystagmus (rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement)
      temper tantrums in children

      The occasional night with no sleep has no effect in the long term. Doing things like an exam or dangerous situation won’t be affected by sleep deprivation as adrenalin kicks in and makes you more alert than if you had slept anyway.

  14. Sam

    Can not getting enough sleep cause health problems?
    the answer is ofcourse yes, but how much is my question.

    i get around 4 to 5 hours of sleep everynight. and sometimes even the 4 to5 hours isnt of DEEP rem sleep but just sleep.

    so my question is more towards the brain. can not getting a full 8 hours speed up diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or other brain problems?

    soon i will change this habbit, though. (soon as i get a job) lol.

    1. Mags

      If you are not getting the deep sleep cycle in which you body re-boots, you are not getting the right kind of sleep.

      Although not everyone needs 8 hours of sleep, you may have noticed that when you feel really ill, you need 20 hours of sleep at least.

      The real question is how do you feel when you awaken in he morning? Are you ready to jump out of bed or do you wish you could pull the covers over your head and return to sleep? Do you feel tired in the afternoon or perhaps the early evening? Here are some of the actual symptoms as opposed to the stereotypes.
      * Muscle aches and pains.
      * Headaches, nausea, dizziness/lightheadedness.
      * Feeling cranky or irritable especially when you first get up
      * Having trouble remembering things – cognition is a serious side effect of sleepdeprivationn as well as simple lack of sufficient sleep.
      * Hallucinations/illusions – but who’s going to believe you
      * Behavior similar to ADHD
      * The disease comes in because you become less resistant to developing type II diabetes.
      * Depression
      * Poor wound healing (notice the diabetes link)
      * Feeling and demonstrating a lack of co-ordination

      Actually lack of sleep might be more of an early symptom of Parkinson’s. Or rather sleep disorders may be an indicator. Please not that sleep disorders and lack of sleep may not be related.

      You may be staying up because you have nothing else to do. Is it possible that you are pushing your body in an unhealthy direction?

      In your case, I think you are staying up late doing whatever and going to sleep in the wee hours and then getting up at a time which would be considered late but which allows you to at least get some sleep even if you are not getting REM or deep sleep. I have a feeling, however, that you are going into those stages and perhaps responding to the sun creeping around the curtains, blinds, or whatever.

      On the disease flip side, you can lower your resistance by not allowing your body to recover from the previous day and thereby leave your immune system vulnerable. What you have described is not sleep deprivation. You would have provided an actual set of symptoms in that case. It is interesting to note that these symptoms can be similar to dehydration.

      The other question is why are you only getting 4-5 hours of sleep? And are you really going to change the pattern so easily. Perhaps you could ease into it – might be easier to find a job.

      But I can certainly relate…

  15. Leon

    Why should i not drink caffeine products if i have anxiety?
    A doctor said not to, but did not really go into details of explaining why.

    Can someone give me a Scientific explanation? As to what happens to the brain function.

    1. KLC


      The following effects are commonly attributed to over-use of caffeine – while reading them bear in mind that what is true for one person may not be true for someone else:

      1. Stimulates your heart, respiratory system, and central nervous system.

      2. Makes your blood more `sludgy’ by raising the level of fatty acids in the blood.

      3. Causes messages to be passed along your nervous system more quickly

      4. Stimulates blood circulation

      5. Raises blood pressure

      6. Causes your stomach to produce more acid

      7. Irritates the stomach lining

      8. Makes digestion less effective by relaxing the muscles of your intestinal system

      9. Its diuretic effect caused increased urination – although you would have have to drink about 8 coups of coffee in one sitting for this to occur (1)

      10. Stimulates the cortex of your brain heightening the intensity of mental activity. This can result in a temporary feeling of alertness and, in the short term, banishes drowsiness and feelings of fatigue. In those who already have high levels of anxiety the heightened intensity of mental activity can produce unpleasant effects. But check out (2) below which contradicts this.

      11. Affects the length and quality of sleep. Heavy caffeine users suffer from sleep-deprivation because their nervous system is too stimulated to allow them deep, restful or prolonged sleep.

      12. The American Medical Journal has reported a correlation between caffeine and decreased bone density or osteoporosis in women.

      In addition to the above effects prolonged or very heavy caffeine use can produce the following:

      13. `Caffeine nerves’ a jittery feeling with shaking hands, palpitations, and wobbliness in the legs.

      14. Caffeine addiction which involves nervousness, irritability, agitation, headaches or ringing in the ears.

      15. Causes your adrenal glands to release their hormones into your bloodstream

      16. Causes blood sugar, or blood glucose, to be released from storage through the effects of the adrenal hormones. This gives you a temporary lift but…

      17. …requires your pancreas to over-work. This is because your pancreas now has to produce extra insulin to reduce this extra blood sugar. Once the extra insulin has ‘mopped up’ the extra blood sugar your temporary lift from the caffeine ends. Your vitality level is back to normal. However in heavy caffeine users the pancreas, in time, becomes over-sensitive and over-zealous. Now it begins producing too much insulin – it ‘mops up’ not just the excess blood sugar but the blood sugar you need to feel alert and energetic. The initial effect of this is a let-down effect and a craving for more caffeine to give you a further boost. A later effect can be excessive and chronic tiredness, even on waking in the morning. Some people find that many of the psychological complaints common to reactive hypoglycaemia (the emotional yo-yo effect, shakiness, palpitations, weakness, tiredness, etc.) disappear within a few days of stopping caffeine.

      NOTE: The fact that caffeine can produce these sensations and symptoms does not mean that it is the ‘only’ cause of such symptoms. But if you experience similar symptoms and your medical advisor confirms that they do not have a verifiable organic cause then you may wish to cut out caffeine for a few weeks to see if the symptoms reduce or disappear.

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