In spite of being a constituent in products commonly used for energy, caffeine over-stimulates the adrenal glands, which only causes the illusion of an increase in energy due to increasing the hormone adrenaline.
Over time, excessive use of caffeinated substances will cause an adrenal addiction and the glands will produce less adrenaline naturally until they no longer produce at all, which will lead to permanent fatigue since the adrenals are not known to regenerate.
Those addicted to caffeine are on a dangerous downhill slope and need to take decisive action because it will only get harder to recover later.
Naturally with everyone having to run around as a ‘human doing’ rather than as a ‘human being’ just to make ends meet in society today, the last thing most people have the energy for is to break a habit.
Breaking habits definitely requires substantially more energy to overcome them than it does to maintain the habit, but almost all of this is mental—a purely mental battle where one generally surrenders to routines rather than muster the strength or courage to break through to a new level.
Mental fatigue is becoming more commonplace and it is a huge factor in the overall energy of the body itself, so even thoughts about change that will require more energy can be tiresome for an individual with chronic fatigue syndrome.
The general response to the thought of quitting caffeine is that it is needed for energy, however admittedly dysfunctional that may be, and it would be too difficult to survive the day without it.
So, it is actually the crystallized fear of fatigue that encodes the belief that one cannot overcome it or do without it.
However, there is a way to overcome fatigue, particularly chronic fatigue while recovering from long-term caffeine addiction.
Effective caffeine elimination should be done gradually if it is to be a smooth transition without putting the body into shock.
A common side effect of strict elimination after extended periods of use is headaches from caffeine withdrawal, which is also a clear sign of the addiction in the body.
Generally, a gradual period over a month or two is a reasonable goal to set for complete transition away from caffeinated substances.
The most common culprits for caffeine intake are coffee, tea (excluding herbal teas), sodas, and chocolate, which are not usually issues if enjoyed in moderation.
However, when significant amounts are consumed daily, the body is thrown from its natural state of balance within the physiology of its physical and energetic systems.
Contributing factors exacerbated by caffeine addiction as a compounding factor are surface breathing, hormone imbalances, and a lowered immune system.
Concentration on these three main areas while weaning off of caffeine can make the transition much smoother for most people.
Treatment of a condition is often formulaic, targeting the combination of root stresses responsible for its existence.
Surface breathing is how most people breathe, which is too shallow, and changing breathing patterns requires a conscious effort.
It is well worth the discipline to breathe deeply and efficiently because deeper breath oxygenates the blood more completely and facilitates the removal of toxins from the bloodstream.
Increased oxygenation is a major factor that improves all of the bodily systems, organs, and vital forces necessary for fully functioning holistic health.
Hormone imbalances in the thyroid, pineal and pituitary glands can be contributing factors in fatigue-related issues.
The hormones in these glands are easily imbalanced by increased adrenaline in the system, thus their functions are interrupted by continual caffeine consumption.
If allowed to continue for long periods of time these imbalances can be completely disruptive to many systems of the body and its energies.
The immune system can be strengthened by the above mentioned breathing exercises to help with the elimination of toxins, however, when the immune system has been suppressed for long periods of time it is necessary to take purifying and immune-enhancing substances to bring the body back into harmonious balance.
Getting proper rest, enough vitamins and minerals, and drinking enough water are the cornerstones of restoring the body to health, in addition to taking herbal extracts that have tonic actions on specific systems.
While herbal extracts are a part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle within alternative medicine, they should never be used to the exclusion of qualified care from a licensed physician. Both modalities are important for balance and seeking out a physician that is open to alternative therapies is worth the effort it takes to find one.
Camille McClellan, MD, DNM, MBS
McClellan Natural Health, Wellness & Nutrition
Free Naturopathic/Homeopathic Consults Available