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I Quit Coffee and Guess What Happened?

I know what you're thinking....I got a HUGE caffeine withdrawal headache. I didn't, surprisingly, but that's not the point of my story. I never thought that coffee played such a big role in my health until I stopped drinking it. Caffeine has always been one of those controversial things. There are many health benefits to it but it affects everyone differently. It definitely affected me but I didn't realize it. To understand, we have to start at the beginning.

I was probably 13 or 14 years old when the migraines started. Some people think that migraines are just bad headaches, but when you suffer from migraines, it's much more debilitating than a bad headache. My migraines always start with an aura. For me, that's a big black hole in my vision. So, I would look at you and it would look like a piece of you would be missing. Then, I would get a crushing headache, but that's not it. Half of my body would go numb and then I ended up vomiting. It was a whole day experience and anything could trigger it; the smell of toast, a light flashed in my eye, the smell of car exhaust and more.

A couple of years after they started, they stopped, just as abruptly. So, I went on with my life. Fast forward 20 years and they started again. Three years after having my first son, they started again. These were so bad that my husband thought I was having a stroke. The doctors were puzzled. I went for a brain scan and that turned up fine. My doctor kind of gave up. I started tracking the migraines and figured out that they hit right around the same time as my period.

So, I stopped using birth control and that seemed to work. Until months after having my second son. Again, they were devastating. I wasn't using birth control at the time. When I spoke with my OBGYN about it, he was confident that these types of migraines are estrogen related. My estrogen was most likely higher than normal so when I was ready for my period, the estrogen dropped so significantly that I got a migraine. So, I went back on birth control to balance out my hormones and that seemed to work.

So, what does this have to do with caffeine? Well, several months ago, my body started acting so strangely. It was like I was having my period non stop. Ladies, you know what a pain it is to deal with this monthly, how about every day for months on end? I mentioned it to my doctor and the nurse rolled her eyes at me. She was probably thinking that it's a common symptom of perimenopause, so get over it. That's also what I was thinking!

But, sometimes we get insights from areas of our lives that we least expect it. I went to my doctor looking for answers and they wanted to just monitor it. Luckily, I have two women in my life that I can talk with about these things; my mother and my mother in law. In my moment of venting to my mother in law, she said she read an article about caffeine causing hormone imbalances. I laughed it off in the moment, but it hit me some time later. Maybe I should give up coffee??? Yeah, right!

I was drinking about 2 cups of coffee in the morning. Then I'd have one or two to jolt myself around the 3:00 pm lull. I drink my coffee black so I always felt like there were no consequences. Boy was I wrong! I decided to experiment with it. I switched to decaf and within a month, my never ending period STOPPED! It was unreal. In addition, I felt like a better person overall. I was sleeping better, I had a strong morning routine that didn't include caffeine and I was less of a drag at the 3:00 lull because I didn't need it.

I realize that everyone's body is different and the results will vary, but take a look at how caffeine might be impacting your life. A quick Google search showed me that the average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee a day. While the jury is still out on the benefits vs the negative affects of caffeine, you may have some small wins by changing your coffee habits. Not the least of which could be better sleep and that could be the start of something great!

I'm a huge believer that the body can heal itself. For me, it was eliminating caffeine. For you, it could be something different or adding something into your diet or life. Book some time with me to learn more about what you can do to heal.

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