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    Old 02-25-2007, 02:11 PM   #1
    Skimmer
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    Reason to Quit Smoking

    If you are looking for additional reasons to quit smoking, I just read this on another health-related message board. Unbelievable, I didn't know I was doing this to myself, or did I know and just didn't care??

    Healthy Blood Flow

    When we think of the damage being done to our body by smoking we tend to focus on our lungs. It's natural to do so. We can hear the wheezing, feel the cough and actually sense the gradual deterrioration occurring inside. But if we're going to worry or be concerned based upon the magnitude or size of the health risk we face, then our greatest concern should be on the damage smoking inflicts upon our body's blood flow systems. Yes, smoking related circulatory disease kills far more smokers than lung cancer and the damage started very eary!
    Blood is a vehicle for delivering oxygen and nutrients to our body's tissues and organs. Without it they die. Our blood vessels (circulatory system) are the piping highways in which our blood flows. The inside of each healthy blood pipe is coated with a thin teflon like layer of cells that ensure smooth blood flow. Carbon monoxide from smoking or second-hand smoke damages this important layer of cells, allowing fats and plaque to stick to vessel walls. Nicotine then performs a double whammy of sorts.

    First, each time new nicotine arrives in our brain in causes a release of adrenaline which in turn immediately releases stored fats into our blood. Yes, the extra food we smokers eat during our big meals is converted to fat and stored, and then pumped back into our blood with each new puff. It's how we were able to skip meals and it's what causes many of us to experience low blood sugar levels when trying to quit. In fact, many of the symptoms of withdrawal - like an inability to concentrate - are due to nicotine no longer feeding us while we continue to skip meals (Note: In order to avoid blood sugar fluctuations don't eat more food, simply spread it out more evenly over your entire day).

    These heavy doses or blasts of nicotine released stored fats contact and stick to vessel walls that were damaged by carbon monoxide. It only gets worse. We've recently learned that nicotine itself, inside our vessels, somehow causes the growth of new blood vessels (vascularization) that then provide a rich supply of oxygen and nutrients to the fats and plaques that have stuck to our vessel walls. This internal nicotine vascularization (vessels within vessels) hardens a smoker's blood arteries and veins and further accelerates their narrowing and clogging.

    We each have a rough sense of the damage we've done to our lungs but what degree of clogging has already occurred in our blood piping? How long do we have before our coronary arteries- that supply life giving oxygen and nutrients to our heart muscle - become 100% clogged? It's called a heart attack and the portion of the heart muscle serviced by the artery will quickly die. How long do we have before our carotid arteries - supplying life giving oxygen and nutrients to our brain - become 100% clogged? It's called a stroke and the portion of the brain serviced by the artery will quickly die.

    The damage being done isn't just to the vessels supplying blood to our heart and brain, it's occurring - to one degree or another - inside every vessel in your body. It effects everything from blood vessels associated with hearing to the skin's blood supply and wrinkles and early aging. Below are links to images that show varying degrees of clogging and clotting. How close are your tissues and organs to death? Ask a skilled circulatory physician to listen your blood flow and tell you how it sounds or to conduct other tests or examinations.

     
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    Old 02-26-2007, 09:09 AM   #2
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Scary stuff.

    I'm 2 weeks quit and my blood pressure is better (I have a home machine) already. When I was diagnosed with high blood pressure (1 1/2 years ago), they also told me my heart is enlarged----this is due to working so hard---it's a muscle so the more it's worked, it grows just like a bicep or any other muscle in your body. For the heart, it's not a good thing. I'm hoping that that will reverse but for now am quite happy with breathing better, smelling better and my blood pressure readings!

     
    Old 02-26-2007, 11:55 AM   #3
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Wow Paula - sorry to about that enlarged heart. I never thought of it that way, but that makes sense. How long did you smoke and how many a day? And menthol or non-menthol. I remember reading somewhere once that menthols put holes in your heart! You think that woulda scared me away from smoking a long time ago!!

    Keep up the great work!! I'm on day 3 now of being quit and feeling great! My hubby's home craving one right now, but I told him "No" and he's okay now....

    I'm just glad it's going so good and that I finally was able to quit on my own, with the help of Chantix, that is.

     
    Old 02-26-2007, 12:25 PM   #4
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    I'm not too worried about it as it also seemed to be the doctors' least concern. My BP was super high--they gave me a pill (don't remember what it was) and they kept me in ER until it came down. Anyway, I smoked for 27 years---anywhere from 1-2 1/2 packs a day over that time frame but recently about 1 1/2 of yup methol---Marlboro Methol 100's.

    Chantix is def. a god send. Tomorrow will be my 15th non-smoking day, which will be the best I've ever done and it's been relatively easy!

    Keep up the good work and as you know, this place is a "MUST" when feeling withdrawal symptoms, etc. I had a few days that this board saved me!

     
    Old 02-26-2007, 12:33 PM   #5
    Skimmer
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Paula:

    Well my blood pressure has been okay, my cholesterol has been creeping up lately though, so I'm hoping quitting and eating healthier and maybe throw in some exercise can help me there. I swear, I wish I would've quit a long time ago - or never started!! I wish kids out there could read all these message boards to know what they will have to go thru if they EVER start smoking!! I mean, I remember seeing the commercials, and watching the scarey commercials, but I guess it didn't faze me at the time. I just hope I haven't done too much damage to myself already. I keep thinking of poor Dana Reeves who died of lung cancer and never smoked a day in her life!!

     
    Old 02-27-2007, 01:57 AM   #6
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Skimmer,
    Smoking also causes many more problems.
    Smokers are at very high risk for:
    Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Lung cancer, Cancer of the mouth, cancer of the pancreas, breast cancer, cervical cancer, stomach cancer, liver cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, leukemia, coronary heart disease, circulatory problems, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pneumonia, influenza, the common cold, peptic ulcers, tooth decay, gum disease, osteoporosis, sleep problems, cataracts.

    Some of those I knew, but some I didn't. Cataracts? Who would have thunk it? Oh my cholesterol has come way down since I quit smoking. It was 176 right before I quit. It is now 143.

    Memaw

     
    Old 02-27-2007, 08:32 PM   #7
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    I don't know about anyone else but quitting smoking is a step towards better health and I've been getting the mindset to improve the other areas: diet & exercise although I still am having trouble finding the motivation, my thoughts are geared in that direction anyway. I think that quitting smoking is a motivator to improve our OVERALL health. I hope that I'm soon able to find the motivation but I haven't too much pressure on myself as quitting smoking is big enough challenge for now (although Chantix helps a lot---I'm 2W 2D and broken my own quit record and most importantly, truly and honestly feel I've beat it this time) .

     
    Old 02-28-2007, 12:09 AM   #8
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Paula,
    Don't worry about diet and exercise too much right now. Concentrate on you quit. After a couple of months of being smoke free, then think about improving the other areas of you life. Don't get too much going at the same time.
    I think I agree with you. Stopping smoking does make you want to get healthier. I figure if I can stop nicotine, I ought to be able to lose some weight!! I'm doing it, but it sure does seem slow.
    You keep up the good work. You're doing awesome!!

    Memaw

     
    Old 02-28-2007, 12:38 AM   #9
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Memaw649 View Post
    Paula,
    Don't worry about diet and exercise too much right now. Concentrate on you quit. After a couple of months of being smoke free, then think about improving the other areas of you life. Don't get too much going at the same time.
    I think I agree with you. Stopping smoking does make you want to get healthier. I figure if I can stop nicotine, I ought to be able to lose some weight!! I'm doing it, but it sure does seem slow.
    You keep up the good work. You're doing awesome!!

    Memaw
    I agree with Memaw. I just want to focus on my quitting smoking then think of exercising and eating healthy. Right now, I just want to do one thing at a time.

     
    Old 02-28-2007, 06:24 AM   #10
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    You guys are right about keeping my concentration on one thing but my pants are getting too tight and I don't want the weight to just spiral out of control. It's only been 16 1/2 days and if I'm outgrowing my clothes, I need to do something. I've decided that I can't just have the 'hell with it attitude' but I don't have to go on a strict diet/exercise regimen either. I'm going to take that slow and just try to be more conscious of what & when I'm eating. Nothing formal that'll cause undue stress.

     
    Old 02-28-2007, 01:25 PM   #11
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Paula,
    Research some different metabolism boosting diets - basically eating smaller meals every 2-3 hours. I have been doing this, and I don't feel hungry. Meals should be: lean protein, veggies and complex carbs. Snacks - protein.
    Drink LOTS of water!
    Give your self a GREAT BIG pat on the back for quitting smoking! You'll find an eating & exercise plan that works for you- think of all the extra time you now have to exercise and cook
    deb

     
    Old 02-28-2007, 03:32 PM   #12
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Mangojunky, you are right ahead of me in your quit. Have you gained any weight? I know it's not a big deal, but I am day six and have ganed a pound or so. I am eating exactly the same thing and understand the reasons why as nicotine use burns about 200 calories a day. I already excercise and eat very healthy, and drink lots of water, so hopefully this is a battery problem in my scale

     
    Old 02-28-2007, 08:22 PM   #13
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Mango, thanks for the great tips--I don't want to be spending the $ I'm saving on clothes (not a bigger size anyway) ;-)

     
    Old 03-01-2007, 04:40 AM   #14
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Hi Tampa, I haven't weighed myself this week. I think my weigh-in day is tomorrow. I will let you know....I was up 1 pound last week, but had my period.
    I totally understand concern about weight gain - but the weight will come off....you can't take smoking back.

    Paula, I recently had to buy some bigger jeans - but I bought one pair that are a little too tight, and they are my goal! Let me know how you are doing!

    Great job ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    deb

     
    Old 03-01-2007, 05:34 AM   #15
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    Re: Reason to Quit Smoking

    Well my thinking now (well today anyway) is to just enjoy life the rest of this week, celebrate my 42nd b'day on Sat. and Sun Then on Mon. start to take a little more responsibility with the rest of it: eating/exercising. I am familiar with the Weight Watchers diet (which I don't think of as a diet but more teaching the right way to eat) and will focus on those foods, not necessarily the strict 'points' yet. If/When the weather warms up and there is no ice left on the sidewalks, I may start walking at lunch but until then will try to focus doing cable's On Demand channel's Fitness 1 Mile Walk a couple of times a week.

    I realize what a lot of people say about focusing on one thing but I know when I have eaten well/worked out, that alone boosted my confidence/spirit/mood so in addition to my new 'non-smoker's' happiness, I just know I can be on 7th heaven! Thanks to support of all you here!

     
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