Smoking and Fibromyalgia

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by lmlynley, Jun 12, 2003.

  1. lmlynley

    lmlynley New Member


    Has anyone had experience quitting smoking after the onset of Firbomyalgia? Has it made an improvement in your condition? Any suggestions with regard to coping with withdrawl and insomnia related to quitting cigarettes?

    Any information you can provide on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

    Warm regards,
  2. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    and am ready to start again. I have been in a major flare ever since I quit. Don't know if there is a connection there or not, but I figure that tobacco is about the only drug that I haven't tried.
  3. kredca4

    kredca4 New Member

    became a real Noticable Health Problem, that was back in 1984, I haven't smoked since, well not Cig's. lol

    The other Smoke does help me, with the Pain, and also it helps me to Eat. I do believe it relieved the symptoms of withdrawl from the cig's.

    What I did, was time how long it took to smoke a cig. Then I would chew Freedent gum, just long enough for the Flavor to leave, it was also the same time that it took to smoke the cig.

    I was also very busy with Photography, and didn't have time to Smoke, so I had already cut back by the time I quit.

    Maybe try limiting your smoke's to a lighter cig, and then just taking a puff or two, and then put it out. Just like if you were going off any Med. You should really step down, that way your System dosen't go into shock./withdrawl.

    I do worry about the Lungs and the Smoke, but right now the Pain and weight problem are Bigger concern's.

    I wish my hubby could quit, but it's been very hard for him to do it. I do believe that the Cig Co.'s make the cig.'s so that you Can't quit.

    I also wonder if it contrubitued to my developing FMS.
    I also have Muscle condition's, so it's another bonus to not be smoking.

    I found that for a few years I slept better, I kept waking up to have a Cig. I now can't sleep for other reason's, sigh!!! sometimes you win sometimes you can call it a Draw.

    Good luck to you, you might want to come over to the Chat board, we have some other member's who are trying to Quit. Maybe you all can form a Support system over there.
    Even tho, I do believe it's a Health Issue, we do need distractions when we are giving up a Habit, and also it helps to talk to thoes who are going through what you are, at the Same time.

    Good Luck,

    LITEFLAMES New Member

    Hi Lauren,
    I Have smoked cig's for 30 yrs except when pregnet w/ my 4 children,NOW My daughter is due w/ my first grand child in july, Plus 10 yr old is realy getting on me & I know I need to stop this Dum Habit,
    But I can;t seem to ,,I know thats dum , But I told my pregnet girl, I was trying , I want to be around for all grandchildren,,She said ,Well Mom, You need to Make a dissision!!!!!!
    Good Luck ,,
    And as another person wrote you abought being in a flare up sence she stopped , I'm so stressed even thinking abought
    that, I'll pray for all of us, Prayer is the most powerfull
    toil we Have
    love CindyG.
  5. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    I recently had facial surgery and they said you must quit smoking at least two weeks prior to surgery. Seems smokers run the risk of having their skin die around the incisions after surgery. This is a very serious complication because the skin can continue to just keep dying off and have to be removed, like gangreen. It gave me the creeps. If I hadn't stopped smoking years ago, this would have been enough to make me quit.

    I quit when I looked at my stepdad's nicotine stained fingers in the coffin after he had died of a heart attack from emphasema brought on by a lifetime of smoking. He was a doctor and one would think he would have known better.

    Love, Mikie
  6. swred5

    swred5 New Member

    I quit 3 1/2 years ago and haven't looked back. I was terrified of quiting and knew I couldn't do it on my own. I went to my dr. and got a prescription for Zyban. You are supposed to take it 7 to 10 days and then quit, but the idea of that really scared me. After about 4 days the desire to smoke started to decline. I started buying "lighter" cigarettes, and by the time 10 days hit I was only smoking 3 or 4 cigarettes a day (was smoking a pack a day). The idea of having to stop made me very uneasy, so I did contiue to smoke after the 10 days, but ONLY what I HAD to smoke, after 3 or 4 more days I was down to 1 Ultra Light a day, and finally felt the strenght to stop. I haven't looked back, and the desire to smoke has not come back. I know I could never have done it without the help of the Zyban!! It did give me so much energy and did disturb my sleep, but the doctor did give me some sleeping pills with it, and that helped me get through that. I only needed to be on the Zyban for one month. As far as feeling better, I would have to say I haven't noticed a big difference. I have noticed an improvement with my allergies. I did notice a big improvement with my facial skin. Good luck!!
  7. lighthouselady

    lighthouselady New Member

    Sometimes I miss it and other times, no way. I can't say I feel much better FM-wise, I am breathing much better and feel much better about myself. I was able to go cold turkey, with a lot of prayers said and help from my friends. My husband tried to quit at the same time but was unsuccessful. I had big hopes that it would help the FM but alas it didn't. I also gained about 10 pounds after quitting, still trying to take that off. Hope this helps.

    Judy Z
  8. shazz

    shazz New Member

    I can't deal with any more insomnia than I already have nor can I stand to gain any more weight.
    I keep telling myself as soon as I lose 15 more pounds I will try and quit (again).
    I gain so easily and it is getting harder and harder to take it off these days, so I am terrified.
    I have lost about 25 lbs in the past three months and could not bear to put it back on.
    I know we all need to quit, and I hope that subconciously I am not sabatoging my own weight loss efforts for fear of having to give up the cigs when I get where I want to be.
    It's tough, my grandpa told me he grieved more for his cigs than he did for his Mom when she died. He still after 30 some years tells me that once in awhile my cigs smell pretty damned good. But he also knows that one is too many and a pack isn't enough if he ever, ever even tried one again.
    I applaud all of you have quit, you have superhuman powers.
  9. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Is one of the most addictive substances on the face of the Earth. It is not easy to quit whether it's done cold turkey or gradually in a program or with gum or patches.

    Weight gain can be a problem for some people who quit. This is usually because these people are orally fixated and use food instead of nicotine to feed this fixation. The weight gain can also come from a change in metabolism when nicotine is withdrawn. Chewing gum can help.

    I have seen so many older women who have smoked all their lives. Luckily, they have escaped death from cancer, emphasema, or heart disease related to their smokeing; however, so many of them have hoarse raspy voices, chronic cough, and their skin is a very unhealthy sallow color. they are usually wrinkled way beyond their years. Most of them are thin, but not in a healthy way. They are thin because their bodies are wasting. Using nicotine is not a good way to control weight. Getting rid of carbs is much healthier all the way around.

    This is not meant to be preachy but rather informational. Geez, if I walk by someone lighting up, it smells so good to me still. Then, I think about nicotine stains on my teeth and how bad my breath, hair, and clothes would smell. But that's not the worst part I remember about smoking; it was awful always having to be sure I had enough cigs to get through the night, the weekend, etc. It was also awful not being able to go very long without needing to find a place to smoke. I also had a lot of guilt for second-hand smoke and the damage it might have done to my kids as the dangers of second-hand smoke were not well known when my kids were little.

    Finally, I could not afford to smoke today. I cannot believe how expensive cigarettes are. That money spent on medications and supplements would do more good than spending it on nicotine. Saving it would provide a nice nest egg too.

    I know that smoking is not logical, so I don't expect that the info I've provided will make a difference in anyone's quitting; however, if anyone is looking for some logical reasons to quit in order to bolster the process, I offer these with my love and blessings for your efforts. It ain't easy, but it's so worth it.

    Love, Mikie
  10. kmelodyg

    kmelodyg New Member

    Yep, I'm a smoker. About a pack a day. I cannot even imagine giving it up now. I have too many other health issues and stress to handle that too. I would want them to put me in a padded cell or something so I wouldn't freak out at my family and boyfriend! I know it's bad for me, but it is my only vice right now. I plan on quitting at some point, just not right now. One thing at a time....

  11. mycatprint

    mycatprint New Member

    I quit smoking because I was having trouble breathing. My Dr. told me that I would experience less pain if I quit smoking because my muscles would get more oxygen. It took a little over a year to wean myself off the patches. Imagine my surprise to learn that as I cut my nicotine comsumption my pain levels skyrocketed! Being an inquisitive person, I did a lot of research about why.

    I'm not a dr, so forgive the layman's version of this process. This is a simplified summary of what I found out:

    We have a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which carries sensory signals from one neuron to another, giving our brains input on our physical world. Nicotine fits into the acetylcholine receptors in our neurons, and stays there several times as long than the acetylcholine, thus efectively blocking that particular neuron from passing along any sensory info to our brains, and lowering the pain signals our bodies experience.

    Our Bodies, in an effort at rebuilding the communication system build more acetylcholine receptors, giving the nicotine more places to sit , blocking more sensory signals. And on and on in a never ending cycle.

    When you limit or omit the source of the nicotine, your body is still overproducing receptors which are now all filled with acetylcholine. The brain then gets several times as many sensory (including pain)signals than it is accustomed to processing. Causing the withdrawl symptoms we all associate with stopping smoking, including, more anxiety, restlessness, sleeplessness, and increased pain from FMS. Your brain then tells your body to produce less acetylcholine receptors, but will evermore keep a larger number "on hand" than you had before -- just in case you ever need them again.
    After time, your body and brain adjust. As everything settles down you become accustomed to the new "usual level" of sensory input.

    Please don't think I am suggesting that smoking is a good way to control pain. Nicotine is one of the most deadly poisons we come into contact with and has some very bad side effects. Your whole body chemistry will be forever changed after being exposed to it. There is NO DOUBT we are healthier without nicotine!

    My point here, is that as FMS sufferers, we already experience more pain than the average person on a daily basis. We, with the help of our health care providers need to prepare to deal with the amplified withdrawl symptoms before we take on the task of quitting smoking.

    I have been smoke free for almost 3 years now, even though my husband smokes, (outside the house.) So I know first hand that it can be done, even if it causes flares to begin with.

    I hope I haven't bored everybody to tears with this long monolog! lol The trek was definitely worth it, but I would not have said that 3 months after my last cigarette. So hang in there. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

    hugs from Cat
  12. lmlynley

    lmlynley New Member

    Greetings Everyone,

    I am really grateful to you all for the information and support!

    I have read all of your posts with great interest and have a further question; if you will indulge me :), has anyone who has quit smoking cigarettes and experienced increased pain tried other nicotine sources? Allow me to explicate; I too have found that my pain level increased on the short-lived occasions that I refrained from cigarettes. I had quit smoking marijuana some years before as my doctor informed me that the THC constricts the blood vessels, ergo more pain in extremities.

    What I have noticed since quiting marijuana is that I have a bit more energy but not less pain, and, my mood is...shall we say a tad darker than it had been.

    I live in California, which allows for medical marijuana for certain conditions, though I am not sure whether it covers Fibromyalgia. Further, with the current government's attitude, people dying from cancer and AIDS are getting arrested for using marijuana - usually the outspoken activists God Bless them!

    So...has anyone used marijuana effectively to, 1) quit smoking cigarettes and, 2) did it stabilise or improve pain of both the physical and emotional varities?

    Thank you all again for your input!

    Warm regards,
  13. kredca4

    kredca4 New Member

    Yes it helped me to Quit smoking cig's.
    Yes, it helped my Pain, for about 3 years, I had no Medical Treatment's. Had Lousy doctor's, who didn't believe in giving out pain med's, unless they were operating on you, once recovery time is over, (their timetable, not the PT's)
    they cut you off.

    So I visited a friend who is a Farmer, and I found great relief from the Pain, I once again had an appettie, I had lost over 70lbs.

    I had smoked off and on for year's. I started smoking it for Pleasure. Then I noticed certain aches and pain's I had didn't bother me. I had them all my life, they were called Growing Pain's.

    One of the Guy's that I used to be friends with, had a bad Chronic Pain condition, this was 26 years ago, don't even know what it was called. The point tho, is that his doctor, was able to get him RX's for the Pain.

    Guess who supplied it? The good old USA. I was totally surprised. It was probably the best I ever had. lol, this was back in 1975, and in Ca.

    I now know that all the Pain, the Insomnia, IBS, was the forerunner of having FMS. I had had so many operations, with no sucess, or slow recovery, I know that is being caused by the combo of CMP/FMS.

    I guess it's just a matter of choice once again. I know that I'm a nicer person when I've smoked a pipe, because the Pain leaves my Face, so I don't look so Mad.