Blood Sugar Changes When Quitting

Joel
Joel

November 25th, 2001, 9:16 pm #11

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.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

February 11th, 2002, 5:52 am #12

My prior recovery attempts were nightmares. As a smoker I almost always skipped breakfast, often skipped lunch and couldn't understand why most of my friends couldn't do it too. I do now. Nicotine wasn't acting as their spoon. I was also a big big caffeine drinker and had no idea that nicotine doubles the rate by which caffeine is eliminated from the bloodstream. I had no idea that continuing to drink the exact same amount of coffee each morning during quit attempts meant that my blood contained twice as much caffeine (see Caffeine tolerance changes after cessation). No wonder I was climbing every wall in sight!

If we keep our blood sugar levels stable, manage caffeine if necessary by reducing normal intake up to one-half (if you can handle a doubling of normal daily intake without symptoms then don't worry about this issue), and try not to be afraid of what can and should be the most wonderful awakening we've likely ever known, coming home to again meet the "real" you can be vastly easier than we ever dreamed possible! Nicotine dependency recovery is your loving gift to you! Embrace it, hold it close and protect it above all else. The next few minutes are all that matter and each is yours to command!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John
Last edited by John (Gold) on August 1st, 2009, 11:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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JoeDTexas GREEN
JoeDTexas GREEN

May 17th, 2002, 8:10 pm #13

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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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 27th, 2002, 8:38 pm #14

None of us EVER skipped breakfast
or lunch while still smoking nicotine!
Nicotine, via adrenaline releases pumped stored fats into our blood, 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 quitting nicotine, 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 you could make withdrawal 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.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

October 28th, 2002, 5:49 am #15

Hunger!

A New Experience for Many !

If you're just arriving, this thread is VERY important and worth reading. Each hit of nicotine feed us via adrenaline releases of stored fats and sugars into our blood. Many of us lived in an unnatural feeding cycle where we consumed one massive meal each day and then used nicotine to release energy stored from it. Some of us rarely if ever experienced the onset of full blown hunger cravings and if we did they could be satisfied within seconds of that first hit of nicotine arriving in the brain. Normal people can't do that. They get hungry and have learned that it takes time to satisfy it.

As Joel teaches, it's important that we understand 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 constantly feeding us, we are not used to the natural period of hunger and 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 smoking but we may need to learn to properly deal with hunger 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 the food craves should arrive, the slower we eat and the greater amount of time passing between helpings, the fewer helpings you may find you need. Additionally, fully chewing each bite allows the mouth to add important enzymes that actually aid digestion.

But don't go overboard with eating or allow it to become an "aaah" replacement crutch for nicotine. Eating is a true species survival event and our brain dopamine pathways are stimulated when we anticipate eating or during the process of tasting and eating. It's food's "aaah" sensation. Nicotine takes the brain's survival event teacher hostage forcing users to believe that that next fix is as important to survival as eating. Yes, nicotine "aaah"s, food "aaah"s, nicotine craving, food cravings.

During the time needed for the brain to down-regulate nicotinicy-type receptor counts and restore natural dopamine pathway sensitivities (2 to 3 weeks) it isn't unusual to see quitters attempt to use extra food "aaah"s to attempt to replace missing nicotine "aaah"s. As you can imagine, living inside the refrigerator for two weeks can quickly add pounds. A bit of extra exercise may serve as a natural appetite suppressant. The hardest part of exercise is putting on our sneakers and stepping out the door. Baby steps to glory. The next few minutes are all that matter and each is doble.

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 August 1st, 2009, 11:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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GeorgieGirl GOLD
GeorgieGirl GOLD

January 29th, 2003, 8:12 am #16

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 #17

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.
Last edited by Lyverbyrd on August 1st, 2009, 11:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joel
Joel

July 21st, 2003, 6:59 am #18

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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kattatonic1 gold4
kattatonic1 gold4

April 12th, 2004, 7:40 pm #19

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 #20

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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JoeJFree Gold
JoeJFree Gold

February 8th, 2007, 8:25 pm #21

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 #22

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 #23

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 #24

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 August 1st, 2009, 12:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 2nd, 2008, 9:30 pm #25

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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FreedomNicotine
FreedomNicotine

December 31st, 2009, 6:34 pm #26

Caffeine tolerance changes after cessation - possible changes :

It is possible that some people's tolerances with caffeine may have fluctuated back and forth over time after quitting. But whether it has happened to one or two other people or not really is not important. All that is important is where your body has adjusted to.



When it comes to caffeine, blood sugar issues, sleep adjustments, and other such issues, it is crucial that everyone learns to recognize his or her owns body needs and requirements after adjusting back to your non-smoking physiology. Again normal is what is normal for your body, not what is normal for the majority of other people who have quit or to other people who might be exceptions to certain rules.



Your body is getting normalized and will stay normalized for you over time as long as you never put it through the abnormal process of nicotine induced pharmacological effects or the nicotine induced withdrawal syndrome by simply knowing now to never take another puff!



Joel



Related readings covering adjustments to your new body after quitting:


Sleep Adjustments
Medication adjustments
Blood Sugar Changes When Quitting
[url=file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Joel%20Spitzer/My%20Documents/mywebsites/nicotineindex/everyonedifferent.htm]"Everyone is different???"[/url]
Every Quit is Different.

Anyone who feels jittery after a few days of a quit should examine his or her caffeine consumption levels. Many find that they cannot tolerate caffeine consumption at prequit levels. If you are experiencing a jittery feeling you may want to experiment with reducing quantity or strength of caffeinated drinks or products. If you are not having these difficulties it probably is not important to alter anything now.



There is an interaction between nicotine and caffeine, just as there is an interaction with nicotine and alcohol. We discuss it here often how when people drink alcohol it causes them to lose nicotine at an accelerated pace thus resulting in heavier smoking while drinking. As I said, there is a similar situation with nicotine and caffeine--similar with one huge difference. Alcohol makes you lose nicotine, thus is responsible for smoking more when drinking.



Nicotine on the other hand interferes with the body's ability to absorb and utilize caffeine, often resulting in a person who is used to or needs to be maintaining a certain caffeine level requiring more of the products to maintain their minimum needed level. When they quit smoking and consume the same amount, that old quantity will now basically overdose them. In the case where they even increase quantity, they can experience a real overdose effect with the corresponding anxiety and sleep altering effects.



So be careful with caffeine if symptoms are going longer than a few days. It is not saying you need to get rid of it all together, just keep it in doses that don't cause unwanted effects. Your general state will likely be calmer and a feeling of overall well being that you should be able to maintain for the rest of your life as long as you always remember to keep yourself from over stimulating substances and always remember to never take another puff!

Joel

No Adjustment May be Necessary

It isn't necessary to surrender our coffee or anything else when quitting - nor pick up any new crutches either - but due to the 4,000 plus chemicals present in each burning cigarette (and in caffeine's case nicotine), a few intake adjustments may be necessary for some of us and caffeine intake could possibly be one of them.

As indicated in the Swanson study (see study summary below), nicotine accelerates the rate at which caffeine is metabolized by the body. It does so to the extent that if a smoker quits using nicotine and continues to consume the exact same amount of caffeine that they did while using nicotine, that their blood serum caffeine level will double (203%).

The capacity of each of us to handle differing levels of caffeine varies greatly. If you normally drink one or two cups of coffee in succession but know from experience that you can handle three or four without experiencing unwelcomed symptoms - like the jjitters, anxiety, shaking, insomnia, or gastric and digestive disturbances - then no intake adjustment may be necessary.

On the other hand, if during those times when you did double your normal caffeine intake you did notice unwelcomed symptoms then you need to act accordingly so as not to add those symptoms to any associated with nicotine withdrawal.

Look on the bright side - it's cheaper being an ex-smoker because we only require half as much caffeine in order to get the same punch. The next few minutes are doable!

John
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FreedomNicotine
FreedomNicotine

June 12th, 2010, 11:12 am #27

Video Title
Dial-Up
HS/BB
MP3
Length
Added
Blood sugar symptoms 2.03mb 20.1mb 2.51mb 05:31 09/28/06
Does smoking cause my headaches? 2.69mb 07.4mb 3.95mb 08:32 03/21/07
"Is this a symptom of quitting smoking?" 1.91mb 18.9mb 2.36mb 05:13 09/27/06
Common symptoms 2.18mb 21.6mb 2.69mb 05:55 09/28/06
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