What Is Caffeine Allergy?Caffeine is cosidered a nervous system stimulant, something that can keep you awake. Caffeine is found most commonly in coffee of course, but can also be found in soda pops, energy drinks, energy bars, and in some fruits, beans, and vegetables.
Though many people like drinking coffee and soda, some may not realize that they are actually allergic to it. People's symptoms may vary depending on how strong the person's allergy to caffeine is.
Caffeine Allergy SymptomsA person allergic to caffeine is unable to efficiently process or metabolize caffeine. Consequently, they experience hypersensitivity or inflammation in certain organs.
The symptoms of caffeine allergy may not show up immediately. Sometimes, it may take several hours or days before the allergic reactions become noticeable. The severity of the symptoms may be classified into mild and severe.
Mild symptoms include:
- Cold sweats
- Difficulty of swallowing
- Extreme jitters
- Headaches and migraines
- Hives and rashes
- Itchy mouth
- Swollen throat, tongue, lips, and face
In severe cases, people with caffeine allergy may experience:
- Anxiety and panic attacks
- Chest pains
- Delusions and hallucinations
- Difficulty of breathing
- Heart palpitations
- Inability to focus or concentrate
Causes Of Caffeine AllergyIngestion or exposure to an allergen, which in this case is caffeine, can trigger allergic reactions. Caffeine is not only found in food, beverages and supplements. It is also found in body scrubs and body washes. So exposure to these can also trigger the allergy. Since caffeine is derived from the coffee plant, people can also suffer from allergic reactions if they come in contact with coffee plants or its leaves.
Products With CaffeineCaffeine is an ingredient commonly used in beverages and certain foods, as well as in various other products. Products containing caffeine include:
- Alcoholic drinks
- Caffeine tablets
- Chocolate drinks
- Chocolate bars
- Cocoa beans
- Cola-flavored carbonated soda
- Energy bars
- Tea drinks
- Tea bags
- Ice cream
- Instant ready-to-eat oatmeals
- Coffee and chocolate body scrubs
- Coffee and chocolate body wash
Caffeine can also be found in over-the-counter drugs used for treating headaches, colds, and other pains. It is also present in weight loss pills.
Diagnosing Caffeine AllergyDiagnosing caffeine allergy can be complicated. Caffeine allergy symptoms resemble those of other allergies, and can even resemble mental problems like bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and attention deficit disorder. Most allergists perform a skin test or blood test to make sure that caffeine is the cause of the allergic reaction.
Keeping a food diary with details of everything you eat and drink is helpful if you have caffeine allergy. This can help your doctor rule out other possible disorders so that proper treatment can be given immediately.
Caffeine Allergy TreatmentAbout 80% of people consume caffeinated beverages and food in their diet every day. Many claim to be caffeine addicts. Once the body is used to a certain amount of caffeine per day, caffeine addiction can be hard to cure.
The only way to completely eliminate caffeine allergy is to remove caffeine from your system. It is important to avoid consuming or using products with caffeine. Avoiding decaffeinated products can be beneficial as well since these still contain small amounts of caffeine. If you are addicted to caffeine you can try some of the alternatives below.
Tips For Preventing Caffeine AllergyAvoiding coffee is the main key to preventing caffeine allergy. Similar to other addictions, replacing coffee with a healthy alternative is beneficial.
Alternatives to coffee include:
- Apple juice
- Fresh fruit juices
- Low-fat milk
- Plain water
- Unsalted biscuits
To ensure that household items and foods do not contain any caffeine, check the product labels. When purchasing medications for a cold or other problems, ask the pharmacist if the medicine contains traces of caffeine.