After Quitting Smoking – The Physical Effects
‘After Quitting Smoking – The Physical Effects’ is an informative article designed to help you win your battle against nicotine. Read on…
The Physical Effects Of Quitting Smoking
In the first few hours after your last cigarette, your blood pressure will reduce to normal, with your heart rate reducing to normal, your oxygen levels will start to increase and nicotine levels will reduce.
Within twelve hours after quitting smoking, your carbon monoxide levels should reduce to that or a non-smoker at between 1 and 6 parts per million.
As you go into withdrawal, you will find any of a number of symptoms may begin. Each person’s experience is different and the severity of the symptoms can vary enormously. You may experience them very mildly or they may be quite dramatic.
In the first few days, some people can feel light-headed or ‘spaced out’, with difficulty concentrating.
You may also experience mild shaking or twitching and even a sensation of mild electric shocks coursing through your body.
You may feel forgetful, sleepy, physically tense, heavy muscles, headache, and nausea.
These symptoms are usually most severe in the first three to five days, but you would be very unlucky indeed to experience all of them. And of course, for some of these symptoms, you can take medication to reduce their severity and make them more bearable.
After this period, these symptoms will reduce fairly quickly. Remember, if you experience any of these symptoms, it’s a good thing – Your mission to quit is working and these symptoms prove that!
Feeling Like Crap
Three to five days after quitting smoking, some people may start to feel cold or flu-like symptoms as their body starts to rid itself of the mucus and toxins that have built up.
You may start to experience post nasal drip, a sore throat, a chesty cough, tight chest, or maybe even mouth ulcers, but always remember that not everyone does experience these, and even if you do some of these symptoms can be treated the same way that you would treat the common cold.
Remember, if you experience these symptoms after quitting smoking it is a good thing – Your mission to quit is working and these symptoms prove that!
The Fog Lifts
After the first few days you should find that your energy levels really start to increase, as your body receives more of the oxygen that you inhale.
You will also start to realise that you can smell more than you could as a smoker and food suddenly starts to taste different, almost like a fog is being lifted and everything is becoming clearer.
Some people will experience some sleep disturbance after quitting smoking. For some it is very mild and for others it may be more severe. It may be that you are having difficulty sleeping or that you are having vivid dreams.
This is caused by chemical changes in your brain and is nothing to worry about. It is helpful to avoid caffeine and high sugar foods for a few hours before bed time. Some people also find that having a cup of warm milk and something like a biscuit just before going to bed helps them to sleep more soundly.
If you experience these symptoms, remember that they are only temporary and because you are experiencing them it proves that your mission to quit is working.
Gradually, as you come through the first week to ten days after quitting smoking, your physical withdrawal will subside and your symptoms will reduce.
After a couple of weeks or so, you will be left with the routine-based side of your addiction and this will be mostly psychological and will usually last around eight to ten weeks.
Fee’s next post is about the psychological effects of quitting smoking. You can read it here: After Quitting Smoking – The Psychological Effects.
Written by Fee Nunn.
Fee Nunn heads up Health & Safety for a large company, and quit smoking in February 2011. Fee is smoke-free, a reader and supporter of the Smoking Timeline website, and a welcome contributor to the Smoking Timeline forum. Fee works a stressful day job, yet still makes time to help others who are starting on their journey to quit smoking.
What physical effects have you noticed while quitting?
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