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Trying to quit smoking. Started getting fainting symptoms. Is there any complication?

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Practicing since : 2003
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Hello Doctor,

This is XXXXXXX from XXXXXXX This is about my father who had been a chain smoker since a long time but reduced a lot these days. But he could not quit completely as he says he couldn't control it and was getting a fainting symptoms when he tried to do so. He takes about 2-3 cigarettes a day now.

His health is absolutely fine and he never had any complications before. But I assume his health would have had some impact as he had been smoking for a long time. I just wanted to know
1. If at all there is a hazard, how to identify before it gets serious. Do you recommend any tests?
2. Can we compensate this negative impact of smoking by following a specific diet or something.

Thanks a lot for your support in advance.

Best Regards, XXXXXXX
Posted Mon, 4 Feb 2013 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Answered by Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar 1 hour later
Welcome to Healthcare Magic and thanks for your query.

I appreciate your concern regarding your father's health. Smoking definitely has an adverse impact and long term consequences on health, though it may not be obvious immediately. Some of the long term complications are respiratory disorders (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), increased risk for cardiac problems (such as coronary arteny disease), increased risk for blood low-related problems (such as brain stroke, peripheral vascular disease), high risk for developing cancers (such as oral and lung cancers), etc. So, just because, he is not having any health problems currently, it does not mean that there will not be any adverse consequences. You must also understand that smoking increases the "risk" for a lot of diseases like I have mentioned above. It is difficult to exactly measure or quantify how much risk a person is at due to the smoking. But generally, the risk is directly corelated with the no. of cigarrettes smoked.

To answer your specific questions...
1) Though it is not possible to identify and predict all the furture consequences, you can have medical evaluations to check for the major identifiable medical problems. I would suggest the following:
- Complete physical examination, including respiratory, cardiac, neurological and oral / dental examination.
- Screening blood tests for cholesterol, blood sugar, kidney and liver function tests.
- ECG, and if necessary, Treadmill (stress test).
- Chest X-ray
- If the physical examination detects any problems, then he may need further investigations.

2) It is better to give a healthy, nutritious and balanced diet. Avoid fatty, oily and spicy foods. Include more of vegetables and fruits. Adequate intake of water is essential. Certain fruits like oranges, guavas, gooseberry, etc. are XXXXXXX in vitamin C and anti-oxidants, which have a protective role against various health problems.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
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