Withdrawal symptoms are signs of progress. They mean that your body is recognizing that you are no longer smoking and it is beginning to heal. These symptoms are annoying and frustrating but they are perfectly normal. Remember that the withdrawal symptoms are the result of smoking for all those years and not the result of stopping. It's a matter of attitude!
Individuals who choose to use nicotine replacement therapy may experience all of these withdrawal symptoms or none. If you aware of these symptoms and can recognize them, you will be better able to deal with them.
Any change in our lifestyle can create irritability. You changed many things when you decided to quit smoking. Your routines, eating habits, behaviors, and nicotine, oxygen and carbon monoxide levels have changed. Keep in mind that nicotine has a direct effect on the central nervous system. Expect some mood changes and use deep breathing and relaxation to get through them.
Anger & Depression
Many people become angry. You may feel that you have a right to smoke or that you deserve to smoke. This is the addiction talking. Remind yourself that you have the right to be healthy. Cigarettes have been a constant friend for many years. It is normal to feel sad now. Realize that you can miss cigarettes and still be a nonsmoker.
As a smoker, you were putting a cigarette into your mouth dozens of times a day. It is normal to find yourself wanting a substitution. Be sure that you are substituting a healthy low-fat alternative. A straw or cinnamon stick can keep your hands and mouth busy without increasing your calorie intake.
Nicotine can have a stimulating or relaxing effect on the body. If you find yourself very sleepy or unable to sleep through the night it may be because your body is missing one of these effects. Exercise and relaxation techniques can give you the same results. You may dream of smoking a cigarette. You are expending a lot of energy in the fight for freedom from nicotine. This struggle may show up in your dreams.
You may feel distracted, confused or foggy. Cigarettes were part of everything you did. You started your day by smoking, you smoked while you drove, worked, were thinking, to relax yourself, to energize yourself... You are now learning to complete your daily activities without the influence of nicotine. It will feel very different at first. Your brain and organs will be getting more oxygen and you may feel dizzy or have changes in dept/distance perception. This is all normal and temporary. It is a sign that your body is beginning to recover.
You may have increased coughing for a few weeks. Your lungs are beginning to heal and will be ridding themselves of built-up mucus. Drink lots of water. This will help thin the mucus and flush toxins from your body.
Dry mouth/mouth sores/bad tastes
The temperature and chemicals in the cigarette smoke caused chemical changes in your mouth. These chemical changes triggered increased mucus production. As your body heals you may notice these unpleasant but temporary effects. Drink lots of water.
You may have constipation, diarrhea, or bloating. This can be a result of the changes taking place in your body as well as the result of stress. These are temporary symptoms are will pass quickly. Practice relaxation techniques.
Cravings are most intense over the first 24-72 hours. They will begin to taper in intensity and frequency as time goes on.