What Happens When You Quit Smoking?

 

Right now is a great time to quit smoking. Why? In as few as 20 minutes, you’ll start to feel the benefits.

Here we break down the changes that occur in your body within minutes, hours, days, and even years of you kicking the habit. The health benefits of quitting today may surprise you.

The effects of quitting start to set in immediately. Within 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate will begin to drop back toward a normal level.

After two hours without a cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure will be close to normal levels again. Your blood circulation will also start to improve. The tips of your fingers and toes may start to feel warm.

Nicotine withdrawal symptoms usually start about two hours after your last cigarette. Early withdrawal symptoms include:

  • intense cravings
  • anxiety, tension, or frustration
  • drowsiness or trouble sleeping
  • increased appetite

Carbon monoxide, which can be toxic to the body at high levels, is released from burning tobacco and inhaled as part of cigarette smoke. Carbon monoxide bonds very well to blood cells, so high levels of the gas can prevent the cells from bonding with oxygen. The lack of oxygen in the blood often causes serious heart conditions and other health problems.

In as few as 12 hours after quitting smoking, the carbon monoxide in your body decreases to lower levels. In turn, the amount of oxygen in your blood increases to normal levels.

he risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) for smokers is 70 percent higher than for nonsmokers. It is the most common form of heart disease and the leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. However, just one full day after quitting smoking, your risk for CAD will already begin to reduce. Your risk of having a heart attack also starts to decline. While you’re not quite out of the woods yet, you’re on your way!

It may not be life-threatening, but an inability to smell or taste well is one of the more obvious consequences of smoking. Once you quit smoking for 48 hours, your nerve endings will start to regrow, and your ability to smell and taste will improve. You’ll soon start to better appreciate the finer things in life.

At this point, the nicotine will be completely out of your body. This means that the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal may peak around this time. You might experience some physical and emotional symptoms during withdrawal. These include:

  • headaches
  • nausea
  • cramps
  • sweating
  • anxiety
  • irritability
  • depression

This is when quitting smoking can become especially difficult. If you’re able to make it to this point, reward yourself so you feel motivated to continue. Use the money you would have spent on cigarettes to buy something nice for yourself.

Within three weeks, you’ll be able to exercise and perform physical activities without feeling winded. Stopping smoking for a couple of weeks gives your body time to regenerate and heal. Your blood circulation and heart function will improve significantly during this time. Your lungs may also begin to clear, allowing you to breathe more easily.

For most smokers, withdrawal symptoms start to subside about two weeks after quitting.

After one month without cigarettes, the cilia inside your lungs will begin to repair. The cilia are the tiny, hair-like structures that push mucus out of the lungs. Once the cilia are able to do their job efficiently, they can fight off infection and clear the lungs more easily. With properly functioning lungs, your coughing and shortness of breath will continue to decrease dramatically.

Your withdrawal symptoms will also go away completely within nine months after quitting. The length of time it takes varies depending on how long and how often you smoked before quitting he one-year mark is a big one. After a year without smoking, your risk for heardisease drops to half that of a smoker’s. This means that someone who smokes is more than twice as likely as you are to develop any type of heart disease.

A wide array of toxic substances is released in the burning of tobacco. Over time, these substances cause your blood vessels to narrow, which increases your risk of having a stroke. After five to 15 years of not smoking, your risk of having a stroke is the same as that of a nonsmoker.

Smokers are at higher risk than nonsmokers for a daunting list of cancers. These include:

  • oral cancer
  • throat cancer
  • esophageal cancer
  • lung cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • pancreatic cancer

Of these cancers, lung cancer is the most common form of cancer that affects smokers. Smoking is a main cause of lung cancer and accounts for 90 percent of lung cancer deaths worldwide.

It may take 10 years, but if you quit, eventually your risk of dying from lung cancer will drop to half that of a smoker’s. Ten years after quitting, your risk of getting other types of cancer also decreases.

End.

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For Beginners.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This site is neither endorsed nor approved by Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. (A.A.W.S.)

IS A.A. FOR YOU?

Only you can decide whether you want to give A.A. a try —

whether you think it can help you

We who are in A.A. came because we finally gave up trying to control our drinking. We still hated to admit that we could never drink safely. Then we heard from other A.A. members that we were sick. (We thought so for years!) We found out that many people suffered from the same feelings of guilt and loneliness and hopelessness that we did. We found out that we had these feelings because we had the disease of alcoholism.
We decided to try and face up to what alcohol had done to us. Here are some of the questions we tried to answer honestly. If we answered YES to four or more questions, we were in deep trouble with our drinking. See how you do. Remember, there is no disgrace in facing up to the fact that you have a problem. From www. aa.org.

What AA Does Not Do

When we are working and participating in it is important to know what AAWS and GSO identify as areas we should stay away from in our discussions.
Recruit members or furnish initial motivation for alcoholics to recover.
Keep membership records or case histories.
Follow up or try to control its members.
Make medical or psychological diagnoses or prognoses.
Provide hospitalization, drugs, or medical or psychiatric treatment.
Provide housing, food, clothing, jobs, money or other such services.
Provide domestic or vocational counselling.
Engage in or sponsor research.
Affiliate with social agencies (though many members and service offices do cooperate with them).
Offer religious services.
Engage in any controversy about alcohol or other matters.
Accept money for its services or contributions from non-A.A. sources.
Provide letters of reference to parole boards, attorneys, court officials, schools, businesses, social agencies, or any other organization or institution.

Copyright © Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

Resentment and Anger

Alcoholics more than others, hold on to old hurts and never seem to be able to let go. It’s almost like a tape that is constantly replayed over and over. Some clam up and internalize their anger, while others blow up and explode. Resentment always hurts you more than it does the person you resent. That person has most likely forgotten about you and gone on with their life, as you continue to stew in your pain.  Page 64 of the Big Book states: “.Resentment is the “number one” offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else”.

I have heard many in the Rooms of A.A. state, “resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”.Why give the person that hurt you so much power, that you would drink yourself to  death over them. Or is it a good way of telling ourselves it’s ok not to seek help for my addiction, because I have been hurt? Really?

“The person who seeks revenge should dig two graves”  Chinese proverb. 

Acceptance

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And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.

Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

For me, serenity began when I learned to distinguish between those things that I could change and those I could not. When I admitted that there were people, places, things, and situations over which I was totally powerless, those things began to lose their power over me. I learned that everyone has the right to make their own mistakes, and learn from them, without my interference, judgement, or assistance!

The key to my serenity is acceptance. But “acceptance” does not mean that I have to like it, condone it, or even ignore it. What it does mean is I am powerless to do anything about it… and I have to accept that fact.

Nor does it mean that I have to accept “unacceptable behavoir.” Today I have choices. I no longer have to accept abuse in any form. I can choose to walk away, even if it means stepping out into the unknown. I no longer have to fear “change” or the unknown. I can merely accept it as part of the journey.

I spent years trying to change things in my life over which I was powerless, but did not know it. I threatened, scolded, manipulated, coerced, pleaded, begged, pouted, bribed and generally tried everything I could to make the situation better — only watch as things always got progressively worse.

I spent so much time trying to change the things I could not change, it never once occurred to me to simply accept them as they were.

Now when things in my life are not going the way I planned them, or downright bad things happen, I can remind myself that whatever is going on is not happening by accident. There’s a reason for it and it is not always meant for me to know what that reason is.

That change in attitude has been the key to happiness for me. I know I am not the only who has found that serenity.

Narcissistic behaviour

Wet Brain

wet-brain-1

Wet brain is a form of brain damage. Wet brain is also called Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome, Korsakoff’s psychosis, Wernicke’s encephalopathy, and beri beri. The symptoms of wet brain may sometimes improve with therapy but it is often permanent and irreversible. Wet brain is caused by a deficiency of thiamine which is also known as vitamin B1. Chronic, heavy alcohol consumption can lead to a thiamine deficiency which can then lead to wet brain. This is because alcohol interferes with the absorption of thiamine. Wet brain can also occur in people who have never consumed alcohol. A diet of nothing but polished rice can cause wet brain because of the lack of thiamine in the diet. Wet brain can also be brought on by periods of vomiting which last for several days such as might result from severe morning sickness or bulimia. Wet brain is not caused by alcohol killing brain cells. A study by Jensen and Pakkenberg suggests that chronic heavy drinking does not result in the loss of gray matter–the thinking part of the brain–although it can result in the loss of white matter. The exact nature of the impact of chronic heavy drinking on cognitive abilities in well nourished individuals remains something of a matter of dispute. Symptoms of wet brain: Staggering, irregular gait, and other muscular incoordination Confabulation – remembering events that never happened Inability to form new memories Loss of memory–this can be severe Visual and auditory hallucinations Vision changes – including double vision, eyelid drooping, and abnormal eye movements

 

Treatment for wet brain:

Abstinence from alcohol, thiamine, and time can help lead to some improvements of Korsakoff’s psychosis. Total recovery is extremely unlikely.

 

(Alcohol is toxic to the brain.
It kills brain cells resulting in brain damage.
In the end stage of alcoholism, alcoholic dementia is relatively common.
While in a minority of cases, Wet Brain Syndrome can develop)

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

The-Dangers-of-Korsakoff-Syndrome-2

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS) classically, but not always, presents with the clinical triad of confusion, ataxia, and nystagmus. It is best conceptualized as 2 distinct syndromes, with one being characterized by an acute/subacute confusional state and often reversible findings of Wernicke encephalopathy (a type of delirium) and the other by persistent and irreversible findings of Korsakoff dementia. (See Clinical and Workup.)

In 1881, Carl Wernicke first described an illness that consisted of paralysis of eye movements, ataxia, and mental confusion, in 3 patients. The patients, 2 males with alcoholism and a female with persistent vomiting following sulfuric acid ingestion, exhibited these findings, developed coma, and eventually died. On autopsy, Wernicke detected punctate hemorrhages affecting the gray matter around the third and fourth ventricles and aqueduct of Sylvius. He felt these to be inflammatory and therefore named the disease polioencephalitis hemorrhagica superioris.

Sergei Korsakoff, a Russian psychiatrist, described the disturbance of memory in the course of long-term alcoholism in a series of articles from 1887-1891. He termed this syndrome psychosis polyneuritica, believing that these typical memory deficits, in conjunction with polyneuropathy, represented different facets of the same disease. In 1897, Murawieff first postulated that a single etiology was responsible for both syndromes.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome (WKS) classically, but not always, presents with the clinical triad of confusion, ataxia, and nystagmus. It is best conceptualized as 2 distinct syndromes, with one being characterized by an acute/subacute confusional state and often reversible findings of Wernicke encephalopathy (a type of delirium) and the other by persistent and irreversible findings of Korsakoff dementia. (See Clinical and Workup.)

In 1881, Carl Wernicke first described an illness that consisted of paralysis of eye movements, ataxia, and mental confusion, in 3 patients. The patients, 2 males with alcoholism and a female with persistent vomiting following sulfuric acid ingestion, exhibited these findings, developed coma, and eventually died. On autopsy, Wernicke detected punctate hemorrhages affecting the gray matter around the third and fourth ventricles and aqueduct of Sylvius. He felt these to be inflammatory and therefore named the disease polioencephalitis hemorrhagica superioris.

Sergei Korsakoff, a Russian psychiatrist, described the disturbance of memory in the course of long-term alcoholism in a series of articles from 1887-1891. He termed this syndrome psychosis polyneuritica, believing that these typical memory deficits, in conjunction with polyneuropathy, represented different facets of the same disease. In 1897, Murawieff first postulated that a single etiology was responsible for both syndromes.

Etiology

A deficiency of thiamine (vitamin B-1) is responsible for the symptom complex manifested in Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, and any condition resulting in a poor nutritional state places patients at risk. The structural lesions associated with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome are more likely to manifest in patients with malnutrition. However, it is crucial to recognize that Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome also appears in patients without exposure to alcohol. The occurrence of WKS in patients without alcohol use disorders is well described in the literature and cited in the section below.

The following are associated with Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome:

  • Chronic alcoholism – There may be a synergistically destructive effect of alcohol and thiamine deficiency that contributes to the Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome. Alcohol interferes with active gastrointestinal transport, and chronic liver disease leads to decreased activation of thiamine pyrophosphate from thiamine, as well as decreased capacity of the liver to store thiamine.
  • Bariatric surgery – Wernicke encephalopathy can present as early as 2 weeks after surgery; recovery typically occurs within 3-6 months of initiation of therapy but may be incomplete if this syndrome is not recognized promptly and treated (the highest risk is in young women with vomiting)
  • Nutritional deficiency and certain diets
  • Starvation – Persons with anorexia nervosa,schizophrenia, or terminal cancer; prisoners of war
  • Thiamine-deficient formula
  • Hyperemesis gravidarum – In a study of 49 cases of Wernicke encephalopathy in pregnancy, pregnancy loss attributable to Wernicke encephalopathy was nearly 48% [12]
  • Gastric malignancy, inflammatory bowel disease
  • Intestinal obstruction, including abdominal abscess
  • Plastic surgery – Panniculectomy
  • Systemic diseases – Malignancy, disseminated tuberculosis, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS),  uremia, stem cell transplantation
  • Iatrogenic – Intravenous hyperalimentation (without thiamine supplementation), refeeding after starvation, chronic hemodialysis
  • Encephalitic infections or infarctions affecting the mammillary bodies or hippocampus Rare reports – Rare reports
  • Infants breastfed by mothers with inadequate intake of thiamine