That was the question that was on my mind as I made my way to my doctor a few years ago. I had lumps on my left breast and man, were they painful! I had not needed to do an exam on myself to know that there was trouble in that part of my body. My boob had started being painful and I noticed a small lump. I ignored it for a couple of days thinking it was just that time of the month and it would go away. It did not disappear, but instead grew in size and actually multiplied.
I called my doctor in a panic and made an urgent appointment since I “knew” that this was breast cancer. My doctor examined my breast and smiled. He asked how many times I drunk coffee per day. I said usually just once in the morning and added that it was just instant. He told me to immediately stop and see what happened within the next few days. He said he had seen countless women with my condition and it always boiled down to their coffee intake. I really did not believe him but decided to follow his instruction before seeking help from a better doctor.
I stopped taking coffee immediately, and know what? The lumps disappeared and I have not had any similar problems since – knock on wood. Apparently, I was just allergic to coffee.
An interesting thing is that during one of our health sessions at the office, I mentioned this issue and one colleague said she had a similar issue and her doctor had ruled all possible illnesses after a battery of tests. She said she would stop taking coffee and see what the results were.
On a different but related matter:
As usually happens when one is well, I forgot about my intolerance to coffee and started taking it again. What happened in January last year? I started getting jittery and jumpy whenever I took coffee and I diagnosed myself as being intolerant to coffee and I cut it out of my life. I started taking tea only and things were fine until a couple of months ago. I became intolerant to tea as well and was exhibiting signs similar to those I had when I took coffee. I stopped taking tea for a few weeks and I was fine.
I did not believe that I had to stop taking tea as well, so I decided to check whether I was really intolerant to tea and drank a cup one day. A colleague came to my office shortly after that cup, took one look at me and asked if I was OK. I said I was and asked what the problem was. She said I was jittery and shaking. Well, I diagnosed myself again and decided that I am not just intolerant to coffee and tea, per se, but to caffeine. I have stopped taking tea completely and have not had any jittery experience again.
I wonder why people (OK, in this case I am talking about myself) can sometimes be so forgetful as to do something we know can harm us. I hope I do not forget my caffeine intolerance and indulge in just that one cup of coffee or tea.