Friday, January 22, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
The best immediate benefit of quitting smoking is that your body will begin to heal itself within 12 hours. The worst part is that you will most likely feel worse for a while instead of feeling better. The healing process does start immediately but continues over time based on the level of damage being repaired. Carbon monoxide and nicotine in your system will dissipate rapidly, and your heart and lungs will start to repair the damage caused immediately. Withdrawal symptoms, though uncomfortable, are a part of the recovery process.
The majority of nicotine in your system will leave the body within 2-3 days. At this point, you may begin to feel short-tempered and edgy, cough a lot, as well as feel hungry and tired. Other symptoms of recovery include sleep disturbances, irregularity; dry and sore gums or tongue, and temporary weight gain caused by fluid retention. These symptoms are good signs that your body is clearing itself of nicotine.
Within two weeks to three months of quitting, your circulation improves and your lung function increases. Within 1-9 months, coughing and shortness of breath decrease and cilia regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
The body physically reacts to the lack of nicotine. Since you are trying to break a major lifestyle habit, the required behavioral changes have strong psychological effects.
The withdrawal symptoms you can expect to experience include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Frustration, anger and edginess
- Increased appetite
- Sleep disturbances
Because the symptoms are very uncomfortable, the desire to smoke becomes a continual mental and physical nagging. The key is to focus on the benefits of quitting smoking instead of the consequential symptoms.