I live in the coffee capital of Australia… maybe even of the world. We have more coffee shops in Melbourne than in any other state – and our Baristas are known for their world class coffee.
I still find it amazing that up until the age of 32, I’d never tasted coffee. By that I mean real coffee. I had tried a sip of Mum’s cheap instant coffee when I was 17 – and promptly spit it out into the sink.
Since my first taste of real coffee, I’ve slowly become hooked on my “morning cuppa”.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a morning person. It’s not helped by the medication I take each night which leaves me a bit groggy. But my morning cuppa clears my head and leaves me ready to face the day.
Lately, I’ve been noticing my morning cuppa being followed by a midday coffee and sometimes even a sneaky afternoon coffee. Add to that a few more cups of black tea and soon my stress hormone, called cortisol, is surging.
So what’s the problem with coffee causing raised cortisol levels? And is this something we should be concerned as women with Bipolar?
A quick scan of the internet tells me that raised cortisol levels can not only leave you feeling anxious, fearful and angry – they can also lead to feelings of depression, lower your immune systems and increase fat in the stomach area.
Now, I’m not someone who should be lecturing on health issues, but none of these things sound appealing. Goodness knows I spend enough time dealing with anxiety and depression. The last thing I need is to be adding to the problem with my new love affair with coffee.
Earlier this week, I convinced myself to at least check out the herbal teas in the supermarket, telling myself they were just as satisfying as a freshly brewed coffee. I was staggered to find dozens of different herbal teas.
As I write, I have my fingers wrapped around a steaming cup of lemon and ginger tea. No caffeine. No worry about insomnia or surging cortisol levels. A truly guilt free cuppa.
I don’t think I can give up my beloved morning coffee. Or a cup of milky tea in the afternoon. But that’s it. The rest have to go. And with it, all those side effects that make life as a Bipolar Mum even more difficult.
Do you find coffee gives you any side-effects? Or are you one of those people who can drink copious amounts and still sleep like a log? Leave your comments below.