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The Relationship Between Caffeine and Headaches

As a Cause


As mentioned, caffeine and headaches are often linked together due to one of the symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. You actually have to take a lot of caffeine in for headaches to start as a result of withdrawal, usually about as much as five cups of coffee a day.

Some people, though, will experience these headaches with less caffeine ingested over a longer period of use. It is interesting to note to the sufferers of caffeine withdrawal should note that this drug is unique in that it’s difficult to overuse this drug, and the symptoms of this withdrawal are much less severe than with other drugs.

To avoid caffeine withdrawal headaches, you can either try to slowly ease the use of products with caffeine in them. The former works well if you’re attempting to keep that pain from happening, but some people prefer to quit cold turkey and just get the headaches over with quickly, sort of like removing an adhesive bandage quickly.

As Headache Relief


Caffeine can be used as headache relief as well, however. One property of caffeine in headache medicines is that it helps them to work better, naturally complementing the effect of analgesics. That is why some painkillers, such as Excedrin, contain caffeine.

One of the benefits of taking painkillers with caffeine for headaches is that due to the synergy between caffeine and the drug, you don’t need to take quite as much, which is always a benefit.

One thing to note is that caffeine is also a trigger for some people with migraines, meaning that taking caffeine will give headaches to some people, and as such, should be avoided as preventative medicine.

Migraine sufferers should avoid coffee, chocolate, and even the painkillers with caffeine so they don’t risk further headaches. The link between caffeine and headaches is certainly unique, as it can be a cause, or help with a cure.
(21.02.2010)
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