What next after quitting smoking? Can anyone escape from the clutches of the nicotine withdrawal symptoms? Not truly! To stay nicotine-free, you need to undergo a few mental and physical agonies before you are 100-percent out of any withdrawal symptoms. While the nicotine withdrawal might last only a month or so, you need willpower to fight the mental battle against cigarettes for an even longer time.
Nicotine withdrawal is a group of symptoms that occur in the first few weeks after discontinuation or decrease of nicotine usage. Nicotine affects all body organs, right from the heart and blood vessels to hormones, metabolism and brain and hence, the withdrawal has physical, mental and emotional symptoms. The first three to five days are the worst as the nicotine has cleared out of the body and you start experiencing headaches, cravings and insomnia.
Physical Withdrawal Symptoms
- Few people hesitate to quit smoking worried about the weight gain that happens after quitting. One or two days after quitting, appetite increases. Cravings for carbs and sweets elevates and people tend to eat to fill the time that they had once spent smoking. Most of them gain around 2.5-5 kilograms in the first two weeks after quitting. To lose weight the healthier way with a nutritious diet plan and exercise, please get in touch with a registered dietitian nutritionist at www.firsteatright.com.
- Nicotine craving is the longest withdrawal symptom which must be dealt carefully. It may start just 30 minutes after quitting and each symptom lasts for 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t try to battle it out by drinking alcohol or by being around people who smoke. Try to find healthy alternatives to overcome these cravings.
- Constant cough is experienced by individuals for a few weeks after quitting. This happens as the respiratory system cannot clean itself thoroughly and this is the body’s way of getting it cleared.
- Headache and dizziness are mostly the first withdrawal symptoms expected and also the first ones to subside quickly.
- Fatigue is extremely common as nicotine is a stimulant that is said to revive your energy. You might experience tiredness, restlessness and insomnia without it.
- Constipation during the first month after quitting is common.
Mental & Emotional Symptoms
Emotional and mental symptoms too vary from person to person, just like physical symptoms. Common among these include:
- When people smoke to alleviate stress, what happens when this stress buster is curbed suddenly? Anxiety level increases dramatically in the first few days after quitting and can last up to a few weeks.
- Depression can set in the very first day you quit and go away after the first month or so. If the person has a history for depression, he/she may experience it for a longer time and might need medical help.
- Dealing with all the physical symptoms can leave you irritated for no specific reason.
- As the nicotine wears off, the individual finds it hard to concentrate on the task at hand.
The physical agony is annoying but not life-threatening, whereas the mental agony is exceptionally challenging and it takes a lot of strength to overcome this. Time duration is not a concern for nicotine addiction. For whatever length of time you have been using tobacco, it is entwined with a lot many of your daily activities such as watching TV, reading a book or even drinking a cup of hot coffee. Even after quitting, you may find your desires to smoke on the rise, when you are engaged in any of these activities. Almost all the cigarette smokers have at least one of the withdrawal symptoms mentioned above and the intensity depends on the usage and duration.