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nebule's avatar

Help with a specific side effect from quitting smoking?

Asked by nebule (16379 points ) December 7th, 2010

Please forgive my frankness. I quit on Saturday and I’ve not been to the loo since (number 2!) I have IBS anyway and had only just managed to get myself into a good routine and was finally comfortable after years and years of being in pain.

I put this down to the fact that I’ve been having fruit smoothies for breakfast and smoking obviously which is well known to induce bowel movement. I thought that as long as I continued to have the smoothies my bowel function would continue as normal. But no so :-( This is a big problem for me.

So anyway, I took some senna last night and still nothing. It’s like my body is rebelling against my decision. I must add too that I’m using patches so I’m still getting nicotine in my body so this shouldn’t have had such a massive effect. My diet hasn’t changed at all so I can only think that it’s the relative amount of nicotine I would normally pump into my body in one go that would help me go.

SO! Has anyone got any advice on what to do? Apart from eating more fruit and drinking gallons of coffee (which I may just try) I feel like having a cigarette just to go to the loo…but in all honesty…I really don’t want to do that!!! Please help?

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13 Answers

mrlaconic's avatar

Add fiber to your smoothie.. a couple handfuls of spinach should do the trick… and if you are using the right kind of fruit you wont be able to taste it. Banana and blueberry is a good combination to go with spinach.

nebule's avatar

@mrlaconic Thank you… Won’t that make me very smelly though :-/ x I’ll give it a try!

mrlaconic's avatar

Well everyones senses are different, but I make a green smoothie every morning (one step up from what I recommended for you – I add Kale) and I only smell it when Its right up close as I drink it.. but even then it’s not bad.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Decreased intestinal movement is a side effect of stopping smoking and can last for a few weeks. Increase your water intake during the day, as well as fiber. Walking can help, too. I have the same problem as a side effect of blood pressure medication, and take chewable fiber tablets, and Ducolax.

marinelife's avatar

Does it help to know that it is a common symptom?

“Constipation, gas, stomach pain

Constipation is caused by intestinal movement decreases for a brief period. It will normally last for several weeks.
Drink plenty of liquids (6–8 glasses of water daily); add roughage to diet (fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals, bran); go for walks.”

Barnacle Bill’s suggestions were right on.

Quit Smoking Support

Smashley's avatar

Yeah, this sort of thing can happen. Coffee helps (for me, anyway). Keep yourself hydrated and eat a good breakfast (fruit smoothies aren’t exactly ideal, try to get some good grains) each morning and you’ll get over it in a couple of weeks. I quit smoking just before a month long hiking trip, and I found that my morning oatmeal quickly replaced cigarettes as my “trigger.” When I got off trail, I kept up the oatmeal routine and it’s worked great ever since!

It’s tough, but you’re making the right decisions. Good luck!

nikipedia's avatar

You got some good advice already… I just wanted to say congratulations on quitting!!!! Keep up the good work!

nebule's avatar

@BarnacleBill A few weeks???!!! Oh MY! :-( I’ll keep taking the senna then too! Dulcolax tends to be a bit too strong for me…although I do sometimes take this when things get really bad… but I find it sends me too far in the opposite direction and I end up very poorly indeed. I have to be careful with doses! But thank you xx
@The_Idler Yes, I’m upping my intake to two cups in the morning, hopefully this will help xx
@marinelife I didn’t think it would have had such an effect to be honest I’m mean sometimes I’d manage to go before I even had my morning cigarette so didn’t think it would be a problem…but obviously is. But it doesn’t surprise me that it’s common :( I am wondering what gets it back to normal after a few weeks?? Does your body naturally adjust? Having had problems with this IBS before and having been better than ever whilst smoking I’m pretty bummed out about this tbh :-( Thank you for your advice though…I will do all those things! x
@Smashley I know why you would say that about fruit smoothies and favouring oats and grains but I’ve found that my body just can’t handle all that stodge…it actually bungs me up more than anything. Thank you for your support xx
@nikipedia Thank you xxxx

MissAnthrope's avatar

@nebule – Don’t you dare smoke.. you’ll undo all of that hard work! Just think about having to start it all over from scratch.. ugh. You know I love you, so just keep up the hard work. :)

My mom has a finicky digestive tract, so whenever she travels or gets off her routine, she’s in for several days of constipation. I remember her taking stuff for this, to keep a balance. One thing was a powder she mixed with water and drank at night before bed. It had acidophilus, but I’m not sure what else, maybe ground flax seed. It was actually not that bad to drink, it tasted kind of like malted milk. I can ask her what she used specifically, if you’re interested. I’m betting she could recommend several things, considering her lifelong battle with her digestive system. :)

nebule's avatar

@MissAnthrope Thank you, that would be really great actually if you don’t mind? x I’m doing OK on the cig front…still going strong! :-) But feeling rather low today all things considered x Mind has also been a lifelong battle..it’s awful! Thank you for your support though uhn, you really have been amazing x

Kardamom's avatar

You might want to check with your doctor or online to see if either of these 2 things will be ok if you have IBS (I’ve heard that some things aggravate it more than others) But I take, before my evening meal, one Tablespoon of ground Flax Meal and one Tablespoon of psyllium husk with a big glass of water, it’s important that you get at least a full 8 ounce glass of water with this! It says so right on the package of psyllium. But I have a lovely free flowing bowel every morning. Just make sure you find out for sure if either, or both of these things is ok for you to take and won’t aggravate your IBS. The omega 3 fatty acids in the flax meal will also help you to be in a better mood (as will making sure you get enough B vitamins) Good luck and Godspeed.

Garebo's avatar

Just drink lots of beer with your pals-no wine, I will guarantee you will feel free.
Just make sure it isn’t Belgian Beer.

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