5 scary signs you’re addicted to caffeine

John Jones/FlickrFor some people, coffee is a necessity.

If you’ve ever rolled out of bed 30 minutes too late, sprinted to work without time for your regular coffee run, and paid for it with a splitting headache an hour or so later, you might be addicted to caffeine.

And that’s not the only side effect you could be faced with – here are a few more.

You can’t go a morning without it.

ShutterstockCan you wake up in the morning without coffee?

If you can’t be bothered to do (or say) anything worthwhile before filling your body with caffeine, you may have a problem. After all, caffeine is a stimulant, which is why many people rely on it.

“It stimulates the dopamine receptors in our brain, kind of like cocaine and other certain drugs, just not nearly to the same extent,” Dana Hunnes, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., senior dietitian at UCLA Medical Center and adjunct assistant professor at the Fielding School of Public Health told SELF.

You have a high tolerance.

Food Photographer/iStockIf you need more than a few cups, that might be a problem.

Just like any other drug,the more you use caffeine, the more used to it your body gets. That’s why you may notice that it gradually needs more and more coffee, energy drink, or your source of choice to get moving.

“While caffeine can give people a buzz, raising alertness, the effect only works in those unused to the drink,” BBC reported.

You can’t go to the bathroom until you’ve had a cup.

Wikimedia CommonsIf you rely on caffeine to jumpstart your bowel, you might be addicted.

This applies to coffee especially, but most people know that caffeine has a pretty direct effect on the bowels.

Most people are used to making a pit stop at the bathroom after having their first cup – so much so that it becomes a bodily routine.

Dr. Paul Bertrand, senior lecturer and researcher into gut and neurosciences at RMIT told HuffPost, however, that if you stop drinking coffee, “it might throw things off a little bit, but over time the digestive system would get used to no coffee.”

You notice heartbeat irregularities if you don’t have caffeine.

Tristan Fewings/Stringer/Getty ImagesCaffeine can change your heart rhythm.

For many, too much caffeine can lead to heart palpitations, according to the University of Iowa Health Care, which is why people with heart problems tend to default to decaf. That said, caffeine addicts are used to the rush, which means their hearts usually are too. So when that rush doesn’t come, the heart can freak out a little bit.

According to Livestrong, to avoid a drastic increase in your blood pressure and heart rate after giving up caffeine, you should reduce your intake in stages, instead of going “cold turkey.”

You’re sad when you don’t have it.

Warner Bros. Television DistributionYou might be sad if you give up caffeine.

Depression has been known to be a sign of caffeine withdrawal. Livestrong reported that in a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, depression was evaluated by administering several questionnaires to moderate coffee drinkers. Researchers reported that 8 to 11% of healthy volunteers experienced symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.

Additionally, according to the Mayo Clinic, it has an indirect connection with feeling low because it affects sleep, which often affects your mood.

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