OK, I quit. Why do I feel worse?
[From CancerNet from the National Cancer Institute. CancerNet News. Clearing the Air: How to Quit Smoking...and Quit for Keeps. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health.]
National Cancer Institute, NIH Publication No. 94-1647, September 1993:
"As your body begins to repair itself, instead of feeling better right away, you may feel worse for a while. It's important to understand that healing is a process - it begins immediately, but it continues over time. These 'withdrawal pangs' are really symptoms of the recovery process.
"Immediately after quitting, many ex-smokers experience 'symptoms of recovery' such as temporary weight gain caused by fluid retention, irregularity and dry, sore gums or tongue. You may feel edgy, hungry, more tired, or more short-tempered than usual; you may have trouble sleeping or notice that you are coughing a lot. These symptoms are the result of your body clearing itself of nicotine, a powerful addictive chemical. Most nicotine is gone from the body in 2-3 days."
[To treat these 'symptoms of recovery,' give your body what it really needs - NOT the poison which it is working so hard to expel! If you're tired, nap; edgy, try camomile tea, warm milk, a soothing bath; when constipated, get some exercise and eat some dried fruit. Keep in mind that these symptoms are temporary and are steps leading to better health than you've known in a long time! -ed.]