Common Problems with Quitting
You can expect to have some sort of withdrawal symptoms while you are quitting
It is actually a good sign that your body is ridding itself of all the nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
These symptoms usually do not last long. Although symptoms vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are listed below.
Often people look at weight gain as a deterrent to quitting and a reason to start up again. Some people do gain weight when they quit, but the average gain is only 5 pounds. And remember, it is healthier to have a few extra pounds than to use tobacco. If you are concerned about weight gain, here are a few points to consider:
- Since your body does not have to deal with all the toxins that are in cigarettes, your metabolism slows down a little and you may gain a little weight.
- Review your diet and make changes if needed. Look for low-fat or fat-free types of milk, yogurt, and cheese. Avoid fried foods, and be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
- Exercise. Even walking just 10 minutes a day can help prevent you from adding extra pounds.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Take smaller portions.
- If you feel like a snack, choose a healthy one like carrots or a piece of fruit.
Withdrawal Symptoms, Causes and Relief
|Craving for nicotine||2-4 weeks||Walks; hot baths; relaxation techniques; nicotine replacement therapy.|
|Fatigue||Nicotine is a stimulant||2-4 weeks||Take naps; do not push yourself; nicotine replacement therapy.|
|Nicotine affects brain wave function, influences sleep patterns||1 week||Avoid coffee, tea, or soda with caffeine after 6pm; relaxation and meditation techniques.|
Dry or Sore Throat,
|Body getting rid of mucus which has blocked airways and restricted breathing||A few days||Drink plenty of fluids; try cough drops or candy; chew gum.|
|Dizziness||Body is getting extra oxygen||1-2 days||Use extra caution; change position slowly.|
|Body needs time to adjust to not having constant stimulation from nicotine||A few weeks||Plan workload accordingly; avoid additional stress during first few weeks.|
|Tightness in Chest||Probably due to tension created by body's need for nicotine; may be caused by sore muscles from coughing||A few days||Relaxation and meditation techniques|
Irregularity, Stomach Pain
|Intestinal movement decreases for a brief period||1-2 weeks||Drink plenty of fluids; add roughage: fruits, vegetables, and whole grain cereals.|
|Hunger||Craving a cigarette can be confused with hunger pang; oral craving, desire for something in mouth||Up to several weeks||Drink water or low calorie liquids; be prepared with low calorie snacks.|
|Craving for a Cigarette||Withdrawal from nicotine||Most frequent first 2-3 days; can happen occasionally for months or years||Wait out the urge. Cravings last only a few minutes. Distract yourself. Exercise; go for a walk.|