Top 10 Harmful and Dangerous Effects of Coffee on Health

A lot of us today believe that we are ‘coffee persons.’ We prefer to start our day with a hot, freshly brewed cup of coffee and the enthralling aroma of coffee beans.  It’s as if there is nothing in this world that a good cup of coffee can’t fix.
Having a headache? Grab a coffee.
Feeling stressed? Again, go for coffee.
Trapped in a bad mood? Coffee will be your happy pill.
Got to stay up late? Coffee will be your partner.

Whatever XYZ the problem or situation might be, for the die-hard coffee lovers- coffee is the solution for pretty much everything. For them, coffee is not just a drink, it’s their companion. It accompanies them in all situations be it a lonely evening, a romantic date, an official meeting, a family get together or a holiday, coffee is everywhere. Till the time we stick to consuming a limited one or maximum two cups of coffee a day it is fine. But when this number starts witnessing an exponential increase, it is time to take it as an alarming sign. Consuming too much of coffee increases caffeine levels in our body and have some ill-effects on our health. Here are a few of such detrimental effects:

10. Headaches

It may come as a shocker to a lot of people who believe that coffee treats headache, opposite to our beliefs, it might be the reason for it in the first place. It is responsible for triggering headache as well. When consuming coffee on a daily basis becomes a habit and you refrain from it for a day or more, it results in a condition called ‘caffeine rebound’ that leads to headaches.

9. Pave the way to Insomnia

We have always heard stories about students resorting to endless cups of coffees during exam time to keep the sleep away. Since we blindly follow what we see or hear, looking up to coffee to keep those sleep doses away has more or less became a trend. No doubt that as caffeine suppresses melatonin, the hormone responsible for causing a sleepy feeling; it initially helps to keep the sleep away. But if the process is repeated for a long period of time, it can disrupt your normal sleep-wake cycle and might even lead to Insomnia in the long run.

8. Puts your heart at risk

Increased amount of caffeine is known to increase your heart rate and cause palpitations. Moreover, a long time regular and excessive consumption of the beverage can result in stiffening of the arterial walls, a condition which is referred to as ‘arterial stiffness’ in medical terms. Blockage of arteries may lead to irregular flow of blood resulting in insufficient blood supply and thus fatal heart attacks. Hence, uncontrolled consumption of caffeine puts your heart and thus your life at risk.

7. Increased anxiety and depression

Increased intake of caffeine may result in a feeling of nervousness, jitteriness, irritability, drowsiness and all of these leads to anxiety and panic attacks and even depression in the worst case. The technicality of it is that caffeine intake blocks the adenosine receptors, chemical responsible to signal fatigue and thus we feel pumped up and energized. But since the receptors were blocked, they become a lot more sensitive. When the caffeine leaves our body, we experience a ‘coffee crash’ which leads to the anxiety problems and all other symptoms.

6. Complication in pregnancy

During pregnancy, doctors suggest to avoid taking more than a cup of coffee in a day. This is because, the fetus may be caffeine-sensitive and in such cases, excessive caffeine might harm the child in dreadful ways. Also, higher level of caffeine is known to cause uncontrolled pressure on urinary bladder that may lead to excessive urination or even miscarriages.

5.  Gastro-intestinal problems

The most basic effect that immoderate level of caffeine in our body has is that it increases the production of hydrochloric acid in our stomach. This leads to damaging of the stomach walls and makes it vulnerable to be attacked by bacteria. It also enhances the risk of developing ulcers and may also cause irritation to the small intestine. Apart from this, in some cases conditions like indigestion, constipation and diarrhea can also be attributed to high caffeine intake.

4. Hypertension

High blood pressure also referred to as hypertension can be one of the most common ill-effects observed amongst those with the habit of excessive caffeine intake. As caffeine has a stimulating effect on the nervous system, it is shown to increase the blood pressure. Though, this effect is temporary, it has the strongest effect on those who are not really used to consume coffee.

3. Fatigue

The characteristic of beverages like coffee, tea or other such caffeinated drinks is stimulating our energy levels to leaps and bounds. Yes, temporarily they do have a stimulating effect on us but on the contrary, they may also lead to rebound fatigue once the caffeine leaves our body. This occurs when we refrain from having such beverages after getting used to it. Of course, the fatigue can be controlled by re-filling the body with caffeine levels that it has been craving for, but then excessive consumption will lead to other ill-effects on your health and you will be trapped in a vicious loop. The one, where staying away from it is harder and staying too close is fatal.

Tired man with a mug vector illustration

2. Fatal for Type-2 Diabetics

Caffeine elevates blood glucose levels in people with diabetes making it hard for them to control their blood sugar level. This is because it may lower the insulin sensitivity and the ones suffering from type 2 diabetes, whose bodies already doesn’t use insulin well, it may prove to be fatal.

 

1. It is an addiction

The worst ill-effect of consuming coffee excessively is that it is addictive in nature. Once your body is habitual of the caffeine intake, it needs it no matter what. Failing to fulfil this might lead to headaches, fatigues, irresistible cravings or even hallucinations and anxiety attacks. You face a miserable rebound and it entraps you in a vicious cobweb. It becomes difficult to get rid of this addictive need.

Just as everything has its pros and cons, coffee are also both a giver and a taker. If consumed in a controlled manner, it can prove to be beneficial but excessive consumption can even take you to the death-bed in worst cases. The perfect solution is to maintain a balance and enjoy your sip of coffee.

               

About author View all posts

Sakshi Jain