|Time for another Caffeine fast
||[Aug. 11th, 2009|11:13 am]
According to Wikipedia, a palpitation is the "abnormal awareness of the beating of the heart". There are lots of causes for this condition including "overexertion, adrenaline, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, cocaine, amphetamines, and other drugs". It may also be the symptom of some kind of disease - which is scary - or just a panic disorder.|
I mention this because on Saturday evening I had some palpitations. I was in bed, trying to sleep and I could feel my heart beating (which is normal for me but usually I ignore it). My heart would skip a beat once in a while and I would start getting panicky about it. So much so I had a hard time getting any sleep that night. The next morning, I checked my heart rate and it was skipping on every beat!!! Oh, wait, that just means I had a slower heart rate. /embarrassed. Obviously I'm somewhat over anxious about this.
The thing is I had no chest pains or other symptoms that would indicate a heart problem so I'm sure it's more of a mental thing (in fact I rode my bike 52 miles the next morning and felt fine throughout the exercise). I've had mild anxiety attacks before (typically only enough to deprive me from a sound sleep) and usually it's not always about my heart rate but other things that normally don't bother me (noises in the house, ex-girlfriends, bills, etc.).
In fact I remember once, when I was a kid, listening to my heart beat and then suddenly it skipped a beat. The heart skipped just that one time - it wasn't a repeating irregularity - but that didn't stop me from running out of my bedroom to tell my parents. "Mom! Dad!" I gasped. "My heart skipped a beat! I think something is wrong with me." Both of my parents looked at me, looked at each other and then said, in unison, "Go to bed!". I skulked back to bed, thinking sullenly the whole time "If I die in bed tonight, they're going to be sorry."
My conclusion is that I'm taking in too much caffeine. Daily, I've been drinking at least one cup of coffee in the morning and then I drink one or two soft drinks in the afternoon. Although the coffee intake has been normal (for the past four years, anyway), the soda intake is a significant change from a month or two ago when I was drinking no more than one or two cans of soda a week.
For now I'm going cold turkey on the caffeine. No soda or coffee for at least a week. I may resume to drinking coffee in a week but I'm going to stay away from the soda for at least another month or so. I may also switch to decaff coffee next time I'm in the store. Decaff coffee still has caffeine in it but only 10% the caffeine that regular coffee has.
That should help reduce the anxiety and palpitations, I would hope.