Thursday, June 14, 2012

Caffeine and Fatigue

Caffeine blocks a chemical called adenosine from telling the brain when it's time to relax. The addiction to this feeling is exacerbated when you understand that your body will require more and more caffeinated liquid to receive the same energized level. It does not provide energy, it causes chemical stimulation. Caffeine in the body interferes with healthy digestion and bowel movements. It dehydrates the body, depriving it of needed water to process food. It also obstructs the absorption of the very important chemical magnesium, which is necessary to maintain healthy bowel movements. It depletes the body of B vitamins, already a common problem for PwMS/CCSVI. Coffee sets your body up for a rollercoaster day of highs and lows, only to bottom out at the point of exhaustion. Just a few hours after consumption, when the artificial high dies down, many people may reach for more coffee or something sugary to get another lift, leading to daily fluctuations in energy and alertness, and possibly to eventual chronic adrenal exhaustion. Caffeine increases the stimulating neuro-hormone, noradrenaline, and reduces the calming neurotransmitter, serotonin. It doesn't add energy to your system, it just burns up your reserves at a faster pace. You get a short-term boost at the expense of long-term jitters. Caffeine intake usually combines physical addiction with a wide range of debilitating effects, most notably anxiety, irritability, mood swings, sleep disturbance, depression, and fatigue. When you consume caffeine, the drug begins its effects by initiating uncontrolled neuron firing in your brain, according to Stephen Cherniske in his book, Caffeine Blues. This excess neuron activity triggers your pituitary gland to secrete a hormone that tells your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin. Adrenalin is the source of our "fight-or-flight" response. By stimulating your adrenal glands to produce adrenalin, caffeine puts your body in this "fight-or-flight" state, which is useless while you're just sitting at your desk. When this adrenal high wears off later, you feel the drop in terms of fatigue, irritability, headache or confusion. After prolonged exposure to caffeine your body enters a state of adrenal exhaustion. "Caffeine forces your glands to secrete when they don't have much left to give, and they have to keep digging deeper and deeper, making you more and more tired over time. And over the years, it takes more and more coffee to get the same result. Some people reach the point of drinking half a dozen or more cups of coffee to get the same result and it's barely keeping them awake. That's severe adrenal depletion."
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