Smokers Flu: Vaping the Flu Away (Nic Sick)
Nicotine flu is a condition of nicotine withdrawal. It is also known as Smoker’s Flu or Quitters Flu. It happens when a person has quit nicotine and now is passing through a transition phase. The body has to get used to without nicotine inside. It is an impact of detoxing from nicotine.
Approximately more than half of smokers face four or more withdrawal symptoms.
What Causes the Quitters Flu When You Quit Smoking Cigarettes?
Quitters flu symptoms appear when your body is withdrawing from nicotine. Nicotine is a highly addictive chemical that impacts neurotransmitters in the brain and binds to receptors impacting chemicals including dopamine, serotonin, acetylcholine, norepinephrine, etc. These neurotransmitters play a pertinent role in functioning including appetite, mood, memory, and getting feelings of pleasure.
Whenever a person quits, the body gets accustomed to the change due to the absence of nicotine in the brain. As the brain and body adjust to change, the lack of nicotine causes cravings, irritability, appetite changes, and even sleep difficulties.
Symptoms of Smokers Flu?
Some of the symptoms of smokers flu are:
- Brain Fog
Around half of smokers experience four or more nicotine symptoms of withdrawal when they quit smoking. You might experience all of the above or a few.
How Long Does it Last?
The symptoms of a smoker’s flu can resolve with time however unfortunately, that could take two weeks or more, but it’s not difficult, and withdrawal from nicotine isn’t harmful to your health also. If your willpower is strong, you can overcome symptoms, so there is no harm in suddenly stopping your nicotine use.
How to Stop a Nicotine Flu?
There are many treatments available that can ease the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, and there is more likelihood that you remain stuck to your smoking cessation goals. You can prevent symptoms by adopting the following measures:
Vape in Small Amounts
The routines and rituals of smoking are difficult to stop, but vaping can help you gradually let go of these while instantly reducing the health risk of smoking cigarettes. Sometimes cold turkey works, but statistics show it doesn't help as much as weening off nicotine. Using a vape can help. Although most single use pre-filled pod devices might have too much nicotine, you can choose lower strength nicotine.
You can also pick refillable pod system where you can navigate your nicotine strength. The lower you start with, the easier it will be to ween off.
Try Nicotine Free Vapes
Although many people want to quit cold turkey, using no nic vapes can also help you. Some people have been smoking for such a long time, they get an oral fixation. Other ex-smokers miss the feeling of seeing or feeling smoke come out of their mouth. Vapes with no nicotine can help you get the fix you need with no nicotine.
Exercise can beat cravings to smoke and improve mood by releasing endorphins in your brain. By regularly exercising, you can continue doing the activities you enjoy. If you have not exercised before, check with your doctor before starting your exercise regime, especially if you have health issues that could pose a problem.
The food you eat during nicotine withdrawal can reduce negative symptoms and can make you feel worse. Think of how your body reacts to food in normal situations. Eating unhealthy food can increase blood sugar levels and crashes, which can leave you feeling wired or tired as you move through your day. Eat foods that can keep your body in balance and give you enough energy that can help you detoxify from cigarettes.
Reduce the intake of less nutritious foods by using the 80/20 rule, Reserve 80% of your calories for nutritious food and another 20 % for occasional treats.
You can use over-the-counter medications like pain relievers and cough drops. These can help you adjust to symptoms of smoker’s flue. However, talk to your healthcare providers before using cough suppressants. Some coughing might also clear mucus and debris, so your healthcare provider might advise you to allow coughing to happen.
To counter its symptoms, do anything that would make you feel comfortable besides reaching for a cigarette. You might find a hot cup of tea or a warm bath helps relieve symptoms, for others, exercise is beneficial, as it releases feel-good endorphins that help balance the mood implications of nicotine withdrawal.
After quitting smoking, in the first-week people generally relapse. If anyone is facing withdrawal symptoms or a smoker’s flu, he or she might get tempted to pick up a cigarette. And also feel miserable about it. Instead, try to stay busy. Go for a walk, or play a game. Anything distractive can keep you focused and lead to a healthier life.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT):
Nicotine replacement medications are prescribed, which deliver a small amount of nicotine without the risk of the dangerous chemical found in cigarettes. This can help you reduce your nicotine intake without withdrawal symptoms. NRT products include nicotine pouches, nicotine patches, nicotine gum, inhalers, lozenges, nasal spray.
Some people like to use caffeine as a replacement too.
Behavioral Therapy or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) helps change the thoughts and behaviors that play a role in smoking. It can also help people learn new skills that can help them quit smoking and remain smoke-free in the long term.
Quitting nicotine is very difficult as your mind will continue to convince you to go back to smoking. But nicotine withdrawal is a temporary phase, but by following the above-mentioned routine, you can tolerate your discomfort. Symptoms confirm that your body is healing, moving from its dependence on smoking to healthy life.