CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Saturday, 13 February 2010

The case against coffee

image "This study looked at how drinking a cup of caffeinated espresso affected arterial blood pressure and blood flow up to an hour afterwards. Although caffeinated espresso did appear to alter measurements of these compared to decaffeinated espresso ..."

Although the NHS don't see anything conclusive in the study (nor do I, as it was so small and I would have ignored it completely, since the story also appeared in the Daily Mail), but I do wonder if the changes to blood flow in persons whose blood flow is already suspect - through orthostatic intolerance, for instance - provides yet another reason why we should avoid caffeine.

Previously, I've not worried about coffee's effects on blood pressure, because mine is always rather low, but any adverse effect on blood flow is bound to make OI symptoms worse.

With fibromyalgia, it's already recommended that we avoid coffee and caffeinated teas, which I do mostly, by drinking water or herbal, green or redbush tea during the day, but I really crave my first coffee every morning. It's the only one I have now, because I'd been having some pretty horrible symptoms of intolerance lately, but I'm not ready to give it up completely.

Coffee is pretty much my last remaining pleasure and it's been my salvation for dealing with nicotine withdrawal symptoms over the last couple of years or so. It's worked for me and there were probably worse things I could have leaned on, but it was probably not a good idea: "Nicotine suppresses the effect of caffeine, cutting some of its stimulating properties in half or even a little more. Thus, the impact of caffeine increases when you quit smoking cigarettes."

Which might explain the increase in the jitters and other symptoms of intolerance and I suppose there's a chance that these will regulate themselves to be less of a problem as time goes on.

And, of course, I developed a taste for good coffee from 16 years in Spain, which means that the decaffeinated dishwater crap - yes, I tried it - just doesn't do it for me.

As I see it, I merely have yet another choice between two different types of misery and certainly no option that is really acceptable. Giving up coffee is something one could, of course, manage to put up with, if it weren't for all the other things I've already given up - like life!

Coffee and blood flow

Pamela is a former accountant, recovering journalist and international cat herder, disabled and chronically sick with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Cervical spondylosis, fluent in three languages; English, Spanish and Rubbish. Mostly writes in the latter. She likes Genealogy, Model Railways and Cats.

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