Withdrawal And Side Effects

When you stop smoking there is a good chance you will experience a stop smoking symptom or two. These are caused by the withdrawal effects of nicotine and by the side effects of changes in your body from not inhaling the toxins in tobacco smoke.

An unpleasant stop smoking symptom may give you an excuse to start smoking again. Don’t let it!

Stop Smoking Symptom #1: Chesty Cough

When you stop smoking, your lungs are presented with an opportunity to clean themselves. As this will be the first time in probably many years for them to clean themselves up, they will go for it! It is perfectly natural for them to do this too.

As time passes, your chestyness should subside as your lungs overcome that first cleaning frenzy. If your cough persists, you should go and see your doctor as a persistent cough could be an indication on lung cancer.

Stop Smoking Symptom #2: Sore Throat

When you stop smoking, the environment in your mouth and nose changes from what has been normal whilst you were smoking. When you smoke, there is a need for your mouth, nose and throat to be well lubricated to cope with the tobacco smoke. When you stop, the lubrication levels are excessive to your needs.

The result of this mucus production in an excessive post-nasal drip, which means mucus is falling into the back of your mouth and throat from your nose. This causes a sore throat much like the sore throats you experience when you have a cold.

Stop Smoking Symptom #3: Coughs and Colds

The change in your mouth, nose, throat and lung environment from stopping smoking is considerable. There is an excessive amount of fluid sloshing around and this provides an ideal environment for bugs to make themselves at home. The net result is an increased likelihood of suffering coughs, colds and sore-throats.

It may seem to you that you were better off smoking because you never used to suffer so much as a smoker but these infections are transient and should only be short lived. Put up with them as they are a price worth paying for the long term health benefits of not smoking.

Stop Smoking Symptom #4: Bad Breath

When you smoke, your mouth waters. As a new non-smoker, instead of getting this rush of mouth watering 20 times a day, your mouth can become parched by comparison to how you would normally be. This dryer environment often causes a build up of unpleasant anaerobic bacteria at the back of the mouth. These bacteria give off ‘volatile sulphurous compounds’ that don’t smell good.

To help overcome the imminent bad breath, drink water regularly and have low calorie mints or sugar free gum to hand at all times to save yourself from embarrassment.

Stop Smoking Symptom #5: Headaches and Light-Headedness

When you stop smoking your blood’s ability to operate improves rapidly. When you smoked, your blood became handicapped from carbon monoxide but this handicapping passes very quickly once you stop.

Your blood sugar levels will change too when you quit because the action of nicotine on insulin in your blood is no longer present. The net effect of these two factors is that you will have more oxygen and less sugar in your blood, bathing your brain in an unfamiliar environment. A common result of this change is headaches or light-headedness.

Take some non-prescription painkillers, drink plenty of water and wait for it to subside. If it persists for more than a week, go and see your doctor but don’t start smoking again!

Stop Smoking Symptom #6: Constipation

When you smoke, the nicotine in tobacco affects your intestines, relaxing the muscles. This helps your digestion and keeps you regular. When you quit smoking, this therapeutic effect of nicotine is no longer there and you may suffer from constipation.

Drink plenty of water and try to up the fibre in your diet to help the situation. Fruit and vegetables of any sort should help along with wholegrain cereals or bread.

Stop Smoking Symptom #7: Mood Swings

You are in a state of nicotine withdrawal and as mentioned above, your brain is bathed in high oxygen, low sugar level blood that it is not used to. Much as alcohol can change your behaviour, a lack of nicotine, more oxygen and less sugar can easily have you change your behaviour. Luckily, it is short lived and should pass within a couple of weeks but to help, try to avoid alcohol and caffeine where possible to minimize the situation.

Stop Smoking Symptom #8: Insomnia

For much the same reason as the mood swings, you may also suffer from insomnia as a result of nicotine withdrawal. To help overcome this, use any methods you can think of to help yourself relax including avoiding any stimulants such as tea or coffee after around 6pm.