Why Smoking Can Be More Harmful to Those With Fibromyalgia
Unfortunately, a high number of individuals who have fibromyalgia smoke, perhaps partially due to the stress the illness causes. In addition to the diseases and distress smoking causes, it can worsen your fibromyalgia symptoms; you may experience an increase in pain, fatigue, stiffness and debility if you smoke.
There are a multitude of reasons to quit smoking if you have fibromyalgia.
1. Inflammation and Symptoms Worsen When You Smoke
Fibromyalgia causes inflammation, which results in pain and other symptoms. On top of this, tobacco also causes widespread inflammation — meaning smokers who have fibromyalgia are left feeling worse.
Smoking also damages your immune system, which is already compromised by fibromyalgia. You need to keep your immune system as healthy as possible by not engaging in smoking and other activities that harm immune system health.
2. Cigarettes Harm the Health of Your Respiratory Tract
Smoking changes the cells within your respiratory tract; production of phlegm increases and narrowing passages within your respiratory tissues makes it harder for you to clear the phlegm from your lungs. As a result, mucus accumulates.
The damp, warm mucus is a perfect breeding ground for infections — such as pneumonia, strep throat and influenza — to develop. Some of the changes to your cells may result in the formation of cancer cells.
Fifteen percent of cigarette smokers develop significant airway obstruction. Experts believe smoking is responsible for 80 to 90 percent of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
3. Smoke Contains Harmful Chemicals
When you inhale cigarette smoke, it is not just the addicting nicotine you need to worry about. Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals and toxins.
Many of the compounds in cigarette smoke are poisonous to your body. They don’t just increase inflammation — they’re deadly.
4. Cigarette Smoking Causes Premature Death
Cigarette smoking is directly responsible for over 20 percent of deaths in the United States. Almost 90 percent of people who die from lung cancer lose their lives due to smoking. Avoiding smoking is the most preventable way to avoid premature death and the terrible suffering that comes with it.
5. Smoking Is an Unhealthy Example for Your Loved Ones
While all family members are impacted due to their loved one’s illness, many become ill themselves due to exposure to secondhand smoke. Exposure to secondhand smoke puts adults around you at risk for ischemic heart disease, impaired lung function and lung cancer.
Secondhand smoke is particularly dangerous for children and pets. Children exposed to it are at risk for diminished lung function, asthma, and other respiratory illnesses.
6. Smoking Sends the Wrong Message to Those Who Love You
In addition to potentially harming the physical health of people you care about, if you smoke you are demonstrating that smoking is acceptable and too powerful to overcome. Even if you say, “I can’t quit, I have tried,” you are showing your loved ones that difficult problems aren’t worth fighting.
Do you really want your children or grandchildren to view you as someone who doesn’t care enough about yourself and loved ones that you won’t keep persevering until you succeed?
Start today, even if it is only by not smoking one cigarette. Tomorrow, skip two cigarettes. You will succeed. Life will be vastly better for you and those you love.
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