What happens to your body when you quit smoking cigarettes? What happens after you quit smoking was one of the biggest questions I had on the day I decided to quit smoking once and for all. I already knew the benefits quitting would bring, and I also knew there may be some unpleasant side effects to deal with when I finally quit smoking, which I’ll get to in a minute.
Out of curiosity, I browsed some online forums and message boards devoted to various ways to quit smoking and where people were discussing what to expect when quitting smoking and some of the aftereffects many experienced once they quit smoking. Quit smoking aids come a dime a dozen, so much so that a smoker can become quite frustrated trying to figure out what the best way to quit smoking is, but I wanted to know everything upfront to help me quit smoking successfully and hopefully ward off the pesky side effects.
I’ve barely noticed any real side effects after I quit smoking, but what I found somewhat surprising from the list of common withdrawal symptoms and reported aftereffects was the number of people who successfully quit smoking cigarettes talking about experiencing chronic, if not severe, sinus congestion after quitting smoking. Some said they continued experiencing severe sinus congestion and no sense of smell for several months, if not longer, which lead to a debate about remedies to help alleviate nasal congestion without drugs or prescription medications.
Nasal Congestion Remedies
Considering the fact that I’ve had sinus congestion problems since I was a kid, primarily due to seasonal allergies to pollen and mountain cedar etc, finding out that chronic sinus congestion is something that happens after you quit smoking was the exact opposite of what I expected to happen. Everything I had read before I stopped smoking mentioned things like post nasal drip, headaches, runny nose, coughing up phlegm or mucous and other unpleasant side effects that sound really gross.
Dealing with sinus congestion, sinus blockage or sinus infections wasn’t something I was counting on when I quit smoking, but oh well. Considering how unpleasant some of the other side effects are for people interested in quitting smoking have been, researching natural sinus congestion remedies and food allergies that can contribute to congestion of the sinuses is the least of my worries.
According to Wiki, nasal congestion treatments to help clear sinus congestion recommended by medical experts include drinking more than the usual amount of fluids like water, tea and fruit juice. Avoiding dehydration causing substances like coffee and sodas, because of the caffeine, is also recommended. Stop drinking coffee?! Argh!
Increasing moisture in the air with a humidifier or a hot, steamy bath or shower is said to help relieve the congestion and accompanying discomfort. Other suggestions include home remedies like eating spicy foods containing hot peppers (no thanks); drinking a couple of swigs of apple cider vinegar (not a chance of that happening); Vicks Vapor Rub; Chicken Soup loaded with black pepper (Achew!); cayenne pepper; drinking basil tea or “tomato tea” (a real possibility).
Tomato Tea Recipe:
1 cup tomato juice
1 tsp chopped fresh garlic
1/2 tsp of hot sauce
1 tsp lemon juice
a small pinch or two of celery salt for flavor.
Mix and heat ingredients and drink hot.
Using nasal sprays like Afrin is something I will not do because of the possibility of becoming addicted to Afrin, and I don’t want to constantly be using nasal decongestants like Claritin either, but the use of natural saline solution not only comes highly recommended but saline solution is cheap too.
The Neti Pot appears to be a very popular remedy for sinus congestion, especially since Dr. Oz showed how well the Neti Pot works on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Now, there’s an image you won’t be able to get out of your head for a while – a video demonstration of how to use the Neti Pot on national television, and Oprah says she can’t go anywhere without hers.
The Neti Pot may look strange (Yep, it does), but Dr. Oz says this treatment may be more effective than medication. “The [ear, nose and throat] doctors who are specialists in this area will often say this is a better treatment than a lot of the other drugs that we try to offer folks, because it mechanically cleans out the problem,” he says.
Have you recently quit smoking and experience chronic or severe sinus congestion? What methods to stop smoking did you find helpful? Have you tried the Neti Pot as a remedy and found it to be very helpful? What natural home remedies for sinus congestion have you discovered work well for you?