It’s Caffeine Awareness Month: Is Your Parent Getting Too Much?
March 14, 2018
Caffeine is a common stimulant found in coffee, tea, and some other foods. It is considered a drug and is the most commonly used drug in the world. Many people start the day with a cup of coffee, and your aging relative may be no exception. In fact, they might have several cups throughout the day. In most cases, caffeine is harmless. However, when people get too much of it, it can cause serious problems. Senior Care in Redwood City CA: Caffeine Awareness MonthSafe Levels of Caffeine.Doctors at the Mayo Clinic say that most adults are safe to consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day. That’s about 4 cups of coffee or 10 cans of soda. Even though most people can take that much, some people are sensitive to caffeine and should avoid it. Also, certain medications can interact with caffeine.Caffeine Side Effects and Complications.People who consume too much caffeine or who are sensitive to it can experience side effects. If your aging relative is having any of the following side effects, it may be time to cut back on their caffeine intake:
Frequent urination or bladder incontinence.
In addition to side effects, caffeine can cause complications for some people. For example, people with type 2 diabetes may see a rise in their blood sugar levels after consuming caffeine. This might be because caffeine interferes with insulin’s ability to perform its function.
There is also some evidence that caffeine can cause gout to flare up. People who have six or more caffeinated beverages in a day have a four times greater chance of having a gout attack.Caffeine Amounts in Common Foods.Of course, it might be hard to know if an older adult is getting too much caffeine if you’re unsure how much caffeine is in the things they eat and drink. The caffeine content of the following drinks (based on an 8-ounce serving unless otherwise noted) is:
Green tea: 28 mg.
Black tea: 47 mg.
Iced tea: 25-48 mg.
Coffee: 130-180 mg.
Decaffeinated coffee: 2-15 mg.
Soda (12 oz.): 34-54 mg.
Foods and medicines that contain caffeine are:
Dark chocolate (1 oz.): 23 mg.
Over the counter painkillers (2 tablets): 130 mg.
If you’re concerned about the amount of caffeine your aging relative is consuming, a senior care provider can help them to cut back. Senior care providers can track their caffeine intake and offer beverages that are caffeine-free. They can also help to reduce caffeine intake gradually to minimize withdrawal symptoms. A senior care provider can make cups of coffee that are half regular and half decaf. When making a cup of tea, a senior care provider can shorten the brew time to reduce the amount of caffeine.