Caffeine Side Effects Reports and Press on Stimulants
One more supposed study warning of the harms of caffeine is hot of the press. What maybe started as a well meaning note to pediatricians about the possible dangers of caffeine to children and teens has turned into a widely quoted supposed study proving the serious dangers of caffeine and energy drinks to kids.
From The Eyes Perspective
Optometrists are concerned about caffeine in dry eyes and glaucoma. Studies indicate that caffeine does not cause dehydration in regular users and thus probably contributes little, if at all to problems with dry eyes. In glaucoma, there may be some concerns. There is a possible small increase in eye pressure with caffeine consumption that could be exaggerated in a few individuals. Patients with poorly controlled glaucoma may want to limit their caffeine consumption to lower levels.
Is Caffeine Really Bad For Your Health?
This is a question that deserves more than a cursory splash in the news. The quoted study was really some search engine analysis of past information on the internet. Not a designed study and not a statistical analysis. Caffeine toxicity was reported over 4000 times in 2007 with about half of the cases children. However, only one death from caffeine toxicity occurred in the reports. For a normal adult, it takes perhaps hundreds of cups of coffee in a day to reach a toxic level.
The concerns are threefold-children, medications, and other health problems. Children can react differently to drugs than adults. Caffeine can stay in a young childs system twice as long as an adults and present an even more sustained response in infants. Some prescription medications, like the antidepressant Luvox, oral birth control, and tagamet (cimetidine) can increase the amount of caffeine in the bloodstream. Since smoking helps empty caffeine out of the body, when people quit smoking they may experience a significant increase in the levels present in the body. Liver problems can slow the clearance of caffeine out of the body and result in markedly elevated levels. Other health issue including pregnancy can delay the clearance of caffeine from the body.
Other Than Glaucoma, What You Should Worry About
There are some products on the market that are possible causes for concern. Caffeine tablets allow for rapid consumption and much higher levels than you would receive from drinking fluids. Some of te power drinks on the market may contain metabolites of ephedrine such as synephrine. These products could have serious heart complications in susceptible people, and may have been linked to heart failure in the past. A young child on Luvox with other health problems, a young teen with undiagnosed heart problems, a young pregnant teenager who quits smoking, a child with uncontrolled juvenile glaucoma; these are children who could be at serious risk. Hopefully there will be some good studies in the future to further hi-light the populations at risk from caffeine overdoses. Meanwhile, most of us are really at risk for our sanity from living in the same house with a teen who has just consumed 3 mountain dews and is bouncing off the walls like the energizer bunny.!