When the body becomes used to regular nicotine consumption, quitting smoking may be difficult because of the unpleasant nicotine withdrawal symptoms. This adds to the fear and leaves many smokers in withdrawal wondering, “can lungs heal after smoking?”
Tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, contain the addictive chemical nicotine. An individual’s brain function may be affected by this medicine.
Understanding the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal might assist individuals in their efforts to kick the habit. This post will go through nicotine withdrawal symptoms, how nicotine withdrawal works, and the nicotine withdrawal timeframe.
What is Nicotine Withdrawal?
There is a broad spectrum of physiological repercussions to nicotine use. Inhaling nicotine via the nose, mouth, and lungs mucous membranes is a dangerous habit that we should avoid at all costs! These are the locations at which it enters the bloodstream.
When nicotine enters the brain, it releases a chemical known as dopamine, which activates areas of the brain linked with pleasure and reward and other regions of the brain.
The following are some of the brain functions that are negatively impacted by nicotine:
- Heart Rate
The use of nicotine for an extended period may affect the balance of chemical messengers in the brain.
When a person suddenly stops smoking nicotine, the body’s chemical balance is disrupted, resulting in withdrawal symptoms such as cravings and a depressed state of mind. This is referred to as nicotine addiction by experts, and it is a significant reason why it is so difficult for people to quit smoking.
How Does Withdrawal From Nicotine Work?
When it comes to nicotine withdrawal symptoms, they may last anywhere from just a few days to several weeks, depending on how long you have been smoking and how many cigarettes you smoke each day.
The physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are linked and may be challenging to differentiate. According to most people, the most difficult days of the first week are generally days three through five. The headaches, cravings, and insomnia that you have been experiencing will begin to subside at this time.
The majority of individuals relapse within the first two weeks after quitting. Gaining momentum will help reduce some of the physical symptoms. However, you’ll still be dealing with mental and emotional concerns such as worry, sadness, and impatience even if the physical symptoms have subsided significantly. These also disappear with a few weeks of exposure.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
Withdrawal symptoms range from person to person and are influenced by various factors, such as how long you’ve been smoking and how many packs a day you’ve been consuming. There are a few more things that you might anticipate experiencing after you stop smoking:
You’ll have to fight nicotine cravings for a long period, starting 30 minutes after your last cigarette. Cravings will come and go in 15-minute intervals, but they will persist. Avoid triggers (such as drinking or being near smokers) and learn strategies to get through each urge.
Dizziness and Headaches
These are the first withdrawal symptoms to appear and the first to go away, and they’re typically not too severe.
You’ll notice an increase in appetite a few days after quitting smoking. When cigarettes bind to brain receptors, they release the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. The removal of these two chemicals will boost your hunger. After quitting smoking, many people resort to eating to pass the time. Also, you may find that you have an increased desire for carbohydrates and sweets. Many people gain 5-10 pounds in the first two weeks after quitting smoking.
Constipation is another possible adverse effect, especially during the first month of treatment.
When nicotine is present, your respiratory system cannot thoroughly clean itself. You may have a cough for a few weeks while your body adjusts to the illness.
Nicotine is a stimulant that keeps you awake therefore going without it will leave you feeling drowsy. But you’ll also be prone to sleeplessness and restlessness.
Mental, Emotional, and Behavioral Symptoms
The extent to which you are impacted psychologically and emotionally after you stop smoking, like physical symptoms, will vary from person to person. However, presume you will experience some or all of the following withdrawal symptoms:
As you struggle with the bodily symptoms, you may have a short fuse or even get furious from time to time. It is natural and will pass.
Because smoking decreases stress, quitting might cause anxiety to spike. It usually appears about three days in and may linger for a few weeks.
As the nicotine wears off and leaves your body, you may find it difficult to concentrate.
It may start on the first day you stop, but it usually goes away within a month. However, if you have a history of anxiety and depression, your symptoms may persist longer, and you may want further assistance from your doctor to manage them.
Timeline for Nicotine Withdrawal
Here’s what you may anticipate once you’ve finished your last cigarette:
Thirty minutes to four hours: The nicotine’s effects will wear off, and you’ll begin to want another cigarette.
Ten hours: You’ll be restless, physically needing a smoke, and wondering what to do with yourself. You may be depressed and despairing.
Twenty-four hours: Irritability sets in, and your hunger rises.
Two days: As the nicotine exits your system, you may have headaches.
Three days: The nicotine should have worn off by now. Your desires will subside, but your anxiety level will grow.
One week: You completed a week. You’ve made it through the worst. Pat yourself on the back. Continue to avoid those triggers.
2 to 4 weeks: You’ll still feel tired, but your brain fog will dissipate, and your appetite will return. Your cough, melancholy, and anxiety will improve as well.
Five weeks later: The task at hand now is to maintain a solid mental game.