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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » smoking and lyme, need help!

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Author Topic: smoking and lyme, need help!
tommyboy
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I have had lyme disease for almost 3 years. I have seen a llmd and tried herbs and abx and I haven't made significant progress.

All this time I have continued to smoke and I was well aware I was hurting myself. I finally had enough and said I can't get well if I can't give up the cigs so I am almost a week without cigs.

I am feeling down and having insomnia and just feel bad, not that feeling bad isn't my norm but the insomnia and depression are new.

I just wanted to know if anyone else has gone through this and what to expect? Am I going to go through some kind of detox reaction before feeling better? I smoked for 10 yrs but I am serious about quitting.

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Keebler
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-
I can't answer all your questions yet some detail here may help.

I strongly suggest a LL ND or LL acupuncturist to help you in the transition. Hypnotherapy can be a tremendous help, too.

http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=121119;p=0

Breathing Fresh Air (or Stop smoking) links to help
-

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AuntyLynn
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Try eating light foods (fish, nuts, eggs, veggies - as opposed to red meat), and drink lots of fluids (preferably unsweetened) - this will help you to flush the nicotine from your system faster.

Don't be surprised if you get strong cravings at about the 3 week mark, as this is the "stored" nictotine in your fat cells, dumping into the bloodstream ... it too, will pass.

I wish you best luck!

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Carol in PA
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Look into lithium orotate to help with the craving for nicotine.

Also, kudzu can help with cravings.


There are some remarkable reviews for these products at iHerb.com.

Lithium orotate
http://www.iherb.com/search?kw=lithium%20orotate#none

Kudzu
http://www.iherb.com/Kudzu

Stop smoking
http://www.iherb.com/Smoking-Center

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kgg
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Congratulations! Please keep up the good work!

I, too, quit smoking after smoking for 10 years. Cold Turkey. Hardest thing I have ever done. But worth it!

It gets better. But it takes a while. My father told me that at about the 6 week mark, cigarettes go from smelling good to obnoxious. And it did.

But you need your sleep! If you don't sleep you won't have the stick-to-it-ness that you need. Have you tried anything for sleep? Benadryl? Over the counter? Herbal supplements?

I also had to re-learn how to relax. I know that may sound funny/odd. But when I needed a break, I would have a cigarette. So I needed to change my behavior.

You might want to be in touch with your lyme doc. They may have suggestions on how to weather this withdrawal.

At the risk of repeating myself: Good for you!
Karen

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Jessig627
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Congrats on quitting! I too quit cold turkey a few months ago. It will take awhile but you're doing the best thing for yourself. It may sound a bit silly but I drank a bottle of water almost every time I had a craving. It helps along with detox from the lyme, cos and years of smoking. And when all else fails, chew gum! I live with another smoker so I know how hard it can be. But trust me, you can do it! :-)
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tommyboy
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Jessie, have you noticed any improvements in how you feel in general or lymewise?

I am using nicotine gum by the way, there is no way I could go cold turkey! I think it is the gum that is causing insomnia.

I notice the later in the day and the more i have chewed the more i get restless. So I am trying to cut back in the afternoon.

I can't wait to put some more smoke free time behind me and see how much better I can feel!

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tommyboy
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Thanks for the tips I want to try to replace the gum with non nicotine supps or something as soon as I get over this initial hump and get used to not having a cig in my hand.

For now I figure the gum is way better than smoking.

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tommyboy
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Now that I have not smoked in a week I am beginning to feel short of breath. It is weird but I feel like i am having more issues now than before.

I wonder if this is a normal reaction or maybe a healing reaction?

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AuntyLynn
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Damn! Get rid of that nicotine gum! It is only a crutch that will keep you addicted to nicotine. (And why would you put $$ into the pocket of a company that financed legislation to makes smoker 2nd class citizens?)

Also, a warning: nico gum/patch + coffee = major jitters!

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tommyboy
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Well, nicotine gum is the only thing between me and a cigarette right now and i know for sure that I would smoke again if I didn't have the nic gum to get over this initial hump.

I was not aware that the company has "financed legislation to makes smokers 2nd class citizens."

It seems to me that a lot of non smokers in general have done their share in making smokers second class citizens as well, or at least making them feel that way.

Are you referring to the brand name "nicorette" ?

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AuntyLynn
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Tommyboy -

I congratulate you on your attempt to quit. But frankly, the Nicorette will just keep you addicted. Same with Nicoderm.

Both of these products are manufactured or licensed by Johnson & Johnson (or one of their subsidiaries). Meanwhile J&J's "charitable" entity - The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - has been financing "Tobacco Control" to the tune of MILLION$, for years, and enjoying some hefty tax deductions for their "charity" since the genesis of the Master Settlement Agreement in 1998.

For those who are unaware, the Master Settlement Agreement was a rent-seeking scheme cooked up by famed "liability Lawyer" John Banzhaf, III - who threatened to bring lawsuits against the tobacco companies "on behalf of the States" who were paying for medical care for indigent smokers who had no health insurance! (IMHO, this was a cut and dried example of corporate bribery!)

Banzhaf got big cig to agree to pay a "$urcharge" to the States who signed on to the Agreement - but in reality, the lion's share of this fleecing came from smokers' pockets - as States jacked up their cigarette taxes (at the urging of "tobacco control"), over and over and over again. Most folks don't know that a pack of cigs costs about Forty Cents to grow, manufacture and distribute - all of the rest of the price (over $8 here in Jersey, $12 in NYC) ... is ALL "Sin Tax!"

These new MSA taxes helped to pay for the kind of negative advertising that no American Corporation could ever buy, much less broadcast into homes! Tobacco control's heinous ads have been designed to create shame and guilt, and to villify smokers as being dirty, stupid, and even lousy parents! All because they choose to use a legal product that our government once actively promoted!

If you Wiki John Banzhaf, Esq., you would find that that this greedy little opportunist actually FOUNDED the "Action on Smoking and Health" (A/K/A "ASH"), and he currently collects a very tidy salary as its CEO.

Meanwhile, the "Tobacco Control" entities like, ASH, GASP, NYQuits and the like, that are FINANCED by smokers' taxes, have managed to overstep the legal powers of their "charitable" status to have hounded State Legislators beyond all parameters of legal charitable lobbying - to have reinstituted SEGREGATION in these United States! (There is simply no other word for forcibly dividing citizens from their peers!)

Therefore, today it is not only "acceptable" to openly discriminate against those who use tobacco ... it's even FASHIONABLE to villify us! All because an enterprising few nanny prigs have found a way to PROFIT while they force the whole of society to "see things all THEIR WAY!"

Therefore, from this perspective, it was way too easy for a handful of well-organized profiteers to flush my Constitutional Guarantee to FREE Assembly, right down the toilet. What happened to the sanctified RIGHT of CITIZENS to CHOOSE with whom, where, and when they will ASSEMBLE?

The assertion that smokers jeopardize the health of those around them, to put it politely, is one of the biggest scams ever foisted upon an unsuspecting public. And if it weren't for the "junk science" cranked out by unethical opportunists like "Dr." Stanton Glantz of UCalSFO - these fascists wouldn't have a shred of credibility.

OH and BTW, interesting factoid:
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation actually FOUNDED the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids! Apparently, they discovered that it was more efficient to create their own "tax exempted" tobacco control group, and take their write-offs directly, rather than to wait for it to "trickle down" to them from some State quit program.

Don't believe me? Take a look at the latest version of RWJF's scrubbed tobacco charity page:
designed to paint J&J as "heroes," while they attempt to arm-twist smokers into "quitting" so as to divert our cash into J&J's coffers!!

http://rwjf.org/en/topics/rwjf-topic-areas/tobacco.html

(What does a week's worth of nicotine gum or patches cost these days? Last I checked, it amounted to about $75 a WEEK in PURE UNTAXED PROFITS, that go directly to J&J!)

Oh and BTW, now that J&J has all but conquered smokers' civil rights, they've got a NEW DIET PILL they'd like to sell ... to all of you slothful fatties!

So yeah - quit for YOUR OWN health - not because some uninformed lemming has drunk the tobaccco control kool-aid.

[ 02-23-2013, 12:02 AM: Message edited by: AuntyLynn ]

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kgg
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I did not experience it, but I have heard of people who quit that had a lung detox of sorts. I wonder if that is the source of your shortness of breath?

Hang in there!
Karen

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jlf2012
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Good luck!! I think it's a shame that smokers are treated like second class citizens btw. I'm not defending smoking at all, but these are human beings who are addicted to something they wish they could give up. I wish you the very best:)
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tommyboy
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kgg, I think i am experiencing detox of some kind because of the shortness of breath and feeling yuck.


I am having a hard time feeling bad after expecting to feel better after quitting. I am still cig free but struggling.

This is the best thing i can do for myself right? I mean burrascano said no smoking at all.

is there any point to try to treat when I am inhaling toxins everyday?

Sorry just need some reinforcement and support. Unfortunately my significant other is a smoker and is not supportive of my quitting. They think i should just cut back and not quit but I really want to do this and get to the other side with clearer lungs and better health.

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AuntyLynn
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Wow, you are really swimming upstream with a significant other who smokes. Your "other" should try to be more understanding, quitting is not an easy task.

The shortness of breath has me stumped though. I have never heard of this in quitters - usually, they/we all cough up tons of phlem for a while.

However, there is a co-infection that causes shortness of breath ... I don't remember which one, maybe Bartonella? (Have you ever seen dark "streaks" on your skin? That is a classic sign of Bart, which is also known as "cat scratch fever" because of the streaks.)

In my experience you really have to WANT to quit to succeed. You have the ambition - so that's half the battle. I would go real heavy on the fluids and would eat oranges and other vitamin C rich fruit - but frankly, unless you can wean off the gum, it will take longer to detox. Still, you have to do what's right for you.
Best luck Tommyboy!

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tommyboy
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I have been reading some stuff online and the more i read the more discouraged I get. It seems lots of people feel very ill after quitting and quite a few of these people stayed feeling ill for over a yr.

I already feel like crap from lyme and i thought quitting smoking would be something to bump my health and wellness up a few notches but now i don't know if i have it in me to feel like crap from lyme and not smoking. I really do want to remain a non smoker but it's hard to see it being worth it if this means misery on top of misery.

I was prepared for anxiety, insomnia, cravings but not whole body feeling aching, feeling sicker, feeling very tired all the time, and feeling mentally blank and not wanting to do anything at all.

I thought i read that nicotine itself is not so bad for you and that it is the tar, chemicals etc. that are so bad for you.

There has got to be a way to detox some of this crud!!!!

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RC1
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Hey there,
I quit smoking 5 years ago, I did it with nicotine replacement. I can remember feeling pretty crappy for a couple of weeks. I was a pack a day smoker and smoked for 20+ years. I can remember all I wanted to do was sleep.

You'll get over the hump. I know it is rough. Nicotine replacement is way better than smoking...even if you are swapping one addiction for another. Nicotine gum doesn't contribute to COPD. Best to you.

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Carol in PA
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Tom, have you had a chance to look into the lithium orotate and kudzu that I suggested earlier?


Here is an article about things that will help with your effort to stop smoking.

20 Natural Ways To Shatter A Drug, Alcohol or Tobacco Addiction
http://www.pickthebrain.com/blog/20-natural-ways-to-shatter-a-drug-alcohol-or-tobacco-addiction/


Almost everything mentioned there is also used in treating Lyme.
Some of them help nutritional deficiencies or help the liver to process poisons.
I have edited this list and added my comments:

1. Vitamin C Therapy

2. Lithium Orotate

7. N-Acetyl-Cysteine (for the liver)


9. Essential Fatty Acids (fish oil)
Fish oil will help reduce inflammation and pain, reduce blood pressure and depression.
Good for the liver, as it provides things the liver needs to make glutathione.

10. Milk Thistle
Milk thistle helps lower cholesterol, treat liver problems, and benefit diabetes.

13. Skullcap
Skullcap is used in herbal remedies to calm tension, ease spasms and induce sleep.


16. Magnesium

In a 2003 study, a group of 12 addicts were either given magnesium or a placebo.
Urine samples were taken twice a week for 12 weeks.

Those taking magnesium had drugs in their urine only 16% of the time whereas the placebo group had drugs in their urine 48% of the time.

Cocaine craving scores were also 78% lower in the magnesium group.

17. B Vitamins

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tommyboy
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So, I had a couple of BAAAD days and felt like my muscles were going out and I was losing my mind. almost to the point of seeing the carpet move and feeling sure i was going to die, so tired i didn't want to move, hard to breathe.

is it possible that the smoking and lack of oxygen was somehow keeping babesia or something at bay? I am not saying smoking is good but I cannot imagine that most people go through this kind of hell when trying to stop smoking especially when they are using nicotine replacement.

I have already been taking mag and b and milk thistle, and c. I will look into the others.

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average joe
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I feel for you there Tommyboy. I have my own opinions on your posts, particularly the last but I think you'll be hard pressed to find anyone to tell you to start back up again.

If there is ANY chance of quitting and you've made up your mind to do so I think everyone here will tell you to stay the course.

As for the bad experiences, nobody can appreciate what you are going through unless they've gone through it, much like all of us lymies. Hopefully you can hang on.

Signed: A fellow second class citizen.

--------------------
If you play at the beach, expect to get some sand in your shorts [Smile]

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Carol in PA
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If you have a problem with coughing, look into getting a salt pipe/inhaler.

This is a ceramic tube filled with salt crystals, either salt from European salt mines or Himalayan salt.
You breathe in air that passes through the crystals and picks up ions/molecules of salt.

When you breathe the salt ions deep into your lungs, it helps to reduce inflammation and kills bacteria and viruses.
It also helps to loosen up and cough out phlegm.

I bought one because I get bronchitis every winter, and the year I had influenza I also got pneumonia.
But I've also been doing things for the immune system, and I haven't been sick with bronchitis in more than five years.

You can search for salt inhaler at Amazon.com to find vendors.

Several people at LymeNet who've tried this had good results with asthma, and were able to reduce the use of their inhalers.

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surprise
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Hang in there- it's not worth it to start up again- you'll just be right back where you were----

I smoked in my 20's- pack a day- no having just '1' for me-
Soooooo hard to quit, I know- but you need to---money, cancer, you know all this.

Sometimes Wellbutrin or Chantix can help--

Sending you good thoughts---- I understand, I do. I also used nicotine replacement- no way could I have gone cold turkey.

--------------------
Lyme positive PCR blood, and
positive Bartonella henselae Igenex, 2011.
low positive Fry biofilm test, 2012.
Update 7/16- After extensive treatments,
doing okay!

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AuntyLynn
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Now, I'm going to say I wouldn't recommend Chantix to my worst enemy. Way too many suicides have been attributed to this drug! If you are already depressed, the risk for that goes up dramatically.

(As if having Lyme isn't depressing??)

I'm with Mark Twain:

"Quitting is easy - I've done it hundreds of times."

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anuta
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I was a heavy smoker almost for 20 years prior to Lyme. I loved smoking and told everybody that I wold never stop. Well, never say never.

For the first 2 years that I was sick but didn't know it was Lyme I continued to smoke.
When my LLMD told me that if I don't quit I will NEVER get rid of Lyme, it scared the hell out of me.
I was 39 and just couldn't imagine to spend the rest of my suffering like this. After this it was actually not very hard to quit.

I just stopped and every time I would have desire for a cigarette, I would literally visualize myself 10 years later still very sick and miserable, I swear, the desire to smock would go away immediately.

It has been 3 years that I'm not smoking. You can do it!!! You just have to know that you do that to get your life back!!!

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