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kat said

Caffeine withdrawl REBOUND migraines

OMG. I woke up early this morning with a migraine from hell. I think its because I’ve recently been getting stronger black teas from certain favorite vendors :) and been drinking more teas(mainly blacks of late) than I used to. Do u guys get these type of rebound headaches while u sleep and the caffeine is depleting itself from ur system? I took some prescription migraine med and had OF COURSE some strong black tea and feel better..what I’m wondering is how do I avoid these headaches in the future if I still plan on drinking same amount of tea per day? Any of you other tea addicts have this prob?

8 Replies
teaplz said

Awww, sorry to hear about that, kat. I actually suffer from really awful migraines (I was absent 40 days of my junior year of high school due to them), but they’ve pretty much leveled off. I was diagnosed with classic migraines (aura and all) when I was 6, and I’ve had them since I was 2 or 3, so I feel your pain, literally.

Caffeine for some people causes headaches. For others, it harms them. Another popular trigger is actually tannins. I noticed that you’ve been drinking a lot of black tea, which is high in tannin content. For some people, that’s a wicked trigger! Maybe switch to more greens/whites and see what happens? A good way to test out if it’s tannins vs. caffeine would be to drink a lot of decaf black in a day and see if you feel as ill. If you do, it’s probably tannin levels in the black tea. If not, it might be the caffeine.

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Cofftea said

I definitely get headaches if I don’t have caffeine, but it doesn’t have to be as much caffeine in espresso or coffee. I never drink soda so some days all my caffeine comes from tea and resteep a lot so it’s not even like I’m getting a constant supply of caffeine through out the day. But I also get a headache if I have too much caffeine so it’s a balance for me.

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kat said

Wow Teaplz, sorry about your migraines , yeah u know exactly what Im talking about. Today I’m drinking more oolongs and whites instead of just solid blacks and so far so good. Funny thing I read some people think white teas because they are processed less actually contain more caffeine than black…I know! Nuts..but if you want google it and there’s multiple references about it. Which ironically I probably should not be drinking so much of this Silver Needle..oh well who the hell knows…I’m just gonna live it on the edge I guess lol I dont even have one decaf tea in the house – gotta have my legal stimulants now when I can get them..haha..long story but yeah I’m sober 3 yrs next month. WoooHooooo!!!

Cofftea said

Congrats on your sobriety! It’s hard enough watching it, I can’t even imagine actually going thru it. I really respect and admire you!

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I also have classic migraine, as does nearly everyone in my family. Caffeine is one of the things than can stop a migraine attack for me, if I take it early enough, but for that to work I have to keep my regular caffeine intake fairly low. Tea is the only caffeinated drink I take now, and even with tea I try to limit the caffeine intake by resteeping tea leaves. I also switch to herbals in the evening. I make decaf iced tea in the summer, so that I’m not adding to my caffeine intake.

If you’re waking up with migraines regularly you may also be having problems breathing at night. I didn’t find this out until I came down with bronchitis and wound up in the hospital. They put me on a pulse oxygen monitor, and the darn alarm would go off every time I just about got to sleep. I had been having a persistent migraine, and waking up with worse migraines the entire time I’d been sick, apparently from oxygen deprivation. When the bronchitis cleared up, I went back to my usual migraine cycle.

I think everybody’s triggers are different – mine tend to be thunderstorms. Some common allergens will also trigger migraine – you may have a pollen in those particular teas that is a trigger for you. But teaplz is right – either the caffeine or the tannins may be the culprits. If it’s tannins, you’re also likely to get migraines from red wine.

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Auggy said

I used to get bad migraines about 2 – 3 times a week and I would take lots of (mostly OTC) meds to ‘help’ and would get rebound headaches from that. I have gotten some headaches and migraines triggered from detoxing from coffee caffeine before, but thankfully tea doesn’t seem to have enough caffeine for me to get withdrawal headaches for me.

I’m down to about 1 migraine every 2 or 3 months now (lots of triggers for me, a lot blood sugar and food allergy related) but the ones I do get can be triggered by a change in my sleep patterns. Usually sleeping too late or too long – which pretty much sucks because I love sleeping in. But meh. But most of the time, a little caffeine helps them go away.

As teaplz pointed out, tannins are a common trigger for people too. So maybe a combo of the tannins and the caffeine changing you sleep patterns? I think if tannins are a trigger chocolate, wine and cheese might also be triggers?

I hope you figure it out, Kat! And I hope it’s not tea! ;)

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Jillian said

Honestly? If I’m getting withdrawl symptoms I take that as a sign that I’m taking in too much caffeine and try to cut back. And while that might mean more withdrawal symptoms in the short-term, in the long-term it’s probably healthier.

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Every time I don’t have any caffeine at all during the day, I have a horrible headache at night.

Not fun. :(

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