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Reaction to Caffeine

Von: James O'Reilly (null@null.null) [Profil]
Datum: 19.11.2006 01:43
Message-ID: <Xns98807678E67Bahmedkalembo@194.125.133.14>
Followup-to: alt.drugs.caffeine
Newsgroup: rec.drugs.misc rec.drugs.chemistry alt.drugs.usenet alt.drugs.chemistry alt.drugs alt.drugs.caffeine
[I have cross-posted this to a few drug-related newsgroups, and the FollowUp
is set to alt.drugs.caffeine]

OK, here comes a story...

Sex: Male
Age: 20
Race: Caucasian (Irish)
Body Mass: 50 kg / 101 lb (Yes I'm quite short!)
Non-smoker.
Drink approximately 10 pints of beer per week.
Haven't taken any drugs in about 6 months (although in the past, I've taken
Ecstasy, Cocaine, Cannabis, Magic Mushrooms).

On Day 0, I began drinking coffee having never drunk it before. That day, I
had two cups of coffee. It woke me up nicely, and had no ill effect.

In the days following, I consumed on average two or three cups of coffee
throughout the day, steadily increasing the amount of coffee I put in each
cup (2 spoonfuls, to 2 and a half, to 3). Don't ask me why I felt the need to
up the dosage...

On Day 4, I went a little overboard. On an empty stomach, I made myself a cup
of coffee and put four heaped spoonfuls of coffee into it. I had it drunk
within 10 mins or so. An hour later, I was sitting at my computer and I
became dizzy. Thinking I might fall over or pass out, I went and lay down for
a minute. I got back up after a minute or so, at which point the following
set in: Anxiety, Shallow Breathing, Shivers/Shakes, Fever, Fast Pulse, High
Blood Pressure. Finally, I walked into a room which had a very bright yellow
light on in it, and immediately became very anxious. I walked back out into
the hall, and began to calm down again. I walked back into the room, again
seeing the bright light, and became anxious again.

A nurse became overly concerned with what she labelled as my "photophobia".
Fearing it might be a symptom of menigitis, she rang a doctor, who suggested
that an ambulance be called immediately. From this point on, I was wearing a
blindfold so I could be escorted out of the building without being bothered
by the lights. I was anxious all the way out, with fast pulse, high blood
pressure, and fever. The way in which I was talking to the paramedics sort of
made me sound as if I was on Ecstasy (e.g. "Will everyone be nice to me when
I go to the hospital?", "I'll be calm so long as everyone else stays
calm".).
I think this was mainly on account of my anxiety. I also had dry mouth.

Upon arrival at the hospital, I think they fairly quickly ruled out
menigitis. I was asked several times by several different medical staff if I
had taken something (e.g. Ecstasy or an "Upper"). I hadn't. All I had that
day was coffee. They did all sorts of tests on me: Blood, Urine, Chest X-Ray,
ECG. Everything seemed to be alright (although the ECG showed that my heart
was working overtime). As the hours passed, I had periods of feeling OK
(albeit drained and tired), and then I'd lapse back into a mild anxiety (not
nearly as bad though as the initial anxiety), then feel OK again for a while,
then anxious, back and forth.

After ten or so hours in hospital, I was let go home... but not before being
tag-teamed by two doctors to try drag the truth out of me (i.e. what the hell
I had taken). Right now, it frustrates me a little to think that I had told
everyone from the offset what was wrong (i.e. caffeine), but nobody believed
me and they went down a line of enquiry as to which drug I had taken. I
suppose though I can understand that the doctors did the right thing, as they
might regularly be confronted with patients who just won't divulge the fact
that they took something. Ah well, maybe the greater good was served.

Just to make it clear: All I had was caffeine, and there's no chance
whatsoever that any other drug made it into my system. (I consumed the coffee
in my family home, there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that it was
spiked).

Day 5, having being discharged from hospital and having had a good night's
sleep, I wasn't feeling too bad, but my head was still cloudy. I had
intermitent periods of irritability, dizziness and anxiety throughout the
day. Whenever it got too much for me, I went to bed and slept, and would wake
up feeling OK, albeit with the same cloudy feeling in my head.

Day 6 was a little better. I could stay awake longer without suffering
dizziness and so forth, but still had to go to bed when it got too much for
me. Slightly worryingly, I woke up in bed slightly after midnight and my
pulse was racing. I got up, and as I walked, I began to get pins and needles
in my feet. I was starving! (I had no appetite since the symptoms took hold,
and had eaten very little since). Finally, I was able to eat a full dinner.

Today is Day 7. I still have a slight cloudy feeling in my head. I have my
appetite back, but it's still very little; I could only eat half my dinner
today (although I was able to eat breakfast just fine). I got slight bouts of
irritability, dizziness and anxiety today too, but they're becoming less
intense, less frequent, and lasting for less time.

Okey Doke, so basically I'd like to ask: Has anyone seen anything like this
before?

My first thought was that it was a caffeine overdose, but I'm sort of unsure
as to whether one cup of coffee (irrespective of how strong) could do this
much damage. Then I heard of Caffeine Allergy. I thought I hit it right on
the button when I read that a caffeine allergy can induce sensitivity to
bright light. (Although I still haven't settled on this being the cause).

I'd like some advice if anyone has any to offer. Firstly, what will speed my
recovery? Is there anything which is particularly good at flushing out
caffeine?

Secondly, should I go get myself tested for Caffeine Allergy (I think I'll do
this anyway).

Thanks for reading, I'm interested to hear what people might have to say.
With any luck I'll make a full recovery.

--
James O'Reilly

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