We all like (like, or have to?!?!) start our day with a coffee. Unfortunately, this habit of ours might be causing some damage to our health (especially if you are sensitive to caffeine). Here are seven reasons we are avoiding coffee.
1. It wreaks havoc with your gut
As you know, we’re firm believers in the saying ‘health starts in the gut’. And a healthy gut is dependent on its acidic level. Changes in gut acidity can be caused by coffee (among other things). Your stomach creates hydrochloric acid, which is essential for digestion. However, if hydrochloric acid is chronically over-produced (i.e. from drinking too much coffee) it can eventually reduce the body’s ability to create it, resulting in low stomach acid. If you have read our previous posts on low stomach acid, you would know that low stomach acid means poor digestion and malabsorption of protein and minerals.
2. It impacts your thyroid meds
The standard drug treatment for hypothyroidism, L-Thyroxine, is absorbed in the gastro-intestinal tract. Studies have shown that drinking coffee shortly after taking your thyroid medication can lower the absorption of it. This means that even if you have been prescribed the optimal amount for your health, your body might not be receiving the optimal amount.
3. It can expose you to BPA
The plastic lids on takeaway coffee cups contain BPA. BPA is a chemical which binds to hormone receptors and impairs all kinds of endocrine functions, hence the name endocrine disruptor (read more about endocrine disruptors here). When you drink your hot coffee through the plastic lid, BPA leaches out of the plastic.
4. It boosts stress hormones
When we enter our fight or flight mode, our body releases cortisol to combat the stress we are occurring. If the stress is acute, our body returns to normal once the stressor has passed. However, if the stress becomes chronic, as it can with drinking coffee regularly, our body is continually exposed to high levels of cortisol. High levels of cortisol can result in compromised immune function, among other things.
5. It can worsen Th-2 dominant illnesses
All illnesses are either Th-1 or Th-2 dominant. In a healthy person, with an optimal functioning immune system, T-helper Cells (Th) 1 and 2 recognise foreign toxins and signal to hormonal messenger proteins to go to the source of the inflammation and reduce the inflammation, working together to make your body healthy again. However, if you suffer from an autoimmune disease, drinking coffee can interact with your Th-1 and Th-2 and affect their function.
6. It can ruin your blood sugar
Caffeine impairs your reaction to insulin. One or two coffees a day is unlikely to affect blood sugar levels significantly in healthy people. However, for us who suffer from autoimmune diseases, drinking coffee can lead to both blood glucose and insulin spikes after meals. The more coffee you drink, the more your insulin sensitivity is reduced. This makes it harder for the body to respond to blood glucose spikes when they occur.
7. It disrupts your sleep
If you read our series of posts about copper toxicity, you would know that last year I didn’t sleep. At all. Unfortunately, it is when we are sleeping that our body repairs all of the cell damage that occurred during the day. For us suffering from an autoimmune disease, our sleep is hampered at the best of times and drinking coffee can just exacerbate the problem.