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Can Caffeine Cause Panic Attacks?

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant and needs to be used and understood as such. There are benefits to using such a substance such as waking the brain, improving concentration and decreasing fatigue. However those few benefits must be weighed against the negatives: increased blood pressure, addiction, insomnia, anxiety and an increase in cortisol.

So, the big question is “Can caffeine cause panic attacks?”.

These negatives of caffeine are especially hard for people who suffer from anxiety or panic. Let’s look at the caffeine effects in closer detail.

Increased Blood Pressure: When a body has an increase in blood pressure the blood vessels constrict (vasoconstriction) requiring the blood to be pumped with much more force through the vessels. During a fight or flight response the body naturally constricts some blood vessels to prepare the body to react to the immediate danger. With panic disorder, the body has an inappropriate fight or flight response. Any increase in blood pressure can put you on the road to anxiety.

Insomnia: Insomnia or sleeplessness is the body’s inability to get to sleep or stay asleep or get into a deep, restorative, restful sleep. Panic and insomnia are related. Many people that have anxiety or panic attacks are unable to get to sleep or stay asleep. People that suffer from insomnia in one form or another get anxious about the ability to get a good night’s sleep as the hours tick away and that can lead to panic.

Addiction: Caffeine is indeed classified buy cialis online as a drug and can be physically addictive or psychologically addictive or both. In fact the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual (DSM-5) has 4 diagnoses for caffeine: Caffeine Intoxication, Caffeine Withdrawal, Caffeine-Induced Sleep Disorder and Caffeine-Induced Anxiety Disorder. Depending on use and your body sensitivity caffeine is something that can be addictive as well as cause anxiety!

caffeine addiction

Increased Cortisol: Cortisol is a hormone produced by the body. It is made by the adrenal glands and is released in response to stress. It helps the body prepare for the fight or flight response. In panic where the body has an inappropriate fight or flight reaction there is already an excessive amount of cortisol. The caffeine will increase the cortisol hormone making it even more difficult to balance your own levels. Did you know that 200 mg of caffeine (about a 12 ounce mug of coffee) can raise the cortisol level as much as 30% in an hour! This increase can stay in your body up to 16 hours.

Clearly caffeine can wreak havoc with your body.

There are other ways to help yourself improve concentration or decrease fatigue without using caffeine. If you are suffering from anxiety or panic, trying to control your environment and diet, clearly caffeine is something that needs to be avoided.


Caffeine is a big CAN’T!!


If you have had anxiety or panic attacks from caffeine, “Like” this post and share with your friends!


Have a great week,


Amy Eliza Springer

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