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What to Expect from Nicotine Withdrawal


What to Expect from Nicotine Withdrawal Smokers expose their bodies to an addictive substance called "nicotine" every time they inhale tobacco products. When you make the decision to quit smoking one of the side-effects of your decision is that your body (now used to nicotine) will start to exhibit symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. These symptoms may include: anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, irritability, nicotine cravings, and also weight gain. You may not experience all of these symptoms but everyone who quits does experience at least some of these symptoms. Most of the time these symptoms are temporary as your body adjusts from receiving nicotine on a regular basis to not receiving it. Depending on how much nicotine you had been inhaling into your body the chemical dependency was either like a stimulant or a sedative. This is where those pleasurable sensations came from while you were smoking. Nicotine increases the activity of the substance "dopamine" in your brain. This substance in the brain stimulates the dopamine-sensitive neurons within the brain. Many smokers will tell you that the fist cigarette of the day is the one that they experienced this "good feeling" with. That is because the sensation is the strongest with the first occurrence each day. The smoker over time will develop a intolerance to the effects of the nicotine and will need a larger quantity of nicotine to get the same pleasurable effect. This is the habit-forming pattern that smokers encounter. This is why smokers will experience withdrawal symptoms even when they have not quit; there body is just requiring a higher amount of nicotine. Once you have decided to quit smoking the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal will be the strongest around the 48 hour mark; because the nicotine is leaving your body. Heavy smokers will discover that the withdrawal symptoms may be so strong that they are unable to function normally. The good news is that the withdrawal symptoms are only temporary and you will not need to go through them again as long as you remain smoke free. Most smokers will notice the symptoms lingering for only 6 months unless you were a heavy smoker and then some of the symptoms can last for years. The breakdown of symptoms and how long they last: Headache: Duration can last 1 to 2 weeks and can be relieved by physical activity, and also by taking a warm shower or bath. Nausea and Dizziness: Duration is from one to two days. The drop in blood pressure or the increased oxygen in your bloodstream can cause this. Nicotine Cravings: Duration can vary, some may not even have this symptom. Cravings usually start within 6 to 12 hours of quitting. Cravings may be stronger in situations when you smoked before like at parties. Depression: Nicotine is an antidepressant and being without it can cause withdrawal. This is why some healthcare professionals will prescribe antidepressants to those who experience this symptom while in the process of quitting smoking. Weight Gain: This is as a result of having your metabolism return to normal. Smoking actually increases the rate at which calories are burned so when you stop smoking you burn calories at a slower rate. Smoking also suppresses your appetite so you eat less while smoking and eat more after you quit. You may also eat more food simply because it smells and tastes better once you quit smoking.

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Enlist the support of family members, friends and even co-workers to assist you in staying strong when cravings start to get the better of you. There are other support groups set up by community or medical organizations. there are quite a few Websites devoted to supporting those who are going through nicotine withdrawal. There are even forums where persons can gather from all over the world to discuss their battles with smoking. Seeking advice from others who have been there and have survived will be of great help because they can share what worked for them and help you to stay strong.
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