Mornings start with coffee

Coffee helps many of us get the day started. Coffee, along with some teas and energy drinks are the most common sources of caffeine. Caffeine also occurs naturally in  cocoa beans which are the main ingredient in chocolate.

Caffeine affects everyone’s nervous system, but some people are more sensitive than others to its affects. In some people it causes headaches, a rise in heart rate, stomach upset, agitation, nervousness and trouble sleeping. People who regularly have caffeine can have headaches or other problems if they cut it out of their diet.¹

A cup of coffee taken from the top, with a smiling face designed into the froth on top.
Caffeine in any form affects the nervous system

Coffee acutely affects the sympathetic nervous system.² The primary function of the sympathetic system is to stimulate your fight-or-flight response which is a physiological reaction that happens in response to a perceived harmful event, attack or threat to survival.³   When the sympathetic nervous system is triggered, some things happen to prepare the body for the stress including: 

  • the airways widen increasing oxygen levels in the blood
  • the heart rate increases, bringing extra oxygen to the muscles
  • additional glucose is released sending energy to the muscles

No studies were found that research the affects caused by repeated triggering of the sympathetic nervous system on muscles. Still, even though it would be conjecture, a person with neuropathy may consider whether their neuropathy-affected muscles are better off without these artificially provoked stress reactions.

References
1.  http://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-A-Z/Caffeine/Food-Sources-of-Caffeine.aspx

2. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/106/23/2935
3. http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Sympathetic-Nervous-System.html

Linda Petiot
Linda is an independent information technology business analyst who has taken on the Vice-President role as well as management of the CNA website and video production. Linda says, “Even though it is volunteer, working with Sylvia and the rest of this team is the highlight of my career. I feel like I can really make a difference and help people with peripheral neuropathy.”
#3 Check Caffeine Intake

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