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How Does Caffeine Affect Fibromyalgia Suffers?

By Jacques Courseault

Fibromyalgia is a disorder in which you experience widespread musculoskeletal pain, in addition to fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues, states MayoClinic.com. More women are affected than men, and most cases occur after physical trauma, infection, surgery or another triggering event. Because fibromyalgia is associated with psychological symptoms, drinking caffeine, a central nervous system stimulant, may affect fibromyalgia sufferers. Be sure to ask your doctor how caffeine intake may affect your particular symptoms.

Caffeine Effects

Many Americans consume caffeine-containing products on a daily basis. Caffeine is digested, enters the bloodstream and stimulates the central nervous system. Specifically, caffeine can increase energy and alertness. However, excessive caffeine intake is known to cause anxiety, insomnia, muscle tremors, depression and difficulty sleeping. In addition, caffeine withdrawal can cause headaches, drowsiness, irritability, nausea and vomiting. Caffeine is not stored in the body and is excreted in the urine a few hours after consumption, states Medline Plus, of the National Institutes of Health.

Psychological Symptoms

Fibromyalgia is not only a musculoskeletal disorder, it also features psychiatric symptoms. Specifically, MayoClinic.com states that fibromyalgia may cause fatigue, anxiety and depression. Therefore, proper sleep habits, coping strategies and medications may be necessary to alleviate psychological symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. In addition, substances that interfere with sleep or mood should be avoided.

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Caffeine and Fibromyalgia

Because fibromyalgia has strong psychological components, caffeine should be limited or avoided in fibromyalgia suffers. Caffeine consumed late in the day may cause you to stay awake longer and affect your sleeping patterns. In addition, caffeine may exacerbate symptoms of anxiety, restlessness or depression commonly experienced in fibromyalgia sufferers. However, because caffeine is a stimulant, a small dose in the morning may help alleviate daytime fatigue associated with fibromyalgia.


Small doses of caffeine intake per day may not have significant effects on fibromyalgia symptoms. However, large or excessive doses of caffeine may worsen psychological symptoms associated with fibromyalgia. Therefore, MayoClinic.com recommends limiting your intake of caffeine to avoid worsening symptoms. You should see how increasing or reducing your caffeine intake affects your particular symptoms. Continue to work with your doctor to adjust medications and treatment plans to best remedy your fibromyalgia symptoms.

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