Symptoms of a caffeine allergy

Most of us can consume caffeine. We get it in our coffee, our tea, our soda or even our chocolate without much of a care in the world. Of course, the amount in which we can consume will vary from person to person, as well as our physical reaction to this particular substance, but caffeine, for the most part, doesn't really pose much of a threat for the majority of the population. Yet for some people, their systems actually have an intolerance for the stuff. And for others, caffeine can elicit an allergic reaction, which will inevitably prompt certain symptoms that can indicate whether or not you have a caffeine allergy.


One of the more common physical symptoms of a caffeine allergy will involve a reaction of the heart in the form of palpitations. This may manifest as a flutter in the beating of the heart, or your heart may respond by skipping a beat. You may even feel as if your heart is racing or pumping harder than normal. All are an indication of palpitations and may indicate that you have a caffeine allergy. That being said, this alone isn't necessarily an indication that you are allergic to caffeine, as you'll more than likely experience other symptoms along with the palpitations.

Rash and Hives

Much like almost any other allergy, it is completely possible for someone who is allergic to caffeine to develop a rash or hives. This reaction would generally set in a lot like palpitations. Soon after you've ingested the caffeine, you may begin to notice the formation of a rash or the hives on your skin that may or may not itch.


Another common symptom of almost any allergy, including one in caffeine, is a swelling or inflammation within some part of your body. It may affect your mouth and tongue, your throat, your face or simply your lips. This inflammation may begin to affect the way in which you breathe or swallow, making it more difficult than normal to do either of these standard bodily functions.

Visual Disturbance

Any of these symptoms of a caffeine allergy may also be accompanied by a visual disturbance that is best described as blurred vision. This would usually set in around the same time as any of the other symptoms would take place, soon after you've ingested the caffeine. For some people, they may have a fairly severe reaction to the caffeine and actually begin to hallucinate.

Muscular Issues

Another physical symptom of a caffeine allergy will be some sort of muscular issue, manifesting movements that become almost jerky or quick. This symptom may also take the form of twitches and tremors within any area of the body that has muscles.

Mental Disturbance

Not all the symptoms of a caffeine allergy will be physical in nature; some may actually affect your state of mind. One of the most common emotional symptoms of a caffeine allergy can entail some level of paranoia, sometimes to the point of an anxiety attack. Yet, it doesn't stop there. Some people with a caffeine allergy may also become highly irritable and agitated. They may start to lose their focus, to lose their ability to judge situations and circumstances or even the comprehension of simple things.

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About the Author

Based in Minneapolis, Minn., Dana Severson has been writing marketing materials for small-to-mid-sized businesses since 2005. Prior to this, Severson worked as a manager of business development for a marketing company, developing targeted marketing campaigns for Big G, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury, among others.