Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Withdrawal Results Of Quitting Smoking

Smoking cessation withdrawal effects are unpleasant, but alternatives are worse.

Smoking is an addiction that is difficult to overcome. The nicotine in tobacco is highly addictive and difficult to do without once you've used it. Habits that smokers acquire are hard to break and cause cravings for smoking even after you overcome the physical addiction. To make matters worse, a number of side effects can occur after you quit, and although they are temporary, they can be unpleasant to deal with.

Persistent Cough

Many smokers expect that when they stop smoking their smoker's cough will vanish -- but it often gets worse. A persistent cough is common, as well as dry mouth, nasal drip and a sore throat. Your lungs try to get rid of the layers of toxic tar and chemicals coating them as the oxygen levels in your body increase. Coughing up mucus isn't pleasant, but it helps clear toxins from your lungs, eventually helping you breathe easier.

Appetite Increase

Smokers often delay quitting because they're afraid of gaining weight. The truth is, they probably will, but it usually isn't a huge increase and it doesn't have to be permanent. Nicotine suppresses your appetite and speeds up your metabolism to a high level that is unnatural, so quitting increases your appetite and slows your metabolism. Lower blood sugar levels cause you to crave sweets and feel hungry. Your metabolism will become normal when your body rids itself of the toxins associated with smoking, and can be increased using a healthy means such as physical activity.

Difficulty Sleeping

Your brain is as used to nicotine as your body, and the loss of the nicotine changes your sleep patterns. You may be tired and want to sleep more often or have a more difficult time getting to sleep only to find yourself waking up repeatedly throughout the night. Lack of sleep can cause fatigue and lower energy levels resulting from a slower metabolism.

Inability to Concentrate

Smoking cessation will affect your ability to concentrate. Nicotine acts as a stimulant, helping smokers stay alert and concentrate. Removal of the nicotine combined with the physical effects of withdrawal distract you and make it difficult to keep your mind on what you're doing.

Moodiness and Depression

It is common for smokers to feel moody and depressed when they quit smoking. Nicotine releases a chemical called dopamine into your brain that acts as an antidepressant and gives you the temporary illusion of happiness. Removal of that chemical makes you irritable, anxious, bored, restless, easily angered and puts you in a bad mood.


It's common for smokers to develop headaches during smoking cessation. When oxygen replaces the chemicals such as carbon monoxide in your blood, the increase in oxygen can cause headaches. When you quit smoking, the increased effects of some substances that were blocked by nicotine, such as caffeine, may give you headaches. Stress and lack of sleep related to smoking cessation can also lead to headaches.

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