In reading a recent New-Review article about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ additional policy details regarding use of “designer” coffee drinks by BYU students, I wondered how that would be a worthy news item. It also prompted recall of my doctoral differential diagnosis training.

I find it interesting that most individuals, and society in general, deem coffee as a completely benign substance, yet medical professionals are taught to include coffee in their medical screenings.

I share some information from the 2007 text, Differential Diagnosis for Physical Therapists, Screening for Referral by Goodman and Snyder: “The combination of coffee ingestion and smoking raises the blood pressure of hypertensive clients.” “Physiologically toxic doses are measured as more than 250 mg/day or three average cups of caffeinated coffee.”

Toxic amounts of caffeine have many effects, “Including nervousness, irritability, agitation, sensory disturbances, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, nausea, urinary frequency, diarrhea and fatigue.” Drinking eight or more cups can cause problems with sleep, dizziness, restlessness, headaches, muscle tension, and intestinal disorders. Caffeine may enhance the client’s perception of pain. Pain levels can be reduced dramatically by reducing the daily intake of caffeine. Drinking decaf also increases the risk of rheumatoid arthritis among older women.

It is interesting to see, once in awhile, a news article extolling a virtue of drinking coffee. Unfortunately, these articles often do not mention all of the other symptoms and problems that caffeinated coffee causes, resulting in readers who retain a false understanding that coffee has overall health benefits.

I am in hopes that this information may be helpful for some readers of The News-Review.

Tim Juett

Roseburg

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