Caffeine is a stimulant found in drinks such as coffee, tea, colas and other soft drinks. It is also found in certain drugs and in over the counter medicines as well. Caffeine, being a stimulant, works on the central nervous system and makes you more alert. It serves as a vasoconstrictor by constricting your blood vessels.
It also acts as a diuretic, and it may even increase blood pressure. It can become addictive and if you are used to it and suddenly stop, you could experience withdrawal symptoms.
Caffeine has beneficial and adverse reactions. It has for long been used as a headache remedy. Migraine enlarges the size of blood vessels. Most migraine medications try to constrict them, preventing adverse effects on the nerves around them. Migraine sufferers have found that coffee or coke ward off headaches.
In medications, caffeine increases the effect of painkillers and lessens the pain. It acts as a stimulant and prevents a sudden headache.
There is a flip side. As a stimulant when caffeine combines with sugar it results in a headache. This is because of a sudden change in blood sugar level, especially on an empty stomach. This can be pre empted by eating some solid food.
As a diuretic, caffeine depletes the body of much-needed salts. Migraine sufferers may need to increase the amounts of magnesium in their bodies.
Caffeine may cause anxiety if taken in large quantities and without proper sleep.
From a study conducted with children and teenagers, it was found that heavy cola drinkers developed a chronic headache, thus linking a headache with caffeine.
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