Stories & experiences


symptoms and side effects

Posted in Hints and tips 20 Jul 2012

Hi all, ive been thinking for a few days about the overall quit experience, and i realised for me the worst part was the first month or so, not because of the no smoking, but because of the horrible withdrawal symptoms i unfortunately suffered! It is now day 99 for me and things are great, but that first month was a complete shock to me, i had no idea how effected you could be, or how scary some of the symptoms of giving up can be for SOME people, and i really think someone should talk about it, it may save some other person for some terrible anxiety!.  I spent a lot of time visiting my doctor during that first month, with a range of scary symptoms, i have a fabulously sympathetic doctor who basically calmed me and held my hand through that first month LOL!

I had shocking anxiety, sleeplesness, terrible dreams, really bad digestion problems, but the worst and most frightening symptom was the dizzyness, that was scary, i had to learn to breath properly, i was shallow breathing all the time, took me about two weeks to realise if i stopped and took some slow breaths the dizzyness would go.  I know not everyone will have these or any symptoms, for me the cravings in that first month were the least of my probs! I did go cold turkey after smoking for 40 years, thats what i chose to do, and would do it again if i had to, thats just me. After a month all these symptoms settled down, talk about a true addiction!  I thought i would just write all this down, to share with particularly those new quitters.  Its not widely talked about, the symptoms you can get when quitting, but it should be, because it is quite a shock if you dont know and a bit scary too!......but if you soldier on it gets easier, you need to get lots of rest, go to bed early get a little bit of exercise and eat properly, and it is all worth it in the end! good luck all

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  • quiteva, Central Coast July 20, 2012 | 9:43
    Your right Rainbow. Lets not beat around the bush. Quitting and staying quit is a daily battle. I am on day 86 and have to fight the urge EVERY DAY not to put a ciggie in my mouth. What is getting me threw is the reminder that i am not missing the nicotine, the nicotine was out of my system by day 5 it's only my brain trying to trick me into thinking i need a ciggie. The other thing that is getting me through is withdrawal DOES NOT HURT. It's just s feeling. If withdrawal hurt we would wake every morning is terrible pain - but we don't. It does not hurt!!!
  • Quitsmart July 20, 2012 | 11:52
    Quiteva, you are absoulutely right. We are addicts and will be one for the rest of our lives. I keep reminding myself of how bad it is to be a smoker so that I'll never take another puff again! This is my up-teenth attempt and will not like to fail again. It's just too painful!
  • SCooper July 20, 2012 | 13:16
    I'm too scared to smoke again because it was so hard to get started to stop! It's day 5 for me and I can't remember how many times I have tried in the past.
  • SCooper July 20, 2012 | 13:17
    I'm too scared to smoke again because it was so hard to get started to stop! It's day 5 for me and I can't remember how many times I have tried in the past.
  • Karen43 July 20, 2012 | 13:47
    Hi Rainbow - thanks so much for your post. I am on day 6 and I have had really bad indigestion (not something you would think you would get from NOT smoking!). I must say however that the withdrawl has been manageable for me, mainly because I am so determined to never smoke again that I just view the discomfort as a road to get to my goal. The worst time is in the morning - it has been more that because I dont take that little sneaky break from my desk now my day at work seems so long! Well done on your 99 days! Here's to 100 and beyond!
  • rainbow4006 July 20, 2012 | 15:14
    Hi all thanks for your comments, i guess the bottom line of what im saying (after reading my long winded post!) is that there is a huge variety of physical symptoms a lot of people suffer short term when they give up smoking, and no one really talks about them, which causes great anxiety to the person that is giving up, it would make the journey so much easier if this was pointed out as well, that all these symptoms are normal, and that us anxious lot are not experiencing anything out of the ordinary that wont pass within a few short days or weeks; im not stupid, but i truly didnt understand that there was a lot more to this for a lot of people than just craving a cig! karen43, i know about the indigestion/gas etc, mine lasted about 4 weeks (most of the rotten symptoms lasted that long no matter what they were, just hang in, when the indigestion gets bad take some zantac (over the counter) its great. good luck all
  • jodes5 July 20, 2012 | 15:31
    The worst symptoms for me was definitely the weird/scary dreams and the sleeplessness. It got to a point I was tempted to smoke again just so I could get a good nights sleep. You are right though, the crappy symptoms dont last forever. I'm on day 33 and it is all starting to get a little better day by day.

    I also suffered some awful weight gain....9 kilos in four weeks. I eat really healthy 99% of the time so not really alot of reason for the gain. I'm not going to let it bother me tho, I am more active now (due to not always being an out of breath smoker!) so the weight should come off eventually.

    So for anyone that is experiencing some awful symptoms and side effects of quitting, hang in there because it does get better!!!

    Good luck everyone, stay strong!!!!
  • rainbow4006 July 20, 2012 | 17:45
    hi jodes5, i did a lot of research on the weight gain side of things before i gave up as it was one of the main reasons i didnt want to give up, im heavy enough any extra was terrifying! and i have a medical condition affecting my metabolism, so its a double whammy for me, on average you need to burn off an extra 200 calories (as long as you are not eating any more than normal!) so even if you dont overeat you will probably still put on weight for up to 3 months then apparently it starts to disappear, i was not an exerciser before so i decided to start exercising a little as well as give up and watch what i eat, i have managed to not only give up but lose 8 kgs as well, in 100 days, so im pretty happy! maintaining weight or losing at the same time can be done, but you have to really work at it.
  • Alburyman, Murrumbidgee August 05, 2012 | 20:14
    I'm on day 49 and have had some very unpleasant side effects. I went to the Doctor and had a full work over and full blood panel, which was all good, but giving up smoking effects people differently. I caught a lovely flu virus (which was fun), anyhow I am currently having the sore throat experience, light head and a little cough, but from what Ive read that this is your body cleaning and repairing it self. I don't want to smoke, but it does get annoying. I will hang in there but just want the annoyance of it all to go away.
  • rainbow4006 August 09, 2012 | 18:16
    Hi alburyman, well at last my sore throats have seemed to disappear, a friend of mine, her husband has recently given up and he is suffering from the same thing it is now 119 days for me and really the sore throat has only been gone for about a week and a half, i did the same thing alburyman did a huge blood workup, at least i know im basically healthy, good luck to you all

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