I Quit Smoking / IBS

Update 2011: Please read the comments below — they are more informative & helpful than this original post I wrote over 6 years ago.


I quit smoking a few weeks ago.

I bought a pack of nicotine gum, which doesn’t taste like butt anymore… as I recall it did years ago. The gum did help the cravings.

I think the reason I was able to quit for real this time while failing at the 5 or so times in the past, was that this is the first time in my life that I don’t live with a smoker. I remember taking vacation a few years and never really craving a cigarette too badly, but as soon as I got home to my yellow nicotine coated walls… I needed a nic-fix.

Quitting was the easy part. Nic-fits and psychological cravings ceased to be powerful within just a couple days. A few days after my last peice of nicotine gum I started having severe hunger pains.

Online research told me that nicotine actually supplies your body with little sugar fixes…as smoking a cigarette releases stored sugars into your blood stream. This is why smokers often don’t need to eat until late afternoon without feeling hungry.

However, when you no longer have this artificial feeding of sugar into your bloodstream after quitting smoking your body can freak out a bit that it has to get sugar the old-fashion way. I had to learn how to eat breakfast and lunch again. It wasn’t too difficult to start eating 3 meals a day because I felt hungry, but my hunger pains were not going away with food … not even after eating a large meal.

These hunger pains soon turned into intense stomach cramps that I imagined would be what someone who is on the edge of dying from starvation would feel. The doc says its IBS… irritable bowel syndrome. Sounds awesome, eh?

Q. How did I, a relatively fit and healthy 26 year old woman get a disease that sounds like something only old men named Chuck or Ron in a nursing home would have?

A. Mostly from quitting smoking. The shock to my digestive system from the sudden lack of lovely cigarette chemicals and general body stress is what the doc explained as to reason for my IBS.

The doc prescribed some little pills that stop the stomach cramps but make me sleepy in a happy/stupid kind of way :D
A diet of fruit and veggies seems to have helped and I think I am on the verge of getting rid of the IBS and getting back to normal.

You might be wondering why I wrote this? The reason is that I could not find anything online about a connection between IBS and quitting smoking, although the way my doctor explained things…it sounded like it’s a somewhat common occurance.

And for those of you that stumbled upon this post from a search engine, I feel ya, really… and don’t worry… it will pass. :)


Update 2011 PS: IBS is what doctors say you have when they don’t know what else is wrong with you. IBS is not a disease. It is a set of symptoms. Don’t feel like a “victim of disease” when you get diagnosed with IBS. <-- totally my own opinion, I am not a medical professional.

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  • Ron

    December 16, 2011

    Hey folks,
    i am 22 years old and i have smoked for like 3 and a half years. smoked 8-10 cigarettes a day.. i quit cold turkey 22 days ago.. Initially i had those hunger cramps and felt like eating all day, and i did.. my diet improved magnificently but for the last one week i haven’t felt good. i feel bloated all day long, feel like farting all day.. i have never felt so bad in my life.. It’s like i am writing my heart out today.. i went to the doctor and he prescribed me a few pills.. i got to know that the pills he has prescribed me are for treating IBS… I was feeling very low that day, but i kept myself going.. I wondered that if i picked up smoking it might help me out.. but it’s the conscience that doesn’t let me pick that ciggy up..
    I wonder when will i get well… i have never felt so alone and horrible in my life.. i wish i could get well soon.. But i won’t let the will die… maybe there is some sunshine at the end of the tunnel…:D

  • Toni

    December 17, 2011

    Thanks for your comments Ron. It does get better — Congrats on quitting young!

  • Toni

    December 17, 2011

    Ouch — I feel ya! Yeah, I think changing the diet really helps. Nicotine let me be lazy with my eating habits — after quitting I had to change my diet, adding a lot of fiber, cutting out junk foods, eating less processed crap, etc.

    The biggest help for me: eating a bowl of cereal before bed.

  • Ron

    December 17, 2011

    How long have you been having this thing??? i mean i hope it’s not a forever thing…

  • Alex

    January 26, 2012

    IBS is omething that is very different n different people. I diagnosed with IBS about a year ago. after all tests such as blood, urine, upper endoscopy, colonoscopy, a few different X-rays, etc. I used to smoke so a few weeks ago finally I decided to quit and just after two weeks the IBS is almost gone!!! at least I can say 80% improvement. My IBS was everyday pain in the last 6 years. and I never tried to quit in these years! Finnaly I did it and it worked!

  • Scooter

    February 14, 2012

    Hi. I have similar problems with this. I have smoked for 27 years and finally decided to quit for good on New years. Tried the Chantix thing and made me too sick to my stomach. I finally quit cold turkey 3 weeks later….but then started having weird pains in my chest….then in the back where my right lung is. I waited for about a week to see if it would go away and started freaking out a little. I wanted to make sure there was nothing like a tumor or something growing there in my lungs since I smoked like 1 to 1 and a half packs a day for the last 27 years. I had a chest x-ray and it was clear, but the dr wanted to rule out a possible blood clot in the lungs so he sent me for a ct scan of my lungs. All clear. Within 1-2 days all pains in chest were gone. But I thought from all the worry my stomach problems were the result. So now its been 3 more weeks and my stomach is just getting worse and worse. Everytime I eat I am severely bloated, have gas coming out both ends….I can eat a can ov Ravioli and feel like I just had Thanksgiving dinner. Even a cup of coffee does this to me. I am getting wooried all over again because I have no fever or anything else to suggest an infection. Feels like a blockage either where the stomach empties into the small intestine or a blockage in the small intestine. Very disheartening for someone whos mom died of colon cancer. I just just dont believe its that though. Everything seems to be centered to immediately after I quit smoking. I ts been three weeks now totally smoke free and I feel great for doing that, empowered really, but this whole thing going on with the gut has really got me down and I am really seriously thinking about picking the habit back up. I dont have a loss of appitite, infact I feel hungry. But I dread these times now that knowing what happens when I eat. I see the dr again today and hopefully he may be able to shed some light on this as well. Hes the one that convinced me to quit smoking in the first place.

  • Callum

    February 20, 2012

    Damn IBS. I have suffered from IBS from a very young age (7ish). I started smoking at 16 and now I am quitting at 23.

    It has only been a couple of day but I have definitely noticed an increase in my IBS. Lots of stomach aches, and my bowl movements are all over the place (metaphorically speaking). I used to take mebeverine which helped the pains but recently (after I have quit) it dosnt seem to be helping as much as usual. I have switched to a tablet called colpermin which I would advise anyone with IBS to try. I wont put the details down here just look it up if you are interested.

    I was really considering smoking again just to try to get back to being able to control my bowls. However after reading what you guys have written I will hang in there for a couple of weeks and see how it goes. I will post once more in that time and note down how I am doing.

    Hopefully this helps people as your posts have given me the motivation I need to hang in there.

  • Debbie

    February 29, 2012

    I smoked for 40 years and finally quit about 6 months ago. For the past 2 months, my stomach hurts so bad, it’s unbelievable. How long does it take to get better? I’m considering taking smoking back up since I never felt this bad when I was smoking!

  • Brad

    March 17, 2012

    I started smoking at 10 years old and quit at 55, it’s been 27 months now smoke free. Over the last 15 years of smoking I cut down to approx 10 a day. I never really had any stomach issues, kind of ate what I wanted but ever since I quit smoking I’m having stomach cramps, aches, gas and worst of all diarrhea. At times I’ll be in the washroom minutes after finishing a meal. I haven’t officially been diagnosed with IBS however I suspect that I do now have IBS and that smoking kept it at bay all those years. I have read that cigarettes can be an antidepressant, I’ve also read that antidepressants can subside IBS.

    I’m glad that I found this link, I thought that I may be the only one with this situation. This now kind of confirms the suspicions that I’ve had over the past couple of years. I forgot to mention that there have been periods, months, at a time when I don’t really show signs of IBS however when it hits it can go on for weeks. In addition I won’t be taking up smoking again to solve this problem, I feel it’s the stomach issues are the lesser of two evils.

    Google search criteria that I used:
    antidepressants and ibs
    cigarettes are an antidepressant
    smoking stop ibs

    An interesting statement at this link, even if it is from a cigarettes information website, that states:
    “Interesting is that researchers are actually documenting neurochemical effects which says that cigarettes may actually be a drug that smokers are using to treat their underlying chronic depression.”


    T.I.A. for listening to my rant.

  • sabrina

    April 12, 2012

    Toni, Your post made me sane again. I quit smoking one week after I had a DNC and I kept telling my doc I was still in horrible pain. So i proceeded to take all the narcs she gave me which i later read give you constipation. I thought I had a perforated bowel (one of the possibilities of a bad DNC). I found your post and although the horrible pain is still with me I now no longer think I’m dying.
    Debbie- hang in there, we can do this!!

  • Logan

    April 17, 2012

    Hey guys, I’m also experiencing this same upset stomach crap after quitting smoking! I’m actually sitting on the toilet now at four in the morning because of it! Lol
    I quit about a month ago, and I swear about two days after I quit, I started getting serious gas every day. Not only am I getting the painful gas, but I am also experiencing irregular bowel movements as well.(explains why I’m in the John at such a random time)
    I figured this was all due to quitting smoking, and I had the temptation to start up again just to cure me of this crap but stuck to my guns. This is starting to get a bit ridiculous though….it got so bad tonight that I felt like I had to puke.
    Good luck everyone! Hopefully this will all be over soon…..

  • hailey

    May 14, 2012

    Just wanted to let others know that I quit smoking too…..its been a couple of weeks and I am sure I have IBS. I have had a colonoscopy, cat scan on my abdomin and the doctors can not figure out what is wrong with me. I have had the blood tests, stool tests and other test but they don’t have a reason or a clue what I have. At first they thought it was ulceritive collitus and then something else and then I didn’t have anything…….I hope this all goes away soon.

  • Shirl

    May 30, 2012

    Holy Crap, I knew it!!!

    I have had issues with digestion, constipation, gas, abdominal pain ever since I was a little kid. I noticed after I started smoking that the abdominal pain ceased. What a relief!
    Six and a half months ago I quit smoking using Chantix. About 2 weeks after I quit Chantix, the pain returned. I had forgotten all about that pain. When it returned I was so disheartened. Now several months later, my symptoms have amplified tenfold to the point that I suspected colon cancer. Horrible pain keeping me up at night. Can’t eat hardly at all without terrible suffering.
    I too consider taking the habit back up again but I am trying to hang in there. It helps to see this is not my imagination ! Thanks.

  • George

    June 9, 2012

    It’s all in your head. You are all looking for a reason to start smoking again. Be strong!

  • Kevin

    June 12, 2012

    This is so true. It wasn’t the cigarette cravings that were most difficult in the weeks following cessation, it was the diarrhea/constipation combination that I suffered for four weeks after. Seriously, my BMs JUST got back to normal, and I’m seeing it as a point of no return. There’s no way I want to repeat that month of poop purgatory. No siree.

    Regardless, I’m over a month free of cigarettes! Hooray!

  • Shirl

    June 14, 2012

    Thanks George, but no it is not in my head. My doctor has helped with the IBS and you are inaccurate in assessing that I am looking for an excuse. Really, had I desired to smoke, I would not require an excuse. I am happy to say that I am feeling better though I have to be ever so careful with what and how I eat. Still cannot eat much and many of my fave foods are just not possible right now. A friend told me that eventually this will go away like hers did after quitting. Don’t accuse people of imagining things, we have plenty of politicians already doing that. Thanks.
    Thank you Kevin for understanding. My feelings exactly, there is no way I would want to have to redo this past month and I am at 8 months now! Good for us!

  • santy

    June 15, 2012

    yes i have same symptoms & i can tell one thing that IBS is related to smoking & it’s start after you quite smoking,so don’t be worry all is well & it will be gone within few months .

  • unforgiven

    June 23, 2012


    don’t shoot me over this, just felt like sharing my prob.

    age 21 I quit smoking.Didn’t have any trouble / symptoms at the time. Age 26 I had a very serious case of IBS, not just D, just water running out of my body. I lost 35 kg of weight in 1 month simply by not receiving nutrition anymore. I had been running to hospitals and docs at that point for 2 years, no medication seemed to help, only made it worse.

    I lost my job, got divorced, tried any stupid diets people proposed. It was stress, I was depressed. Well you know yes I was stressed and depressed after 2 years of being sick. They started giving me antideps, I felt even worse, and started having very violent outbursts. Moment of weakness I picked up smoking again after I had quit 5 years, and soon after marihuana, the “natural” drug.

    I had never felt better in my life obviously. But what was more, I could go to the bathroom like a normal person. 10 years later now, still using the same treatments, I understand it’s not healthy, I honestly thought this would be a temp solution. I tried to quit smoking again now, and am obviously having the same issues. The fear of reliving what happened 10 years ago is so strong… well needless to say I was quick to pick up a pack of tobacco.

    Explained this to a doc once, he looked at me like a cow looks at a glas of water.
    Really reaching a point

  • Shirl

    June 25, 2012

    Dear Unforgiven,
    I will write more later as I am running out now. Just know, I would never pass judgment over you on returning to tobacco. I know that I am but one cigarette away from the same. Do not down yourself.
    More later.

  • Shirl

    June 25, 2012

    I like what you said about telling the doctor, I know what you mean but I told the nurse and she said that could be. Much of the issue is the feeling it’s imaginary. It truly is not, I am too busy with my job and my family to be throwing $ away at the doc to get ridiculed. I promised myself I would make it a year and then decide what I want to do. I figure if I make it a year, I am probably good for life. So far urges to smoke are behind me even under incredible stress a fraction of which would’ve sent me rushing for a fix before. Anyway, the urges behind me, the problem is knowing I would likely feel relief from the stomach issues is another matter.
    I am sorry that you have had so much stress, it seems to have been a vicious cycle for you for quite awhile. You named yourself unforgiven and I feel sad for you feeling that way. I wondered have you not been able to forgive yourself or are you looking to others for forgiveness. I will keep you in my prayers.

  • Lenny Gengaro

    July 10, 2012

    I have had IBS for five years quitting smoking does help I’ve noticed that my ibshas gotten worse since I started smoking again please everybody do your self a favor and quit smoking immediately I did notice that peppermint oil does also help IBS all symptoms of IBS should go away 3 to 6 months after quitting smoking I was totally George and now my IBS is back with a vengeance after starting smoking again

  • louisedaniels

    July 14, 2012

    hi i have suffered with ibs and constapision all since i was 7ish i have recently tryed to giveup smoking i am a week into it and my ibs is horrible i take mebevine all the time but it is not helping any more and conspision has got alot worse its really hard not to have a fag just to stop the pain sorry if there are spelling mistakes terrible at spelling

  • HeBeGB

    October 6, 2012

    Just stumbled across this sight and i would just like to add something to the feed.
    i have had IBS for about 20 years, the Docs put me on Co-Codamol i quit smoking about 4 years ago (cold Turkey, never wanted to smoke in those 4 years)and with out realizing the connection my pain has increased 10 fold. I was in a shop 4 days ago and and an electronic cigarette caught me eye, and it dawned on me that when i was smoking i was in far less pain.
    I am on my third day smoking my electronic cigarette (as an experiment) so far so good no pain at night less prescription drugs (mebevarin, Co-Codamol).
    I will wright again and up date on my experiment.

  • wendy

    November 2, 2012

    its not IBS its withdrawal from the drug nicotine.

  • S

    November 9, 2012

    I’m so glad I found this blog post. I quit smoking in February (after seven years) and have had steadily worsening and constant problems with digestion since, including constipation, diarrhoea, aching in the abdomen generally and pain disrupting sleep. Doctors have suggested modifying my diet (which I’ve tried to do, getting more soluble fibre and veg and fruit etc), but a food diary for the last few months has shown no pattern with the symptoms I’ve experienced. A possibility suggested is coeliac disease, but I haven’t seen a pattern with wheat products either.

    I can get quite stressed, so from reading the thread above, possibly that is a factor?

    I’ve managed to not smoke at all since quitting – and like @Shirl said, I now feel no urge to pick up a cigarette – but the thought that having one might stop these problems is a hard idea to get rid of.

  • Kyriakos

    January 2, 2013

    I was a smoker for 14 years. Quit 40 days ago and my i definitely get all the IBS symptoms. Doctor thought that it was a bug, had antibiotics, didn’t help at all. I have also been taking anti-acids since I have occasional acid reflux problems.

    I quit 40 days ago because I had a panic attack for the first time in my life and after that smoking was making it worst. I don’t have panic attacks anymore but my stomach and acid reflux have been really bad.

    I also found out that I can’t eat wheat bread, beer, garlic, onions and other stuff. Can anyone please advice me what I should say to the doctors because I getting really frustrated with my health. I am in constant agony, afraid to eat outside the house.

  • Helen

    January 3, 2013

    It has been 19 days since I quit smoking and I have all the IBS symptoms as well. I’m just wondering if anyone knows how long after quitting does it take for the digestive track to get back to normal functioning? I’ve been trying to eat really healthy…but I have bags under my eyes and feel like malnourished maybe because the nutrients are getting flushed out instead of absorbed which sucks. The gas is sooo terrible too…like yuck… everyday bloated and gassy no matter what I eat. I want my stomach to work properly again!

  • Psycho

    January 4, 2013

    Always had stomach issues when I was quitting smoking
    And as new year resolution I promised to quit again hopefully forever this time – I’m starting from tomorrow – I’m off on weekend so I can hide away from the world with tantrums and stomach problems
    But I’m petrified cause I’ve been there before and a thought of being horrible moody cow full of gas and constant pains, bloated, constipated and worried about bowel movement is hunting me

    But I really want to quit I’ll keep you updated with a progress

    Tips I can give you for now from previous experience is that eating lot of apples helps due to good portion of fibre

    And you can consider cutting down or getting rid of cow’s milk from your diet – try soya milk and products instead – milk is generally causing digestion problems and health issues in many people but it’s a different story

    Probiotics might also help to keep your guts under control

    I’m glad that I found this topic I always new that quitting smoking is causing IBS and other stomach problems And thanks to all of you for sharing info and well done for quitting ! Keep fingers crossed for me

  • Chantell

    January 7, 2013

    I have smoked 1 pack a day for at least 10 years and I had quit smoking in the past a few times. Note it was unsuccessful long term due to extreme cravings and irritability. The longest I had quit for was 8 months. Now that I am older I chose to stop smoking for good. It has only been 3 days and I am having extreme stomach pain and my stomach is making very loud digestive noises. I am not hungry. I actually have to force myself to eat after becoming shaky from lack of nutrition. I know it’s only been a few days but never experienced this when eliminating tobacco in the past. I’m wondering if it is IBS, withdrawal, a bad reaction to the nicotine patch, or just the fact that I am over 30 now and sent my body into full defense mode. Some of the comments say it can take weeks to years to feel better. I hate that because to me stomach pain and nausea is the worst feeling in the world. Hopefully I can report sooner with news of feeling better. I’m not going to cave though because I keep trying to convince myself the pain is actually from smoking.

  • Dawn

    February 14, 2013

    It has been 2 years since I have quit smoking… The severe stomach pain (IBS) will stop, believe me! Mine lasted for about 7 to 8 months. I know it is terrible but it does get better. Mine was so bad I thought I had cancer. After many Doctor visits I realized that I was either nuts or just going through the worst withdrawal symptoms ever recorded! The Doctor will tell you “No it’s not from withdrawal symptoms”! Oh but yes it is! You know your body so don’t listen to anyone else!

    Do positive affirmations as much as possible! I walked around most of my days talking to myself and saying over and over again “My body is restoring itself to its natural state!” This helped so much! I think my first year was the worst I have ever seen or heard of. But now I am glad it was so terrible because It makes me scared to death to go back to smoking! I had quit before but this was the worst… I personally think it is because they have added so many new chemicals to the cigs… Like the fire retardant… We actually ingested this crap! Know wonder we are all going through such a nighmare after we quit! But you either suffer now or later so make up your mind!

  • Turkey

    March 6, 2013

    Yes I stopped smoking and it will 8 weeks Wednesday after being a smoker for 28 years. I have had constant stomach trouble since. I remember having trouble when trying to quit in the past. I no this will pass in time and it will be worth it. However the stomach issues it seams are disregarded by most people and anywhere there is information on stopping smoking. So glad I found this site and I am not the only one.

  • august

    May 1, 2013

    Thank you so much for this site. There is not enough info out there for us. I found it so comforting to find others going through the same thing!

  • Will

    June 6, 2013

    Shortly after giving up smoking (cold turkey) I got so ill I ended up in hospital, the doctors could not find a reason for my swollen stomach, bloody stools, major weight loss, stomach cramps every 5 min, man I was ill. Even after a million blood tests, colonoscopy , xrays etc they still had no answer, it was put down as IBS, I lived with it for years, eventually succumbing to the ciggies again and gone was the IBS, Well two years ago I gave up smoking again (cold turkey) and low and behold the IBS is back, the gut pain, the diarrhea, the stencing farts and bloating, can’t eat this can’t eat that etc etc. Life’s a bitch then you die.

  • anned

    June 19, 2013

    I quit 4 months ago after smoking for 40 years and have been living on Imodium and Simethicone

    I smoked about 40 strong home rolled pipe tobacco cigs a day and then through a special stop smoking program.
    They started me on patches and lozenges at the same time.

    My IBS started a couple weeks later and got so bad i was thing about wearing diapers just to be safe.

    A lot of gas and diarrhea so bad i could not pass the gas without running to the bath room. And i do mean running.

  • paul.coulter.

    June 28, 2013

    Thanks for the info been alot of help been having alot of the same pains and Problems
    As other posters I have been smoke free for 4weeks today

  • Johnno

    July 15, 2013

    I quit smoking for good at the beginning of this year, I was fine for the first 3 months then I remember waking up in the middle of the night with stomach pains and from that point on I’ve had IBS. It was pretty painful and debilitating for the first month then I found out about the over the counter remedies and they’ve helped a great deal, I tried them all and found Colofac was the best for me. Throughout this time my GP was worse than useless. After 5 1/2 months I’m no longer taking any remedies, the IBS is still irritating but I eat cornflakes for breakfast and make sure I only ‘go’ once a day at a regular time no matter how much the IBS plays up and I think I’m getting a handle on it :) I think the symptoms are fading very gradually, I’ve got my fingers crossed anyway. Good luck to everyone both in staying quit and getting over the IBS.

  • Michelle

    August 3, 2013

    I am 34. I started smoking at the age of 5 believe it or not. I quit smoking for 14 months when I was 20 and had no side effects other than the cravings but I was pregnant at the time. Then i quit again at 24 and same situation no problems. I recently quit 3 months ago and started having constipation problems and then when I had to go it was either diarrhea or a hard movement. Nicotine is also a stimulate. It only makes sense that your body would go crazy after quitting. Nicotine has aided in the bowl movement process for years. I have been going back and forth smoking or not smoking. I want to quit but fear that this will be a forever problem because I have ruined my body’s natural ability to produce it’s own stimulant.
    Signed Back and Forth and frustrated with myself and nicotine.

  • Caroline

    August 6, 2013

    I stopped smoking 3 months ago and for last week have had severe stomach problems. Came home early from work today because stomach upset and I have severe wind. Glad to have come across this web site and will definitely try some of the tips. Will post progress

  • Marjolein

    August 7, 2013

    This is very very interesting ! I have just been diagnosed with IBS. Had all the usual tests that showed nothing was wrong other than a small hernia. Also have reflux nd am on nexium 40 for that since a few months ago. I quit 22 months ago after 20 Years and smoking around 30 a day. I used to be healthy. Since quitting I seem to catch every bug going. A friend of mine was similar , she went back to smoking and many of her medical issues stopped I haven’t and won’t … like the freedom and the cash too much…though I still would like a cig most days and think about smoking every day….but in a mild way, rarely crave. Dr and surgeons tell me that smoking causes theses thinks and quitting fixes them…not the other way around. Next breathe the Dr just says to cut back on stress and that will fix I. Sure will get right on that Dr dear. If only! So glad I found this blog, shows that my friend and I are not alone in thinking IBS may be related to quitting smoking. My IBS only started three or four months ago no relieve . Thinking back I think some of the illnesses I had since quitting may have been I b s but not diagnosed as it settled within a week or so.

  • Frank

    May 13, 2015

    NOCOTINE as a Treatment

    I had a very different experience. I was proscribed nicotine to treat IBS (no insurance—cheapest alternative) and for four years it was far loss in severity. As I never wanted to become a life long cigarette smoker, after four years I quite. The IBS has come back with a vengeance not to be believed. 30 plus watery bowel movements a day every day with no end in sight. The doc has me on nicotine patches which don’t seem to be helping all that much. I didn’t have any trouble quitting and I don’t miss smoking. I sure do miss not having IBS…


    P.S. Where I first heard about smoking to treat IBS was on the TV show HOUSE..

  • Jey

    June 27, 2015

    I am 58 years old. I have been a smoke for almost 38 years. Never tried to quit. I smoked at least 20 cigarettes a day. My quit smoking journey started on the 22nd March 2015.

    The starting was good; I didn’t have much craving so I haven’t thought about using any nicotine replacement therapy. Time went on there started my withdrawal symptoms.

    Second week I started to get dizziness. The whole world was spinning in front of me. I managed for some time. Then there came my sweaty palms. It wasn’t a big deal. Then my smelling senses became very sharp. Everything started to smell very strong. Fishpond, my back yard every thing even my own pooh started to smell horrible.

    My taste buds have become alive. Every thing tasted so good and I got the appetite of a hungry pig. I ate quite a lot, but it didn’t last long. After four weeks I got further withdrawal symptoms. First it was a bad sore throat then, shortness of breath and bad flu like symptoms. My GP couldn’t find out the reason. He said it may be allergic condition or condition aggravated by change of climate.

    The above symptoms started to ease down but I started to get a very bad stomach pain and bloated tummy. To make the condition worse my rib cage was sore as if I had a big fall.

    It was May 22, 8 weeks after quit smoking, we went for dinner out to celebrate my wife’s birthday. The pain in my tummy was horrible. It was like as if somebody got into my with a butcher’s knife and make strips on my intestine. To add further I felt somebody tied both ends of my intestine and pumped sulphur di oxide. I cannot be released. I cannot burb or fart.

    One Monday morning after my 8 weeks of quit smoking I couldn’t wear my work trousers. I couldn’t button at the top and can zip only up to halfway. I was wondering how I could put on this much weight in two days. It took a while to realize I got bloated tummy. Few painful days passed. My GP couldn’t diagnose anything other than blaming my spicy food and two bottles of white wine I drink in the night. I am a big curry muncher, a Sri Lankan curry muncher. We cook two Kilos of mutton with 4 tea poons of hot chilli powder and 4 tea poons of hot curry powder in diced tomato. My GP prescribed for endoscopy and colonoscopy. Specialist couldn’t find out any reason.

    I was not ready to give up my curry and wine. I don’t smoke any more but what is the point in living if I can’t eat curry and wine. Any Sri Lankan man from north would agree with this statement.

    Then luckily I checked in Google. One good man mentioned that nicotine was the culprit about nicotine spray would help. Buscopan, De gas helped a bit, but nicotine spray helped a lot. I released lot of gas and the pain has gone down. I am almost on my 13th week of quit smoking. I am coming into terms with my body. I abused my body to the maximum and my body is taking the revenge back on me. This is the only consolation I have. I am sure I will get away from all my withdrawal symptoms and my body will pardon my abuse.

    Good luck all quit smokers.

  • Holly

    July 7, 2015

    Glad to find this. It will be two years since I stopped chewing nicorette this coming February. I have indigestion and bloating still. Not as bad but it’s still there. Between the smoking and nicorette I guess I should realize it may take a while for my body to get back to normal. I did smoke for over 20 years. Glad to know I’m not the only one experiencing this.

  • Amber

    July 15, 2015

    I have had IBS for years, even had one episode of internal bleeding from it, dropped my BP to 60/24 and had to be hospitalized. I actually started smoking some years after that, and haven’t had that severe an issue since. My dad says it’s because we’re Indians – tobacco is ok, it’s alcohol that’s a problem! It’s true, I can’t drink without my symptoms getting worse. What I wanted to let everyone know, is that when you feel the first abdominal cramps coming on, SIMETHICONE can bring tremendous relief. It’s over the counter, easy to find. I prefer the mint- flavored chewables from the dollar stores after having tried them all.

  • jules

    August 14, 2015

    I quit smoking after 35 years… 7 month ago. From the second week I experienced bloating stomach ache and constipation. I gained about 6lbs in weight which isnt so bad. Just been diag6as having IBS after various scans blood tests etc to rule out anything suspicious. I also feel that starting the fags again would get rid of it… but feel I have achieved something by tquitting for 7 months..the longest time ever for me. I’d feel so guilty starting up now. But the misery of IBS is starting to get me down now and I am worried I’ll have it forever.

  • Zk

    August 17, 2015

    I quit smoking 2 weeks ago and now I’m having IBS and mucus in my stool. I had low blood pressure before that one. I ve been wondering how long I gonna have them before recovering. But I’m glad to know that I’m not the only one.

  • Derren

    August 21, 2015

    So back when I was smoking I had like 5-8 smokes a day, a couple of years later I tapered down to 3-5 then on my last year of smoking I started having one smoke a day after smoking for nearly 6 years, and I had quit 10 days ago along with weed, quitting cold turkey after heavy use of tobacco and nicotine can be extremely rough, but if you chip your smokes halfway and smoke the other half when you feel like having a smoke again will help you cut down, me personally this helped my body get used to the new cut back doses of nicotine and tobacco till it was just one a day, then it was fairly easy for me to not want a cigarette when I had a craving, I hope this helps people wanting to quit! being a little more active will help with craving I feel, but not so much that you start weezing and koffing (pokemon jokes) due to the fact that your lungs still need time to repair themselves, and as your body slowly adjusts to physical activity, increase your physical activity by little bits or if you feel you can do more, try it, but don’t over do yourself. Stay strong!

  • Derren

    August 21, 2015

    Being more physically active, a healthy diet, and drinking plenty of fluids (minus caffeine and most of the time soda), will help you live through withdrawal symptoms, but it doesn’t make it go away

  • Kathy

    August 28, 2015

    Thank you a million times over for this post and especially for writing what your doctor said, that shocks to body caused by quitting smoking can trigger IBS symptoms because I quit drinking coffee ten days ago and I am having the same symptoms. Detoxing from caffeine can make you foggy, irritable, headaches etc but it doesn’t turn your poop orange, give you serious gas anytime you eat the wrong thing (which is about 90% of my normal not great but not heinous diet), make your esophagus contract (feelings like I’m suffocating when I eat wrong, or give me lose stools. I feel horrible! And I wasn’t even that big of a coffee drinker, just maybe 2-3 cups a day but for 30 years or so. I have not read anywhere else that quitting coffee (or cigarettes) can trigger IBS symptoms but someone told me caffeine is used as a pain killer and nicotine probably has similar effects so maybe I have been having symptoms for a while but the coffee masked them. I swear I feel like it is the thing that has held me together and without it I’m going all to hell. My mom has both IBS and chrone’s disease, and she has suffered all my life but until I was 48 or so I could eat anything at any time with no problem. Since 48 I’ve noticed that my body is becoming more sensitive and less tolerant but in the last few days, I can’t eat anything but plain chicken, alovera juice (nasty) and natural fruits and vegetables. I’m up all night with pain tonight and I dread the trial and error process of determining what doesn’t make me sick. I’m hoping this is just a wake up call to change my diet and take better care of myself and not a life long thing. I hope it passes. Nobody deserves to feel this way all the time.

  • madhu

    September 7, 2015

    I have quit smoke 5 months ago after into smoke for 4 years…I have gone through every withdrawal symptoms …but now I am only left with my stomach issues …think its IBS ….now after my mind set daily exercise – diet have minimised IBs very much….plz no one try to smoke again to fix symptoms …its just symptoms u I’ll surely get well ..every individual have different capability of fighting these symptoms …it might take time but surely goona disappear….drink lots of water n eat raw veggie n n lots of body coolants its helps a lot……

  • Basant

    November 7, 2015

    I was smoking 5 packs per day for around 35 years.I gave up smoking 18 months ago I had virtually all withdrawal symptoms like chest pain, chill, hot and cold waves, swetting gastro intestinal disorder etc. Every symptom has subsidised except gas, bloating IBS and sometimes oozing of excessive water(saliva) from mouth . I repeat, I gave up smoking 18 months back.

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