I quit smoking so why am I coughing?
The prospect of giving up smoking can seem daunting. It might take you some time to gather the strength to take the plunge. When you finally quit, it can be very upsetting to discover that you initially feel worse rather than better. Throwing your cigarettes in the bin will mean that your body starts to heal itself and this process can result in a few side effects that make life difficult.
You may have been prone to coughing when you smoked but you could be coughing for England when you quit!
Why did you cough when you smoked?
Cigarette smoke is loaded with nasty toxins which are problematic for your lungs which feature tiny nodules called cilia. These are your body’s filtration system and work to keep fine particles away from your lung tissue. They are usually coated in a fine layer of mucus but when you smoke, your body reacts to the invasion of nasties by creating more mucus. This turns claggy and compromises your cilia. Coughing is your body’s way of clearing mucus but when you smoke, that mucus can become so thick that its really hard to shift.
Why do you cough when you quit?
Soon after you smoke your last cigarette, your cilia will begin to regenerate, and mucus production will fall. You won’t be inflicting further toxins on your lungs and the process of repair will get underway. But your body will feel the urge to clear the mucus that has accumulated. This will have become thinner, and you will experience the urge to cough it up.
When you start to cough up phlegm, it’s a good sign! But it is important to remember that smoking has left you vulnerable to a number of respiratory issues. If your symptoms persist, consult your doctor as you need to establish that your cough is simply the result of quitting and not a symptom of disease.
Can you ease your cough and related symptoms?
Constant coughing places stresses on your body and this could mean that you experience various aches and pains. The less strain you inflict on your body the better. Keep yourself hydrated as this will result in looser mucus that is easier to shift. Did you know that liquorice is an expectorant that helps loosen mucus? Teas featuring liquorice are excellent choices for the first couple of months after you quit. If your throat becomes sore, try treating yourself to a spoonful of honey.
Why should you keep your eyes on the prize?
There is nothing better you can do to benefit your health than quitting smoking. You will experience a few side effects throughout the process that could easily knock you off course. Keep the faith and don’t allow a temporary cough to drive you back to your ciggies because that cough will soon ease, and you will start to feel fabulous.
When you stop smoking, you are coughing because your body is saying an extended goodbye to the nasty mucus that has accumulated. Once it’s gone, it will be gone for good, as long as you make cigarettes a thing of the past.