Cigarette smoke can cause severe damage to your digestive system. Smoking is the common cause of heartburn and other digestive disorders. It also increases your risks of developing Crohn’s disease, gallbladder, and liver ailments. Knowing the harmful effects of smoking to your digestive system might help you re-consider and give up smoking for good.
Below are the 4 harmful effects of cigarette smoke to your digestive health:
1. Smoking can cause heartburn.
Fifteen millions of Americans suffer from heartburn daily and around fifty million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month. Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux or simply GER is the process where the natural acidic juices in your stomach flow back your esophagus that causes the burning like sensation in your chest. Smoking weakens your lower esophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle that serves as a valve that separates your esophagus and the stomach, which stops the gastric juices from flowing back and can damage the inner lining of your esophagus.
2. Smoking can damage your liver.
Your liver plays an essential role in keeping your body free from toxins. However, smoking gets in the way of the normal function of your liver. Because of smoking your liver cannot efficiently remove excess alcohol, drugs, and other wastes on your body. Likewise the excessive nicotine in your body makes it more difficult for your liver to clean your system. Nicotine also causes severe damage on your liver. Smoking also aggravates the damages caused by drinking too much alcohol.
3. Smoking can cause ulcer.
Smokers are more likely to develop ulcer. And those smokers who are suffering from this condition may find it harder and lengthier to heal their ulcers. They have better chances of healing if they give up smoking compared if they smoke while undergoing medication. Likewise, smoking increases the risks of developing ulcer because of too much alcohol and pain relievers.
Smoking also depletes bicarbonate in your body, the substances secreted by your pancreas responsible in neutralizing the excess gastric acid in your stomach. With the insufficient amount of sodium bicarbonate in your body, the excess gastric acid will remain potent and can harm your duodenum in the process. Experts also suggest that smoking can adversely affect the production of gastric acid in your stomach the longer you smoke. Cigarette smoke is believed to increase the secretion of gastric juices in your digestive organs.
4. Smoking can aggravate Crohn’s Disease.
Crohn’s diseases or the swelling in the deep layers in the lining of your intestine, it normally occurs in your small intestine but can develop anywhere in your digestive tract. The common symptoms of this disorder are chronic pain accompanied by diarrhea. Smokers and former smokers have greater chances of getting this disease compared to non-smokers. Likewise, smoking increases the relapse, the need for drug medication, and repeat surgery. Among smokers women have greater chances of relapse than their men counterparts, regardless if they are former or habitual smokers. Experts suggest that smoking lessens the natural capability of the small intestine to fight the infection because of decreased blood flow caused by excessive smoking.