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Suggest treatment for withdrawal symptoms of nicotine

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Posted on Mon, 25 Jul 2016
Question: Hi, I'm a male 22 and have been smoking since 17. I finally decided to kick the habit and am almost at my first week without cigarettes. However, It seems I'm feeling worse now than I did when I was still smoking. From 17-20 I usually averaged between 4-7 cigs a day. From 20 til last week I usually smoked anywhere from 8-15 or so depending on the day I was having but never made it to the full pack a day smoker. My main concern is that I seem to be have shortness of breath especially after doing anything strenuous. I can never seem to clear my throat either and have constant drainage. I read on several forums that many ex smokers have these symptoms when quitting and they can take weeks or even months to clear out. I also seem to be getting dizzy and sleepy when I normally wouldn't. I read that this can be from nicotine withdrawals, but I'm using nicotine gum at home and am smoking e-cigs at work. I'm just wondering if I'm experiencing these "quitters symptoms" that will go away with time or if any of this is an indication that serious or fatal damage has already been done. It wouldn't seem likely to me given my young age and that I'm in overall good health minus being overweight. If it doesn't seem to improve any by the end of this week I plan on consulting my doctor, but I'm also hesitant to at the same time. I guess I'm afraid of finding out I may already have some form of COPD at 22 and will have to cope with it for the rest of my life.
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Answered by Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar (1 hour later)
Brief Answer:
Get done PFT first.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for your question on Healthcare Magic.
I can understand your concern.
Yes, your confusion is right.
All these symptoms are due to cigarette cessation.
But ar the same time breathlessness on exertion is characteristic feature of smoking related lung damage.
So to rule out this confusion better to consult pulmonologist and get done clinical examination of respiratory system and PFT (pulmonary function test).. PFT will not only diagnose bronchitis but it will also tell you about severity of the disease and treatment is based on severity only.
You may need inhaled bronchodilator and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS).
Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Kaushal Bhavsar

Pulmonologist

Practicing since :2008

Answered : 14949 Questions

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Suggest treatment for withdrawal symptoms of nicotine

Brief Answer: Get done PFT first. Detailed Answer: Thanks for your question on Healthcare Magic. I can understand your concern. Yes, your confusion is right. All these symptoms are due to cigarette cessation. But ar the same time breathlessness on exertion is characteristic feature of smoking related lung damage. So to rule out this confusion better to consult pulmonologist and get done clinical examination of respiratory system and PFT (pulmonary function test).. PFT will not only diagnose bronchitis but it will also tell you about severity of the disease and treatment is based on severity only. You may need inhaled bronchodilator and inhaled corticosteroids (ICS). Hope I have solved your query. I will be happy to help you further. Wish you good health. Thanks.