Headaches and Caffeine

Headaches and Caffeine


By Dr Anil Mehta , General Physician

There has been a debate in medical circles for years regarding the consumption of caffeine and its advantages or disadvantages for your body. One of the negatives which have been put forward in certain studies has been researching about the co-relation between headaches and caffeine.

Split on the headache !

Some studies state that there might be a possibility that the immensely painful headaches that you experience from time to time occur due to the inclusion of drinks with high caffeine content in your regular diet. While there are significant debates regarding the efficacy of caffeine, it is important to consider both sides of the argument.

The advantages of frequently indulging on caffeine-

  1. Caffeine helps in reduction of abnormal swelling: If you are using prescribed dosages of aspirin or ibuprofen to get relief from headaches, adding them up with caffeine consumption might help in the durability and effectiveness of the medicines.
  2. Elderly people may get relief from headaches: Hypnic headaches which are generally experienced by elderly people especially at the night time can be relieved a cup of coffee before bed.
  3. Pain relief ingredient: Caffeine is a very important constituent in the pain-killer medications which helps to make them work properly. In fact many pain relief medications have caffeine as an active ingredient within their consumption.

The disadvantages of caffeine-indulgence are as follows:

  1. Caffeine constricts the surrounding blood vessels of the brain. So, whenever you stop taking them, the blood vessels develop again causing intense pain or headaches.
  2. Caffeine can cause significant withdrawal symptoms. Headaches can occur as a result of sudden stoppage of caffeine consumption.
  3. If you take a regular dosage of pain killers with high- caffeine content, headaches can occur frequently.

There is no one solution fits all approach here and the reactions may vary vastly from one individual to another. However, excess and frequent consumption of caffeine is known to and will cause problems such as headaches. Thus you should regulate your caffeine consumption which might help to reduce the headaches.