7 Most Common Side Effects When You Quit Smoking

by Dr Antonio Howell, MD

in quit smoking, side effects

Dr. Howell

Quitting smoking does not come easy – and you know that. What makes it more difficult is that you have to deal with the side effects of quitting as well. But the good thing is that these quitting smoking side effects are short-lived and would normally wane after a few weeks. And nothing could better prepare you than to know these common side effects when you quit smoking.

Physical Cravings

Physical cravings start right after you quit, and they rapidly increase as the intensity peaks within 48 to 120hrs (2 to 5 days). From this point the cravings slowly weakens. This is among the toughest stage of quitting smoking and of your withdrawal process.

Irritability and Extreme Mood Swings

From the moment you withdraw from nicotine, you become short-and bad-tempered, you are also hostile to be with. Quitting cold turkey can even make it worse. The mood swings you feel during the withdrawal process are basically associated with your cravings. Mood swings are also among the reasons why smokers delay, avoid, or abandon their quit smoking programs.

Fatigue

You often feel tired. This is only but normal as your body is trying to recover from nicotine addiction which is a very stressful process. On the onset of your nicotine withdrawal, your body is at an intense healing phase. For most smokers, quitting smoking requires enormous concentration, self-control and resilience, which could result to extreme fatigue and tiredness. It is very important to lessen your day-to-day activities during the early stages of quitting. It is also essential that you get quality sleep, and afternoon naps to recharge your body.


Headaches

You are most likely to experience series of headaches after you quit. This can be attributed to the fluctuating serotonin and dopamine level, which nicotine has modified. When you stopped smoking, your brain suffers from intense physical stress.

Discomfort in the Chest Area

You may experience a tight uncomfortable sensation in your chest area. You have nothing to worry about as it will gradually go away in time. Some former smokers would even experience sharp pains in their chest cavities. This may be normal, but it is still best to consult your doctor and have your lungs checked.

Constipation

Smoking also affects your digestive system and when you quit smoking it undergoes a drastic healing process. This may result, however, to some irregularities in your digestive functions, as your body is trying to reprogram itself free from nicotine. Everything will be normal after 2 to 3 weeks. Drinking 8 glasses of water every day can help lessen constipation.


Pseudo Flu and Cold Symptoms


Do you find yourself feeling sick after you quit? You may be experiencing a quitter’s flu. It is an aggrupation of several symptoms that combine in such a way that they resemble a flu or cold like sickness. This is true to most smokers. You will also notice a brown to blackish often spotted phlegm as a result. These are the nicotine and tar that have accumulated in your respiratory tracks that your body has expelled. The symptoms of pseudo flu and cold will begin to settle after a few weeks.

Quit smoking side effects may vary from one smoker to another depending on the extent of damage smoking has done to your body. But one thing remains true to every smoker  – these side effects of quitting can be very burdensome. So it is important that you acquaint yourself with these side effects so you can better prepare yourself.


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