Coffee – withdrawn?

This is Day 12 of giving up decaffeinated coffee.

It is 07:41 in the morning and I want a cup of coffee. Last week, after only 7 days I thought it would be alright to have a cup and I took one sip and thought: Yuck too bitter!” and threw it away! So even though I don’t like the taste, I still crave it.

I gave up caffeine coffee three years ago when I was diagnosed with ME/CFS. I swapped to decaffeinated cofee – proper, fresh decaffeinated coffee. Instant coffee would make me feel nauseous and so many years ago I had opted for the full-blown, unadulterated, organic, fresh, coffee grounds. So I didn’t like the taste, it could make me feel sick and yet I still drank it! Crazy!

So it is interesting is it not that I struggle to give up coffee? Even the decaf variety. The withdrawal began with headaches but I have ME/CFS – nothing new there so I took more painkillers to cope.

I find that when I am hungry I look to replace the hunger with coffee. Interestingly I also find that when I am tired I look for something sweet to eat. Which is a bit of a bummer, because with ME/CFS I am always tired! My sweet search to satisfy my cravings used to be a banana or just a rice cake but more recently I have turned to Tesco’s gluten, dairy free range and boy! Are they sweet!!! Terrible. I have thrown the packet away. I can’t help wondering if they have increased my desire for stimulants. So why not rest, I tell myself, when I feel tired, it is part of pacing and what I should be doing. But I was feeling better and so I think I need food to allay the fatigue and not just a rest. So are the stimulants of sugar and coffee confusing the brain – making me demand things I don’t need?

Back to coffee – perhaps that is the source of confusion – a stimulant source has completely gone. So the brain is searching for a quick stimulant and having ME/CFS is making the search difficult.

I have given up coffee before – 10 years before. Perhaps the cravings never completely go, perhaps it is a bit like being an alcoholic, one sip of alcohol and you are off on a bender again.

So even with decaffeinated coffee there must still be caffeine as otherwise why am I so affected with giving it up?

In searching for answers I came across the following website which intrigued me because it mentions the effect of caffeine on adenosine. Adenosine is involved in the energy cycle. ME/CFS is an illness where energy is in very short supply.

This is a direct quote from Benbest

With long periods of wakefulness adenosine accumulates in neurons as a result of ATP breakdown. Adenosine from inside the neurons is transported across cell membranes into the extracellular space. The A1 receptors of the basal nucleus neurons are particularly sensitive to the increased levels of adenosine, which increases potassium ion influx thereby hyperpolarizing (inhibiting) those neurons. Adenosine also reduces the activity of GABA neurons in the basal nucleus, thereby disinhibiting neurons in the preoptic/anterior hypothalamus which promote Slow-Wave Sleep (SWS) [BEHAVIORAL BRAIN RESEARCH 115:183-204 (2000)].

Caffeine promotes wakefulness by opposing all of these actions of adenosine—blocking the adenosine receptors. Additionally, the neurons in the raphe nucleus, locus coeruleus and caudate nucleus are all very sensitive to the ability of caffeine to block the inhibitory infulence of adenosine [BRAIN RESEARCH 858:71-77 (2000)]. For these reasons caffeine is particularly effective in opposing the sleep-inducing actions of adenosine.

And this is a website with a paper from Dr Whiting in 1998 talking about the effects of a genetic marker, staphylococci, mycoplasma, adenosine and caffeine. It makes very interesting reading.

What I want to know is what has happened to research in the last EIGHT years? Why has nothing been taken further with this? Many painkillers contain caffeine. Have ME/CFS people been inadvertantly feeding their disease?

Have I, unbekown to me, been treating my ME/CFS correctly when I opted to go the ‘natural’ root and to listen to my body? There has been a little nag in my head for months now saying: Why are you drinking decaffeinated coffee? Why?
I also take a regular dose of a grapefruit seed extract which kills bacteria such as staphylococci. as well as the yeast candida? I do feel better taking it but I wasn’t particularly sure why, apart from the killing of the candida; so now I know.

I’ll let this website know how I get on with the no caffeine which also means no chocolate. O NO!!!

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