How Nicotine Affects Your Heart
How Smoking and Nicotine Damage Your Heart?
Usually, the main source of nicotine entering your body is tobacco, and most of the time, via smoking. And tobacco is one of the most addictive substances responsible for taking the life of every 1 out of 5 people in the world. In India alone, the death toll due to tobacco is as high as 10 million lives per year. It is more than the deaths caused because of HIV, Illegal drug use, alcohol use, firearm-related incidents and road accidents, all combined. The heart bears a lot of damage because of smoking. The best heart specialists in Delhi NCR advise that people at risk of heart disease, stroke, and even diabetes should not be even around someone smoking. If you’re in Noida and suffering from any of the diseases associated with smoking, you can turn yourself in the hands of the best heart specialists in Noida present in the heart hospitals in Noida, to get the best treatment.
There are a number of ways in which nicotine affects your body. The hardest effect is on the cardiovascular system. Researches show that when you smoke, your heart rate increases, major arteries have faster cholesterol deposition and also cause an irregular heart rhythm, making your heart work harder than usual. Apart from these, smoking also increases blood pressure and thus, increases the risk of stroke.
The nicotine in cigarettes, as discussed is highly addictive and can have withdrawal symptoms when someone tries quitting. Another damage is that nicotine also contributes to hardening your artery walls. The thickening of the artery walls can lead to Atherosclerosis which restricts the flow of oxygen-rich blood to different parts and organs of your body.
Similarly, Ischemic heart disease happens when plaques build up in the arteries which supply blood to the heart, known as coronary arteries in medical terms. And with the turn of pages of time, this heart disease can cause chest pain, heart failure, heart attack, arrhythmia or worse, even death.
Talking about arteries, peripheral artery disease (P.A.D) is yet more a condition in which plaque builds up in the arteries which carry blood to the major organs of the body such as the head and limbs. Smoking is a major cause of people suffering from P.A.D. People suffering from P.A.D are at a greater risk of heart attack and stroke.
Nicotine directly and adversely affects your cardiovascular system and can eventually become the cause of a heart attack. But everything being said, it’s never too late and never too difficult to quit smoking. Ultimately, it’s the nicotine that you’re really trying to quit and once you start giving up on smoking and nicotine, there are some withdrawal symptoms you might experience, such as –
- In the starting, you may have trouble thinking.
- You might start getting hungrier than normal.
- You will feel irritated, anxious or angry.
- Naturally, your body will crave tobacco.
It’s not easy to quit on the first attempt and many people have tried several times before finally giving up on smoking. Nicotine is just as addictive as other substances such as alcohol, cocaine, and heroin. However, the good part is that quitting smoking has direct and immediate advantages for your health and heart.
For people diagnosed with coronary heart disease, quitting smoking significantly lessens the risk of recurrent heart attack and cardiovascular death. Many cases showed the reduction to be as significant as 50% less. This is a clear fact that once you stop smoking, the heart diseases associated with smoking start to decrease soon and only continue to decrease with time. And as shocking as it may sound, quitting smoking can lower the heart disease risk as much as, or more than common medicines are used to lower heart disease risk, including aspirin, beta-blockers, ACE inhibitors, and statin.
In order to quit, you must be really ready to stand by your decision for it to succeed. Here are some tips to make your decision, a successful one –
- Select a date to quit smoking. It can be some special day like a birthday or anniversary or just a random day, whatever seems fit to you.
- Get rid of all the cigarettes and every tobacco product from your premises, car or anywhere you spend time. Also, remove all the lighters, matches and ashtrays as well.
- Be aware of the causes that urge you to smoke and try avoiding these triggers or better substitute them with something that diverts your mind. After a few minutes, the urge to smoke diminishes if you’re trying to quit.
- Make everyone around you aware that you’re quitting and request them to not smoke around you if they’re a smoker.
- Joining a counselling group or program has helped many smokers to quit by merging the support of individual counselling or group treatment. The individual efforts of quitting, when combined with a support program, help in a great way as you get the support and motivation from the people who’ve suffered or are suffering from the same conditions.
Beating the nicotine addiction takes more than willpower and determination. It’s difficult and one should expect challenges on the way. However, many people have successfully quit smoking and led a good and healthy life after that. Nothing feels better than taking care of yourself and your heart, after all, it’s you who will be with yourself till the end of your life.