4 Ways Coffee May Be Damaging Your Health
Most people drink coffee for one of two main reasons — to stay alert or wake up, or because they enjoy the taste.
Either way, if you’re suffering from any of the health problems below, you may want to know that coffee can be the cause.
1. Hair Loss
Many coffee drinkers experience hair loss.
If you’re finding hair left in the shower, on the floor and in your brushes and combs or hair falling out in clumps, definitely abstain for a month and see if this makes a difference. It often does.
The tricky thing about the coffee-hair loss connection is that the link may not appear to be direct.
While some reports say coffee may actually help stop hair loss because it has an estrogenic (hormone) effect, the flip side is that coffee uses up B vitamins and minerals needed to keep your healthy head of hair.
Coffee can also interfere with iron absorption. Iron preserves hair.
Coffee can cause headaches, especially when you drink it often. Like any addictive substance, when you don’t get your “fix,” your body goes into an unpleasant side effect.
On the flip side, coffee can also get rid of a headache. But if you’re getting headaches regularly and treating them with coffee, then you’re not getting to the cause, just a temporary solution.
Here’s what coffee does:
Coffee is a vasoconstrictor — it makes blood vessels shrink. This leads to less blood and oxygen getting to your brain. This can cause a headache. It can also cause a racing heartbeat.
The types of headaches caused by inflammation (which is a condition of expansion and not constriction), can actually sometimes be relieved by coffee.
Some migraine and sinus headache sufferers have noted that a couple of cups of strong coffee can get rid of a headache within minutes. It’s a temporary solution, but worth trying if you can’t stand the pain.
Beware however: if not consumed in moderation, coffee drinking can start a vicious cycle, depleting your bodies’ resources.
3. High Anxiety
Like a drug, coffee can affect your emotions through your body chemistry.
Since coffee is a stimulant, it can cause jitters and feelings of doom, anxiety, panic and even worry.
One way to explain these symptoms is that coffee affects vitamin B stores in your body. Since coffee is a diuretic (water remover) it can remove water soluble vitamins such as vitamins B1, B12 and C, among others needed to fight stress.
“Caffeine is the most widely used mood-altering drug in the world,” says Roland Griffiths, PhD, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“People often see coffee, tea, and soft drinks simply as beverages rather than vehicles for a psychoactive drug. But caffeine can exacerbate anxiety and panic disorders.” (Source: Medicine Net)
4. Near Blackouts
If you’ve ever been sitting or squatting then quickly stood up and felt like the room was going black, then you may be interested to know that coffee can be the cause.
Adrenal fatigue can cause this. So can dropping blood sugar. A recent CBS news story highlighted the effects of coffee on blood sugar levels in diabetics, showing that coffee causes sugar spikes.
You don’t have to be a diabetic to have coffee affect you in a similar manner, so if blackouts occur, find a replacement drink.
How does coffee make you feel?
We can point to all sorts of science when it comes to whether coffee is good or bad for you. But one of the best ways to know whether you should stay away from it has to do with the way it makes you feel.
If you are a habitual coffee drinker, you may not even realize coffee’s negative effects.
A government study shows that your body tends to adapt to the coffee’s side effects (Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information).
Cut down on coffee. Suggested coffee alternatives.
You don’t have to drink coffee; it’s not mandatory.
If it’s making you feel bad, simply switch to Decaf or Herbal Teas. A tea with ginseng gives you a bit of a kick without the jitters.
If you go Decaf, be aware that organic or biodynamic coffees are the best chemical-free choice. Coffee plantations are sprayed with cancerous chemicals and decaffeination processes use dangerous chemicals like hexane to remove caffeine from the coffee.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, try weening yourself off of coffee and see how you feel. Going coffee-free might make all the difference!
J Hum Hypertens. 1992 Apr;6(2):95-9; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1597852
cbsnews.com, Diabetes Sufferers: Beware Of Caffeine, “Study Shows Caffeine Elevates Blood Glucose Levels in People With Diabetes,” Jan. 29, 2008