Caffeine and PMS - A Bad Combination

A lot of you have had periods of depression, anxiety and mood swings. Some of these symptoms may have led you to the doctors office to find out that PMS and caffeine are a bad combination.

What does caffeine do in the body?

Chemically, caffeine is a plant-based alkaloid that stimulates the central nervous system of anyone who ingests it. In nature, caffeine is used as a form of pest control. It causes insects and other species to die from the over stimulation. In its natural form, caffeine tastes very bitter. Caffeine is commonly used in drugs to increase alertness, improve muscle coordination, and decrease fatigue. The most common source of caffeine is coffee, but it is also naturally found in tea and chocolate. It is also added to soft drinks and non prescription drugs, such as pain relievers and cold medications.

Why is it bad for me?

Caffeine is considered a psychoactive drug, meaning it affects the brain. It affects the body by increasing the heart rate and blood pressure. If caffeine is used excessively, it can cause anxiety, muscle twitching, insomnia, and stomach pains.

Caffeine and PMS

PMS varies from women to women. Most women suffer from mild PMS symptoms. However, there are symptoms that could be avoided or at least reduced by cutting out caffeine. These symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Abdominal pain

Symptoms of PMS often cause women to increase their caffeine intake. Naturally if you feel tired or fatigued you think a cup of coffee will give you the energy boost you need to get through your day. But an increase of caffeine over a long period of time can lead to poor sleep quality and depression. Doctors usually prescribe an anti-depressant for these symptoms instead of monitoring the caffeine intake.

Is caffeine making MY symptoms worse?

Take a good look at how much caffeine you consume daily. Research shows that a five ounce cup of coffee has 164mg of caffeine. On your way to work in to morning, do you stop and grab a coffee from your favorite convenience store? Well depending on the size, you could potentially be consuming 780mg of caffeine. More than 250mg can cause you to overdose. It is hard to determine how much caffeine you are consuming a day. It is found in so many different sources, such as teas, chocolate, energy drinks, soda, and medication. Plus, every woman will react differently, depending on her weight and body chemistry. Because caffeine can be habit forming, it can be difficult to reduce your daily intake amount. An abrupt decrease can cause you to experience withdrawal symptoms, such as headaches, fatigue, and nervousness. There are a few things that you can do to slowly reduce your caffeine consumption:

  • Know how much caffeine is in your food and drink. It may be more then you assume.
  • Reduce how many cups of coffee or cans of soda you drink per day.
  • Select herbal teas. They dont contain caffeine.
  • Switch to caffeine free medications. Regular medications can contain 65 130 mg of caffeine in one dose!


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