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October 23 2014


Guest Contributor,

While there are many different withdrawal symptoms that can accompany efforts to quit smoking, one of the most common problems quitting hopefuls experience is constipation. Because the body develops a chemical dependency while smoking, those who seek escape from the addiction of smoking can endure symptoms that occur as a result of those chemicals being removed from the body.

The intestines, in particular, become dependent on the chemicals in cigarettes and their operation becomes interrupted during withdrawal. As the body becomes used to operating in a certain manner, with the aid of various chemicals included in cigarettes, taking that product out of the equation will result in a body that must retrain itself to perform certain actions and regain regularity.

In addition to constipation, the stomach and intestine may experience other uncomfortable issues, such as cramps or nausea, that will eventually improve as the body readjusts to functioning without the chemicals in cigarettes. Nicotine acts as a stimulant to the intestinal portion of the body, thus the sudden lack of nicotine in the body results in constipation.

Irregularity Solutions

Though time is one major factor contributing to the improvement of irregularity after smoking is discontinued, there are some simple and natural solutions that can be helpful as former smokers progress through withdrawal symptoms associated with quitting smoking. Irregularity can last as long as a few weeks after smoking is discontinued and can be experienced by as many as one in every six former smokers, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Medicine.

Paying close attention to one’s diet once the decision to quit smoking is made and after steps have been taken to actually quit, can be a powerful way to combat the constipation that many endure. Fiber-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are a great way to insure that the body can function as normal, even as it withdraws from the exclusion of nicotine. Another vital aspect of combating irregularity after quitting smoking is consuming a lot of water. Drinking at least eight, 8 ounce glasses of water a day can help the digestive system function more easily, preventing constipation and aiding the metabolism even during periods of withdrawal.

Despite the focus that former smokers must place on their diet and liquid consumptions, including exercise in one’s routine can be a helpful aspect of continuing the healthy lifestyle that a former smoker may be attempting to adopt. Exercise can be a great way to combat constipation as well as other mental and physical withdrawal symptoms that can occur as a person quits smoking. For some, taking a fiber supplement or a gentle herbal and mineral laxative can be a helpful addition during the first few weeks of withdrawal.

While there are many uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms that occur after one gives up smoking, getting through the first 2 to 6 weeks of symptoms can result in a healthier body that is less dependent on cigarettes and nicotine to function regularly. Time and healthy diet choices can help train the body to rely on nutritious stimulants to perform necessary functions and become increasingly regular.


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