Caffeine Can Cause Addiction, Know the Causes and Signs – Caffeine is a stimulant that affects the central nervous system. The safe limit for caffeine intake per day is 400 milligrams or about four cups of coffee.

If you consume caffeine in excess and continuously, you can become dependent and experience side effects.

What is caffeine dependence?

“Technically, caffeine use can lead to physical dependence, but not addiction,” explains internist Vivek Cherian, MD.

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according to insiders, Physical dependence means a person needs more of the drug to get the same effect, but he can stop using it if he wants to.

“People become dependent on caffeine when they drink it every day and develop a tolerance for it,” says Lam Clinic co-founder medical director Carrie Lam, MD.

He continued that the brain adjusts to a higher amount of caffeine intake each day.

Illustration of drinking coffee.  (Shutterstock)
Illustration of drinking coffee. (Shutterstock)

Signs of caffeine dependence

The main sign of caffeine dependence is that a person cannot perform daily activities without caffeine intake.

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“If you can’t function without a cup of coffee every day in the morning, there’s a good chance you’re dependent on caffeine,” says Cherian.

If the condition is not treated, it is likely that the person will experience withdrawal symptoms starting 12 hours after the last caffeine dose.

Symptoms include headaches, fatigue, irritability, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and nausea.

Lam adds that there may be behavioral aspects of caffeine dependence, such as:

  • Want to reduce or control your caffeine intake, but have difficulty doing so.
  • Consume more caffeine over time.
  • Continue to consume caffeine despite experiencing negative side effects.
  • Caffeine interferes with daily life.