According to the National Coffee Association, approximately 64% of people in the United States enjoy coffee every morning. Of course, the numbers differ across age groups, but coffee overall has seen a marked increase in popularity among millennials beginning in 2015, and as many as 7 out of 10 people drink coffee during the week.
While Ethiopia claims to be the birth place of the stimulant many Americans know and love, its long and varied history as it is written from the 15th century to today has contributed billions of dollars to local and international communities around the world as well as billions of headaches along the way.
Caffeine, the energizing chemical that gives regular coffee drinkers and non-morning people the productive boost they need to kick start their activities, is also the culprit for many people’s headaches. The basic biology of a headache is the expansion of blood vessels that activate the pain receptors in our brain. Caffeine itself has a vasoconstrictive effect on blood vessels, meaning it decreases the blood flow through shrinking the blood vessels themselves.
It is for this reason caffeine is commonly used in over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen: it speeds up the process of alleviating pain. So did your cup of joe cause your headache?
Well, yes and no. The answer is a little more complicated than using a coffee machine. If you are a regular coffee drinker, your blood vessels become accustomed, a.k.a. chemically dependent, to the effects of caffeine on blood flow regulation. In order to understand if you have a caffeine headache or other sensitivities to coffee, make note of your intake and other factors that could be related.
For new coffee drinkers, it wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility that a recent onset of headaches could be related to the caffeine from coffee. On the flipside, another likely candidate for a caffeine headache is decreasing your coffee intake over time, such as slowly adjusting to a lower amount or quitting the bean juice all together and switching to tea, which has much less caffeine than a regular cup of black brewed coffee. Being alert to the health benefits as well as the potential side effects of drinking coffee can make for a stronger brew of knowledge in your day-to-day journey around the sun.
Have you been experiencing headaches? To contact one of our doctors today, or to make an appointment to visit any of our locations, call (800) 956-2663 or for more information, a complete list of services, and Healthpointe locations, visit Healthpointe.net.
Healthpointe is a leading multidisciplinary healthcare organization offering a full range of medical services in practice locations throughout Southern California (Los Angeles County, Orange County, San Bernardino County, and Riverside County). Leading our organization is a dynamic team of healthcare professionals who continually strive to be at the forefront of medical innovation and healthcare service delivery.