Caffeine is a plant alkaloid that is commonly found in coffee, tea, cola and chocolate. Although caffeine seems harmless, the truth is that it can be highly addictive. And addiction is just the beginning of the problems that caffeine can cause. Research indicates that more than a few cups of caffeine-containing beverages per day can cause fertility problems, ulcers, raise blood pressure, cause tachyarrhythmia (an abnormally increased heart rhythm), increase cholesterol and trigger panic attacks. There is additional research indicating that high daily doses of caffeine in women may also increase the risk of osteoporosis, cause miscarriages, aggravate fibrocystic breast disease and premenstrual tension,

If you’re downing more than three or four 5-ounce cups of coffee, 8-ounce mugs of tea or 12-ounce cans of cola a day, you should cut back. Be careful though since caffeine withdrawal causes headaches, depression, difficulty concentrating and fatigue. The worst symptoms usually let up after two days, and the rest leave within a week.

If you are having problems withdrawing from caffeine, there’s actually a way to cut back, even give up caffeine without experiencing withdrawal at all. The best remedy for the withdrawal symptoms is actually a moderate dose of caffeine — a pain reliever that contains caffeine (such as Excedrin Extra Strength) or a small cup of caffeinated tea, coffee or cola. By gradually cutting back, you can avoid headaches and other withdrawal symptoms in the first place. Each week, cut back on the amount of caffeine that you drink by 25% percent. This method of gradually decreasing your caffeine intake will eventually allow you to eliminate it completely from your diet, while remaining withdrawal symptom-free.