Believe it or not, there is such a thing as a coffee allergy. Usually the symptoms arise in the form of intestinal distress that may include diarrhea, gas, or vomiting. Some experience itchy eyes, rashes, and sneezing, together with other typical allergy symptoms. Since the symptoms often don’t arise until well after the initial ingestion of the coffee, it is easy to overlook the presence of a coffee allergy.
This time delay may also mask the real culprit, which is often caffeine. People may decide to give up coffee for a period of time, only to see that they still have allergy symptoms. During this time, their tea, soda, or chocolate habits may be causing discomfort due to the caffeine content.
How People Get a Caffeine (or Coffee) Allergy
Caffeine or coffee allergies are most often acquired over time, and tend to be the result of overuse rather than an inborn reaction. When people start drinking coffee, they notice caffeine’s stimulant effects. Then, over time, they develop a tolerance to the caffeine. This means that they start drinking more coffee to elicit the initial effect of the caffeine. Thus, their system becomes overloaded with caffeine, and the body, in time, reacts.
If you find that you are drinking more and more coffee and not receiving any stimulant benefit, but are experiencing typical allergic reactions to caffeine, it may be time to take some time off from coffee and caffeine. Once you have stopped for a period of time, it may be okay to return to coffee, but be careful to not let use get out of control again, or you may experience the allergic reaction. What is effectively happening is the same process that substance abusers go through during addiction. While coffee isn’t likely to ruin your family or your life, allergic reactions can make your life less than optimal. See how you fare after you reset your system.
Other Issues That May Be Augmenting Your Coffee Allergy
It could also be the case that your gastrointestinal system is being inflamed from some other source, which the caffeine and coffee is exacerbating. Examine your diet to see if other elements may be contributing to the symptoms you experience. For instance, alcohol, spicy foods, and milk may irritate the intestinal tract. Chocolate is known to irritate the body, as well, and is a food that also contains caffeine. Be on the lookout for foods that may be contributing to your overall caffeine load.
Allergies are never any fun, particularly an allergy that affects our enjoyment of coffee. However, with a little management, you may be able to reduce or eliminate your symptoms and resume drinking coffee, in moderation, every day. Consult with your doctor, however, to make sure that there isn’t an issue larger than a coffee allergy that’s bothering you.