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Pots & Quitting Smoking


pandaaus

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:rolleyes:

Hi we are new to this forum and are asking for some help. We contacted the DINET contact line yesterday, and were advised to enter the forum to see what others have done in this situation. So any help would be really appreciated.

Our 27 year old son has POTS and is desperately trying to quit smoking. Using patches, gum etc makes the syncope and heart rate worse (and he has been told that it could actually kill him to do so - not a good thought!) Trying to go "cold turkey" increases the stress levels so much that flash anger becomes dangerous. He takes no medication to manage his POTS as he is severely chemical insensitive. What do you suggest? He has a good doctor who does his best with our son's condtion, but some specific advice might be beneficial. We live in Australia and any help would be appreciated.

Thank you

Regards,

Pandaaus
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Are you/is he open to alternative treatment? I'm not sure it's available in Australia, and I've personally never smoked as I couldn't imagine smoking with dysautonomia.

But what about accupuncture? Or some sort of hypnosis program? I also know nothing about hypnosis, but our POTS daughter has tried accupuncture for different reasons, and it's helped. Supposedly it can do wonders for smoking cessation in a safe way.

Hope he finds something to get help. Glad he's trying to quit, and hope his health improves after he stops completely.

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I agree with what Patricia has said. I have heard that hypnosis actually works...

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I quit smoking after developing POTS. I also had horrible reactions to the patches, and had to go cold-turkey. Some of my POTS symptoms became much worse for the first month (including horrible anxiety), but eventually my withdrawl symptoms lessened after 1 month, and after 3 months were mostly gone . I've now been an ex-smoker for a year and don't have any problems with it.

I'd try natural methods to see if it works. I don't know how bad your son's POTS is, or if he has any other medical conditions, but my POTS was very severe when I quit (I was bedridden at the time), and I did okay...the main side affects I had were severe anxiety, sleeplessness, tremors and lower BP than normal (aside from my other POTS symptoms). Bottom line, it's going to be difficult no matter how he chooses to quit, especially with the POTS on top of it, but nicotene can exaccerbate certain aspects of POTS, so it's best that he gets off it (as you clearly know).

I wish him good luck! Please let us know how things turn out :rolleyes:

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Hmmmm...this is a tough one!

I actually just quit smoking myself...July 8th will be my two month mark. I pretty much did the cold turkey thing...BUT prior to quitting I'd been consistently decreasing the amount of ciggs. I smoked a day so that before I quit I'd gotten down to just 5 a day.

This actually helped a lot I think b/c I was inadvertantly weening myself off the nicotine so that by the time I was ready to quit I was hardly smoking anyway. Have you searched for a smoking cessation support group in your area? I know that here in the States most hospitals have free or inexpensive programs to help folks quit. There are also alot of resources online to give both support and suggestions for people who are quitting.

I wish I had some more suggestions for you but unfortunately quitting isn't going to be easy!! :)

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My husband has really struggled with this one and the past two times he has seriously tried to quit his symptoms and syncope became much worse - he has NCS. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor so it is believed to help with his symptoms (not something I wanted a doctor to tell him) and is somewhat of a form of self medicating. BUT, he has just decided he is going to give it a try again as he knows any benefit is more than wiped out by the dangers of smoking.

I remember I found the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal on one of the quit smoking websites and they definately overlap those from NCS. Good luck - I'll be interested if you learn some helpful tricks.

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The nicotine in the cigarettes might have been masking some of the POTS symptoms, so a person with POTS who stops smoking might feel worse at first.

Another possibility is bupropion, which is an antidepressant also marketed to help people stop smoking. IN the US, it is marketed as Zyban for smoking cessation and Wellbutrin for depression.

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  • 2 years later...

Nicotine is vasoreactive - it is a vasoconstrictor, tends to increase blood pressure and it also messes with the bioavailability of nitric oxide - all which may effect or even improve symptoms of some forms of POTS.

That being said nicotine has long term side effects as we all know...

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Guest brianala

I know these are going to sound like very simple things, but bear with me. Is he drinking tons of water (and I do mean tons, not just a glass or two a day)? Has he found an alternative for the oral fixation? You can't just quit cold turkey, you will be much more successful if you replace the habit for something more appropriate. He needs to try those two things first. You can overcome a LOT of cravings if your body is well hydrated and your mind has something else to fixate on.

For me, it was sunflower seeds. Some people like gum. But he's got to find something else that approximates the need to do something with his hands and mouth when a craving hits. Hydrating will replenish his body and help speed the healing and cleansing process. If he can make it 28 days with a new, healthy habit, then he's on his way.

Also, check out online communities like http://www.quitnet.com/

Quitnet is great, they have a lot of resources to help provide support and information about what to expect at each stage. There are also tons of people there to help you stay motivated, and it's completely free.

I wish your son luck!

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The three most important steps in managing any illness are diagnosis, diagnosis, and diagnosis. Are you sure that he has POTS, and not some sort of other condition that is causing tachycardia, syncope, and mood disturbance, like maybe pheochromocytoma?

Most of the people with POTS are female. If a man has a bad case of POTS, he should get a very thorough diagnostic workup.

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Long before i knew i had POTS I used to enjoy smoking. But then all of a sudden i noticed that i felt sick straight after inhaling the smoke, almost all the time. My HR increased dramatically 90 percent of the time and i got hid with lots of different symptoms within a few minutes. This went on for a few weeks. It made me feel so bad that i just quit smoking right after i colapsed one da. Up until today i never had the urge to smoke again (this was about 5 years ago).

The knowledge about how smoking affects my body and the benefit of not having to experience these bad episodes whilest smoking anymore just made me stop just like that. The benefit of not smoking was much higher then the need to get some nikotin inside of me. It just made klick in my head and i never once thought about having another one (even though i smoked for many years prior to that)

I can imagine that its much more difficult to quit smoking if smoking doesnt affect your well being straight away and If people are nor really ready to quit because they still get some kind of benefit out of it.

My Dad for example, he was a strong smoker all his life. When he had a heart surgery 8 years ago, the doctors told him, that if he doesnt stop smoking, he will die because of it.

He just stoped as well, and has never touched a cigarete since then.

I really believe that if you really (from deep inside) want to quit smoking you can do it. Its more a psychological addiction than a physical one.

There are a lot of good books about stopping smoking out there as well. You probably already know Allan Carrs Bestseller book.

Meditation helps as well.

In Europe you can also buy cigaretes which are made out of herbs ( no nikotin at all). If you ask people why they smoke, Some people think, that they only smoke because they need "something" in their hand that smokes,and the social thing with it. When they buy these cigaretes they find out that they dont taste bad and their first reaction is: wow, thats great, i just smoke them now. But after 2 or 3 cigaretes they find out, that there are no good, because all they really need is the nikotin in it and not the smoking cigarete in their hand. Thats when some people realize that they might as well just eat nikotin out of a jar . That sometimes just give some people the necessary reason to stop.

All the best

carinara

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Here is a good site I looked at when my husband was quiting. (he doesn't have pots).

http://whyquit.com/

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'most of the people with POTS are female. If a man has a bad case of POTS, he should get a very thorough diagnostic workup'

That's a pretty broad generalisation and Im not really sure what you base that statement on. Most patients with some forms of POTS do seem to be female. But 1 in 5 patients of all types of POTS are male.

Im male, and ive met three other male patients with POTS. Its not that uncommon.

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nicotine blocks the natural addition of serotonin, and attaches itself to the receptors so that your level of serotonin becomes dependent on dosing with nicotine. When you withdraw the nicotine- serotonin levels fall.

The body needs time to , basically - come back on line. But it will, and it's worth it.

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