Nicotine withdrawal can be a frightening concept for those thinking of quitting smoking, however not everyone experiences nicotine withdrawal in the same way. So, don’t let other people’s bad experiences scare you off, it is possible to quit for good!
Understanding the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal will allow you to get an idea of what to expect and what you can do to help fight them. Trying to deal with the symptoms is never a walk in the park, but it’s not going to become a permanent situation. All you need is a little persistence and determination and you can get through it.
It will come as no surprise that one of the main symptoms you can expect from quitting smoking is nicotine cravings. This is often the most challenging of all the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, but don’t worry – it passes. This craving feeling is caused by the nicotinic receptors in the brain no longer receiving nicotine, meaning the brain won’t release the hormone dopamine, which gives you that happy feeling when you smoke.
These cravings usually last no longer than ten minutes. They may make you feel agitated, but just remind yourself that it will pass. Chewing nicotine gum can help you get through the cravings, or even a quick walk.
This can be a confusing symptom to have, especially if you’ve just stopped smoking. Don’t worry, this is actually a ‘good’ cough, as it’s a sign of your lungs getting better. Coughing at this stage allows your lungs to push out all the toxicities left behind from smoking.
You can ease this symptom by keeping hydrated and taking a cough drop to soothe any throat irritation that may occur.
This is a symptom many people dread, and often pushes people to start smoking again. Quitting smoking causes you to experience a drop in blood sugar, making you feel the need to eat more carbs and sugary foods.
Now you know that this symptom can occur, you’ll be a bit better equipped to handle it. Whenever you get a sudden urge to eat, try and have a healthy snack instead. Or, if you find yourself eating a lot more than usual try working in some exercise to your everyday routine to combat any weight gain.
Flu-like symptoms are very common in the first couple of days of nicotine withdrawal. As your body is in an unfamiliar state, your immune system responds in very much the same way as it would to any sort of sickness. Mild fever, coughing and an achy body are all symptoms that can be expected, so the best way to fight this is with some sort of pain relief medication and lots of rest.