Blood Sugar Changes When Quitting

John (Gold)
John (Gold)

November 6th, 2001, 9:12 pm #11

I wish I'd known that I couldn't get by without eating breakfast and lunch anymore . I didn't understand how nicotine and that first cigarette was feeding me by releasing stored fats into my blood stream. I do now and if you're looking in and just beginning a new quit please read this thread, and then read it again, as it could save your quit and your life! You can do it!
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Joel
Joel

November 25th, 2001, 9:16 pm #12

For Shelley:
I noticed you changed your eating pattern to one that is more normal now. I thought you'd appeciate this article on the issue.
Last edited by Joel on March 12th, 2009, 1:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

December 10th, 2001, 6:58 am #13

Unless prohibited by your health or diet, we recommend drinking
natural fruit juices during the
first three days. Cranberry is excellent.
It will aid in stablizing blood sugars and eliminating nicotine.
Be careful with extra juices beyond day 3 as they can be fattening.
If unable to drink juices, eat healthy and don't skip meals.
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 12th, 2009, 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

April 1st, 2002, 7:04 pm #14

If new to Freedom and just beginning recovery it's very important that you understand how each puff, dip or chew of nicotine released adrenaline which in turn released stored fats and fed you. We don't have to eat any more food than we did while using nicotine but if you want to avoid many of the withdrawal symptoms associated with the fact that nicotine is no longer feeding us then we may need to spread our daily intake out a bit more evenly over our entire day! This is doable! Baby steps to comfort!
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 12th, 2009, 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeDTexas GREEN
JoeDTexas GREEN

May 17th, 2002, 8:10 pm #15

Could not agree more, if your a diabetic and kicking the habit, keep a real good eye on bgl, they could drop lower/faster than you might have previously experienced...

If you have problems keeping bgl in line, call your Dr. and discuss the situation with him/her, they will be thrilled to hear that you are quitting....
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Kat3n
Kat3n

May 28th, 2002, 3:16 am #16

Hi,

Your post was enlightening. I have had 7 lbs since I stopped smoking 7 days ago. I thought it was due a new insulin, but maybe not.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 27th, 2002, 8:38 pm #17



None of us EVER skipped breakfast
or lunch while still using nicotine!

Nicotine, via adrenaline releases stored fats and sugars into the bloodstream, ensuring that we were always well fed! It was a deadly means of eating.
If you try going without delivering fuel to your body after ending nicotine use you are likely to experience one or more unnecessary withdrawal symptoms associated with low blood sugar. Nicotine is no longer feeding you and unless you adjust your normal food intake out more evenly over your entire day then you could make withdrawal and recovery far more challenging than need be. What follows is a blood sugar symptoms article from WebMD

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)

Symptoms

Hypoglycemia is not itself a disease but a condition that results from low blood sugar levels. The symptoms are not unique or specific to hypoglycemia; other conditions and illnesses have some of the same or similar symptoms. The symptoms a person experiences may vary from episode to episode and among different individuals. A doctor must carefully evaluate symptoms that may indicate hypoglycemia to be sure that some other condition is not causing them.
Low blood sugar can be mild, moderate, or severe. Increasingly severe symptoms appear as the blood glucose level falls. The most noticeable symptoms result from the effect of low blood sugar on the brain and nervous system.
Mild hypoglycemia
The initial symptoms appear as the body responds to the falling blood sugar levels by releasing glucagon, epinephrine (adrenaline), and other hormones. In normal individuals, blood glucose levels when fasting (between meals) are usually between 70 to 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL).3, 4 The symptoms of mild low blood sugar usually develop when the blood sugar falls below 60 to 65 mg/dL. These may include:
  • Nausea; extreme hunger.
  • Feeling nervous or jittery.
  • Cold, clammy, wet skin; excessive sweating that is not caused by exercise.
  • A rapid heartbeat (tachycardia)
  • Numbness or tingling of the fingertips or lips.
  • Trembling.
Moderate hypoglycemia
If blood sugar levels continue to fall, the lack of adequate glucose begins to impair brain and nervous system functions. Additional symptoms appear that affect behavior and judgment. Symptoms usually develop when the blood sugar falls below 50 mg/dL. These may include:
  • Mood changes, such as irritability, anxiety, restlessness, or anger.
  • Confusion, difficulty in thinking, or inability to concentrate.
  • Blurred vision, dizziness, or headache.
  • Weakness, lack of energy.
  • Poor coordination.
  • Difficulty walking or talking, such as staggering or slurred speech.
  • Fatigue, lethargy, or drowsiness.
Note: A person experiencing moderate hypoglycemia may be too weak or confused to treat the low blood sugar and may need help.
Severe hypoglycemia
The symptoms of severe low blood sugar develop when blood sugar falls below 30 mg/dL. Symptoms may include:
  • Seizures or convulsions.
  • Loss of consciousness, coma.
  • Low body temperature (hypothermia).
Prolonged severe hypoglycemia can cause irreversible brain damage. If emergency medical treatment is not provided, severe hypoglycemia can be fatal. See the Topic Overview or Home Treatment section for links to information on emergency care for low blood sugar.
Note: The blood sugar levels given here are typical ones. However, actual measurements for normal blood sugar levels (euglycemia), and for mild, moderate and severe hypoglycemia, can vary from individual to individual. In some cases, symptoms may even occur when a person's blood sugar level makes a large drop from a high level into the normal range.
Some medications may interfere with whether symptoms of low blood sugar develop. These include beta-blockers, which are often used to treat heart conditions and high blood pressure.
WebMD Health
© 1995-2002, Healthwise, Incorporated, P.O. Box 1989, Boise, ID 83701.
All Rights Reserved.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 12th, 2009, 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

July 17th, 2002, 7:54 pm #18

Smokers are fed stored fats by their addiction
While normal humans feed themselves!
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

October 28th, 2002, 5:49 am #19

Hunger!
A New Experience for Many !
If you're just arriving, this thread is VERY important and worth reading again and again. Each puff, dip or chew of nicotine fed us via adrenaline releases of stored fats and sugars into our bloodstream. Many of us lived in a very unnatural feeding world where we rarely experienced periods or feelings of hunger. As Joel indicates, it's important that we understand and appreciate the time delay between eating food and our brain sensing that the amount of food we've eaten was sufficient to replenish our needs - about 20 minutes!


As Joel points out, if, because of nicotine's ability to instantily feed us, we are not used to this natural 20 minute period of hunger and may attempt to satisfy it with a shovel instead of a slow slow spoon. We can devour an awful lot of groceries in those 20 minutes! None of us need to eat one calorie more than we did while using nicotine but we may need to learn to properly deal with hungar and we may need to learn to spread our normal calorie intake out more evenly over our entire day. It's really a learning experience.


If a food crave should arrive, the slower we eat and the greater amount of time passing between helpings, the fewer helpings we may find we need. After all these years of nicotine feeding us it can take a bit of practice learning how to feed ourselves properly again. What a wonderful problem to have!


Breathe deep, hug hard, live long!

John : )
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 12th, 2009, 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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GeorgieGirl GOLD
GeorgieGirl GOLD

January 29th, 2003, 8:12 am #20

Hi everyone. I really think that I need to share my personal experience with low blood sugar with you all (especially you newbies!). I am nearly 3 months into my Quit and have experienced alot of ups and downs. I guess I had become rather confused as to why I was still experiencing symptoms similar to those that are experienced in the first 72 hours. I was pretty much in a constant state of crankiness, moody, depressed, restless and angry AND I am always so tired. There is also quite a bit of stress going on in my life around me. The point is - I guess I kept putting the symptoms I have been experiencing down to giving up smoking. I have been like this for a while, giving up smoking just unmasked the symptoms even more. The most important point is - that I have seen a doctor and have been properly diagnosed with Hypoglycemia. As John has outlined above - this is the "category" I fall under:

Moderate hypoglycemia
If blood sugar levels continue to fall, the lack of adequate glucose begins to impair brain and nervous system functions. Additional symptoms appear that affect behavior and judgment. Symptoms usually develop when the blood sugar falls below 50 mg/dL. These may include:
  • Mood changes, such as irritability, anxiety, restlessness, or anger.
  • Confusion, difficulty in thinking, or inability to concentrate.
  • Blurred vision, dizziness, or headache.
  • Weakness, lack of energy.
  • Poor coordination.
  • Difficulty walking or talking, such as staggering or slurred speech.
  • Fatigue, lethargy, or drowsiness.
As Joel and everyone has always said - we do not provide medical advice at this site, and for good reason. I think that it is REALLY important in your Quit NOT to blame everything on not-smoking, it does not really deserve any credit at all. As I have found out myself - I had an underlying medical condition. All that smoking did was mask it and probably make it worse!
Also, as Joel so wisely put it:
For people who are off for weeks, months, years or decades and who are cranky, nervous, depressed, angry, have sore throats, earaches, backaches, headaches, eye strains, poor vision, hearing problems, broken bones, have stubbed their toes, have financial concerns, job stresses, or any other extraordinary issues going on in their lives at the moment. Don't blame every feeling, bad or good in your life on the fact that you happened to have quit smoking. Life goes on without smoking and as the closing paragraph in this article states:
Life goes on without smoking. It is likely to go on longer and it is likely that you will be healthier at each and every stage than you would have been if you had continued smoking. Your life will continue to stay better and likely last long longer as long as you always remember to never take another puff!

Life DEFINITELY goes on. Newbies - please take heart and keep hold of your Quit. If anything out of the ordinary occurs - please seek medical advice. Lucky for me I did and now with the help of my doctor and a nutritionist - I am getting myself back on track - and I DO NOT NEED SMOKING to cope with things that life may throw at me from time to time.

Georgia
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Lyverbyrd
Lyverbyrd

July 20th, 2003, 3:00 am #21

This is a great thread for me as a diabetic.

I smoked from the age of 23 (as a full timer....you know...) and was diagnosed with diabetes at 27. So all my diabetic life I've been a smoker, and now I no longer smoke, I'm having to relearn how to deal with my diabetes, how to recognise the swing into hypoglycaemia, because it feels COMPLETELY different now.

I'm learning so much! Thank you.
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Joel
Joel

July 21st, 2003, 6:59 am #22

Hello Paula:


It is crucial that you recognize the risks associated with smoking as a diabetic. The two risk factors are a very dangerous combination. Read the post Smoking and Circulation, you will see how many of the risk factors faced by diabetes are also conditions exacerbated by smoking. To minimize your risks with your diabetes stay on top of your blood sugar through the diet and medications regime worked out with your doctor and to eliminate the compounding risks of smoking just always remember to never take another puff!
Joel
Last edited by Joel on February 26th, 2009, 7:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lyverbyrd
Lyverbyrd

July 24th, 2003, 7:10 am #23

Thanks Joel.

I'm relearning everything I thought I knew about diabetes. I have some neuropathy (nerve damage) in my hands and feet, and this is one of the deciding factors, one of so many, in my quit.

I'm as committed as I was the day I arrived here, I will never take another puff.

Thank you
.
.
No nicotine for 23 days.
I've saved 2 days and 4 minutes of my life.
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kattatonic1 gold4
kattatonic1 gold4

April 12th, 2004, 7:40 pm #24

I think this information saved my life!

During all my failed quits I ate as I did while I smoked. Consequently, now I think a majority of "the quitting jitters" I had back in the failing days were really blood sugar issues. This time, armed with fresh juice and eating small but several times a day, I got through those early weeks as easily as I think you can get through them. The information about caffeine was also paramount for me.

Educate yourself & then NTAP! We're looking forward to you joining us here at Freedom... and your life awaits!

~ Kay ~
Celebrating 3 Months, 20 Days, 2 Hours and 9 Minutes of Freedom.
Forsaking 2222 doses of poison has liberated $714.23 and 7 Days and 17 Hours of my life.
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ButterfliesareSilver
ButterfliesareSilver

May 10th, 2004, 11:12 pm #25

This article provided me with the information and education to make it 72 hours. I never knew ANYTHING about what nicotine did to me until I quit.

This article is, for me, the tip of the iceberg in my quitting toolbox. I actually Googled "alieviate dizzziness quitting smoking" and this little life saver showed up and my journey to Freedom began.

BB Bronze plus WOW!
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

September 15th, 2006, 10:31 pm #26

From above:
When you abruptly quit smoking, the body is in kind of a state of loss, not knowing how to work normally since it has not worked normally in such a long time.

Usually by the third day, though, your body will readjust and release sugar as it is needed. Without eating any more your body will just figure out how to regulate blood sugar more efficiently.

You may find though that you do have to change dietary patterns to one that is more normal for you. Normal is not what it was as a smoker, but more what it was before you took up smoking with aging thrown in.

Some people go until evening without eating while they are smokers. If they try the same routine as ex-smokers they will suffer side effects of low blood sugar. It is not that there is something wrong with them now, they were abnormal before for all practical purposes.

This doesn't mean they should eat more food, but it may mean they need to redistribute the food eaten to a more spread out pattern so they are getting blood sugar doses throughout the day as nature really had always intended.
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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

February 8th, 2007, 8:25 pm #27

Ingestion of Nicotine caused our bodies to release adrenaline since it is a central nervous system stimulant, as mentioned in this and other articles by both Joel and John. Lots to learn by reading these existing materials - available to all who seek the truth.
JoeJ Free - Recovered Me Two Years, Twenty Eight Days, 20 Hours and 56 Minutes ago. I've now reclaimed 65 Days and 20 Hours of my life's time, by choosing to not use of 18972 death delivery devices and accumulated $3,915.19 in the 'freedom dividend' account.

Effects of adrenaline
If blood sugar levels are frequently low and our system is regularly being asked to pump out adrenaline then our health will suffer. Adrenaline is the hormone most of us associate with stress - it is released for 'fight or flight' and its effect is very powerful. If you were threatened in the street, for example, or face any kind of physical danger your survival mechanisms would instantly step into action with the adrenal glands immediately producing large amounts of adrenaline.
The effects of adrenaline are
• heart speeds up
• arteries tighten to raise blood pressure - hence a 'beating' heart
• liver immediately releases emergency stores of glucose to give energy
• digestion stops because it is not necessary for immediate survival
• clotting ability of the blood is increased in case of injury.
This all means that you have been made ready to run faster, fight back and generally react more quickly than normal. Unfortunately, when your blood sugar level drops during the day or night, adrenaline is released automatically and the body experiences all the above sensations except that there is no outside stress to respond to. When this happens repeatedly, you can experience all the health problems outlined under the hypoglycaemia section earlier in this chapter. It can also contribute to heart disease by increasing the risk of blood clotting and higher blood pressure and the sudden release of glucose for energy can cause extreme fluctuations of sugar levels in the blood.
These fluctuations in blood sugar create an internal stress which the body then has to deal with. It causes an increase in sodium retention causing a bloated feeling from excess water. The digestive system will not function efficiently and less stomach acid will be produced which means that more food will actually be stored because it has not been digested sufficiently. The longer food stays in the intestines and remains undigested, the more calories are likely to be absorbed. It is therefore important that food is moved quickly out of the intestines.
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jakki8368
jakki8368

September 28th, 2007, 4:09 am #28

hi

can i just say that i don't think i would have made it through the first 72 hours without the cranbury juice - through reading about the drops in blood sugar levels i could, for the first time, regognise the effects that was having on me and what a difference the cranbury made.

thank you

jakki - Free and Healing for Sixteen Days, 21 Hours and 35 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 18 Hours, by avoiding the use of 507 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me £126.84.
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Joel
Joel

October 1st, 2007, 2:28 am #29

Video Title
Dial-Up
HS/BB
Audio
Length
Added
Blood sugar symptoms 2.03mb 20.1mb 0.82mb 05:31 09/28/06
Does smoking cause my headaches? 2.69mb 07.4mb 08:32 03/21/07
"Is this a symptom of quitting smoking?" 1.91mb 18.9mb 0.77mb 05:13 09/27/06
Common symptoms 2.18mb 21.6mb 0.88mb 05:55 09/28/06
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

October 19th, 2007, 7:24 pm #30

Meal pattern, food choice, nutrient intake and lifestyle factors in The Göteborg Adolescence Study.
European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2003 Dec;57(12):1569-78
Sjöberg A, Hallberg L, Höglund D, Hulthén L.
Department of Clinical Nutrition, Sahlgrenska Academy at Göteborg University, Box 459, SE 405 30 Göteborg, Sweden. [url=mailto:agneta.sjoberg@nutrition.gu.se]agneta.sjoberg@nutrition.gu.se[/url]

OBJECTIVE: To relate meal pattern of Swedish adolescents to food choice, nutrient intake and other lifestyle factors.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study including diet history and interview about smoking, ethnicity, social factors and retrospectively collected data of menarche and growth. SETTING: School setting, Göteborg, Sweden.

SUBJECTS: A total of 611 boys and 634 girls in grade 9 (15-16 y).

RESULTS: The majority of the students, 65% of the boys and 52% of the girls, consumed three main meals daily. The in-between meals, however, contributed the major part of the energy intake. The energy intake was 12.93.5 MJ (means.d.) for boys and 9.02.5 MJ for girls. Irregular breakfast eating, 12% of the boys and 24% of the girls, was related to negative lifestyle factors where smoking was the strongest, odds ratio 3.8 (95% CI: 2.6-5.4) and to irregular intake of lunch and dinner. These boys and girls had a food choice including a higher percentage of energy from snack food (26% vs 20% and 19% in boys and girls respectively, all P<0.001), mostly consumed between the main meals. These groups had significantly lower intakes of micronutrients, but higher intakes of sucrose and alcohol compared to the groups with regular breakfast intake. Girls omitting breakfasts and lunches (8%) also had a less healthy food choice and the poorest nutrient intake. These girls had matured earlier, with menarche age of 12.21.1 y vs 12.91.0 y (P<0.001) in girls with regular main meal intake.

CONCLUSIONS: Meal pattern with omission of breakfast or breakfast and lunch was related to a clustering of less healthy lifestyle factors and food choice leading to a poorer nutrient intake.

SPONSORSHIP: The Swedish Medical Research Council (project B94-19X-04721-19A), the Swedish Mill Industry and the Wilhelm and Martina Lundgren Foundation.

PMID: 14647222 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Source Link
Last edited by John (Gold) on March 12th, 2009, 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 2nd, 2008, 9:30 pm #31

The effects of cigarette smoking on glycosylated hemoglobin in nondiabetic individuals. The Journal of Family Practice 1989 May;28(5): Pages 529-531. Authors: Urberg M, Shammas R, Rajdev K.

Department of Family Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan.

Cigarette smoking has been causally linked to atherosclerotic heart disease. The mechanism by which cigarette smoking causes heart disease has not, however, been determined. Nicotine has been shown to lead to increases in plasma epinephrine and norepinephrine following smoking. Catecholamines have been shown to lead to increases in blood glucose.

This paper demonstrates that cigarette smoking is associated with increases in average blood glucose as measured by glycosylated hemoglobin levels in smokers compared with nonsmokers.

Fifteen nondiabetic smokers had an average glycosylated hemoglobin of 6.82% (SD = 1.06%), which is higher than the 5.63% (SD = .49%, t = 3.98, P less than .001) found for 23 nonsmokers. The average glycosylated hemoglobin level of the smokers is in the range found for patients with well-controlled diabetes.

These data suggest that elevated blood glucose may contribute to atherogenesis in cigarette smokers.

PMID: 2597247 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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Joined: November 11th, 2008, 7:22 pm

June 10th, 2009, 11:29 am #32

Be careful with extra juices beyond the 3 days needed to purge the body of all nicotine and reach peak withdrawal as they are loaded with sugars and can quickly add extra pounds. It takes 3-4 oranges or apples to make an 8 ounce glass of juice. How many humans have you seen eat 4 apples in a few minutes? If you've taken a fancy to the extra juices try replacing them with natural fruits.
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Victorylass
Victorylass

October 8th, 2011, 7:37 pm #33

Joel,

I was just reading a comment you made to someone about how not eating breakfast can disrupt blood sugar and how if we have a difficult day in our quit we need to examine what we ate. Well I am on Day 20 and I had a difficult day, I thought because of frustrations. But I realized just now after reading your comment that this morning I was feeling so secure at coming up on 3 weeks that I decided to skip breakfast and drink 2 cups of coffee. Then all day I ate diet waifers. That is how I acted when I used nicotine. No wonder I felt different today. But I did not make the connection at all. I guess it will be french toast and juice tomorrow!

I'd also like to add to John's post about not drinking too much juice, how much I agree and I always water mine down. Because it reduces the acid it is easier on the stomach watered down, so more pleasant to drink, too.

Deborah *DAY 20*
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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

October 8th, 2011, 7:56 pm #34

The following video addresses the blood sugar issue:

Also, regarding your mentioned two cups of coffee, be sure to read the string Possible Changes in Caffeine Tolerance


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Joined: November 13th, 2008, 2:04 pm

September 17th, 2012, 1:45 pm #35

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