Quitting Coffee


I love coffee, I was not really something I grew up with, as I was from a tea drinking household, but I have really come to love it over the past few years. Andre reminded me, when I told him I had quit, that apparently I had said ( in jest) you can’t really trust someone who does not like coffee. SO imagine my dismay when as I look for a natural cure for my cripplingly painful and heavy periods that I discover that coffee can throw your hormones out of balance.

Here is why from Elevate Vitality

  • Caffeine raises cortisol levels as soon as it enters the body.
  • The production of cortisol stimulates more cortisol to be produced. Cortisol basically stops fat burning and can pack fat onto your midsection.
  • Cortisol competes with progesterone to latch on to the same receptor sites and surprise surprise, cortisol will always win! Progesterone is the hormone responsible for holding onto pregnancies (think pro – gestation) and we need a nice ratio of progesterone to oestrogen to help reduce those symptoms of PMS, endometriosis and painful periods among other imbalances.


I drank a lot of coffee, it was not like quitting one or 2 cups a day. I would have a cup next to my bed when I wake up in the morning, courtesy of The Geek, I would have a cup with breakfast before taking Titus to play group, a cup when I get back and start home schooling the other 2, at least one more before fetching Titus, some with lunch, if I have time, one before the swim run in the afternoon, when I get back and am making supper, when Yme comes home, and then after the kids are in bed and we are working or watching TV we usually have 1-2. That makes on average 10 cups a day!!

That is a lot of something that could be affecting me negatively. I am not saying that coffee is bad, and there are many studies into the health benefits. But for me with painful periods and obvious hormone imbalance it became something I needed to stop.


I was expecting a withdrawal headache for a few days. Roll on 2 weeks of near blinding headaches in the afternoons. The day would start off okay and then the headache would build. I admit to coping using Panado in the afternoon. I am sure that adding drugs to try and eliminate chemicals is not the best way but I still had to function. I was also very tired in the afternoons and for a while I would allow myself one cup in the afternoon just to get through, but I was soon able to stop this too.


Did it help? Well it might be too early to say. I do not expect this to be the thing that cures me. I know I have a lot more work to do. But it did have a rather drastic effect the first month.


I started spotting (7 days) soon after stopping coffee, this was way too early for my normal cycle, I then started bleeding – but with no pain for 2 weeks, then the last week the pain started and it was so severe that I landed up in hospital unable to control the pain at home. Blood tests showed that my Hb (hemoglobin) levels were low due to all this too.


I carried on with the no coffee and this last cycle was better, shorted period ( 5 days versus usual 7) and the pain was controllable at home. Not perfect by any means. I was still bed bound for 2 day but I could cope and it happened to be over all the public holidays and long weekends so Yme helped a lot. Was it coffee withdrawal that made that one cycle so terrible? Did being off coffee make this last period better? I honestly don’t know, but I will continue and see where this takes me.


Do I miss coffee? – yes very much. I have had the odd cup since then but I try to limit it as much as I can.




8 thoughts on “Quitting Coffee

  1. Hi Cat
    Because it grows into my muscle just doing an ablasion of the lining will not work. It will continue to bleed into the muscle each month

  2. Gosh, i would never have imagined that coffee could have an effect like that.

    I have tried stopping coffee – or cutting back but I don’t really like cold drinks so coffee is my thirsty, cold, bored, need comfort, social go to. The headaches are unpleasant when you stop.

  3. Going from 10 to 0? Wow, you were courageous. Now finding a substitute, Sal?

    I too stopped drinking filter coffees and the worst thing is finding another hot drink to take its place. I just don’t like tea, even rooibos, but settle for it.

  4. Completely forgot about caffeine! My Dad (of all people) told me to stop drinking coffee because it’s not good for periods. I was mortified but I didn’t stop. That said, I’ve significantly reduced my caffeine intake and my period is a lot more bearable. Only problem is that I don’t have a good substitute. Any ideas?

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