Dr. Oz: How Do You Know You’re Addicted To Caffeine?
Dr. Oz has been talking to Tracy, who is very addicted to caffeine. The 12 cups of coffee she drinks every day has caused pre-cancerous damage to her esophagus and affecting the amount of deep sleep she gets every night. Dr. Oz brought in addiction specialist Mike Dow to talk about caffeine addiction and help Tracy out.
The first question was, how do you know you’re addicted to caffeine? Mike Dow said that it’s easy to become addicted to caffeine. He said when you use something to feel normal, you know you’re addicted. If you reduce it or take it out of your diet, do you experience withdrawal systems? If that’s true, as well as using it to feel normal, then you’re addicted.
Dr. Oz: 28-Day Caffeine Detox
Mike Dow explained that Tracy needs a 28-Day Caffeine Detox. Why 28 days? Studies have shown that it takes 28 days to form a habit in the human brain. That means that if you’re one of those people addicted to caffeine, when you get on the other side of that 28 days, your life will be a lot easier in the long run. When you replace caffeine with healthy behaviors and foods, you’ll actually feel better in the long run.
Dr. Oz: Reducing Chemical Dependency
The detox program first deals with chemical dependency. In order to reduce the amount of caffeine without hurting you, you detox in stages. Reduce 25 percent of the amount of caffeine you’re drinking in the first week, then down by 50 percent in week 2, and then 75 percent in week 3. In week 4, there’s no caffeine at all.
Mike Dow said that if you cut it out cold turkey, you’ll have flu-like symptoms with nausea, headaches, and fatigue. You don’t want to do that to yourself because you’ll set yourself up for failure, according to Mike Dow.
Dr. Oz: Going Cold Turkey
Mike Dow is the addiction expert, not me, but I would like to say after several unsuccessful attempts at quitting smoking using smoking cessation products, I finally decided on going cold turkey. Three quit tries later, I finally quit for good. For me personally, I had to do it cold turkey. My philosophy is that there’s no such thing as having your cake and eating it, too. If you want to be off cigarettes or drinking coffee, stop smoking. Don’t keep smoking or drinking coffee for a month while you cut back. Because you and I know the truth, addicted person: you don’t have that kind of self-control. If you think you do, then that’s great. I hope it does work for you. But I didn’t. I needed to go cold turkey.
I think it’s also critical to a quitting attempt to know why you were addicted in the first place. The addiction is always a substitute for something else. We want to believe in magic potions that make us feel better about ourselves. Find out why you felt you needed to believe in that magic potion of a cup of coffee or a cigarette.
Dr. Oz: Replacing Addiction With Healthy Food
Mike Dow said that you should replace the addiction with healthy foods that can make you feel good. He said that studies have shown that healthy foods like spinach, mushrooms, asparagus, and eggs can produce the same feel-good chemical as coffee. It’s a combination of the amino acids with the egg, the iron with the spinach, the copper in the mushrooms, and the folic acid in the asparagus.
Dr. Oz: Beating The Ritual
Dr. Oz said that one of the worst parts of addiction is the ritual. You put the coffee up to your lips and sip. The holding of the cup, the warmth of it in your palms. It’s very helpful and soothing. Dr. Oz said that rituals can be healthy, you just need to take out the coffee.
He suggested herbal coffees that are made from dandelion root and can be ground up and taste like coffee. These are much less acidic and much better for you. Tracy seemed to like it.
I would suggest not drinking fake coffee if you’re addicted to coffee. It’s too much of a tease. It’s not the real thing and deep down, you know that. If there were fake cigarettes I could smoke, I’d stay away. It’ll make you wish it was the real thing.
Dr. Oz: Will She Change?
Mike Dow said he’s going to help Tracy for 28 days, calling her and talking to her. He said they’re going to track her activities and feel-good foods, her sleep quality, and her health. Dr. Oz said she was going to feel great and re-energized in 28 days. She said she was excited for the journey.