Exploring The Side Effects Of Smoking
It’s estimated that each year brings introduces a crop of over 1 million new smokers. That includes children. Oddly, the effects of smoking are well-known. Millions of smokers have died from lung cancer. Millions more have developed emphysema, a disease of the lungs that makes the otherwise simple act of exhaling a grueling task. Smoking cigarettes is one of the leading reasons for deaths in the United States. Yet, it draws new people into its fold every year. Below, you’ll discover some additional side effects of smoking.
Development Of Osteoporosis
Smoking has been linked to osteoporosis. When a person smokes, the chemicals can impede the absorption of calcium. When this happens, the bones weaken. They’re more susceptible to fracturing. Typically, female smokers are in greater danger of developing osteoporosis than men. That said, both genders are at risk. In severe cases, bone fractures that stem from osteoporosis can lead to long-term disability and even death.
If a woman smokes while pregnant, the health and growth of the unborn fetus can be impacted. The fetus can be deprived of oxygen or critical nutrients. Exposure to the carbon monoxide contained within cigarettes can result in stillbirths or congenital problems. Because smoking limits the amount of nutrition received by the fetus, brain development during the later stages of pregnancy can be slowed or retarded. Further studies have shown that the fetus’s exposure to nicotine during pregnancy can also lead to behavioral problems as the child ages.
Smoking is known to lead to atherosclerosis. This is a condition that results from the arteries becoming “plugged up” with a fatty substance. Eventually, this fatty material impedes the flow of blood to the heart. The blood carries oxygen. When the arteries become clogged and prevent the oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart, simple physical activities become laborious. The heart experienced increased levels of strain leading to chest pains and damage to the heart muscle. Eventually, a heart attack can occur. Smoking is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease.
Your stomach naturally produces a small level of acid. When you smoke, your stomach accelerates the rate at which it creates this acid. Most of the acid created by your stomach is absorbed by the foods you consume. But, when the amount of acid increases dramatically, it can lead to severe health issues. Eventually, the increased levels can cause digestive problems.
In some cases, the excess stomach acid can lead to the development of an ulcer. The ulcer may manifest as an open sore on the duodenum. This is the shortest portion of your small intestine where much of the digestion process occurs. The excess acid can also flow from your stomach into your esophagus.
Eliminating Smoking’s Side Effects
Smoking can also cause bad breath, skin irritations, yellow teeth and even bleeding in the mouth. Fortunately, many of these side effects can either be reversed or slowed. But, it requires quitting. Because of the addictive quality of nicotine, most smokers find the act of quitting either unappealing or too difficult. For those who begin developing serious side effects such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer and digestive problems, quitting can literally be a matter of life and death.
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