Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Low Bloodstream Sugar & Giving up Smoking

Many of the most aggravating symptoms of nicotine withdrawal arise from a sudden drop in blood sugar. When you smoke, the nicotine triggers the body to release stored fats and sugars. For many, smoking is a form of appetite control. When the body releases stored energy, a smoker does not have to eat to get fueled up. Nicotine also inhibits the body's ability to use its natural insulin. When a smoker stops, the body must learn again control its sugar and insulin levels.

Headache and Dizziness

Headaches and dizziness are common and painful side effects of a rapid decrease in blood sugar. The body requires a certain level of blood sugar to feed its muscles and the brain. These symptoms usually do not last long. Most of the blood sugar regulators of the brain return to normal within three days after quitting tobacco use.

Confusion or Inability to Concentrate

Nicotine withdrawals cause a sudden increase in oxygen levels in the bloodstream along with the decrease in sugar. While extra oxygen is good, it is hard for the body to adjust to. Combined with low blood sugar, the brain feels both overwhelmed and starved at the same time and it can temporarily cause confusion or the inability to concentrate. These problems should pass a few weeks after quitting. If they persist, consult a physician for help.


The most recognized symptom of nicotine withdrawal is irritability. To a large degree it is also caused by the fast drop in blood sugar. The body becomes totally imbalanced and the brain has a hard time dealing with stress it normally handles with ease. Deep breathing is an excellent way to deal with nicotine withdrawal. Take several deep breaths every time you feel the effects of withdrawal. The extra oxygen has a calming effect that will help you get through the more difficult moments.


Low blood sugar during nicotine withdrawal makes many people reach for extra food when quitting. It takes a lot of will power to avoid temptations during this time. The body does not need extra food, but thinks it does. The symptoms are quite real, however, and eating a little extra can be beneficial. To minimize weight gain, eat lots of fresh vegetables and fruits rather than snack foods. Even if you do gain a few pounds, it is worth it to stop such a deadly habit.


Many of the withdrawal symptoms caused by low blood sugar can be helped by drinking plenty of fruit juice. Eat fresh fruit several times a day to give yourself an extra boost when you need it. If symptoms do not improve within a few weeks after quitting, consult your physician.

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