To drink or not? Coffee is the question

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Well folks we‘ve got ourselves a new medical disorder, and I‘m wondering if I‘ve got it.

The other night I saw a report about CUD, yep that‘s the initials for, are you ready, Caffeine Use Disorder.

Caffeine Use Disorder as defined by experts … “Caffeine disorder basically refers to someone that is unable to reduce or give up caffeine even though it may be contributing to negative outcomes like insomnia, anxiety, or heart conditions.”

As of today, I not “suffering” any of those negative outcomes, but I might have difficulty giving up my three daily cups of coffee. Does that mean I have CUD and if I do what is next?

These same experts want to see CUD added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). Oh and if it is a mental disorder, we must have a treatment for said disorder – right? Here is what those experts think.

“There is misconception among professionals and lay people alike that caffeine is not difficult to give up. However, in population-based studies, more than 50 percent of regular caffeine consumers report that they have had difficulty quitting or reducing caffeine use,” Laura M. Juliano, a psychology professor at American University and one of the caffeine disorder study’s authors.

How much did they spend to figure out people do not want to stop drinking coffee?

“Through our research, we have observed that people who have been unable to quit or cut back on caffeine on their own would be interested in receiving formal treatment—similar to the outside assistance people can turn to if they want to quit smoking or tobacco use.”

What might they use to treat CUD? Would it be a pill, an injection, shock therapy, medical marijuana? No wait. That last one wouldn’t work because then we would need a study of MUD – Marijuana Use Disorder (except in Colorado). Another thing, who are all these people requesting treatment for CUD?

As I considered this, I heard a report that left me more confused. Apparently, another study of caffeine usage suggests giving up coffee or even reducing usage might not be a good idea.

Consider these experts take on the subject.

“Drinking three to four cups of coffee daily helps lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes because of the combination of chemicals contained in coffee beans that are involved in metabolism,” Jaakko Tuomilehto, MD, PhD, and co-director of the study.

Moreover, the experts continue with their expert discussion.

“It was found that people who increased their coffee consumption by an average of one and a half cups a day in one four-year period were 11 per cent less likely to be diagnosed with diabetes. Whereas, those who reduced their consumption by at least one cup per day increased their risk by 17 per cent.”

Oh and add to that yet another study that suggests coffee might prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s. “The study showed that moderate coffee drinkers had a 65 percent lower risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease later in life than the other groups.”

So let me get this straight. If I reduce or stop my caffeine consumption, (which I tried once, wrote about, backslid quickly and got myself a Keurig) I’ll be CUD free, but I might develop Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Coffee good. Coffee bad. Drink less. Drink more. That’s what I get from reading what the “experts” say on the subject. So I guess the best thing for me to do is pour myself a nice cup of coffee, find myself a quiet spot and chew the cud on this new CUD thing until I figure out whether or not I’ve got it.