You can read about all the different effects that smoking has on your body in article Smoking. It tells you what vitamins to take to counteract the bad effects of smoking.
You have two choices, you can make sure that you get enough supplements to combat the different ways that smoking can deplete the body of needed nutrients, or you can quit.
In case you need some more convincing read 10 Reasons to Quit
Ways to Quit Smoking
If you decide to quit, we’ve collected up all the helpful hints we could find form other smokers who have quit. We’ve also listed what supplements you can take to help you get over the withdrawal and get your body back on tract.
The first problem is that smoking is addictive.
Here is some information on why. Yes, the symptoms listed below are the result of smoking.
The most familiar and common problem is the craving. Below is what happens, you can skip the below paragraph if you want, but make sure you know it is the nicotine withdrawal that is creating this.
Within seven seconds of inhaling on a cigarette, the nicotine reaches your brain. The drug acts up “receptor cells” which provide the “hit” that your body expects. This triggers various responses in your body: your heartbeat and breathing rate go up and your blood vessels contract. By the time you have finished your cigarette, the nicotine level in your blood will have peaked. Within one half hour, your body will have cleaned the nicotine out of the blood stream. This spiking is part of what makes cigarettes so addictive. The method of delivery, directly to the lungs and then to the brain, and the intensity of its effects both help to make nicotine extremely addictive. In the morning, most smokers inhale deeply. The nicotine content in the blood has dropped overnight and they are in withdrawal. In reality, smokers spend much of their time in withdrawal: stress, anxiety and boredom are all heightened by daily withdrawal from cigarettes. In between cigarettes, every smoker goes through a smaller version of what the quitter goes through. Over the day, the smoker will smoke enough cigarettes to maintain a sufficient nicotine blood level to prevent these withdrawal symptoms. Usually the minimum number to achieve this is 10-12 cigarettes a day, spaced over the day. This explains why it is not usual for people to smoke less than half a pack a day.
Nicotine acts as a vasoconstrictor, meaning it decreases the diameter of your blood vessels, making it more difficult for blood to flow through the body. This forces the heart to work harder and can lead to higher blood pressure. It may be one of the reasons for increased heart disease in long time smokers. An obvious sign of this is cold or clammy hands, as the extremities do not receive as much blood.
Difficulty concentrating: As many people use nicotine to help them focus, after a while this becomes a crutch. The increased blood flow and oxygen resulting from not smoking can lead to a feeling of mental fogginess. Some people report feeling that sounds are louder, or being distracted by outside influences. Nicotine actually seems to affect people’s concentration by decreasing your peripheral vision and hearing. You just didn’t notice because of the numbing effect of nicotine.
Fatigue: Nicotine increases your metabolism to an abnormally high rate. When you stop smoking your metabolism drops back to normal and you may find that your energy level drops.
Weight gain: Nicotine speeds up your metabolism. Essentially your body runs at a faster than normal speed, meaning you burn more calories. When your metabolism reverts to normal, you may gain a few pounds. Also food seems more appealing due to your re-awakened sense of smell and taste, and it also provides an alternative to smoking. There is supplementation to help this as well that will make you less hungry in much the same way as a cigarette does. But, not everyone who stops smoking gains weight. Remember, an increase in weight may hurt your appearance, but smoking causes yellow teeth, bad breath, stale clothing odors and possibly wrinkled skin. Exercise is also an effective way to cope with withdrawal and avoid weigh gain. Exercise increases your metabolism.
Getting Ready to Quit
- Be ready to taper off smoking while you build up your body with nutrition.
Don’t quit cold turkey.
- Notice when and why you smoke. See what things you often do while smoking. (driving, with coffee in the morning, etc. etc.) Find out how many cigarettes you smoke daily and when, so you can figure out how you can cut down.
- You don’t have to cut down drastically. Cut down whatever doesn’t create a big problem (we have supplements to take as well – see below).
Beginning: THE GRADIENT APPROACH:
- Use less tobacco per day, one less cigarette.
- Use less tobacco each time. If you smoke longs, try regular. Or try not finishing each cigarette.
- Inhaling less deeply.
- Switching to a lower tar/nicotine/carbon monoxide content tobacco product.
Figure how you are going to reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. Stretch it out if needed, but always go in the direction of smoking less so your body becomes less dependent on those cigarettes.
- Don’t drink as much coffee or other caffeinated drinks. The caffeine becomes more potent when you stop smoking. This can lead to nervousness and the jitters.
- Try to exercise, take walks or ride a bike
- Think of the positive things about quitting.
- When you feel tense, try to keep busy.
- Eat regular meals. Feeling hungry is sometimes mistaken for the desire to smoke.
- Start a money jar with the money you save by not buying cigarettes.
- Tell your friends for support.
- If you slip and smoke, don’t be discouraged. Many former smokers tried to stop several times before they finally succeeded.
What happens when you go to quit?
Increased appetite, especially for carbohydrates and sweets. Increased coughing and sputum production, dry throat, nasal drip, sweating, fatigue, muscle aches and cramps, constipation or diarrhea, headache, hypersensitivity to stimuli, sleep disturbances, nausea, gas, stomach pains, dizziness, tightness in the chest, tingling in the hands and feet.
Some other symptoms can be: anger, boredom, feeling cooped up, depression, frustration, irritability, grouchiness, lack of concentration, loneliness, restlessness, increased aggressive thoughts and behavior, decreased ability to tolerate stress or disruption, decreased sex drive, & impaired work performance.
It takes at least 12 weeks for an ex-smoker to feel comfortable with his or her new way of life as a non-smoker.
Ready to quit?
Instead of trying to use nicotine patch or gum, or drugs, try drinking fresh lime in ice water. Fresh Lime Juice?
A 2012 study titled Efficacy of fresh lime for smoking cessation (click on the link to see the abstract) was published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailand, and the conclusion was that fresh lime could be used in place of nicotine gum as an effective smoking cessation aid.
There are supplements that will help you get over the other withdrawal problems and you should find out what those are.
Remember that the negative effects of smoking can be reduced and repaired, the body has an amazing ability to repair itself given the correct nutrients to do so.
Go here for help
Jim Harper’s 3 Steps to Quit Smoking Without Withdrawal: There is Hope. There is a Solution.
“This book is an excellent method to help patients quit smoking. Easy to read, 3 simple steps to take to quit smoking cigarettes and if a patient is taking any medication, the book gives the correct information on how to avoid drug side effects when a patient quits smoking. The chapter on craving or a habit helps separate why each cigarette is being smoked during the day and allows a patient to see they really only smoke one-half of the time due to nicotine cravings. This book is priceless.” Morten, M.D. “Most books like this do nothing but tell stories, rely on the reader to be able to just quit smoking or make some other magical decision and no more smoking and no withdrawal. Jim Harper breaks down smoking into individual parts and allows the reader to achieve each step before proceeding to the next. If you have ever had an airplane landing where you never felt the decent and did not even feel the wheels touch the runway, this is what stopping smoking with Jim Harper’s method is like. Jim first pioneered this reduction approach in 1999 for addictive prescription drugs and the world is thankful he has tailored the same approach for cigarette withdrawal. To quote Jim, “There is Hope. There is a Solution.” Lance A. Albright”
Diet: Fruits & vegetables. This is how the body gets antioxidants naturally and will help to counteract the damage caused by smoking.
Research on Supplements: Recently that has been some studies done on the use of Rhodiola. Rhodiola is also known as golden root.
This is known to boost energy, and prevent infections. But, it may also help beat nicotine withdrawal.
Italian researchers found oral doses of rhodiola rosea extract helped prevent signs of nicotine withdrawal in mice. This included shaking, tremors, and chewing. And the more extract per kilogram of body weight, the better the results. You can find natural rhodiola extract supplements in health stores and online.
Here is the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19939867
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