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For me, the only reason I am not a smoker now is because I don't want my daughter around it. If I didn't have a child, I would for sure be a smoker. I would gladly give up some years on my life if it meant I had a better quality of life. I cannot imagine having to live the rest of my life feeling like I do right now.

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The problem with cigarettes is that it might not be just a few years of your life you give up if you smoke. It can mean a horrible lingering death. I'd think it would be rare for a smoker to feel really healthy and then just drop down dead a few years short of what would have been their proper lifespan.

I used to smoke 13 years ago. I gave up. I then started to get more frequent migraines and had a neurologist who specialized in migraines trying to treat me. I saw him for a year and he had me on a number of horrible drugs - one after the other -- designed to prevent migraines. I've taken every preventative available apparently with only one good result which lasted for 3 months. At one appointment I mentioned to him that I had expected that when I gave up smoking that my migraines would get better but they got more frequent. He told me he had heard this from other patients too.I

A couple of years ago, thinking of this neurologist's observation (and feeling very depressed and in the ***!!! state of mind) I started smoking again - a few cigarettes here and there - and for a while I felt a bit more active and it did help my migraines a bit. But eventually it all turned really nasty and I found that smoking was beginning to trigger migraines , raising anxiety levels, and that after an original increase in energy (but nothing really very significant) that I could exercise even less than I could before I started again. Then the coughing started, bringing up phlegm, realising (even though my sense of smell is often absent -- I suspect that symptom is a pots thing) that I stunk, that my house stunk and my grandkids - who accept that their grandfather smokes (although NEVER around them) and doesn't mind him smelling of stale cigarettes -- really hated that I smelled like that. So I stopped again. Although I sympathise with those who smoke because it's 13 years now since I really stopped -- if I don't count my pretty short lapse -- and I still get a craving now and then even though I know how it's gonna make me feel terrible if I have a cigarette. But I know cravings only last 3 minutes and then they pass.

I live in Australia and our present govt passed legislation that all cigarettes come in an olive green pack with scarey warnings and the grossest pictures of sick people dying of cancer on them, pictures of premmie babies, feet that have been amputated etc., because of poisonous effects of nicotine and other chemicals contained in cigarettes. It's a testament to the powerful addictive properties of cigarettes that anyone would willingly buy a packet that looked like they do and smoke the contents.

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Interesting thread. I smoked 25 yrs ago and then a few yrs ago started a few here and there. Seemed like it triggered migraines sometimes though. Then I had sudden onset of POTS in 2011 and couldn't even contemplate a cigarette due to the nausea. But my migraines have worsened dramatically since onset of POTS and sometimes I wonder if nicotine would help.

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  • 1 year later...

Hey Rama, did you just come back. I haven't been here in such a long time and I see you posting. Coincidence?

Nicotine affects the nicotinic receptors which are part of the parasympathetic nervous system. Cigs have all sorts of chemicals not just nicotine so that wouldn't be good trial or treatment route. The issue is if you have nicotinic problems. Currently hard to tell. If they come out with an antibody test for each receptor then you might be able to know and then treat accordingly instead of throwing darts blind folded. The closest way to know is valsalva, that at least indicated parasympathetic dysfunction. On the other hand even if someone has only sympathetic dysfunction then it might be good too in the case of hyperadrenergic pots for example. But then again if someone read on a valid source that its a vasoconstrictor that would mean it has a reverse affect.

The main thing to consider here is direct affects on the vagus nerve which control parasympathetic response

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Smoking is a nasty habit, and I am a smoker. Of all the things I need to do, I need to quit smoking.

One of my hang ups with quitting now is it does make me feel better. It does make my OI more tolerable. It is no cure obviously.

Particularly for the young, I would not recommend picking the habit up to only manage POTS symptoms. There are safer ways of doing it. Not to mention that for some, it could make things much worse. I have a tolerance because it is a long term habit. I suspect that I would be made worse by it otherwise. For an example, caffeine is too much for me. Any stimulant that I have tried has been.

I intend to quit, but I am nervous about quitting cold turkey. I suspect that quitting suddenly would be especially difficult for me to manage. I wish that I would have quit before I became sick.

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Ginsing I quit 6 weeks ago with the help of e cigarettes, it hasnt been easy but I felt in the right frame of mind, unlike other times where I have I have tried and failed. I am now trying to reduce the strength of the e cigarette.

Personally I wouldn't recommend taking up smoking, besides all the chemicals in them that are so bad for health if you get addicted it is a nightmare to give up

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I smoked for many many years. I was able to quit the cigarettes but now I'm addicted to the lozenges ( ugh). One thing to keep in mind is that the gum and/ or lozenges can cause Nausea in many folks. Dysautonomia can cause GI distress all by itself. I understand the desire to try anything to feel better. In this case, we may be playing with fire. I sure wish we all felt better.

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Interesting thread. I honestly thought that I was the only one feeling so horrible from this syndrome and yet hasn't quit smoking. Same as many of you - long term smoker who hasn't been able to get this demon off my back. As a smoker who continues to attempt quitting, I guess I see so much more negative with this than positives. I believe that we already don't get enough blood (and therefore oxygen) going through our bodies making all our organs work harder, circulation issues are amplified and the long term shortness of breath is a definite with smoking. I would determine and try ALL other vasoconstricting possibilities before having a cigarette.

Also, I have a relative who is a pulmonary disease specialist doctor (who of course wants me to be a non-smoker!). When I told him I was thinking of using the E-cigarette he told me not to. He recommended the patch and gum. This would tell me that the E-cigarette isn't "harmless" and has its own risks.

Be well!

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I have used organic ones in the past but I just let it in my mouth because you can absorb through mucus membranes. I cant stand the smell or taste. It is a last ditch effort and helps with brain fog and for some weird reason, GI issues. Sometimes my whole body just shuts down and I cant even get water to leave my stomach. If I have one, its outside and not around my kids. I wear a drape and a glove so I don't wreak of smoke smell. I scrub my face and teeth right away. I don't know if it is worth the temporary benefit.

I have on occasion used the gum. If you get the 4 mg ones, they cost the same as the 2mg ones. Then you just nibble 1/4. I found that it causes a throat closing sensation or a gag that passes. My sister tried it and she had the same result. Im allergic to just about everything...so I don't think it is the nicotine but another ingredient. I keep a pack of gum around for the bad days or weeks.

I don't find nicotine to be so addictive but then again, the only thing I feel addicted to is water. (I don't even care about food....maybe why I keep crashing my blood sugar.) That's all I think about and have a panic attack if I leave my bottles at home. I cant drink just any water so I got a good filter for my home.

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To give a different point view and hate to be that guy but, using smoking as a way of controlling/ helping POTS symptoms seems like a terrible long term idea. I know everyone has probably tried a handful of medications, and been to multiple doctors but in the long term smoking cuts out viable options to curb POTS symptoms; my POTS cardiologist was explaning to me some of his other POTS patients who are long term smokers who have no interest in stopping basically have no options because things like increased dialy salt intake or bp raising meds like midodrine are now dangerous from them. I think you also have to realize that despite its legallity and wide acceptance, tobacco/ nicotine addication is a serious drug addiction, only those of us who know what addiction feels like can really relate to it, those who haven't dont have the slightest clue of what they could be getting into. It's a bit wanting to use alcohol to help more POTS symptoms because it raises your blood pressure, yes thats true and for some they will feel better after a few drinks but it's in no way a sustainable treatment option, and will ultimately put you in a worse off place down the line.

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I think its main action that would be helpful in pots is nicotonic induced postganglionic amplification of both synpathetic and parasympathetic tone and transduction although for me at least my problem is sympathetic vasoconstriction and compensatory tachy

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I agree Rama. We would have to make our own choices here.

I still would not recommend it, because it has been such an ugly habit for me, and for a long time. I was a regular smoker by 12, and I am almost 42. I am fortunate that I do not have worse.

I am having a hard time motivating myself to quit because it does help me, and I am reacting to everything else.

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Stop the press on my remarks. Apparently I have MCAS that is getting worse. Now I am reacting to the cigarettes. It looks like I will quit the hard way. This will be tough.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rich, the patches do vary in dosage. I am reluctant to comment because POTS patients can have odd reactions to many things, as you know.

It would be easier to limit the initial dosages with gum. You do not have to swallow, but it is difficult not to. I would want to start small and very small.

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  • 3 years later...
On 5/13/2015 at 9:33 AM, gjensen said:

Smoking is a nasty habit, and I am a smoker. Of all the things I need to do, I need to quit smoking.

One of my hang ups with quitting now is it does make me feel better. It does make my OI more tolerable. It is no cure obviously.

Particularly for the young, I would not recommend picking the habit up to only manage POTS symptoms. There are safer ways of doing it. Not to mention that for some, it could make things much worse. I have a tolerance because it is a long term habit. I suspect that I would be made worse by it otherwise. For an example, caffeine is too much for me. Any stimulant that I have tried has been.

I intend to quit, but I am nervous about quitting cold turkey. I suspect that quitting suddenly would be especially difficult for me to manage. I wish that I would have quit before I became sick.

Quitting cold turkey apparently put what were mild HA POTS episodes into a progressively more violent and now daily occurrence.    It has ajso increased actual migraines unless that's the propranolol for the pots.  

I had no issues smoking.  Smoked very little.  Just quit one day.  32 years.  I've felt like death ever since.  Literally gets worse by the week.  

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I too would be lighting up a cigarette right now if I thought it would help. I've never smoked in my life, but I've always said I'd rather have cancer than POTS - cancer has a >50% cure rate, so much care, medical research and understanding from both people generally and the medical community, and the chance to enjoy whatever time you have left than being presyncopal all the time and unable to stand up.

I would love to hear from any non-smokers who have tried either a cigarette, patch or gum and found it helpful or not? Personally I don't do well with vasoconstrictors - I am already intensely vasoconstricted so I understand we may not all have the same pathophysiology but people's experiences would be really interesting. 

B x

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I've been wondering about this as well.

I use a e-cig and I'm actually working on tapering down to quit (I smoked for a long time and switched to vape at 12mg, I'm down to 3mg now)...

But I've been kinda wondering if it might be worth it to quite literally just switch to patches because of the vasoconstrictor action of nicotine.

I also have to wonder how much of these "positive" effects are the nicotine and how much is the other alkaloids (some of which have effects similar to MAOIs (antidepressants).

I wouldn't suggest anyone try inhaled nicotine. Smoking is very unhealthy and the flavorings in vape are widely untested for inhalation safety, so we're not sure what the long term consequences are.

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Hi guys, 

oddly enough, I posted a question yesterday regarding the same thing.

so back from 2015-17, I would have a cigarette here and there. At my max, I’d have 3 or 4 a day but that only happened 1-2 times a year. So I smoked very little. 

Before I was even aware of dysautonomia and POTS, I would have one when I felt lightheaded and nauseous and shaky. I later found out this was a vasovagal reaction that my body would do when my ANS was tripped in whatever way. 

It would immediately clear up my symptoms about 80%. Which is significantly better than doing nothing at all. I would shake for hours on the bathroom floor nauseous out of my mind, sweating, clammy, the whole nine yards.

i started coming down with pots last summer of 2017. I tapered down my cigarette usage trying to be “healthy” since I was working out and all and then added caffeine as advised by my trainer at the time. The caffeine sent me into a full blown pots attack and I have not recovered since. I collapsed last November, landed in the ER and have been declining in health since then. 

I have not smoked much at all since then because my husband happened to switch to e cigs and I guess I was never addicted. I just stopped one day without realizing it and just never picked it up again. 

I can not tolerate any vasoconstrictor medications at all. It gives me violent reactions that will take me weeks to recover from. 

Long story short,

i decided to start my day off with a cigarette. 

My husband went to the store and got me my own e cig (vuse) and I jut puffed on it intermittently throughout the day. 

I check my BP, and it went up steadily throughout the day. I started at 84/60 (ish) and then finished my day at 119/80!  

I felt absolutely amazing. All day long. I felt like I could run and I was on a walker 3 days ago. 

It was also very hot today which would normally make me excruciatingly sick but I was out and about walking around my house, going up and down the stairs, I went to the store, I took my dogs for a walk, it was a completely normal day! Unbelievable.

i will continue for the rest of the week and see how it goes. I’m off my birth control at the moment as well, and normally I am super super sick without birth control. It stabilizes something in my body and is a night and day difference. The fact that I felt normal, off BC, and didn’t eat insane amounts of salt (which I hate) is a miracle.

 

 

 

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