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TOPIC: Side effects after quitting smoking?

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March 7, 2013 2:00 PM
I know this is a weird topic but I need a little support right now in my quit smoking journey. I quit cold turkey at the beginning of this week. But I've started to feel like I'm coming down with broncitus or a very serious chest cold. Sometimes my lungs feel like they are burning and I sneeze A LOT!

Now with that said I've had no cravings for another cigarette. That is the saving grace but these other side effects are killing me. I was wondering if anyone else experience heartburn or cold like symptoms when they quit smoking. Also how long should I expect thiese 'side effects' to last?

Thank you!
March 7, 2013 2:04 PM
That is the cleansing process that you will go through for a couple of weeks
Edited by jojoforme On March 7, 2013 2:04 PM
March 7, 2013 2:04 PM
Yep! I had that too. Unfortunately they last for a while. I quit a few years ago and I think it took about 6ish weeks to have the sneezing and coughing die down completely.

Great job so far though!! And that sneezing and coughing means that your lungs are clearing out the stuff they don't like, so think of it as a good thing! It may take a while, but you will feel soooo much better when it is over.
March 7, 2013 2:04 PM
I felt the exact same way. You have to push through it and stay strong! If you give in you will have to go through being sick again. It was about two weeks before I started to feel good.
March 7, 2013 2:05 PM
This is completely normal. When you quit you'll feel like crap. Basically it's your lungs doing their thing....I can't remember all the medical mumbo jumbo but basically you will feel worse after quitting but you're repairing and then you'll feel better. I didn't have chest problems when I quit (the first time, I need to quit again). However, like my aunt she got bronchitis really bad and horrible coughing. It's completely normal for some. I hope you feel better soon!!
March 7, 2013 2:05 PM
I'm 6 months free today! Your body is beginning to heal from being poisoned for a while. It will react in funny ways. This is totally normal...I am not sure how long it will last for you. Some awesome things to look forward to: your taste buds returning, better sense of smell, not hating yourself every time you light up, not being paranoid about your breath, not worrying about your future health and appearance, saving money, and lots more! Best of luck and if you ever suffer a craving, remember the cigg is not a is nothing to miss or want or desire. It is a poison and it has no benefits - only those it has tricked us into believing it had!
March 7, 2013 2:06 PM
Hi There! If your name is Autumn, so is mine :]
Anyway, today is my 6th day without smoking. I haven't experienced any cold like symptoms, but I did read that it happens when your lungs are clearing out. The only side affects I have had are some mild nausea and trouble sleeping. Your symptoms should go away soon. Just remember that the end result will definitely be worth the discomfort in the beginning! Good luck, feel free to add me :]
March 7, 2013 2:06 PM
Grats on deciding to stop smoking - I quit several years ago, and it was one of the best decisions ever!

Any who, I never had any side effects from stopping and I've never met anyone who has (then again, I'm no Dr. and just because I haven't had it happen to me, or know anyone that's happened to, does not mean it's not possible that it's normal. I was a smoker for around 7 - 8 years) - in fact, I felt much better (I stopped coughing up my lungs every morning and could breathe better all in all as I wasn't getting fatigued as fast and what not.)

Are you/did you take anything to help stop smoking (eg patches, etc...) ?

You might be coming down with a cold, but if this keeps up or gets worse I'd deff see a Dr. (personally, I'd go ahead and see one asap if I were you just to put your mind at ease; rather be safe than sorry.)
Edited by SadKitty27 On March 7, 2013 2:10 PM
March 7, 2013 2:07 PM
Totally normal and a sign of your body cleaning itself out again. Congrats!! I have heard that drinking lots of water and juice can help this, certainly being well hydrated can't hurt! Exercise can also help get this crap out of your a little faster. Look at it as a sign of healing, yay you!!
March 7, 2013 2:11 PM
I definitely think this is normal! It has been happening to me too. I stopped smoking last week because I had the stomach flu so it was just natural not to smoke. I decided not to start back up, its been 12 days since I smoked at all :) (Before that was mostly only at work anyway, maybe 5 a day.) I have not had any cravings, but noticed that now after a run I cant seem to stop coughing- but this NEVER happened when I was still smoking. It does seem to be clearing up though, and actually after the coughing fit my chest feels pretty clear and I feel much better. But not smoking is feeling great in general!! (I had quit for 4 years, started again due to stress while a close family member was passing away in October, and have been trying to quit ever since!)
March 7, 2013 2:16 PM
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on quitting smoking:) Yes, that is completely normal. From my own experience, I think all the physical changes should clear up within the first 2 weeks. If it lasts longer than that, I would maybe go see a doctor. Hang in there, this will pass. it is so great being free!
Edited by akitagirl78 On March 7, 2013 2:20 PM
March 7, 2013 2:17 PM
It's been 18 years since I quit, but I do remember coughing up of phlegm for a couple of weeks...just assumed it was my lungs saying thanks and good riddance. But never mess around with your health--see a doctor if you are concerned.

Another thing.... I quit in early spring, around the time I cleaned and packed away my sweaters. The next fall, when I took them out to wear, I was shocked at how they smelled of cigarette smoke. You are doing such a great thing for yourself! Keep up the great work!
March 7, 2013 2:17 PM
Go you! Yes, you will be fine. Lengthy hot showers that produced a ton of steam is what got me thru this period. I am over 2 months nicotine free now. flowerforyou
March 7, 2013 2:20 PM
Thanks for all the replies everyone! It’s fabulous to know this is just my body clearing itself out! For those who asked I have not been taking anything, using the patch or chewing any nicotine gum. I had a very scary experience this weekend when my lungs clenched up as if I was having an asthma attack just from getting out of bed. After that I took it as my body saying 'That's it I'm done'. I've also experienced the nausea someone spoke of but only in very short spurts.

I've been drinking water like a mad woman! I would guess between 100-150oz a day just because I'm trying to 'cool' the burning sensation. I am also training for a 5k (my boss is trying to talk me into the half marathon... I think he wants me to die). I'm wondering if the running is speeding up/intensifying the process.

*Edit: I will try the hot shower suggestion too! That is when I have been feeling my best this week. If anyone else has any tips on how to get through this with minimal discomfort I will take all the advice I can get!
Edited by autumndragon22 On March 7, 2013 2:21 PM
March 7, 2013 2:23 PM
I'm pretty sure I also used mucinex a cpl times too.
March 7, 2013 2:23 PM
It's normal. It's the cilia in your trachea and lungs are growing back and being like, 'wtf, why is all this gunk in here?' Your cilia starts growing back about 3 days after quitting, at which point your body can effectively respond to all the excess mucus in your lungs that is created due to smoking and begin moving it on out.
March 7, 2013 2:26 PM
I had lots of withdrawal symptoms as my body got used to more oxygen. I didn't know what to do with myself. I took a lot of deep breaths, walked and drank a lot of water. It was actually months later that I started hack up what was in my lungs. That went on for about 2 or 3 weeks.

Just don't go back!
March 7, 2013 2:29 PM
Congratulations to all the people who have given up, stick with it! I gave up around 20 years ago and I think because the time was right for me, and my mind in the right place, I found it very easy. I didn't have any of these side effects, but I did have a couple of weird ones. Firstly my bowel movements changed from their regular time. They did slowly go back over a few months to where they were pre giving up. Secondly I was getting the most vivid dreams, in a lot of them I was smoking and was so disappointed that after going through the first couple of weeks, I would have to start again. Then I'd wake up and find it was just a dream and be delighted. My main downfall was food suddenly tasted very good and I went from 140 lbs over the next twenty years to 296. I remember when I was about 200 being told by a doctor that he would rather see me overweight than smoking. Although I agree with this, I would rather not be overweight, so belatedly I am doing something about it. Stick with MFP and defeat that tendency to gain weight, I wish we'd had the Internet and MFP when I gave up smoking!
March 7, 2013 2:29 PM
I was sick for about a month with various ailments...just detoxing...just detoxing. Hang in after cigarettes is awesome. My stats....

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Edited by cwolfman13 On March 7, 2013 2:31 PM
March 7, 2013 2:32 PM
After smoking 13 years, I quit 2 years ago.
I gained 22 lbs in two months. Lost them at a slow motion, regained them as fast as first time and still have them!
The first two-three months, I was like... PMSing continuously! Thank my boyfriend then - husband now he didn't dump me, even times I would have dump myself.
I got for achievement-gift an IBS-C and still got it! My dc. says that smoking is the cause for many bowel problems.
Even these... I only had some cravings, the last month were some serious changes in my life happened. I 'm trying really hard to keep my self focused on my 5-years-quitter goal.
March 7, 2013 2:34 PM
I didn't even notice, but that's probably because I quit smoking while I had pneumonia.
March 7, 2013 11:07 PM
Question-I've never understood if the weight gain was simply a product of eating more due to better taste buds and needing to occupy your hands, or if there is a physiologic/metabolic change that takes place that makes you gain weight. Anyone know?huh
March 7, 2013 11:53 PM
I can only remember that I was an emotional wreck and craved them for a while afterwards. I became a riteous non smoker in order to stop for good. It was a long time ago but I am sooo happy I did it. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Congrats to you!!! You must be so proud of yourself!! I remember not knowing what to do with my hands. I became a really good knitter after I quit smoking lol.
March 8, 2013 9:12 AM
I think (and am no doctor) that a huge part of the weight gain after quitting smoking is the recovery of your taste buds. I also believe another factor is that smoking increases your metabolism/makes you less hungry???? I'm not sure if this was a myth or fact. But I remember in college we used to chain smoke to suppress appetite.
March 8, 2013 9:21 AM
I have had similar experiences as the OP, coughing, constant need to clear my throat, i also have had a random pimple and cold sore like bumps in my mouth and or on my tongue, last time i quite for a few months and these things all went away by the end of the first month if not sooner. on the positive side i have more energy when i am not a smoker, not a huge difference but something i notice in the evening. Try eating more oranges.


Question-I've never understood if the weight gain was simply a product of eating more due to better taste buds and needing to occupy your hands, or if there is a physiologic/metabolic change that takes place that makes you gain weight. Anyone know?huh

on the weight gain issue, when you want a cigarette your body is hungry for nicotine and it can feel similar to hunger, it is easy to replace that habit with grabbing a cookie or something when you feel it, people also tend to think - a piece of cake? ok, its not as bad as the cigarette i want. this is probably true but it doesnt make for a sound decision and will lead to weight gain. doesnt have to happen,


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