Caffeine

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Caffeine

Post  phillips87 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 8:40 am

Has anyone stopped caffeine in hopes of improving your migraines? I sometimes wonder if this triggers my migraines. I have a fairly steady caffeine intake and actually always thought that helped ward off migrianes. You know all of the OTC migraine meds normally have caffeine in them.
My neurologist recently told me I should limit my caffeine intake. I honestly cringe at the thought of weaning myself off. I have so many migraines I have to deal with (Hormonal, Barometric). I really don't even want to think of a caffeine withdrawl headache or any other kind for that matter.
Just curious on what your thoughts are on this.
Also, I have never experience the aura that I see so many people talk about. My migraines generally always start on one side of my head just about my eyebrow. Once that side is gone I almost always have one on the other side. Rarely ever do I have both sides at once. I am on IMITREX currently. I have been on to many to list but have also been prescribed topomax. I cannot tell that it does anything except kill my sex drive and make me slow in the head.
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Hi there

Post  Guest on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:24 am

I stopped caffeine for 1 l/2 years at one time. I was only on 1 cup per day though. Quiting did nothing. I went back to my 1 cup.

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Re: Caffeine

Post  Brent on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:31 am

There is a continuous stream of info coming out about the health benefits of coffee. All the stuff our parents said about it was dead wrong along with many health food nuts I have known over the years. So unless I could link it to my migs I would never stop drinking it.
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Re: Caffeine

Post  Kate on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:36 am

I tryed it for awhile but still had the migraines.

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Re: Caffeine

Post  HeelerLady on Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:50 am

I have usually between 10 and 14 oz a day of coffee. I find that if I don't have it, the pain is more severe. Some people I know this is a trigger but for me it knocks it down so I'm not reaching for my pills quite so quickly.

When I started with the headache specialist, I told him my intake and he didn't have a problem with that amount. Later on he flipped out about it but that was after I had already cleared it with him and he was a bit of a spaz. But then I stopped really listening to him when he stopped listening to me - I no longer see him as it's not worth it (he only made me sicker).
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Re: Caffeine

Post  dcook60 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:19 am

i didn't like coffee and never drank it at all til 45 years of age. my migraines started at 29.

i used to be paranoid about the HARM i was doing to myself with drinking a cup or two per day, as i also used to be a "healthfood nut" and wanted to be pure and holy. but i needed the caffeine to get me through the day.

i've given it up for lengthy periods of time, and it did nothing to my migraines. so now i drink it if i want it, and usually it's one cup in the morning to jazz me up. dianne
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Re: Caffeine

Post  lizholmesod on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:00 am

Caffeine is the only recognisable 'food' trigger for me. Guaranteed migraine, so I've not touched the stuff (knowingly) for 12 years. Occasionally something chocolate/coffee/tea-based will sneak into food that I don't know about and it's a sure-fire way to take a few days off work!

However, I do know of others that get severe migraines if they try to cut their caffeine intake, so it definitely plays a part there too. Another migraine mystery!

Rolling Eyes

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Re: Caffeine

Post  estre004 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:05 am

Caffeine does not play a part in my migraines at all. In fact, it actually helps speed up the aborting of one.

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Re: Caffeine

Post  pen on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:52 am

I think the whole food etc thing is overblown....but that just from my own perspective.
I have had so much stress trying to determine triggers and not found anything in 20 years that makes the slightest difference.

Caffeine....well the odd cup of tea, coffee gives me indigestion, but that is the only reason I dont drink it.
The OTC I take (Excedrin alike) is apparently going to give me MOH at the very least, but even taking them at bedtime, which I dont make a habit of but have done...they don't keep me awake. And the same drugs without the caffeine in don't work.

I agree, unless you can be sure caffeine, or anything else for that matter, is hurting you, life is tough enough with migraine, dont deprive yourself...

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Last edited by pen on Thu Jul 08, 2010 5:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Caffeine

Post  estre004 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:11 pm

I agree with Pen on not denying yourself something you enjoy unless you are really sure it is the culprit. You might be surprised. I decided to shuck the whole thing and do what I want and my migraines aren't any different than they ever were, so I might as well be enjoying some of the little pleasures of life.

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Caffeine

Post  lentils on Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:08 pm

Caffeine is a definite trigger for me. A full cup of coffee will mean a migraine two days later about 3/4's of the time. It can also relieve a migraine at times. I try to stay away from it as much as possible. If I use coffee to abort a migraine I only drink 1/3 of a cup and that will work, if it is going to work. I don't want to use it every day, because I believe it is addicting and it causes more harm that good in the long run. Sugar has similar effects and I believe I am extremely sensitive to both sugar and caffeine.

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Re: Caffeine

Post  phillips87 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 6:52 pm

Thanks everyone! I appreciate your input.
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Re: Caffeine

Post  milo on Thu Jul 08, 2010 7:30 pm

I've been completely off caffeine since Feb at the suggestion of the headache specialist. It's a total pain in the butt to avoid caffeine. It's also very expensive, as my abortives get ordered in compoud form without caffeine and therefore are not covered.

I've not noticed any change in my headaches since quitting.

I'm going to ask my doctor if I can restart it to see if there is any change.
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caffeine and migraines

Post  charmed quark on Fri Jul 09, 2010 7:18 am

Based on my experience, changing levels of caffeine intake can be a trigger for me.

I've found that if I drink much more than I am use to, it can trigger a migraine.

I have always loved coffee, especially espresso.

But a long while back, at the suggestion of a migraine specialist, I gradually quit all caffeine. It really made no difference. I stayed off caffeine for ? a year and found no difference at all in my migraines. I eventually started drinking my modest amount of coffee again and am much happier. I now drink about two cups a day.

In my case, triggers are just that - they trigger a migraine that is ready to go anyway. And my migraines were on a hair trigger. Sooner or later something will trigger it - sleeping too little, sleeping too much, exercise, stress, lack of stress, something I ate .... I find it is impossible to avoid all possible triggers. The migraine is going to happen.

With the right preventatives my migraine potential has gone way down and most triggers now have no effect on me anyway.

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Re: Caffeine

Post  teena22 on Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:09 pm

Recently I've been hurting from acid reflux. One of the things to avoid is caffeine because it triggers acid reflux also. That's why I have to avoid it.

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caffeine

Post  lentils on Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:17 am

Based on my experience, changing levels of caffeine intake can be a trigger for me[quote]

This is true for me also, that is why I try to avoid it completely. If I start drinking coffee every day, a skipped day or even drinking it later than usual will induce a migraine. I put caffeine in the category of OTC medications, taking it every day will cause problems for me.

I'm on topamax and I did initially indulge in my triggers, and I started to get migraines again. Rather than increase the dose, as was suggested by my physician, I cut out the triggers and for six months I have been getting by with a low dose of topamax.

I'm thinking that if I keep upping the dosage of topamax, if it stops working completely, as everything else has eventually, I will be left with nothing to use.

Even after a 6 month break, triptans didn't work well the last time I tried them. Botox stopped working after 2 years and the neurologist suggested I take a break from it as well.

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Re: Caffeine

Post  newtothis on Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:21 pm

I've had 3 - 4 mugs of strong coffee a day for years along with either a cup of coffee or a soda with/after lunch to get me through the afternoon. When I went to Starbucks I always got a tripple shot so the stronger the better! I just started with my current type migraines this year (mostly neurological symptoms). I stopped all caffeine when the symptoms became very bad. I really didn't think that caffeine had anything to do with the migraines.

We went to the beach last week and I found that on the two days that I drank regular coffee in the morning - around lunch time I had scary neurological symptoms - to the point that I haven't had them since finding the current mix of meds. This only happened on the two days I drank caffeine. So, i'm thinking that now - caffeine is a cause Sad

My son and I picked up a Starbucks frozen drink about a month ago and after drinking it I had pretty severe neurological symptoms at the mall also.

It's decaffeinated only now.
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Re: Caffeine

Post  estre004 on Tue Jul 13, 2010 11:39 am

Charmed quark - I agree that the migraine is going to happen regardless of "triggers". Mine are so predictable. They are every few days regardless of anything I do, eat, etc. I now relax and enjoy the "so-called" triggers. I think it has actually reduced my migraines somewhat because I'm not as uptight. I don't overdo anything--just lead a pretty healthy life (which includes a little coffee and a cocktail).

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Re: Caffeine

Post  Brent on Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:14 pm

newtothis wrote:I've had 3 - 4 mugs of strong coffee a day for years along with either a cup of coffee or a soda with/after lunch to get me through the afternoon. When I went to Starbucks I always got a tripple shot so the stronger the better! I just started with my current type migraines this year (mostly neurological symptoms). I stopped all caffeine when the symptoms became very bad. I really didn't think that caffeine had anything to do with the migraines.

We went to the beach last week and I found that on the two days that I drank regular coffee in the morning - around lunch time I had scary neurological symptoms - to the point that I haven't had them since finding the current mix of meds. This only happened on the two days I drank caffeine. So, i'm thinking that now - caffeine is a cause Sad

My son and I picked up a Starbucks frozen drink about a month ago and after drinking it I had pretty severe neurological symptoms at the mall also.

It's decaffeinated only now.

Regular drip coffee has much more caffeine then espresso. And the lighter the roast the more caffeine. So when people get a triple latte the caffeine is much lower then you may think. It's comes from the espresso process and uses very dark roast beans.

That is why the regular coffee and the gave you the caffeine problem.
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Re: Caffeine

Post  newtothis on Tue Jul 13, 2010 2:20 pm

Brent ~ I would have never guessed! We always liked the strongest coffee we could find and with the tripple shot - always figured that was stronger and more caffeine!
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Re: Caffeine

Post  Brent on Tue Jul 13, 2010 3:27 pm

I started roasting my own coffee about five years ago and got a book about it. There were a lot of interesting things that I didn't know.

Espresso has half water and half steam shot through the grounds. The water does not soak long enough to dissolve the caffeine alkaloids completely. The drip process soaks more of it into solution to pass on through to the pot.

Heat destroys caffeine and the longer a bean is roasted the more caffeine is destroyed. In the summer I roast white coffee which the beans are only roasted to have a light tan color. It makes great ice coffee and has a real nice kick to it.
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Re: Caffeine

Post  newtothis on Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:08 am

Very interesting Brent! So, is a coffee bean actually white to start and darken depending on the roasting they receive?
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Re: Caffeine

Post  Brent on Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:35 am

They're light green. I think the term white is used to describe the lightest roast possible.
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Another coffee roaster!

Post  charmed quark on Wed Jul 14, 2010 9:33 am

I also roast my own coffee for espresso, but use a local roaster for drip. I wonder if there is a connection between migraines and being a coffee roaster? Smile
I have had migraines long before I started roasting, so I don't think it is the roasting fumes! Maybe a brain disorder that leads both to migraines AND roasting? Smile

Darker roasts do have less caffeine, but I don't think it is really that significant a difference from what I've read.

Note that espresso is not a roast level or even a blend, it is a method of preparation. I roast my espresso fairly light, generally stopping just before or right at the beginning of 2nd crack ( you roasters know what I mean). This is lighter than Starbucks drip roasts.

A single shot of my espresso ( 1 ounce) has about 50 mg of caffeine
6 ounce of coffee ( what I call a cup of coffee) is about 110 mg.
A Starbucks shot of espresso has about 75 mg ( see robusta comment)
A "Tall" Starbucks has 260 mg !!!!
A "Venti" 415 mg !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

All the Starbucks coffee except for their espresso is 100% arabica. Arabica coffee has a lot less caffeine than coffee made from the cheaper robusta beans.

A lot of canned supermarket coffee has a good bit of robusta beans in it so has higher caffeine levels than the Starbucks drip ( if brewed correctly and not brewed weak the way many people do).

But a lot of espresso bean blends add a small amount of robusta - it makes the espresso's "crema" (the foam on top of espresso) better and some people say it even enhances the flavor. I don't like it in espresso so mine is pure arabica. I don't need crema enhancers since I brew mine while it is still fresh. I don't know if Starbucks uses robusta in their espresso blend, but it does has a higher caffeine content than mine.

I drink one or two 6-ounce cups of coffee a day plus an espresso. So I'm taking in a little less than 300 mg. I actually always use a double shot of espresso in my morning "short" cappuccino, but I use a half-caf blend.

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Re: Caffeine

Post  VickiG on Wed Jul 14, 2010 2:59 pm

Despite what everyone here has said, I'm going to point out that the migraine manuals generally group caffeine with medications. In other words, in limited amounts, it can actually help a migraine, which is why excedrin has caffeine in it. But it also is prone to rebound, which is why excedrin has caused more people to rebound from it than the other OTC drugs.

Is it causing rebound for you? Only you can tell. It might be worth exploring.

I may mention that my grandmother swore by her medicines, saying that she only got a slight headache if she took one every single day, but if she missed one, then she would get a much worse headache. Therefore, the medicine was helping her. But when she was forced to stop taking the drugs, her daily headache went away (after a few days of really bad ones)! Yet she still never believed in rebound and did the same thing with excedrin a year later and had the same result. My mom and I were sure it was rebound, but her response was that it kept the big ones at bay. So I'd be a little suspicious if you have to take it in order to have a decent day.
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Re: Caffeine

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