Have you ever wondered why relapse is so common for smokers who attempt to renounce this vice without any aids? The main reason for a long-time smoker’s inability to stay clean for too long resides in the numerous confusing changes that take place in the organism in the sudden absence of nicotine, although a part of the blame is also attributed to the reflexive nature of the smoking gesture.
However, leaving the psychological component of smoking aside, the following article aims to summarize the critical physiological changes an ex-smoker should expect to undergo after putting out the very last cigarette.
Digestive tract issues
In the event that you were already suffering from mild heartburns or acid reflux, then you can expect the frequency of their incidence as well as the unpleasantness of their manifestation to increase due to the nicotine withdrawal. Flatulence, gaseousness, and sensations of nausea are equally common, so it is advisable to refrain from ailments that are known to emphasize these issues such as cabbage, cauliflower, or beans. Diarrhea or, at the opposite pole, constipation, which is in fact more frequent due to the laxative properties of nicotine, constitute the other two forms of the manifestation of the nicotine withdrawal.
While you are probably familiar with the negative impact that smoking has on the health of your skin – wrinkles, spots, blemishes, etc. – the truth is that an abrupt decision to kick the habit can be held responsible for the more violent manifestations. Studies so far have not been able to prove the link between these symptoms without a shadow of a doubt. Still, there is clinical evidence suggesting that in the sudden absence of nicotine skin problems, including acne outbursts, rashes, and the appearance of blemishes are quite typical. Moreover, their occurrence is problematic, particularly for smokers who renounce the vice for the very first time.
Respiratory system problems
True, in the long run, kicking the habit will have significant positive effects on the health of your respiratory system, but the same cannot be said in the short and medium-term. As the tar and other substances begin to disappear from your throat, you can expect an increased phlegm secretion, constant coughing, coarseness, and other similar symptoms. Even though in their entirety, these issues represent the result of regenerating tissues, they are extremely unpleasant to deal with.
In addition to that, they are quite confusing for smokers who have never experienced them before, and they might even make you believe that your health is getting worse. You should also expect sinus congestion and shortness of breath because the organism is accustomed to deeper breaths to acquire a proper oxygen intake.
Circulatory system symptoms
The enhanced level of blood circulating throughout your body when the organism is no longer saturated with harmful substances is quite likely to make you dizzy. The brain will probably necessitate several days for the readjustment. At the same time, the increased blood circulation will possibly cause stiffness and mild limb pains in addition to “tingles” of the limb extremities (fingers and toes). Furthermore, since fluid retention is another result of the abrupt decrease in nicotine levels, you can expect bloating and swelling as well as average weight gains (3-7 pounds).
It is highly likely that the sudden nicotine withdrawal will make the ex-smoker unable to sleep properly due to cravings, which seem to intensify during the nighttime. Another aspect that you will probably notice in the next few weeks is that dreams become increasingly vivid and detailed because REM sleep occurs more frequently. In addition to that, the deep, dreamless sleep is more difficult to attain, and you will not feel as well rested for a while.
On a side note, utilizing the nicotine patch instead of quitting cold turkey might make you unable to sleep because you selected an excessive nicotine dosage as a symptom that is more likely to occur if you also smoke cigarettes while on the patch. The reason why specialists advise against “cheating” when using the nicotine patch resides in the fact that you might exceed the lethal dose of nicotine (between 50 and 80 milligrams, depending on the organism’s threshold) via a combination of the two.