What can cause sudden increase in caffeine sensitivity?

by (437) Updated November 05, 2013 at 12:53 PM Created June 27, 2012 at 4:02 AM

I've been on the bulletproof version of the paleo diet for about 55 days now. I also began using caffeine daily, at about 100-200mg/day. At about the second week I ordered Dave Asprey's upgraded coffee and found it to be amazing. During this period, I also started supplementing with racetams and choline. The first month, life was amazing and I dropped 30lbs in 16 days and felt better each day. Then, I noticed with increasing intensity, orthostatic hypotension, excess jitters, and a feeling of low circulation in my arms. This would onset shortly after my morning coffee dose. I've been primal/paleo about 75% of the time, since mid 2009. The last two months I've gone strict, with no dairy besides grassfed butter. I eat mostly organic produce, and only salmon and grassfed beef. Anytime I eat something lower quality, I feel off. My theory is, my body is now running extremely clean, and I am unadapted to various stressors. There seemed to be a light caffeine intolerance from the beginning, but it became extremely pronounced once I abstained from all caffeine for 72 hours, this last weekend. I also was off all nootropics for the same period and did not use them, once breaking the caffeine fast. After eating, before work and having my normal dose of coffee, I began to notice issues creeping in. It was much worse than previous points, before the caffeine fast. I've now tested coffee, 90% lindt dark chocolate and even 5 hour energy, all in isolated events. They all cause the same problems. Other supplemental information. I meditate, use an emwave2, take cold showers, supplement with a few vitamins and minerals and eat in a condensed window. I've been able to show that eating with the coffee has no affect on the adverse effects. Does anyone have any idea as to why this has happened? When I checked my blood pressure during the coffee fast, it was normal, but with coffee, diastolic is 80-90s while systolic is 110-140. Sorry for the long post. It's a sad day for me because my one cup of coffee, previously started me off perfectly in the mornings. Now it's become a major issue. I plan to use 2 bags of green tea tomorrow morning, to see if the lower caffeine dose can be managed. I am worried about a potential underlying health issue I have developed and the caffeine is only exasperating it.

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263 · June 28, 2012 at 12:54 AM

Two things come to mind. The first is that you are low on salt, as Alexis mentions.

But the more likely answer is that you are choline dominant and the excess choline pushed up your level of iNOS to the point that you create more superoxide which (if I recall right) leads to peroxynitrite formation, which is a free radical, which leads to more iNOS formation. iNOS causes vasodilation and low blood pressure. If this is going on, a high-nitrate food would make symptoms worse.

About 1/3 of people are choline sensitive according to a leading authority on smart drugs (in personal conversation, not referenced).

Personally, if I take alpha-GPC for even a few days, I get the same symptoms, and it takes about a month to recover.

Try turmeric, ginger, glutathione, betaine HCL, hydroxycobalamin, P5P, magnesium, and very high dose 5-MTHF (aka folate, NOT folic acid). Do not take folate without a source of B12.

Those supplements tend to fix the iNOS problem much faster. Stay away from choline supplements I'd say. (they are good for the other 2/3 of us)...

If it's adrenals, adrenal extract, carbs (Bulletproof ones) at night, 5mg cortisone acetate, salt, and extra sleep would make the symptoms go away quickly.

25 · June 27, 2012 at 7:21 AM

Caffeine/chocolate on a empty stomach can keep me up late (until 4am). I just have to wait until the stimulation wears off. Any solutions to negate its effect?

16858 · November 05, 2013 at 12:53 PM

I personally found that racetams either amplify the effects of coffee, or that they have the same type of sleep interference as too much caffeine. Noopept for example has insomnia listed as one of its side effects.

It may well be related to choline intake as racetam stacks usually require additional choline since they tend to deplete them a lot quicker than normal.

0 · November 04, 2013 at 10:26 PM

Could this be a cause of migraines as well? I have extremely low blood pressure and have always been caffeine sensitive. I also have adrenal fatigue. What are some high nitrate foods besides processed meats? thank you so much I have been suffering from migraines for over 20 years- I have lots of triggers but I feel this may be one of them. For more Paleo Diet hacks: http://paleohacks.com/questions/143135/what-can-cause-sudden-increase-in-caffeine-sensiti.html#ixzz2jibMZFTu Follow us: @PaleoHacks on Twitter | PaleoHacks on Facebook

0 · October 08, 2012 at 10:18 AM

We need to be more aware that caffeine causes/exacerbates anxiety and other mental health conditions.

Just read the 170+ pages of comments of people trying to get off caffeine here; http://coffeefaq.com/site/node/11 And the research referenced here; http://caffeineevaluation.blogspot.co.uk/

Many people feel they cannot 'get going' in the morning without caffeine; in reality they are just experiencing withdrawal from not having ingested any over the previous hours.

A key point is the research showing anxiety sufferers can be very sensitive to caffeine; some people think 'it can't be the caffeine, I only have 1 cup a day', but for them that could be the key issue in their anxiety.

Withdrawal is not easy (especially first 2 weeks, when anxiety actually goes up), but is possible.

How about cutting all caffeine for 30 days and seeing how you feel? Like this lady here is doing; http://stopcaffeine.blogspot.co.uk/

38 · August 04, 2012 at 1:14 AM

"I noticed with increasing intensity, orthostatic hypotension, excess jitters, and a feeling of low circulation in my arms."

Could this be potassium deficiency? Drinking salt every morning could quickly upset the Sodium:Potassium balance of cell's "sodium battery". Happened to me. I tried drinking 1/4tsp salt for a few weeks and soon had ice-cold extremities, dry eyes, and endless thirst - as my body tried to wash out the excess sodium to restore the K:Na balance with insufficient K intake.

My Experience: Too much salt: thirst with dehydration symptoms, poor circulation --> e.g. cold feet. Too much potassium: increased heart-rate, arrhythmia, --> red skin, hot all over.

60 · June 27, 2012 at 3:48 PM

What is your salt intake? For me, I've noticed that eating super clean, I'm not actually getting enough salt, because most food doesn't have that much salt. When I don't eat enough salt, I get a high pulse and low blood pressure, have physiological symptoms of anxiety without psychologically feeling anxious . . .. A few pinches a day seem to work well when I'm not adding it to my food, and when I notice those symptoms coming on eating some salt (like less than a 1/4 teaspoon) seems to make them dissipate pretty quickly.

Maybe eating some salt on a non caffeine day, and on a caffeine day might help?

4395 · June 27, 2012 at 7:39 AM

How about trying just the coffee and not the extra caffeine.
It sounds like you don't need that much caffeine.
In what form do you take the extra caffeine?

Also when you say its starts after your morning "coffee dose", is that drinking Bulletproof coffee (so with the butter etc?) I ask because its sounds too like you may have low blood sugar at that time. Perhaps you need food with your coffee in the morning?

393 · June 27, 2012 at 5:42 AM

I also have developed this caffeine issue. For me I believe it is due in part to intermittent fasting. When I don't IF I don't have any problems with caffeine. I follow a 16/8 hour plan. Personally I've had to completely cut out caffeine the past week or so. It sucks because I love coffee!

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