Smoking has successfully been labeled as an early ticket to death by the World Health Organization, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and every other medical institution on the face of the planet. For those who light up, the risk of cancer, lung disease, heart disease, and other medical conditions are greatly increased. Since the once-lucrative cigarette market has waned in light of health campaigns, a counterculture of idealistic methods to quit has sprung up in its place. While we here at Super Good Stuff applaud those who can kick the cigarette habit, smokers face a unique and potentially deadly challenge that is seldom mentioned.
There are many symptoms associated with the cessation of smoking. Soon to be ex-smokers are typically prepared for moodiness, headaches, and bouts of anxiety. What they are not prepared for are cancers, heart attacks, and strokes. If quitting smoking is supposed to be the best thing a smoker can do for their health, why does cutting the nicotine cord often create even more medical complications?
The answer is nicotine and its interaction with a systemic fungal infection. While a cigarette is a toxic cocktail of chemicals, none is so powerful as nicotine. None of the chemicals in a cigarette are good for you, but they are primarily designed to act as a delivery service for the star of the show, nicotine, which is absorbed within seconds and heads straight for your brain. There, the nicotine mimics acetylcholine, the most prevalent neurotransmitter in the brain. Acetylcholine assists in basic muscle functions, hand-eye-coordination, and complex neurological reactions such as the release of another neurotransmitter, dopamine, which in turn stimulates the body to feel pleasure.
Acetylcholine is a substance manufactured in the brain and its release is strictly regulated. Nicotine is not regulated by the brain, meaning the amount that you consume is the amount that stimulates the acetylcholine receptors. When the acetylcholine receptors are activated, they release the dopamine that then creates the calming pleasure response most smokers experience when they have a cigarette.
Another neurotransmitter that is activated by nicotine is glutamate. Involved in both long term and short term memory retention, the stimulation of glutamate while dopamine is being released creates a deeply entrenched memory of pleasure related to the consumption of nicotine. This chemical process repeated multiple times daily is what creates such an intense addiction.
While your nicotine is fooling your brain into thinking it is acetylcholine, it is also doing something else. Nicotine minimizes the growth of parasites and fungus, but does not prevent them from spreading their infectious offspring all over the body. When a smoker stops consuming the nicotine, suddenly all of these disease-causing elements that have been scattered throughout the body begin to proliferate, creating a infested body in a very short amount of time.
So, does this mean you should continue to smoke? Absolutely not. Cigarettes and nicotine are toxic. What this means is that you need to rebuild your immune system and support the body while you quit smoking to minimize fungal growth. Not only will this improve your overall health, but this will help to curb your cravings and lessen the withdrawal process.
In fact, many symptoms associated with quitting are actually signs that there is a serious systemic fungal infection that is rearing its head for the first time. While it is true that there are significant symptoms from nicotine withdrawal, often times carbohydrate cravings, weight gain, and low blood sugar originate from the infection growing.
Nicotine suppresses both your appetite and the fungus, so the amount that you eat decreases significantly, leading to smokers’ average weight dropping 10 pounds from the rest of us. Once a smoker quits their appetite returns to normal and the fungus jumps into action, gobbling up all of the sugars and carbohydrates in their blood stream. This causes the carbohydrate cravings and low blood sugar, which cause people to eat more which in turn leads to weight gain.
So how do you quit smoking AND kill all of the fungus in your body? Every situation is unique, but we at Super Good Stuff would love to be of assistance in any way we can.
Candida and cigarettes
It may sound like a song title, but the reality is that nicotine has shown some level of protection from fungus such as candida, in the body. Mind you, while nicotine does not kill fungus, it can inhibit its growth in the body.1 While this is not a reason to continue puffing away, it does dovetail into the issue of symptoms that could appear after you quit the habit.
What happens to fungus when you quit smoking?
Not unlike opening the floodgates to a storm channel, quitting smoking removes nicotine from the body and enables fungus (let’s use candida again as an example) to grow and spread into an infection known as candidiasis.2 This can lead to symptoms such as brain fog, carbohydrate cravings (where’s my candy bar?), mood-swings (I love you/I hate you), and hypoglycemia (I skipped breakfast and now I’m shaking). Essentially, while you cut your risk of heart and lung disease when you quit the habit, you may get some or more of these other symptoms simply because the fungus is “among us.”
Two birds, one stone approach to quit smoking and kill fungus
The answer to fungus growth after you quit smoking is to kill the fungus at the same time you toss out your cigarettes. While there are prescription antifungal medications, a variety of natural solutions are available that can provide effective results when used for fungus such as candida. Look for products that contain ingredients such as Frankincense, black walnut oil, white thyme, and wormwood oil to provide plant-derived antifungal relief so you can quit smoking and sidestep the shadow.