A moderate amount of caffeine helps relieve a headache, by helping pain-relief medications work better, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Thatвs why youвll find caffeine as an ingredient in many over-the-counter headache drugs. However, if you drink too much coffee for a sustained amount of time (getting an daily excess of 500 mg of caffeine, or the equivalent of five cups of coffee) and you can go through caffeine withdrawal. The symptoms include headaches and fatigue, found Johns Hopkins researchers.
Slowly decrease your caffeine intakeвand look at all the possible sources in your diet, including coffee, headache drugs, tea, soda, and energy drinks.
Treatment is meant to get the caffeine out of your body while managing the symptoms. You may be given activated charcoal, a common remedy for drug overdose, which often prevents the caffeine from going into the gastrointestinal tract. If the caffeine has already entered your gastrointestinal tract, you may be offered a laxative or even a gastric lavage.
A gastric lavage involves using a tube to wash the contents out of your stomach. Your doctor will likely choose the method that works fastest to get the caffeine out of your body. During this time, your heart will be monitored through an EKG ( ). You may also receive breathing support when necessary. If the symptoms are mild, you may be able to wait until the caffeine is no longer in your body or treat the overdose yourself.
Some home treatments for caffeine overdose include drinking water, getting mild exercise, and eating foods high in or, such as bananas or dark leafy greens. Home treatment may not always accelerate your bodyвs metabolism of the caffeine. If youвre unsure of whether you need treatment, call Poison Control at 800-222-1222 and describe your symptoms. If your symptoms sound severe, youвll likely be advised to go to the local hospital for immediate treatment.