The Migraine Associated Vertigo Community
Read our welcome post, user support wiki & visit our member recommended products page

Caffeine Withdrawal and Vertigo

I was very surprised to experience vertigo this morning after being free of it for many months, and particularly because three days ago I experienced the Best Day, 100% and symptom free, I’ve had in over four years. To start with the symptoms did seem very BPPV like, but as the day has worn on, this is MAV but rotary vertigo rather than 24/7 dizziness which for me was its last presentation.

I’ve been going over this seemingly strange occurrence all morning. What’s different? What’s changed? After three months on the John Hopkins Diet with just one cuppa daily containing caffeine, three or four days ago I went caffeine free. But surely I thought it couldn’t be that. Searched the net, and listed on as symptom No 14 of 15, “caffeine withdrawal can cause some people to lose their equilibrium and experience vertigo”. Have I found my answer? Helen

Ouch, sorry to hear. I’ve been having more episodic stuff lately as well after nearly 100% days. But I’ve also noticed being able to get back near 100% much quicker. Seems to be 2-3 day recovery period or something like that.

Could be the withdrawal for sure, my take away from the John Hopikins diet recommendation was to have no more than 1-2 cups per day, but the critical thing I remember was to not change your habits. My wife commonly gets a withdrawal headache if she doesn’t have her morning coffee.

1 Like

I’d say this could be an unfortunately co-incidence. Caffeine is bad, bad, bad.

Coming off it should keep your BP more consistently lower though, and that’s surely a good thing?!

At the moment I’d say it’s too much of a coincidence. Three days in caffeine free and that was the worst vertigo attack that I’ve experienced since October 2015, well over three years. In fact it was only the second full on vertigo attack since I’ve been on Propranolol, the other being fifteen months ago. Under the John Hopkins Diet as @ander454 says you are allowed two caffeine drinks daily. For weeks I’ve only been having one and felt that was really clearing the rear head pressure but thinking, less would give even better results, very recently I dropped my one remaining caffeine cup of tea! I’ve reinstated that remaining cuppa lunch-time and I’m feeling much better already. Just bit rear head pressure and I can bend forwards again without incident it seems - fingers crossed. As Erik says once medicated one bounces back much quicker. I’ve just baked a load of Hobnob biscuits and now cooking evening meal. I thought I had a fair idea of caffeine withdrawal symptoms so was surprised to even find vertigo listed as a caffeine withdrawal side effect. Whether withdrawal of my one mug of British Rail tea was responsible, only time will tell. Helen


Unfortunately the saga didn’t stop there. It now appears my temporary total withdrawal from caffeine has caused major upheaval. Still seems too much like coincidence to have my first ever major total ‘wipe out’ attack since Propranolol so soon after. First attack in over three years, and coming immediately following my best two weeks since MAV went chronic. I struggled to reach the bathroom at 5.00am on the Monday following the vertigo bout on Saturday, straggled back to bed, had migraine aura, and was wiped out all week. Totally unable to stand or sit up relying on my spine. Either way within minutes rear head pressure would build to bursting point only relieved by lying in bed propped up by pillows without any head movement. This attack, first since meds, was 70% severe than earlier ones. Virtually no symptoms, no pain, nothing, I felt fine, could even use Ipad, eyes too blurry to read book though but as long as my head was totally still and I stared at the opposite wall, I felt fine. So I spent alot of time looking at the wall! I tried to get up every day. By Day Four I could stand just long enough to clean my teeth. With less pressure in head when standing on the Saturday I got up for 8 hours or so. Then, very strangely I woke up on the Sunday morning, seemingly recovered. No symptoms at all. No residual BPPV-like vertigo on bending, nothing. Not only was I fine. I was 100% fine and got on with my day. Didn’t go crazy. Just pottered indoors. Monday morning was a complete repeat of the previous Monday! Back to Square One. Can only assume this is back-to-back attacks. I’ve had those before. Week long attacks followed by couple better days, then repeat. This attack, Day Five again milder again. Two days wipe out then I been up since Wednesday. Cannot do much and I guess is I’ll be several weeks now getting back to baseline.

I can only think, having read a bit on the internet about caffeine withdrawal, the caffeine and the Propranolol both interfere with chemicals in the brain. Withdrawing the caffeine must have set off further changes. I’m rather hoping it’s that as other alternatives really don’t appeal at the moment. Helen

1 Like

I am sorry Helen you are going through this relapse. I am confident you will bounce back faster this time around. Sending you hugs.

1 Like

Oh shoot, sorry to hear, but good that you seem to be able to recover in between the bouts. I hope that you bounce back quickly my friend.

1 Like