Nicotine Withdrawal Symptoms

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11 Oct 2016 - General

My body has been free from the harmful effects of cigarette smoking again. I have quit for the 27th time yesterday and so far the experience has been both great and troubing. First, there was a severe allergic rhinitis attack that I had to endure throughout the day. There was alternating bouts of coryza and frequent sneezing that I had to power through while seeing patients. A combination of loratadine and low-dose steroids was needed to stop the allergic symptomes. My body was rejecting allergic chemicals away as the respiratory cilia were recovering from a state of paralysis. Second, there were mood swings, increased bowel movement, irritability, and drowsiness throughout the day. I searched for the cluster of symptoms and they belonged to some of the most common nicotine withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms usually peak within 2 to 3 weeks and could last for two weeks. Some experience persistence of symptoms for a few months. The cluster of withdrawal symtoms include but are not limited to headache, nausea, bowel symptoms, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, depressed mod, difficulty concentrating, and/or fatigue. Today, I have so far not experienced any of the symptoms. 

For me, the symptom that was consistent was severe allergies on the first day after quitting smoking. This occured during the first 26 times that I unsuccessfully quit smoking. For the MIMS community members who were previous smokers, what were your experiences with smoking? Can you share tips on how to quit smoking for good? For the non-smokers, what are your thoughts on healthcare professionals who smoke?

Marinelle Castro Thank you for sharing your techniques on how to quit smoking. I did not know that withdrawal symptoms could really last for longer than 2 weeks. That makes your ability to quit smoking even more impressive! Right now, I am not experiencing withdrawal symptoms. I have overcome the allergies as well with anti-histamine and low-dose steroids. On operant conditioning, that is very true. I am trying t...
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Habiba Twakkol I did know that there was such a term as slip-ups for trying to puff a stick of cigarette every so often. One of the hardest part is resisting the urge to puff a stick once you decide to quit. It is hardest in the first 24 hours because the allergies and symptoms are the worst and you know that relapsing can reverse it all. I don't believe in smoking occasionally because there is no such thing....
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Rajinda Asalage Yes, I agree that nicotine withdrawal causes irritability and mood swings. I have experienced this before as well. It is hard to tolerate nicotine withdrawal at first because the half-life is so short (about 2 hours). However, once you go beyond the first 24 hours of not smoking it becomes tolerable. Then you start to wonder why you begun smoking in the first place. Once I started focusing on the ...
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Mark Edmon Tan Oh i hate those nicotine withdrawal symptoms. In my case, I always feel nauseated and I always vomit. On occasion I'd have palpitations, headaches and lightheadedness. These symptoms lasted for about 6 weeks. But I went through it because I really wanted to change my lifestyle and be healthier. You have to constantly remind yourself why you are quitting and the benefits of it. While you'r...
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Md Shamim Reza Thank your sharing your opinion. You are right in finding time to exercise regularly. I have started an exercise regimen again and it feels much better in terms of mobility. Errands have been a lot easier lately. It is true that regular exercise curbs off attempts to start smoking again. Our specialty books have emphasized this over and over as there are actually studies that show direct correlatio...
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Theekshana Abayawickrama I could not agree with you more. Doctors should be the ones leading the campaign against smoking cigarettes, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products. It would really be awkward if you tell a patient to quit smoking then he/she finds out that you are a smoker too. Our profession dictates that we should lead by setting an example. Nonsmokers should not attempt even one puff. It is better to...
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Mark Edmon Tan
Stopping smoking is different for everyone. Some smokers find it easy to quit, others don't. However, there are some signs and symptoms that many people have in common when they quit.
Major symptoms of withdrawal are:
* Urges to smoke
* Depressed mood
* Difficulty sleeping
* angry
* Anxiety
* Difficulty concentrating
* Restlessness
* Decreased heart ra...
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Nicotine withdrawal reaches almost the effects of the alcohol and heroin withdrawal. Most of the time they have the cravings for nicotine. Tingling of the fingers is also common. Nausea and intestinal crampings are also common in the people with nicotine withdrawal. sweating, sore throat, coughing are also common. Usually they fail to concentrate when they show the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. They often show altered bowel habits like diarrhoea or constipation. They become so irritable and o...
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Thanks for sharing your experience with us. I hope you will be able to combat these withdrawal symptoms and completely quit smoking. I am not a smoker and appreciate your efforts. There are some drugs that can help to reduce these symptoms. Beside this take healthy diet and do some exercise regularly. Try to spend this period with your non-smoker friends.
As a doctor,I think we should not smoke. We are healthcare professionals and we know pros and cons of smoking. We see the bad effects of ...
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I don't smoke, and I don't look down on people who smoke. But what I have alway believed is that a doctor should not smoke. A doctor is one person that knows best what smoking can do to the body. So in order to advise a patient who smokes to quit, the doctor should be free from smoking. But I also know that smoking leads to true addiction, and withdrawal is can be extremely difficult due to debilitating mental and physical withdrawal symptoms, which is common even for the most educated m...
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