You May Well Have 'Caffeine Use Disorder'

Researchers say health concern needs more attention
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2014 12:22 PM CST

(Newser) – You're probably aware of health concerns tied to coffee—but you may not know that your dependence could amount to a diagnosable problem. In a recent study, researchers find that Caffeine Use Disorder may be more of a problem than many doctors realize. "There is misconception among professionals and lay people alike that caffeine is not difficult to give up. However, in population-based studies, more than 50% of regular caffeine consumers report that they have had difficulty quitting or reducing caffeine use," says study author Laura Juliano via Eureka Alert.

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Do you have the disorder? Quartz points to three key symptoms:

  • You want, or have tried, to quit or reduce your caffeine intake.
  • You know caffeine leads to health problems for you—it makes it hard to sleep, for instance—but you keep using the stuff.
  • You suffer from withdrawal symptoms, which can include headaches or nausea, if you don't get your daily dose.
Before you panic, however, the site notes that researchers find 400 mg per day to be OK for healthy adults; that's between two and three eight-ounce cups. Pregnant, anxious, or an insomniac? Cut that amount in half, CBS DC reports. And if you need help, you're not alone: "Through our research, we have observed that people who have been unable to quit or cut back on caffeine on their own would be interested in receiving formal treatment—similar to the outside assistance people can turn to if they want to quit smoking," Juliano says. (Read more caffeine stories.)

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