Mari Miller

Coordinator , American Tinnitus Association

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How many people have given up caffeine, how long and how do you feel?

I quit caffeine 2 months ago today.. I feel nothing less than FABULOUS!
Anyone else out there want to share in the success story? How many people have given up caffeine, for how long and how do you feel?

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    Oct 16 2013: Today a great day.... Most of the time .. I do not even think about caffeine.. because of that I have more time to use productively getting on with life!
    Nov 8th.. 3 months and counting! (that is my only focus)
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    Oct 12 2013: Thank you Mary for those kind words.. Life is an adventure.. We are in charge.. We can change and make a difference that is AMAZING! Again.. I have never felt better!
    PS.. I did alot of praying and asking God to help me with this addiction. God is so GOOD!
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    Oct 11 2013: 2 weeks I cut back... weened off.. then that was it.. The first month I felt tired and brain fog.. OFF AND ON.. NOT every day.. that passed around 1 month.. It was well worth it. I have NEVER been off of all caffeine since I was a teenager!
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    Oct 10 2013: Last year I did a caffeine detox and it wasn’t pretty for me nor the people I live with and it seems like the more caffeine a person consumes, the greater the intensity and duration of the withdrawal.

    We decided to put together a list of the most common caffeine withdrawal symptoms so when you’re experiencing them, you’ll be comforted to know that you aren’t really dying but just detoxing from the caffeine.

    Also, for those who aren’t normally caffeine drinkers, these symptoms can be noticed after quitting caffeine even if it was only consumed for a few days in a row.

    Top 10 Caffeine Withdrawal Symptoms
    A caffeine headache usually starts behind the eyes and then moves up the front of the head.
    This just isn’t your normal tiredness, this is sitting up straight but still can’t keep your eyes open tiredness.
    Everyone and everything gets on your last nerve. It’s best just to lock yourself in your room during this stage.
    Forget about productivity at this stage because you’ll be unmotivated to do anything.
    Caffeine stimulates the bowel, so without its daily does the colon gets a little cranky too.
    Caffeine withdrawal can take away all hope for living. Temporary blues are one thing, but if you already struggle with depression this could be a big issue.
    Muscle Pain/Stiffness
    If you normally have some caffeine prior to exercise then during caffeine withdrawal you could feel as though your muscles have weights strapped to them.
    Lack of Concentration
    Forget school, studying, brain surgery, or jet engine repair during this stage of withdrawal.
    Flu-like symptoms
    Stuffy nose, blocked sinuses and even vomiting have been reported by people withdrawing from caffeine.
    Some people are strange and actually can’t sleep when going through caffeine withdrawal.
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      Oct 10 2013: So are you still caffeine free?
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        Oct 10 2013: Giving up caffeine isn’t easy and the withdrawal symptoms aren’t pretty, but unless you’re giving up caffeine for medical reasons why would you ever want to?

        Caffeine withdrawal isn’t a laughing matter and it, for sure, is a very unpleasant experience. Luckily these symptoms only last a few days to a week so there’s light at the end of the tunnel.

        However, even after the withdrawal period is over, I personally still never feel quite as good as I do when I’m drinking caffeine all of the time. This is most likely due to the changes that occur with the dopamine receptors in the brain because of caffeine. I guess mine might be forever altered.
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          Oct 11 2013: Thanks for the reply Shubham.

          The fact that the body undergoes caffeine withdrawal is indicative of something.....and I don't think it is good.

          That is why, although I have been kidding around, I am all too well aware of the adulteration of foods in the world. We just don't know what is used inside certain food items, and if it is done purposely to get us to like it and depend on it.

          I am of the same mindset as Mari.....once I stop consuming caffeine, I would not opt for decaffeinated. I would simply drink natural beverages........water, milk, fresh juices.....etc
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        Oct 11 2013: I love this list.. It is right on! I am still detoxing.. today ..example.. feel like I have a bug.. etc.. but as the day went.. I worked out... (THE BEST HELP EVER FOR DETOXING).. ate a healthy dinner and I am back to my normal self and energy.. Out with the old(caffeine) in with the new (an amazing feeling of energy and calm!)
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    Oct 13 2013: Amen!
  • Oct 12 2013: i've given up a year ago and i feel better. i never think about it is a matter of habit.
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    Oct 12 2013: Mari, My first job, I retired from, was the military. Cigarettes, coffee, and booze were the excepted entertainment. When I attempted to quit any of the above I found that they were interrelated ... coffee meant a smoke, A drink also called for a smoke. Etc .... So My solution was to stop all three at once.

    I continued to go to the Club on base where all three were around me because that is reality. If I was to win the "battle" then exposure was a necessary element for me. I had had a twenty year habit and knew this was a war. I carried a pack with me all the time.

    I was really hungry and started to gain weight ... so that also became part of the battle plan.

    I was so full of energy ... My sense of smell came back first and was amazed that my car, hair, cloths, etc .... all stunk. I use most of that energy to clean EVERYTHING. Even I could smell my breath. Yuck.

    The really hard part was to not try to "preach" to others to stop the habits I had conquered. I was astounded at how many people saw and smelled the "new" me.

    I was asked what program I used for any or all. When I said I used the Bob really gotta wanta method of mind over matter ... will power. The first thing you have to do is to get YOU on your side. All the rest of your support group is important but unless you have totally bought into it it will never happen.

    It has been 30 plus years and still going strong. The temptation is always there. Being in the military, police work and prison work I was in high stress environments and involved in "ugly" events. The urge was really, really strong.

    My decision to quit all three worked for me because I saw the path from one to the other. It ain't easy ... it is still hard.

    That's my story ..... Bob.
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      Oct 12 2013: I now have another reason to admire and respect you Bob.
      What a wonderful testimony!!
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        Oct 12 2013: Mary, As ever, thank you. One of the things I learned in my "quitting" was that many things are habit, on a schedule, or cause and effect.

        Say you get up in the morning and reach for the coffee pot ... change that to a morning walk or run .. as soon as you get back drink some juice and head for the shower. I often reached for a smoke, drink, etc ... when my hands were empty and I was idle.

        So my advice is to make a schedule that is different than the one you currently run on and fill every minute for at least the first week and then make adjustments. Instead of the car, where you smoked, ride your bike. Coffee is mostly a morning thing. Keep busy through lunch and you will face less of a "need". Carry a water bottle so that your hands are filled. After the first few days the stench will hit you and you will want to brush your teeth all the time. I called this my ash trey mouth. Coffee breath is very strong ... but I never noticed it until I quit.

        The problem is that we enjoy our little vices ... coffee, ice cream, tea, coke ..... but they are habit forming. Is there a point where you could want a cup of joe and NOT need a cup of joe. That would serve the same purpose.

        What ever you decide I want you to know I am on your support team ... I have my pom poms and a sweat shirt with a big M on the front ... GO MICE. ahhhhh GO MARY. yeah thats it.

        I wish you well. Bob.
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          Oct 12 2013: I really appreciate these practical suggestions Bob. Thank you.
          It is nice to know I have someone cheering me on......
          Have a beautiful weekend!!
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      Oct 12 2013: 30 years clean 29 no alcohol and now caffeine. Life just keeps getting better! Thanks for sharing Robert!
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    Oct 12 2013: Yes to a point.. but when you body constantly is in fight or flight.. your cortisol levels rise.. adrenals shut down and your whole body starts to break down..We are in charge of that.. for me the first step was eliminating caffeine, dealing with stress, exercising, yoga, pilates and most important.. putting nothing but healthy foods in my body and finding out what foods my body was sensitive or allergic to.. It sure has paid off! Before doing this.. Lejan.. I had a brain tumor .. a very sick puppy.. my body was completely out of balance.. Today .. I am healing and as I said before.. feeling fabulous..
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    Oct 11 2013: And good luck to you too Anairda!
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    Oct 11 2013: Well don't give it up then!
    A very personal choice but does't it concern you that you get a headache if you don't have that cup of java?
    And by the way...the headache for me was not even a day because I took two weeks to wean off
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      Oct 11 2013: It would probably be the same for me. It's been a while I have not gone more than two days without it(weekends) I think I'm doing good having it only in the morning considering that I had years when I would drink cup after cup at work. As I said: I love it and life it's to short not to do what you like. We could cut a lot of things from our life that would probably make us healthier but it would take the 'spice' out of life. Are you familiar with this quote?:“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
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      Oct 11 2013: But it's definitely a personal choice. Good luck
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    Oct 11 2013: I don't want to quit drinking coffee. I love it...nothing like a nice hot cup of smooth cafe late in the morning!! I can do without tea, chocolate and I never drink soda. I have at times a glimpse into how withdraw must fees like when I wake up late in weekends and I skip the morning routine (i get the headache)
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    Oct 11 2013: NO decaffeinated.. why temp myself.. plus there are as many if not more chemicals in decaf!
    Go for it Mary.. you can do it and the benefits are amazing.. patience!
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    Oct 11 2013: I have not had one ounce of caffeine (coffee, chocolate, tea, etc) over 2 months now. WOW.. why did I spend the money and subject my body to unhealthy conditions?! Oh well .. Better late than never!
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    Oct 11 2013: Check out the Mayo Clinics recent research and coffee and younger crowd.. NOT good!
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    Oct 11 2013: Also.. you have to WANT to quit.. be done, etc.. if you aren't.. then it won't work.. I was ready!
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    Oct 10 2013: On January 1st 2010 I gave up coffee, and alcohol. I had read it takes 31 days (or 3 months depending on who you read), to make a permanent change of habit. I intended 12 months, just to make extra sure.
    After 10 months I thought to myself "O.K that must surely be enough now to have fixed a permanent change in habit", so I made a cup of coffee expecting to experience revulsion at the smell; it smelt SO good I drank it. That evening I opened a bottle of wine expecting no desire ... wrong! It was a lovely meal enhanced by a couple of glasses of wine.
    So I reckon there is something wrong with the theory, and there has been ever since.
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      Oct 11 2013: depends on why you quit both!
  • Oct 10 2013: Not sure how to answer that since much of what I drink has some percentage of caffeine in it not just coffee but tea, coke etc. In the main i drink tea, mostly Chinese green tea, but occvasionally i have a coffee of coke so I get caffeine almsot no matter what i do unless I just drink juices or water. In winter you tend to drink hot or warm drinks and the only thing remaining is herbal tea or hot chocoalte everything else has caffeine in it.
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    Oct 10 2013: I feel nothing less than FABULOUS next to my cup of freshly brewed coffee! Yet I assume, this doesn't count for success by your definition? :o)
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      Oct 10 2013: You sir, are such a trouble maker!!

      Have you seen the special on Coffee, and how they got Americans to start consuming it?

      Part 1...
      Part 2...
      Part 3...

      The documentary was titled........."The irresistible bean" {Wonder why they chose that name?}
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        Oct 10 2013: Am I? Hmm ... didn't notice ... :o)

        I lost count on articles stating pro and con on caffeine. Endless!

        As I am a smoker, I know what addiction is and what it takes to overcome it psychologically and biologically. Yet coffee? Nope, nothing at all.

        I drink a lot of coffee, every day, because I like it. Just like Orange juice. And I stop from one day on the other without any problem. Nothing is missing. I do not suffer any withdrawal syndrome, not a single one!

        When my cigarettes are running out, I will get another pack in the middle of the night.

        When my coffee runs out, I get it the next time when I do my shopping, which can be one week later and without buying coffee any other way.

        This makes coffee as irresistible to me as bread. I eat bread every day and I wouldn't want to live without it. Is this also an addiction? Same goes for salt, or sugar, or ...

        I don't know what makes coffee a target every once in a while. I have no idea.
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          Oct 10 2013: Actually, the PBS special was a history of coffee.
          It wasn't presented in pro or con.
          That is why I so enjoyed watching is a wonderful series....just like the documentaries they have done on famous sandwiches, and ice cream parlors, and hot dog stands throughout the U.S.

          With me personally, I have discovered that if I drink American coffee one day, and don't drink it the next........I'll get a tension headache.

          I get around it by brewing espresso beans in the espresso maker, and then adding got water to a small amount of the coffee.......and I'm down to about a cup and a half of coffee. I drink it only in the mornings.
          I also can go without drinking coffee for days, but I find my way back.....I really enjoy a steaming cup of coffee first thing in the morning........'smoke free' (coughs).

          Temptation is just a click away.....get a hold of this ......

          I think the target is caffeine........not necessarily coffee.
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          Oct 11 2013: Happy that you feel fab on coffee however.. I think your body is in fight or flight and one day it will BURN out.. Prays you don't
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        Oct 10 2013: Well, if its not about 'addiction' or other 'cons' caffeine is targeted for, why am I 'such a trouble maker' then?


        I know I am, usually ..., but in this context?

        I was only stating, that I feel just FABULOUS! with caffeine, somewhat as a counterbalance in the discussion...

        I have heard about headache issues related to coffee for some people and I think those should take it seriously, as their metabolism is giving its signals. Have you done some testing on pure caffeine to find out if this is the cause of the headache? It could be an allergic reaction about you may want to now of if it was that case. Constant allergy pushes aren't good for unprepared immune systems.

        How do you react on Coke?
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          Oct 10 2013: When I started getting the headaches I realized it was directly related to the slow brewed American coffee......I spent a week experimenting.

          I have never tried testing pure caffeine, and I am not a soda pop drinker.......every once in a while I'll have one if we eat out, but it's usually water for me. But I do not get the headaches the next day w/ the soda. It is strictly something that happens w/ the coffee.

          Here's some black and bitter sound bytes to go w/ your next cup!!
          It's a jazz piece......

          I'm not sure if all this rambling is doing anyone any good.
          It's just that I had a shot of espresso.......couldn't help myself......Lejan, you are a bad influence!!
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        Oct 10 2013: Oh noo ... no temptation at all, as sugar is a no-go in coffee for me.

        It got to be as black and bitter as my soul, then its just right ... :o)
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        Oct 11 2013: Oh noo ... it is all my fault again, you shouldn't keep such bad company like me! My soul is to dark for yours, for almost anybodies I should say, to stay on the right track.

        Sorry, sorry, sorry!

        But hey, shhhhh ... want some of this?:

        LOL - The shady coffee dealer song ... and me failing again ... ;o)

        And here's another one, yet way less shady ...

        Enjoy! Or better ... don't ... ;o)
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          Oct 11 2013: I LOVED the shady!!!
          The only disturbing part for me is that it seems he is offering the coffee to a baby sitting in a high chair......ooopsy......LOL

          The things that coffee will inspire!

          And did you know that Mon Café comes with a ring tone?

          Imagine every time your phone rang, you were reminded of coffee.....Ay Ay Ay.....

          Here is my coffee song....with another hot drink thrown in for good measure:

          Have a great day Lejan! or should I start calling you Juan Valdez? ;)
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        Lejan .

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        Oct 11 2013: Have a great day too, Mary! Thank you!

        It was very interesting to see, what the angle perception does to one and the same thing.

        I didn't think for one moment about a 'baby in a high chair'! To me, the video camera was just sitting on the table and the guy probably didn't happen to have an tripod. Seen from your perspective now, I lost even the last bits of my reputation if there were any left ... :o)

        Also I learned today who Juan Valdez is, and that Axelle Red makes great music. None of both I knew when I had my first coffee in the morning ... :o)
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          Oct 11 2013: I think that the mom in me naturally saw the angle from the high chair.....

          And I'm glad I was exposed to Axelle Red's beautiful voice.
          I will have to keep listening. :)

          How could you NOT know who Juan Valdez is?
          Well, I suppose they do not have the same commercials for coffee in Germany that they have here.

          He has even made an appearance on the giant screen..........Here is a clip from the movie "Bruce Almighty".

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      Oct 11 2013: To each his own!
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        Oct 11 2013: Thank you.

        I think my body is in constant fight, it has to be for my own good in natures hostile environment. What concerns me are chemicals and genetically manipulated organisms in my food which I can not avoid because I can not be sure about it due to labeling laws and criminal behavior of some food companies.

        Regarding personal preferences yes, to each his own, thats why sugar is a no-go in coffee for me.
  • Oct 10 2013: Twenty years shy of any dependance on caffeine, although at the current age of twenty I cant say that's anything worth boasting about here haha Just keep in mind that it is a personal choice to turn the pot on every morning or shill out the penny (maybe a lil more than a penny) for a fresh cup. It isnt easy by any means, but the most worthwhile results often come at the hands of difficult endeavors!! Eat nutritiously, exercise fairly, sleep well-give your body a chance to adapt to the new conditions and dont stop supporting the idea :) y'all will pull through
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      Oct 10 2013: Cody....that was sneaky.....I was all ready to congratulate you, just to come and find out you've never consumed.

      I have also kept my kids away from the caffeine.....sodas and all.....

      They do enjoy the smell of coffee......they wake up to it each morning. But, the taste is not to their liking....which in my opinion is a good thing.

      I just think it is very dangerous how they are marketing all those caffeine drinks with caramel and whip cream, and you see little 8 year olds having them for breakfast. Ever see any of that going on around you?

      And thanks for your support!!
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    Oct 10 2013: "I feel nothing less than FABULOUS".........oooh Mari, do tell, how did you quit your caffeine......HOW????

    I do love a good cup of JAVA...