Posted by: Glow-worm PJ17 OCT 2012
The Smokefree campaign “Stoptober”, which started on 1 October, aims to provide impetus and support for those wanting to stop smoking. One of my dispensers decided to join in and our preregistration trainee suggested that the rest of the staff also give up something in a show of support. Being a man of few vices, I struggled to contribute. Someone suggested I give up red wine, which I interpreted as some sort of joke. Attention then switched to my tea consumption, and eventually I agreed to give up drinking tea at work.
I am well aware of the side effects associated with caffeine withdrawal, which can be so clinically significant that the condition is included as a diagnosis by the World Health Organization. They include headache, fatigue, anxiety and flu-like symptoms.
Caffeine administration causes a decrease in cerebral blood flow, whereas withdrawal causes an increase in frontal cerebral flow, which leads to the familiar withdrawal headache.
Concern has recently been expressed about the increasingly popular “energy drinks”, which can contain large amounts of caffeine. There have been calls for more regulation and better consumer safety information. It is well known that caffeine can increase blood pressure, but many of these drinks also contain the stimulant taurine, and studies have suggested that taurine potentiates the increase in blood pressure caused by caffeine. Taurine has also been shown to increase cardiac contraction.
Once I have negotiated Stoptober, my sons have invited me to get involved in next month’s “Movember & Sons”, which involves growing facial hair to raise funds for testicular and prostate cancer. I am willing to make a donation, but any excuses to avoid participating would be gratefully received. If not, does anyone have a pot of moustache wax I could borrow?