Jitters and Hives? You Might Be Allergic to Caffeine

Jitters and Hives? You Might Be Allergic to Caffeine

Tooba Pasha Waqar |Apr 8, 2021

Caffeine Allergy Symptoms

Chugging a Red Bull during a basketball game, drinking coffee in the morning, having a cup of tea at the end of the night—that is what dreams are made of when you have a caffeine allergy. You may experience caffeine allergy symptoms and not even know it.

Although it plays a small part in your daily diet, caffeine has a significant role in improving your health. A report published by Harvard Medical School explains that coffee consumption leads to a decreased risk of type II diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, cirrhosis, colon, liver, and uterine cancer, as well as cardiovascular disease.

While your caffeine-loving mind may love these dramatics, the truth is that caffeine is not a part of the essential food groups. So, even if you give up on caffeine, you won't experience any earth-shattering changes.

Caffeine Allergy Symptoms

Remember that caffeine sensitivity and caffeine allergies are not the same.

Caffeine sensitivity occurs when your body is slow to metabolize caffeine, so you experience caffeine's effects differently. In comparison, caffeine allergies cause a range of varied reactions. For example, some of the physical symptoms caused by caffeine allergies include:

  • Hives
  • Lip, mouth, and tongue itchiness
  • Swollen tongue or lips
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Nervous jitters
  • Insomnia
  • Restlessness
  • Stomach pain and diarrhea
  • Muscle tremors

These symptoms typically develop within hours of exposure and are usually treated with antihistamines. But for those who experience severe allergic reactions such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing, that calls for further medication.

Your doctor will tell you not to ingest any food or drink with caffeine in it. But, they will also recommend staying away from self-care products that may contain caffeine. This includes bath bombs, lotions, and skincare products.

Do I Need to See a Doctor for a Caffeine Allergy?

The worst thing you can do if you suspect a caffeine allergy is to self-diagnose your condition.

If you've consumed caffeine before and are suddenly experiencing symptoms, that is concerning, and will require a medical check-up. Once your doctor conducts a skin patch test and diagnoses a caffeine allergy, you should only think about cutting caffeine from your diet.

Your doctor will provide you with a list of products that contain caffeine—such as tea, coffee, chocolate, energy drinks, soda, diet soda, vitamin supplements, and some medications—so that you can avoid them in the future. They will also be able to explain why you are experiencing these allergic reactions.

What Can Cause a Caffeine Allergy?

Specific diets, medication, vitals, biochemistry, and age, in addition to a variety of factors, can impact your response to caffeine.

If you're an active caffeine drinker, there's the chance that you may have exhausted your adrenal glands, which may be causing other symptoms. If you develop a caffeine allergy over time, it's also possible you may have had caffeine intolerance all along, and it may not have reached its peak yet.

With caffeine allergies, it's unfortunately difficult to diagnose them definitively because they are rare. If your doctor asks you to skip all caffeinated food and drinks from your diet, and you see a positive response, it may confirm the diagnosis that you, indeed, have a caffeine allergy.

Managing Effects of Caffeine Withdrawal

If you've consumed caffeinated products regularly your whole life it won't be easy to manage your withdrawal from them, but it won't be impossible.

In the beginning, you will experience symptoms such as:

  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Shakiness
  • Irritability

Remember that caffeine is a drug, so you will need to be patient when moving on from its use. Within two weeks, you will find yourself feeling much better. However, if you can't find a source of energy or a way to help you stay alert, here are some things you can do:

  • Take breaks from staring at the screen. Instead of causing eyestrain by staring at the computer or your phone, moving away from the screen or closing your eyes and resting them will help you feel refreshed. If you can, get up from your desk and walk around for at least 5–10 minutes. You'll feel refreshed too.
  • Drink water. A tall glass of water will make all the difference if you're feeling sleepy. Hydrating your organs will not only replenish the liquids you've lost during the day, but it'll also help you feel alert.
  • Get enough sleep. 6–7 hours is enough to freshen up your mind. Whenever possible, take catnaps or close your eyes. Do what you can to give your overworked mind some rest.
  • Eat a healthy diet. This doesn't mean that you give up your pizza but be sure to have balanced meals that fill your stomach.

Closing Thoughts

Your caffeine allergy will have no power over you if you follow the right tips. Stay true to your doctor's orders, and give your body some rest, so it can energize you when caffeine can't.

Trust these words: you will feel happier, healthier, and lighter, even without a cup of coffee in your hands!

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