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April 14, 2011

Recognizing Caffeine Allergies

by Kristina Amelong 

It appears that my desire to drink caffeinated beverages has outlived my body’s ability to handle them. I hate this. As a recovering person, I am loath to still have an addiction that I am completely determined to keep, but am seemingly being required by my body to give up. 

Off and on for years I have experienced a troubling numbness and tingling in my arms and legs, hands and feet, sometimes accompanied by pain. Over the past few months, the sensations and the pain have become constant, always worse at night as soon as I lay down in bed. At first, I just worried – I had MS, I was about to die, I would be crippled for the rest of my life. Then I decided to use what I know and take action – I increased my intake of herbs and supplements, and stepped up exercise and physical therapies. All to no avail.

Finally, as the last stone I loathed to turn over, I decided to determine if my daily cup of coffee, which I was splitting into two half cups, twice daily, in a cup or two of plain rice milk, sometimes steaming hot and other times on as many ice cubes as I could fit into the cup (for years, I have guiltily been asking the baristas at coffee shops for "just a little bit more ice, please") was the culprit.

Since I was 20 years old, I have been slowly, successfully, painfully, regretfully, with great reward, peeling away from my day-to-day life my addictions to substances. Now, at 47, as if I have done none of the recovery work, the deeply hard and life-transforming work, I am called to the journey of recovery once again. Luckily, I have found Tulsi tea to carry me through a challenging ongoing experiment of greatly reducing my caffeine intake.

I have survived my journey of drinking coffee only once or twice a week, along with two to three cups of India Breakfast Tulsi tea per day, with the added treat of a chocolate mint oolong tea once in a while. A month has passed. What are the results thus far? The numbness, tingling, and pain departed, completely, for three weeks. However, now the symptoms are back.

It seems that some of us have caffeine allergies and/or sensitivities, which means that our bodies cannot correctly process caffeine molecules. There are many possible symptoms of caffeine allergies. Here are the top 20.

I will keep you posted on my continued journey.

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At July 26, 2011 at 4:37 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG This is the most welcomed newsletter EVER! My skin looks just like the picture that is posted. I thought that because I drink organic shade grown coffee that I was so smart! I figured the sprays used on coffee beans would be the culprit, but it may be the coffee itself! I am so going to eliminate coffee for 2 weeks to see if this is the issue! Thank you so much for all that you do Kristine! Jill

At October 25, 2011 at 6:30 PM , Anonymous Fran Sussman said...

Do you not react to the caffeine in coffee enemas? This has occasionally been an issue for me.

At May 19, 2013 at 2:04 AM , Anonymous Park said...

Wow - this could be the answer to a skin problem/condition that I have had now for over 18 mo. My skin looks like the picture, but in places much worse.
I have been to 3 dermatologists and the Mayo clinic & stumped 'em all - the Mayo Clinic gave up !
In 4 days I'm going to have a bone marrow biopsy to check for lymphoma.
I think it's caused by caffeine. It just hit me suddenly that this could be the problem: I've used caffeine for years from drinking gallons of iced tea a day to taking several Excedrin a day. For about the last 4 years I have been taking pure caffeine - about 100 mg at a time - just to stay awake while driving. I have to get up at 4:30 am & drive 60 miles to work each day (& back at night).
I've been drinking the energy drink NOs for about 4 years too. There's always a certain level of caffeine in my system.
One day my arms broke out with red blister like bumps all over, but did not itch. But after a year they began to spread all over & itch too.
I'm going to quit all caffeine cold turkey & give it a few months & see what happens...

At July 14, 2013 at 9:40 AM , Blogger Optimal Health Network said...

Dear Park,

Thanks for your comment. Let us know how it goes! I wish you healing as you give up the caffeine as giving it up can bring up lots of emotions! Warmly, Kristina

At July 14, 2013 at 9:43 AM , Blogger Optimal Health Network said...

Dear Fran,

Yes, coffee enemas are not for everyone. If you want to persist using coffee, start by using only a tablespoon of brewed coffee to a cup of filtered hold. Hold this solution for 15 minutes and release. If you still react, JuvaCleanse, by Young Living, is the oil blend to use to support the liver, if you are caffeine sensitive.

At July 14, 2013 at 9:43 AM , Blogger Optimal Health Network said...


How did giving up caffeine work for you?


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