Can caffeine damage physical and mental health?

by Ruth Whalen MLT (ASCP) & BA

Many people claim that the drug caffeine is beneficial. However, as a medical technologist experienced in chemistry and immunology, I do not advise anyone to rush to Starbucks, Gloria Jean's or the nearest chocolate counter. According to chemical manufacturers, caffeine is dangerous when swallowed (1, 2) and when inhaled (1). And the longer a person ingests a drug-the greater the chance a person has to develop an allergy to the drug. That's why physicians avoid prescribing penicillin.

It is apparent that doctors have overlooked the fact that caffeine intake can cause a person to develop a sensitivity, an allergy, to caffeine. You may not have heard of caffeine allergy because there are approximately seven cases of caffeine allergy in the medical literature (3). Where are the other caffeine allergic persons? Well, I will tell you, because I am caffeine allergic and, for more than 20 years, doctors misdiagnosed me. Not knowing they are allergic to caffeine, caffeine allergic individuals are ingesting caffeine. Their organs, including their brains, are deteriorating, and physicians, including psychiatrists, are diagnosing and treating caffeine allergic patients for ADHD, anxiety, panic, OCD, bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, TMJD, hyperglycemia, PMS, and other preventable conditions (3-5).

There has been discussion of caffeine lowering blood pressure. Indeed, caffeine can lower blood pressure. Allergic response to caffeine presents as anaphylaxis, a state of allergic-induced shock (3, 4, 6). Hypotension is a common symptom of anaphylaxis. Similar to the allergic reaction a person allergic to peanuts experiences after eating a peanut, a person allergic to caffeine reacts to caffeine, commonly experiencing anxiety, confusion, restlessness, loss of focus, fever, panic, stomach pains, and other symptoms. Although similar, the two states of anaphylaxis differ. After a person allergic to peanuts swallows a peanut, the throat swells and can close. Therefore, a person allergic to peanuts is advised to carry an EpiPen, an epinephrine (adrenaline) injector. Epinephrine is the hallmark drug used for anaphylaxis. However, the body produces its own epinephrine when a person swallows caffeine. Therefore, after a person allergic to caffeine ingests caffeine the throat can swell, but generally it won't close (3). Natural adrenaline and other natural chemicals reduce allergic response (3, 4, 6). In other words, caffeine masks its own allergic response.

Because a caffeine allergic person is unaware of the allergy, he/she continues ingesting caffeine and suffers from progressive poisoning (3-6). Symptoms include, but are not limited to, attention deficits, anxiety, obsessive thoughts, panic, delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, PMS, TMJD, rashes, muscle weakness, and numerous other symptoms (3-5). All symptoms do not have to be present for a diagnosis. However, most doctors do not diagnose allergic response to caffeine because most doctors do not know about caffeine allergy.

Yes, many people claim that caffeine is safe but evidently forgot to do their homework. In addition to sensitizing and causing psychosis, caffeine intake can lead to violence and suicide (3).

Recovered, I undertook extensive research and wrote the book "Welcome to the Dance: Caffeine Allergy - A Masked Cerebral Allergy and Progressive Toxic Dementia. A. Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D., FRCP (C), President of the International Schizophrenia Foundation wrote the foreword. A century overdue, the book discusses caffeine poisoning, caffeine allergy, and the chemical imbalances of caffeine-induced poisoning and mental illness, one and the same. In addition, I share my story, not a pretty story, but one needing to be told. Georgia, a dietician, wrote a chapter telling of how her symptoms were eventually traced to sugar and caffeine sensitivity. Georgia also discusses her twin's case. For 40 years, Gene was institutionalized, treated for schizophrenia and allowed to ingest as much caffeine and sugar as he wanted. Psychiatric care and drugs did not cure Gene. Eight months ago, Georgia educated the court and her brother Gene was released from the institute. He is now recovering from stimulant poisoning.


1. Mallinckrodt Baker, Inc. Material Safety Data Sheet: Caffiene [Cited November 2005].
2. Fisher Scientific. Material Safety Data Sheet. Caffeine [Cited November 2005].
3. Whalen R. Foreword by A. Hoffer. Welcome to the Dance: Caffeine Allergy-A Masked Cerebral Allergy and Progressive Toxic Dementia. Victoria B.C; Trafford, 2005.
4. Whalen R. Ongoing caffeine anaphylaxis: a differential for mental illness. Medical Veritas 2004; 1(2): 252-260.
5. Elkins F, Farver D, Rolim IL, Janisch G. Medical Veritas. Caffeine allergy forum. V1. Issue 2. Pages 315-319.
6. Whalen R. Caffeine anaphylaxis, a progressive toxic dementia. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 2003; 18; 25-28.

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