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I am sick after quitting smoking

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I quit smoking on March 10, 2007.  I feel as if I am really breathing for the first time.  I walk alot and have been inspired to start a walk/jog program.  IHowever, I am making little progress because I feel sick all the time.

I have a constant sore throat and my ears are popping all the time.  After a month of OTC medicine I went to the doctor.  Anitbiotics did nothing to help. Instead, it caused  naseau and stomach pains/indigestion. 

Have anyone else experienced this after quitting? I would appreciate any advice.  I am still happy to be smoke free even with all these ailments.


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Hi :)  Congrats on quitting!!!  WTG!

Do you have allergies by any chance?  Because spring is full of pollen and that can cause sore throats, itchy eyes, itchy ears that seem inflamed...  I never did and then whammo suddenly one year ~ it was quite a surprise! 

try antihistamine ~ like claritin (non-drowsy otc) and see if it helps?

I quit but my breathing steadily improved and I didn't have my 1st cold until like a year after I quit.  But I do have allergy symptoms...  seems like a cold, but isn't.

Hope this helps!  Hang in :)
I experienced similar symptoms...

I felt like crud because I was withdrawing, for one thing...  then my sinuses and Eustachian tubes were finally able to drain, and they drained into my stomach and lungs, which I would then cough up and/or pass through the digestive system (not to be gross, but stool was really "mucusy"). I also developed digestive problems from the stress of quitting... I had horrible gas, diarrhea and severe acid reflux. I couldn't sleep, and I had body aches.

Here's a site that mentions these things.

Your symptoms are really common, but the people who promote stopping smoking usually don't let us know that. :-)
Hi! Much congrats on quitting smoking, it's a huge step!!  I am a nurse, and acquitted 7 year smoker (ha ha), going on 10 months now staying quit.  You're not sick, and antibiotics will do nothing but lower your resistance to real infections in the future, not to mention most antibiotics will do number on your stomach.   Your withdrawal symptoms are perfectly normal, everyone experiences some of these to varying degrees.  The reason you're coughing up stuff, having a sore throat, ear issues etc... your cilia in your airway, which are tiny microscopic tubes that move mucous and saliva along, get killed by your smoking.  Ever had a cold when you smoked, and the smoking actually kind of seemed to make you cough less?  However, these little guys are able  to  regenerate.  So, when you quit, and they start coming back, of course they start working again, and start bringing all that crap that has been sitting in your lungs the whole time, and bringing it up to the surface.   So, it's a good thing!  Feels lousy, I know, but it will pass.  Drink lots of water, that helps break up some of the secretions.  For your ears, I'm guessing some stuff is also draining upstairs, too.   Hope this helps.
May 17 2007 15:46
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Kate -

Not much advice, but definite sympathy.  I'm going through the same thing right now.  I quit at the beginning of April (though I was <5 cigarettes per day), and I feel worse now than I did a month ago.  I've gone through some apparent infections or viruses (acne, eye stye, cold sore) and now one side of my throat (and the ear, too) is very sore and swollen, and I have aches and chills.  I've been trying to excercise (walking and hiking mostly), but I feel very run down.  I have not been to the doctor yet, so I'm going to try to go soon to see if it's a throat infection.

Re antibiotics -- if you have already built up a resistance to an antibiotic, the one you were taking might not have been enough to knock out an infection if you had one.  And some are easier on the stomach than others.  You might want to check back with your doc.  People have mixed opinions on the effectiveness of antibiotics as you can see from other responses, so you will need to make that decision for yourself with your doctor.

Hang in there and let us know how things progress...
You're body is trying to trick you into taking a hit again, DON'T DO IT!! You'll get better, tell you're body NO!! I win, you lose, HA!
kaddy's right... that's exactly what your body is trying to do!
Congratulations!  It's the best decision you'll ever make.  My advice is to keep up your walking/jogging program and work through the symptoms.  I went through exactly the same thing when I quit 6 years ago (after 10 years as a smoker) and getting lots of exercise made a huge difference ... I feel like it helped clear out the damaged tissue/phlegm a lot better than if I had just waited it out.  Keep pushing yourself!  It sucks, I know, but I can guarantee you you'll feel 1000% better soon.
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Your detoxing.  I smoked for 35 years and it took probably 5 or 6 months total for me to finish detoxing from smoking.  That was 2 years ago.  Drink lots of water to flush the junk out of your body faster and sweating is a quick way out for toxins as well, so when you are working out for exercise and you sweat, stand down wind from other people because the toxins from cigs really stink ;-)

CONGRATULATIONS enjoy the clear breathing that is on its way to you soon.
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Congrats on quitting...I know what you are going through as my quit date was on May 14th and I am only on day 4 of being a "quitter" after smoking approximately a pack a day since I was 19 (and I'm 33 now) - this time I am using the new quit smoking drug called works wonders!!!  I have been through two smoking cessation programs and they have both taught me that you will go through "sickness" symptoms when you quit smoking.  Just hang in there and continue the exercise program.  There may be some truth to the idea of allergies, as I had never had any allergies until a year ago.  If it is a cold antibiotics won't touch it (since colds are viruses), but if the claritin seems to help it is most likely allergies.  Keep up the good work of being smoke free and living a healthier life!!!
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Thank You all for your words.  I feel better hearing about others similar experiences.  I never heard about the possibility of getting sick after quitting.  I thought I would feel better.  But I know that it will come with time.

This is strengthening my commitment to remain smoke free.  I am beginning to see how I was poisining myself for 12 years.  I will continue to drink plenty of water and push myself with my walk/run program.

Thanks again everyone for your support.
one last thing, YOU CAN DO IT!

I was a 37 year 2-3 pack a day smoker and tomorrow is my 1 year anniversary of quitting.  I am still having the allergy symptoms that all of you mentioned, but it is better than when I was smoking.  Sn yes as a nurse I knew better, but kept smoking anyway and pretty near destroyed my health.

I feel as though I have never had any withdrawal symptoms, but I am sure I did.  My worst was the gaining of the weight...but my body isn[t going to win.  I will stay smoke free and just visit with all of you frequently to stay on course and get the weight off.  Come on can be done.
When I quit smoking (22months)I got cold sores, acne and painful sores in my mouth and nose sore throat and really felt like crud for a few weeks.  I was mad because I didn't know about these side effects.  I think quit smoking support groups need to tell people what side effects are really awaiting for some folks. 
Anyway what you are going thru is common its not a cold or flu or infection to be treated by antibiotics.  Its your body detoxing and cleaning itself out of all those poisons we put into it for all those years. 

The best thing to do is drink massive quantities of water ' pure water" to help flush the system.  It will get better
dbacker...I have a question for you.  Were you taking welbutrin? (sp)  I tried to quit a few years back, took welbutrin and got those terrible sores in my mouth.  I had to quit the welbutrin becuz I thought that was what was causing the sores.  I told my Dr. that I thought I was allergic to it.  But if it was just the cig poison going out, then maybe I could try it again!
dbackerfan: "I think quit smoking support groups need to tell people what side effects are really awaiting for some folks."

I agree. The effects of quitting smoking can be just as difficult as quitting certain illegal drugs for some people.

I feel that those behind the anti-smoking message deliberately hide the facts as to how horrible quitting smoking can be for some people. If people were better informed, they would be more inclined to consult with their doctor, and have a better chance of quitting successfully, if certain organizations would be truthful and not hide the facts.

"Qutting smoking is easy!" Yeahright.
someone told me on here that bananas help with quitting.

(all the vitamins in them)

when i quit i naturally ate those and a lot of apples.
it made me feel really good.

if you are not on any medications and do not have high blood pressure you could pick yourself up some red clover tea at a health food store. its a blood cleanser.

there is also yogi brand "detox tea" it tastes like ginger. drink two of those in a row and have some really flushes you out.
its not a laxative or anything. the ginger just helps to move it on out like coffee would. its herbal so make sure you check with a doctor if you are taking meds.
Go Banana's

Bananas Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy. Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes

Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana.

This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.

So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrates, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around. So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"
It is definitely the withdrawel symptoms from quitting smoking.  You will start to feel better it will just take a little time and it is the best decision you could ever make!!  Way to go and hats off to you!!

sgrmag574 - I myself used Chantix and I have been smoke free for 3 months tomorrow.  Isn't it a wonderful drug!! I know I wouldn't of been able to quit without it.
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Hi everyone. I just started Chantix. I am on 2nd week and only have quit one day so far. Does anyone know if there will be side effects coming off of Chantix? I would think not because the nicotine should be long gone but just wondering. Everyone keep up the good work. I know this chantix is great. I just do not crave cigarettes at all. Only have triggers (stress etc, have to learn different ways to cope)

I quit taking Chantix about a month ago.  I cut down to taking 1 pill a day after taking the full dosage for about 1 1/2 weeks (due to major insomnia and nighttime nausea) then when I was ready to quit taking it I cut it down to 1/2 a pill for about 4-5 days then quit taking it completely to be safe. the doctor said that I didn't have to wean myself off since I had already cut down which to me implied that if I was taking the full dosage I should (not sure really).  I have been quit now for a little over 3 months and rarely even think of smoking.  Best of luck to you in your quit and if you have any other questions feel free to contact me. :-)
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