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25 May, 2017 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 25 May, 2017 12:03:25 AM
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How to Recognise Symptoms of Caffeine Overdose

How to Recognise Symptoms of Caffeine Overdose

We all get the jitters from coffee occasionally, but did you know it’s actually possible to have a caffeine overdose?
Tragically, the topic of caffeine overdose is on a lot of people’s minds at the moment, after the devastating death of an American teenager recently.
Davis Allen Cripe, just 16 years old, passed away after consuming several caffeinated drinks in just a few hours. The high school student drank a caffe latte, a large iced Mountain Dew, and an energy drink during a two-hour period before suffering a cardiac arrhythmia at school. He died just an hour later.
Davis’s tragic death sheds light on the serious dangers of caffeine overdose, a problem that many parents and teens aren’t aware of. There’s a huge difference between one cup of coffee and a dangerous amount of caffeine, but it’s important that everyone know the signs.

What is caffeine
Caffeine is a naturally-occurring stimulant and psychoactive substance that is produced by lots of plants. Technically, it is a drug, but a thoroughly legal one. Probably the two most famous examples of caffeine-producing plants are the coffee bean and the tea leaf.

What it does to your brain
Most people drink caffeine as a morning beverage, because it helps you shake off that sleepy, early-morning feeling. Caffeine works by travelling up to your brain, and tricking your brain into thinking that it’s better-rested than it really is. The caffeine chemical does a great job of imitating adenosine, which is the chemical that tells your brain you are tired and ready for sleep. Basically, once the caffeine shows up, your brain does not detect adenosine, so your nerve activity does not slow down.

What it does to your body
Technically, the caffeine chemical only impacts your brain, but it has a ripple effect through the rest of your body. The activity in your brain stimulates the nervous system, firing up every nerve in the body, and releasing adrenaline. In the short term, that means that your heart is pumping faster, and blood is circulating faster through your body.

How much is too much
Experts all agree that a small amount of caffeine isn’t harmful. Some early research actually links moderate amounts of caffeine to better heart health. Still, there’s a line. In general, an adult should drink no more than 4 cups of coffee a day, and should preferably keep it around 2 cups.
Energy drinks and other sources of caffeine are harder to measure, but if the drink lists the amount of caffeine, don’t exceed 400 milligrams. Teenagers should not exceed 100 mg, and younger children should not drink caffeine at all.

Symptoms of caffeine overdose
Jitters & Nervousness
Most of us know what it feels like when you’ve had a bit too much coffee. The first symptom is a jittery, nervous sensation. You might experience shaky hands or trigger reflexes, and the trembly sensation may be accompanied by feelings of anxiety.

Dizziness & Nausea
Dizziness, nausea, diarrhoea, and seizures can all occur in cases where too much caffeine is consumed. Caffeine stimulates the colon and digestive tract, leading to unpleasant digestive symptoms.

Insomnia
It’s common sense to stop drinking coffee in the afternoon, because you don’t want that stimulating effect to keep you up when you try to get to sleep at night. Even one cup of coffee too late in the day can keep you awake, and excessive coffee might even stay in your body for hours. Caffeine may take as much as 24 hours to fully work its way out of your system.

Elevated heart rate & palpitations
Caffeine stimulates your heart rate, and this is where the substance gets truly dangerous. For most people, the high heart rate associated with caffeine isn’t deadly. Even heart palpitations (irregular beats) are unlikely to hurt people without preexisting conditions.
However, for people who have heart abnormalities or conditions, or people who take massive amounts of caffeine in the form of pills, the heart stimulation can actually trigger cardiac arrest and lead to death.

How much caffeine is in drinks
Different kinds of caffeinated beverages contain different amounts of caffeine:
An 8 oz (237 ml) cup of black tea contains 14-70 mg of caffeine.
An 8 oz cup of coffee has about 95-200 mg of caffeine.
An energy shot contains 200 mg of caffeine.
Generic caffeine tablets contain 200 mg of caffeine.

What to do in case of an overdose
If you have a mild caffeine overdose, with nothing more than shaky hands and jittery feelings, you should be able to treat it yourself by simply allowing the substance to wear off. Stay hydrated and keep from taking coffee for at least 48 hours to get it out of your system.
Meanwhile, if you suspect a severe caffeine overdose in yourself or someone else, get emergency medical attention immediately. A doctor may be able to administer charcoal to bring the caffeine up, and will be able to monitor heart rate to watch out for any dangerous abnormalities.

Source: www.littlethings.com

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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